Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Navigating Emotions with Illness

After many years of living with digestive issues, exploring variations of special diets and journaling my day to day experiences, one factor consistently presents itself as the most difficult challenge.  It's not necessarily the pain, the nausea, restricted foods and lifestyle, but having to emotionally deal with so many changes.

I remember when I first diagnosed, I would literally cry whenever I walked into the kitchen or opened the fridge.  I was so overwhelmed with change that my entire focus became what was no longer available to me.  Last year I chose the path of denial, refusing to believe that self care was a priority, at the time thinking it was a sign of weakness.  It wasn't until hitting rock bottom that I came to terms with having a chronic illness.  Fast forward 6 months later and I can now honestly say that I've found happiness and peace, while still managing symptoms on a restricted but healthy diet.

Lately I've been consumed with school, studying to be a health coach, researching gastroparesis and how it impacts others, while continuing to make self-care a priority.  When time permits I have some great ideas for navigating emotions specifically related to GP.

For now, I'm happy to share a post I recently read from one of my favorite  She was a guest on The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen and wrote a post titled Overcoming Emotional Blockages During Dietary Changes.  Click on title to read her great tips.  Be sure to check out her website, filled with beautiful and positive approaches to healing the mind, body and soul.

As a side note, I want to highlight one of her tips, which is finding support.  From my experience and talking with others, this can be the most important tool not only to managing an illness, but to actually feeling good both mentally and physically.  Make sure to get your friends/family involved by engaging in activities you can enjoy.  Don't be afraid to ask for help.  Take each individuals strengths and have one person help you in the kitchen, someone to assist in doctors visits and organizing medical information, and of course those to laugh and cry with.  Nothing lifts my spirit more time spent with loved ones, remembering there is life beyond GP.

Whole Life Nutrition is actually based in my home town and a great resource for anyone who can eat a variety of whole foods but trying to avoid common food allergies such as gluten, dairy, soy and refined sugars.  You can read more about them on their site at

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