“What do you hope to accomplish with this diet?”
“Why are you doing this to yourself?”
“You don’t even NEED to lose weight!”
I am honestly surprised at how many questions I’m getting about doing the Whole30. More surprising is the negative questions and comments. I don’t think the people asking are setting out to be negative but that’s how questions about my weight come off, or asking my why I would do this to myself.
So, a recap. Here’s what brought me to this journey to begin with:
My right arm still buzzes and tingles. My fingers and hand still go ice cold. My right leg still vibrates and aches throughout the day and night. And bright lights still make me feel nauseated and shaky. In any given moment of the day, I either have a headache, shoulder or back pain, or trouble forming words. I leave sentences unfinished and overlook simple mistakes in my work. And I’m really, really tired. There are good days, and there are bad days, and then there are horrible days. But if you ask me how I am doing, I’ll say “I’m great! How about you?”
It’s been a year and a half since all this fun stuff began, and in that year and a half, I’ve found no answers (or rather, the intense and expensive medical tests found no answers). I have a lot of ideas and thoughts, but nothing pans out. (I also have a conspiracy theory I could hit you with, but let’s save that for in-person conversation, lest you think I’m extra-loco.) I simply stopped talking about it because it seemed pointless to continue.
Here’s what I do know:
- I feel better physically when I walk each day. Feeling better, however, doesn’t equal feeling good.
- What works to make me feel better today doesn’t always work tomorrow.
- No two days look alike.
- Medications did not help. They merely hindered.
- The pain and tremors made it impossible to continue my photography business (so now I just freelance).
Here’s some of what I deal with each day:
- Solid sleep eludes me, thus contributing to the already overwhelming tiredness.
- My stomach hurts often and I can’t figure out what the culprit is.
- Pain continues to dominate my right side, but it is not limited to the right. It’s just predominately on the right.
- When I’m nervous or stressed, my tremors, nausea, and buzzing are much, much worse (and no, we’re not talking anxiety or regular nervousness).
- I sweat. It’s rarely hot.
- I have frequent headaches.
- I get what I call electrical shocks in different parts of my body, sometimes my lower back, sometimes my feet.
- I frequently drop things.
- And everything that appears in the first paragraph, as well as a few things I don’t wish to mention publicly.
You see all that? THAT is why I’m doing this. Not to lose weight, not to torture myself, but simply to attempt to find answers to help me, to live a better quality of life, to sleep well, to think well, to live well.
That’s what I hope to accomplish. I hope to feel better and live better. I hope to live life more actively instead of having to cancel on family and friends because I’m either in too much pain or too dizzy or too nauseated or too tired to function. I hope to make good, sound decisions for myself and others, based not on fog-brained thoughts but rather on well-thought out choices. I hope to enter my 39th year in June as a healthier woman, not someone who runs every time someone else sniffles because their cold will be my flu. I hope to do great things in my life, and it’s hard to even WANT to when so many parts of my body hurt.
With 7 days behind me, some good, some bad, and 23 ahead of me (technically 22 now), it would be easy to feel discouraged at times, especially on those bad days, but I have to believe that no matter the outcome, what I’m doing for myself right now is good regardless. I might get to the end of 30 days and still need to keep going before I can even begin to entertain the idea of reintroduction of foods, but I’m in this. I’m doing it. For me, and really, as it follows, for my family, friends, and everyone else.
Today was a good day. Tomorrow might not be. I’ll still keep pushing on.