Friday, 4 January 2013

A Resolution of Grand Proportions

Matt and I just returned from a week-long trip to PA to visit his family.  It is always incredibly wonderful to come home after a long trip.  There is just something about the familiarity of OURS.  For example: our bed was more than happy to welcome us with open arms.  I slept better last night than I have in a week, and this morning is the first one I have woken up without pain since we left.

Today I am supposed to be doing a lot of things.  We've got a busy weekend ahead of us - staff Christmas party tonight (Yes, I know it is over a full week after Christmas.  I voted that the party be on December 14.  I was the minority.), wedding tomorrow, birthday celebrations on Sunday.  And then of course, the normal weekend chores of laundry, menu planning, grocery shopping, etc.  Even though we got home late last night and probably didn't get to sleep until around midnight, I was up before 7 this morning, and luggage was unpacked and laundry was begun no later than 7:45.  I had/have grand plans of doing laundry and lots of Zumba today.  But it has been so long since I have written, and I just really want to.

Christmas and New Years have passed, and here it is - 2013.  I love everyone's sense of renewal and new beginnings around this time of year.  People are so optimistic and hopeful, and it's a nice change.   And then there are the resolutions.

I don't normally make resolutions.  I don't have anything against them...I just am not the best at setting goals for myself.  And I know it's silly, but it's almost like it catches me off guard every year.  "What?!  New Years already?  And I have to make resolutions?  Like what?!"  But this year, I'm ready.  And I've been thinking this one up for a while.

As I have mentioned before, this past year I was diagnosed with a fructose malabsorption disorder.  Somehow through the trauma of losing our jobs and house, certain cells in my small intestine just stopped working.  It is irreversible, and there is no medication for it.  In fact, the only way to manage the problem is to completely avoid foods high in fructose.  This includes wheat products, most fruits, many vegetables, honey, syrups, sweets, many herbal teas, and most processed foods.  I would love to be able to say that I have done well and have made good dietary choices, but I haven't.

For about 6 months after the diagnosis, I did really well.  I made good choices, and I avoided the foods that made me feel bad.  And then...I don't know.  I don't know what happened.  And I have struggled ever since.  Having such a limited diet is difficult.  But I don't want it to overwhelm me.  God promises that He will not give us anything we can't handle.  So clearly, I must be able to handle this - I just haven't figured out how yet.  My resolution this year is to make better dietary choices so that I feel good again.

Symptoms of a fructose malabsorption include cramps, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, exhaustion, depression, and aches and pains.  During those 6 months that I made good choices, I felt so much better!  And since I began to make poor choices?  All the symptoms are back.  I know that I need to avoid certain foods, not just because I am "supposed to" but because I truly NEED to.  If I truly believe that taking care of myself and making sure I am healthy will help me feel better, my choices should reflect that.

I know it is going to be difficult.  After all, it has been almost a year and I have almost completely failed at "being good".  Not to mention, something I have actually realized this past year is that this is probably more of a spiritual battle than anything else.  My apparent inability to resist food says a lot of unpleasant things about me.

My plan is to begin each day with prayer, asking God to give me strength and determination to resist temptation and make the right choices.  My plan is to say "no", even when I really, really want to say "yes".  My plan is to ask people to hold me accountable so that I am not fighting an uphill battle alone.  My hope is that by this time next year, I won't be craving the things that hurt me.  And if I do, I will be able to say no.
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