Optimally Well

Oddly, I think 2012 is going down as one of the best years of my life.  I guess being diagnosed with a disease that will require an enormous, life-long dietary adjustment could be considered the worst year ever.  That's not how I feel though.  After spending more than a decade getting increasingly ill & worse yet, increasingly afraid, I am profoundly grateful for the answers I found this past year.  Profound is a big word to use there, but I really want to convey the intense relief that diagnosis represents when one has been struggling in the dark for so long.

I feel more empowered than I have ever felt before.  It is as though I was handed a huge key & with it I have unlocked so many doors.  All the barriers that deep illness & malnutrition previously presented in my life seem like minor impediments now.  With a little knowledge gathering & some self-experimentation, I am able to put together a template for overcoming each health challenge.  It doesn't stop there though . . . the process of transforming my life over the past year has lead to many personal discoveries & impacted countless areas of my life.

All of that said . . . I still have a long way to go.  There is alot of detail that goes into managing autoimmunity through diet, instead of medication.  I also want to do more than just manage illness, I  want to repair the damage.  I want to be more than just not sick, I want to be optimally WELL.

Based on that thought, I have put together a list of five goals for 2013.  I plan to regularly report back to my readers on how this is going.  You can consider me the human-sized AIP guinea pig:

1)  Figuring out exactly the right supplementation formula for myself has been really challenging.  First, there is a budget issue.  Just like the best quality foods for an AIP diet are generally more expensive, so too are the best quality supplements.  Second, there is the hesitation issue.  Should I or shouldn't I supplement?  That is the question.  Some people think that you can easily get all the nutrients you need from your food, but the hard fact is that my intestine, heck my whole digestive system, has been damaged by Celiac.  I need all the help I can get in the vitamins & minerals department . . .  aaaand the probiotics, amino acids, & enzymes departments.  So my number one priority for 2013 is to figure out how to squirrel away the skrilla for & determine which supplements I need to help push myself closer to optimally WELL

2)  I have a really tough time disciplining myself to exercise.  I have limited time, like almost everyone else out there.  I also have a weak body.  Celiac stole alot of my energy & wasted alot of my muscle mass.  In addition, there is a very fine line between strengthening my body & burning desperately needed calories for weight gain.  So my number two priority for 2013 is to figure out how to keep from over doing it while still slowly building back stamina & muscle in a regular workout that brings me closer to optimally WELL.

3)  Good,  Sleep.  Hygiene.  I had it down at one point this year & then I let myself slip into terrible habits again.  So my number three priority for 2013 is to figure out how to develop a really strong sleep routine that helps me dream my way into being optimally WELL.

4)  My ability to handle stress is waaaaay better than it was a year ago.  I am not depressed anymore.  I do not have daily panic attacks.  My family & I have made some major changes in order to reduce the stress in our life.  Most importantly, I know now what was wrong!  That was an enormous source of my stress.  However, I still need to develop strong stress management techniques & practice them daily, so that when new stressors appear (which they inevitably will), I will be capable of handling them without bringing on a huge autoimmune flare.  So my number four priority for 2013 is to figure out what my ideal stress reduction methods will be as I work toward becoming optimally WELL

5)  I don't put poison in my body anymore.  Why would I still put it on my body?  I am already experimenting with how to eliminate all the nasty "self-care" products from my routine.  I hope to show you the results of my new facial routine soon.  And I'm not going to wash my hair anymore.  Yep.  You read that correctly.  I hope to show you the results of the No Poo Method soon too.  So my number five priority for 2013 is getting the poisons out of my beauty routine & off my body, so I can not only feel, but also look optimally WELL.

What are your goals for the New Year?  Are you starting Paleo or AIP?  Are you further perfecting it?  Maybe you are still searching for a diagnosis?  Maybe your goals are a completely different set of objectives . . . whatever they are, share them.  Put it out there in the universe & see if the thought starts to become an action.


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2 thoughts on “Optimally Well

  1. Jennifer Richmond

    These are the same steps that I am attempting to implement now. Now that I understand the damage that has been done, now that I know that I am not crazy, now that I know that there is a way out. There is hope and there is a future of well-being and peace, and I will get there.

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