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Diet or Lifestyle - See You at the Funeral

Having been on MFP for a long time, I have pretty much heard it all. You have your vegans and vegetarians, your pescatarians, your carnivore,s and your fast food junkies here. All people here for a common goal; to take photos in the bathroom and get fit. (CAUTION: Be sure to put away all vibrators, condoms and female products when taking bathroom pics.)

If you are here to diet for your special occasion, you are missing the point!

It's a lifestyle. Unless you planning to die on your wedding day or 40th birthday or your once-in-a-lifetime-cruise, I am assuming your life will have some purpose after your special day has passsed. The formula for a healthy lifestyle is more than what you shove in your face, although that is the major part.

For me fitness is a healthy weight, aerobic capacity, strength, a nontoxic diet, good blood work, and an emotional sense of wellbeing with every breath I take.

People come and go on here all the time, but for those who tame their junk food consumption, exercise regularly, log their food and don't give up, they enjoy the benefits of being healthy and getting comments about being sexy in the forums.

I have a friend (Annabellj after 7 years she is still here) that often says, "See you at the funeral!" I can't tell you how tempted I am to post that phrase as a response to some of the forum replies and topics. Here are some examples of posts I would like to reply  "See you at the funeral!":

- I have a cheat meal once a day.
- I am cheating with my best friend's spouse.
- I don't like fruit or vegetables and fish is gross.
- I can't swallow water.
- My SO makes me eat pizza against my will when (s)he's not at home.
- I can't afford to eat healthy, what should I buy at Olive Garden?
- Which burns more calories, sitting in front of the TV or going to the movies?
- Why would I want to sweat, I can lose without exercising.
- I am on an 800-calorie-a-day diet that works.
- I am back... but starting tomorrow.
- I am 1200 calories over and I haven't even gotten out of bed yet.
- People at the gym will think I am fat, what should I do?
- Seeking professional advice. (You'll get it in a minute.)
- I hate anyone that doesn't like my diary.
- I can't beleive the gym charges me when I am not there!
- I just had diarrhea after cleansing...

Look, it's easy to make excuses, and we all have bad days, however; the ones who succeed stick around long enough to meet their goals and make it a way of life.

So how has your lifestyle changed since joining MFP?

My New Normal

Today is the day the which I have come to terms with my disability. Those who are close to me know that I have been sick. I really hate using that word because, for the most part, I am still very fit and healthy. After all, I did run a marathon since the onset of my illness. It may not have been the smartest thing I’ve have ever done. It is, however, the most important personal accomplishment of my life.

On the morning of August 13, 2018, I woke up with a sore shoulder.

By midday my neck began to ache and by evening my head ached so badly that my eyes were twitching, my right ear was ringing, and the stabbing pain made me nauseous and shaky.

Ruth took me to the Emergency Room. 

Before I could check in, they rushed me in for a CAT scan because they thought I might be having a stroke. Who would have ever guessed that this would be the beginning of a long list of ER visits, doctor’s offices, tests, procedures, and worse, an illness from which some never recover. Scary. You can believe I have thought about it a lot. 

For today, I am not going there. I still have hope.

My condition is called occipital neuralgia. Yes, it is painful. I've written about the severe headaches and nausea. However, it is a little more involved than that. The headaches causes memory malfunctions which affect my day-to-day life.

It has caused my life to spin out of control.

I had been working diligently to accept these new limitations. My counselor wants me to take control of the parts of my life in which I can. Some of it is practical. For instance I am writing this blog with voice-to-text. Spelling has become nealry impossible. I also use my phone to remind me of all the things that I need to do. I can be heard saying, Siri, remind me to..." quite a bit.

It is crazy how I can have 2 or more reminders for the same thing.

As you might imagine, it has had quite an impact. For the time being, I am not driving. I am the Ken Jennings of Uber Rewards. The good news is that I'm learning to live my life in new ways. It is challenging. This one I can't just power through with my patented high-energy perseverance. I had to end the denial.

So, what does this have to do with fitness?

Not a whole lot. After 3 surgeries, I have been released to run again. I confess, I started a little early. Shhhhh.... It is such a joy for me. It is my antidepressant. I am back up to 5 miles. I am slow, but I am doing it.

This condition may have stolen my job and caused me a lot of pain, but it will not steal running from me.

Due to all the wonderful narcotics post tres surgeries, I forgot to eat for almost a month. I lost 12 pounds. I stopped taking them a few days ago. I had an epic poop and lost 2 1/2 more pounds. Life is back to normal in terms of medication. I am still taking 2 drugs which cause weight gain, but for now, I need them.

I am also back to severe portion control.

I have new measuring tubs and my trusty food scale. I have support right here on MFP. I have the ability to exercise. Sadly, I only can be on my feet about 4-5 hours a day. It just is part of my new normal. I am budgeting it to make sure I have time for my wife, and time to take care of my health.

I stopped counting steps and started counting blessings. I have so much to be grateful for.

After over 7 months, I just had to embrace things as they are. It has been hard to organize my thoughts. Hell, at this point, I could plan my own surprise party. I look at my life here in Virginia and it really is amazing. I love the culture. I LOVE that there was no snow to shovel! We've made new friends and connected with people in the neighborhood.

I look out of the water just about everyday. I love it. It fuels my soul.

I am still in quite a bit of pain, but it is going to be that way for the foreseeable future. My kidney is back to full functionality after surgery. My shoulder repair is doing great - so much better than the one I had in 2013. All my numbers are good. I will be seeing at least two more surgeons before I decide what my next move is.

I have hope. I have faith in God. I am good.

Finally, I don't need to be fixed. I would like to say that I have had hundreds of kind and well meaning suggestions for every type of treatment from CDB oil and magnesium cream, to changing my diet from low carb to carnivore and vegan. I am also still not cancer free. That is my first concern. My diet reflects that priority.

I have tried a variety of chiropractic techniques, massage, and even energy healing patches.

For the record, I do not have migraines or complex migraines. Both have been ruled out. I don't have high pressure headaches or low-pressure headaches, nor do I have headaches caused by dental issues or wisdom teach. Ruled out. Trust me when I say that I have followed up on suggestions from over 14,000 in my support group, plus 27,000 in my chronic pain group. Even the ones that seem like quackery. I have tried a blend of eastern, western, and homeopathic medicine.

The diagnosis has been confirmed by 6 doctors. The problem is finding the exact cause. I am checking off the boxes. The list is daunting. My SIL has it, too. His came from a case of encephalitis. My niece has it and she is working her way through the long list of causes, too.  For e, there seems to be some relationship between the shoulder issue, the cervical spine disc degeneration, and the headaches.

And finally, in terms of pain relief, nothing touches the headaches. Not even morphine. I have tried everything but Botox and surgery. I can get pain relief for my shoulder and my neck. Energy pain patches, creams, and hemp oil have not worked on the headaches. Of course, 5 or 6 chiropractic disciplines have also not worked. Not to mention how expensive it is. For now, it just is. I get more pain relief laying in a quiet room meditating or listing to soft healing music. Massage is relaxing, too.

I am sorry of all this seems short. I am angry that I have this disease. I am desparate for a cure. I wish, like all my friends, that there was a fix. I am not out of options. I won't quit until I am. Most importantly, I am not out of caring friends and family, or a God who loves me. For that reason, I am not out of hope.
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