Jan 6, 2011

New Year, New You

Hello, everyone.

Yes, I am writing an actual, real blog post for you today. After months of stress, and disease, and school, and work, I am here and present and writing.

Over the past few months, the doctors have diagnosed me with Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS) as the source of all of my pain and problems (though I find out Monday if an ovarian cyst could also be playing a part in all of this). The pain got to be so severe that it destroyed my love life, my social life, and even touched my work life. The pain prevented me from eating and, as a result, I lost almost 30 pounds off of my already slender frame. Luckily, thanks to a careful eye on my diet and nutrient intake, my body has not suffered the effects of malnutrition or some of the nastier effects of being underweight.

After many visits to the emergency room, walk-in clinics, and regularly scheduled doctors appointments, I am now on a drug regimen that seems to allow me a relatively normal social life with few pain attacks, compared to the past where I was bedridden almost every day. While I am still struggling with coping with this condition, I am taking every possible recommendation and step to control my IBS and become healthier.

The recommendations are simple; things that every human being should be doing in the first place. Things like:
- Eat whole grains
- Eat fruits and vegetables
- Drink 8 glasses of water a day
- Eat small portions
- Keep fat to a minimum
On top of all of these, I also follow a vegan diet (I made the transition from vegetarian to vegan in November), which eliminates common triggers such as meat and dairy.

I have also started seeing my therapist again, because there appears to be a strong connection between your brain and your bowels. Stress may make IBS worse, so I am doing more to talk about what’s going on in my life rather than just to keep it all bottles up. I have, however, decided not to go back on antidepressants. I didn’t like how they made it so that I couldn’t ever cry and that I would be smiling for no reason when really I was extremely upset inside.

Since I have been doing so well with not having any pain and have even gained a few much needed pounds back (thanks to a three-week break from school with zero obligations and relatively zero stress), I have also started going to the gym again since exercise: 1) makes you happy!, 2) has been linked to helping IBS symptoms, and 3) makes your body stronger physically. I was pleasantly surprised to see that, even though I haven’t done a single push-up, sit-up, or bout of jogging since mid-October, my endurance has not gone anywhere. Take today for instance. I was able to complete an elliptical hills workout that logged 4.39 miles and 40 minutes. Not only that, but I did a tiny bit of core work afterwards and many of my times and reps were the same as before I stopped working out!

The human body is truly amazing. I read once that it’s easier to get back into shape than it is to get into shape in the first place. Like, once you’ve already been physically fit and active, it’s easier to stop for a few months and then start back up again and get back to that level you were at than it was for you to get to that level of fitness the first time. Now I think I truly believe it. Of course, I may be rethinking that tomorrow morning once my muscles have had the time to catch up with my mind.

I’m so excited to continue improving my fitness level once again, which I already have a plan in place to help me achieve this goal. Thanks be to God the person who thought up multiple alarm clocks on cell phones. What would I be without one. My phone is literally my wake-up alarm clock, tells me when to take my pills, tells me when to leave for the bus stop, and, now, when to go to the gym. Almost every single person I know in college does not even own an alarm clock and just uses their cell phone instead.

While this is a major post for me, and a picture-less (mostly) one at that, don’t expect to see daily posts from here on out. I have decided that I will not focus so much on taking pictures and relaying the foods that I am eating, though if I go out for a special occasion or get a new cookbook and actually make something out of it then I may post a recipe and/or a picture or two. I will probably not even be posting my workouts; at least not individual ones (more like weekly wrap-ups, such as “This week I ran 20 miles” kind of stuff, if anything).

But, for the first time in a very, very long time, I am optimistic about the future and about the year 2011. With a new semester at university just around the corner (Monday, eek!), I have never felt more ready to take all of my classes head-on and full steam ahead.

Year MMXI, you are not ready for this. Bring it!

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Does anybody else use their cell phone as an alarm clock rather than own an actual alarm clock?


  1. Glad to hear things are getting better for you and that your endurance is still with you! Thank God for all of it. ^_^

    And yes, at school my phone sits in my shoe by my bed (and my iron pills in the other shoe) and it wakes me up... or at least prevents me from oversleeping seeing as I usually get up a few minutes before it anyways. :P

  2. Nice to see a smile. Where'd you learn how to accessorize a dress like that, love the belt and dress. BTW, Ken and I started on weight watchers bandwagon after seeing Jess at xmas we got really motivated. Next time we see you hopefully there will be a lot less of us to see. - A. Taitingfong