2011 has been full of ups and downs for me and while looking back I see that I have learned a great deal so here is part 1 of what I learned in 2011:
1. It does matter what you put into your body- I always believed in attempting to eat a healthy diet but I never gave much thought as to what was going into me. If it was on the super market shelf, it must be safe for me. Well let's just say with all the health issues I have had over the past three years, I have learned that there are many things on the shelf that really are not good for you. And it is much more difficult to cut out processed and preservatives from your diet than you think.
2. Artificial Sweetener really can play havoc on your body- I was a die-hard diet coke fan. I wasn't just a lover of diet coke, I was an addict. I was positive that the artificial sweeteners and whatnot in it could NOT have a negative affect on me (see above again for you reasoning). I have not had a diet coke or any artificial sweeteners in over 10 months. It took me several months to get over the withdrawals and I would still love to savor a full 2 liter all to myself. But I do feel better, I drink more water and the biggest difference- I no longer crave sweets half as much as I did before. Things taste too sweet for me (something that never happened before) and I find some sweets too rich and too much. What a change.
3. Prescribed medications can have the absolute opposite effect on your body and the doctor doesn't always know best- Sometimes medications given to you to make you feel better can actually make you feel worse and no matter how much you argue with a doctor they may chose not to believe you. I know this isn't necessarily for everyone, however you know your body best. If something you are taking is making your life horrible, find something else that doesn't make you feel that way- bug the doctor if you need to until you find something that works. After taking some medication for fibromyalgia for 10 months I realized that it was making things far worse. I went from being able to function most days to spending 99% of my days in bed, unable to move without pain, unable to walk the grocery store without complete exhaustion and being unable to work. Without the medications, I am not back to normal, but I can walk, function, do housework and live a halfway normal life. My doctor argued that I would need that medication to function. I have proved that I do not need the medication to function and not only that- that without the medication I can function at a much higher level.
4. It is okay to not be able to do everything and to not be the person you once were- In 2010 I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. It took me a very long time to come to terms not only with the diagnoses (and I still question what else is going on) but also that I no longer am the person I was before. I have found that it is okay to have slow or quiet days where I don't accomplish much. It is okay that I no longer can walk as fast as I used to, that I am not able to garden for as long as I used to, that I get tired more often. I am not going to go back to what I was, however I am happy with what I can do. I take pride and joy in my accomplishments, no matter how big or small. I am not saying I don't get frustrated by my limitations but I have learned to move forward.