Part B of my meeting with Naturopath (ND) yesterday:
Instead of writing down everything I eat and how my body reacts to it, I will be keeping a journal of my healing process.
I may have gone in guns-a-blazing to the ND yesterday - hard to imagine I'm sure, for those of you who know how stubborn I am - cutting to the chase about how difficult I find it to write down what I eat every day. I eat well, but I eat rich, mainly healthy, but writing it down forces me to face in yet another way how I am failing my body, or how it is failing me.
I don't want to think about it any damn more than I already do! But I have to, in order to help ND help me fix my tummy trouble. Food and drink, water consumption, alcohol, vitamin and herbal supplements, all of it. I go into fits of anxiety over writing this stuff down.
You may have noticed I have not (yet) returned to the lovely Lymphedema massage therapist since meeting her in October? She asked me to write down everything I eat and drink so that we can use that information to help my post-cancer therapy and physical recuperation. Well, I have tried countless times but always by about day three I throw out my list with a huff of despair.
I don't like to do things I don't like doing. Um... I guess that sounds a bit like a two-year-old having a temper tantrum. Well I am having a temper tantrum.
I have enough to deal with that is out of my control, perhaps enjoying my cooking, eating, and drinking habits is among the few pleasures I have left in my life. Any purist reading this may roll their eyes and say "come on Natalie you know better! You can CURE your cancer with green smoothies and positive thinking!!" *HUFF* NOT
I know it is imperative when trying to diagnose food intolerances or other causes of digestive system upset to recognize patterns. In order to recognize patterns one must document findings of results and prior behaviours. Ugh! I'm trying to live in the moment here people!! Writing down my every swallow is not helpful to my psychological situation. I just hate it.
(See what my therapist - and my family - has to deal with??)
ND said well, how about this: Keep a journal of my healing process and how I am feeling. Write down how nourished I feel, body, mind, and spirit. Write down what I did to nourish myself, whether that be take my calcium and iron supplements properly, take the dog for a walk, write on my blog, hug my kiddos, call an old friend, sleep for 78hours... just write the positive.
Instead of beating myself up for eating some chips or drinking a bottle of wine, focus on the good stuff. And... more good stuff will follow. Perhaps if I see a pattern of feeling better nourished after taking my iron supplements with a glass of grapefruit juice every day for a week, then I will just want to take the iron instead of bitching about it.
This may seem basic to anyone who has not experienced what I have experienced - I don't mean to keep bringing that up, but it is key to my healing process. Acknowledgement of my bad experiences is as important to my healing as is acknowledgement of the need for positive thinking.
In addition to the thyroid talk and plan to heal colitis-like symptoms, ND and I spoke about my concern about the weight I have gained. It's not funny. I am upset about my weight gain, my puffy lymphedema in my neck and leg, my altered physical state, and my resulting self-image.
All my life I have been up and down with weight, I am well aware of HOW to lose 100 pounds. In fact, I have done that before. OhI'vebeeneverywhereman...
The weight situation I have on my hands now is a result of cancer, cancer treatment, cancer treatment side-effects, and the battle my body is waging against cancer.
ND explained "Body is holding on to everything She possibly can because She is afraid of what is going to be thrown at Her next. Been through the trenches in the last couple of years, so reasonable for Her to expect there could be more."
Please no, I am desperately hoping not. But I get the point. Between the lesser physical activity due to fatigue/lymphedema/reverseT3 and the changed metabolism due to thyroidectomy, I knew upon diagnosis that my body would no longer be my own. BUT - I would like to get back into my black velvet jeans!! Lots yet to figure out about my "new normal" but I am still a woman after all!
Part of my Nourishment Journal will be to track patterns that may help with weight loss, but at this point I am not in the physical nor mental position to go on a protein diet or drink shakes for meal replacements or any of that stuff. I have to go with my gut feelings on food, or at least on my gut's reactions to food so to speak, once we see if the probiotics will do the trick.
Plenty of greens, grains, legumes, and water will improve my health as much as will reducing my intake of wheat, dairy, meat, sugar and alcohol. I will approach all of those with a positive viewpoint on how I nourish my body. Easy peasy, I actually already know this stuff, now just do it.
It is clear to me also that writing is part of this process for me. It is cathartic, but it is also a good way for me to document patterns, share what I am learning, and to remind myself of all of these things when chemo brain makes me forget. Blog is in a way my journal already I suppose... don't worry, I will keep the every day Nourishment Journal stuff private, I'm sure you don't want to know how many glasses of water I have had to drink today! ;-)