I’m just a girl. A girl who has struggled with food and self-acceptance issues my whole life. But, here’s what I’m learning…Life is a journey, story that continues to write itself every single day. To help you understand the person behind faithhopelovefood….let me share a little of my story.
As a child, I struggled with my weight. In junior high, after a mean comment from a supposed friend, I was motivated and lost weight…the right way through diet and exercise. Then in high school, I battled with self-image as many teen girls do. I went through exercise cycles…Ta Bo, walks, aerobic classes, yoga, running. I tried a pretzel and Diet Mountain Dew diet…I know, not the healthiest diet. I thought eating whole grains and low fat was the ideal American diet.
Fast forward a few years….I traveled to the Philippines for an amazing experience of adopting our son. (That was a wonderful experience). A few months after returning home, I became sick with unexplained weight loss, nausea, acid reflux, and chronic pain which were followed by doctor visit after doctor visit. No one seemed to be able to explain what was wrong with me. I lost over 20 pounds. Family and friends were concerned about me.
The internet became my refuge for answers. I found an herbal tea supplement for acid reflux. Inside was a pamphlet that talked about the book Never Be Sick Again: Health is a Choice, Learn How to Choose It by Raymond Francis. I read it, eager to learn what I could. It was through this book that I truly embraced the idea that what I was putting into my body could truly be impacting how I was feeling. I read the back of every single item at the grocery store looking for artificial colors, foods, and preservatives. I drove my children crazy because I took so long at the store. I began to chew slower and entertain the idea of food combining when I ate.
Five months later, another ailment overtook my body leading to a colonoscopy and a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis. The medication made me sicker but what other choice did I have?
Then, through a colleague, I learned of a nutritionist. I called her, spent a lot of time on the phone with her explaining my situation, and made an appointment. My husband and I visited her and when we left her office, we both felt something we had not felt in a long time…Hope. She placed me on the GAPS diet, and I began following it with daily bone broth. I began to see her husband, a chiropractor, who not only began doing regular adjustments for overall health but also used BAX allergy treatments. I discovered that my body was not absorbing fat, vitamins, or minerals properly, and I was reacting to a variety of foods that I commonly ate such as peanut butter.
I began to feel better with the change in eating and several BAX treatments. Although I did eventually have to see another GI doctor who prescribed Flagyl (I had all the symptoms of amoebic dysentery), my body slowly was beginning to heal. Almost four and half years since I first dealt with the GI issues, I am still in the healing process. I have food issues and reactions to things such as grapes, tuna, and watermelon that I used to eat all the time. I have to be careful with a variety of foods…beans, cabbage, coffee, peanut butter. I’m gluten free, and I try to follow a Paleo diet because I truly feel best on that diet, but I’m human. I have weaknesses…coffee, chocolate, baked goods. I struggle with body image, but I’m no longer that skinny, sick person.
I am learning who is in control and whose I am. Join me on this journey of faith, hope, love, and food. Yes, food, because food is part of who we all are…it has a social component, a comforting element, a life sustaining element. I love to cook, to share a good meal with my family, to discover a really good restaurant that serves gluten free food, and to join with others who share in struggles with health and food similar to my own. And as I have learned, food can threaten to have the power to control me if I choose to allow it to. Day by day, I am learning to define who I am through God’s eyes, not through the eyes of the world.