My weight has always been an issue for me.
Food is my vice – I comfort eat. I love all the wrong foods. I don’t really drink, I’ve never smoked. Chocolate is my drug of choice…. bread, cheese, pasta following closely behind.
It isn’t so much the number on the scales or the size in my clothes that bothers me – more how I feel about myself. I don’t like what I see in the mirror. I haven’t for a long time.
The most frustrating thing about it is I know it is totally my fault and only I can make the changes to improve how I feel about myself.
I have used MS as an excuse. It’s the reason I can’t exercise very much because when I get too hot my legs give in. Truth is I didn’t exercise enough before I got MS so it isn’t an valid excuse.
My problem with diets is I have no willpower and I hate not feeling in control. Telling me I can’t have chocolate makes me instantly want to devour a family sized bar of Galaxy.
I weighed less when I was pregnant partly because my heartburn was NEXT LEVEL. (People said heartburn meant my baby would have lots of hair. I genuinely thought I was pregnant with a chimp. I digress…)
I also weighed less when pregnant because made a conscious effort to watch what I was eating. It wasn’t just about me and I cared more about my child’s health than my own.
In a recent meeting with my MS specialist I asked him about nutrition and asked to be referred to a dietitian to discuss options. I’m taking disease modifying drugs at the moment and I need to eat substantially before I take them to avoid side effects. The side effect I suffer with is flushing. It starts with my ears burning then slowly takes over my body – head to toe. My skin glows a glorious sunburn red and my skin gets super tight and itchy. It feels like my skin is crawling. Thankfully it only lasts about 30 mins and it’s one of the lesser side effects so I’m grateful that it’s the only one I get. I’ve noticed the flushing is worse when I haven’t eaten enough. Another one of my genius excuses to eat anything I want “because of my tablets”.
There are so many people in this world who manage their MS just with a healthy lifestyle and exercise despite the difficulties they face with symptoms. I just need to get myself in gear and start taking a leaf out of their books!
I’ve been doing a lot of research recently and looking into the work of Dr Wahls. This inspiring woman was diagnosed with relapsing remitting Multiple Sclerosis. Within 3 years this had transitioned to secondary progressive MS. She had access to the best doctors and drugs available and for her it wasn’t working. So she started using food to help supplement the drugs she was taking to help decrease the demyelination. Within a year she went from spending the majority of her time confined to a tilt-reclining wheelchair to riding a bike!
Now I’ve talked before about MS being called a “snowflake” disease. There are over 50 different symptoms, it affects everyone differently and the progression is different for everyone.
But you can’t argue with the facts. And surely changing your diet to help support the DMD’s* can’t be a bad thing!
*DMD’s = Disease modifying drugs. I’m currently taking one called Tecfidera.
The principles of the Wahls protocol are similar to Paleo. Raw natural foods – nothing processed, no sugar, no carbs.
Basically the opposite of my current diet…. *sigh*
Now don’t get me wrong I love fruit and veg…. I just love it accompanying lots of other naughty foods as opposed to the main bulk of my diet.
I’ve been trying to figure out how to make the change – when is the right time? Is there ever a right time?
There always seems to be something coming up that I don’t want to miss out on. Stupidly the biggest thing that puts me off is I don’t want to be one of those people. You know the ones I’m talking about – the ones who make ordering at a restaurant a nightmare. The ones you don’t want to invite for dinner because they are so fussy!
I’ve also come to the conclusion there is no way I will stick to this lifestyle change if I cut out everything I enjoy completely – I’ll be miserable. And I’ll be even more difficult to live with than I am now.
So let’s be realistic.
So my plan is to use the Wahls protocol and find a way to include the following into my day to day meals and once I’ve consumed all the good stuff if I want a treat then it’s ok – as long as my body is getting all the nutrients it needs every day first. Hoping that once I’ve focused on eating all the good stuff I probably won’t have room for much more but if I do it’s not off limits. It’s human nature to want what you can’t have. So if I can have it – it doesn’t feel like that much of a rebellious treat.
This is the basics of Wahls protocol
- 3 cups of green leafy vegetables (daily)
- 3 cups of sulphur rich vegetables (daily)
- 3 cups of bright colour (peppers, berries, fruit) (daily)
- Grass fed meat (several times per week)
- Wild seafood (several times per week)
- Seaweed (at least once a week)
Watch this space for my attempts at incorporating the above into my day to day and the interesting recipes I’m going to try to make it work!