It is the common thread of literally every single person on earth: we all eat it. And it provides more than just nutritional value – it’s a point of culture or heritage, it’s social – bringing people together. It offers emotional comfort, fuels our bodies, provides energy for our workouts, and is just downright delicious.
And we all have a different relationship with it.
One of – honestly the most annoying – but also interesting things – about following the Specific Carb Diet (SCD) as I have for the last 10 years, is that obviously, I wear my relationship with food like a blinking red billboard.
Just as a quick refresher for anyone who may be new here (and hasn’t checked out my cookbook or recipes tab on my blog or Pinterest) is that I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at the age of 16. And after the worst flare of my life back in 2010 — where I was on bedrest for 11 months, and literally no medication was working — I adopted this radical therapeutic diet called the Specific Carb Diet for people with Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, and surprisingly, Autism.
(The diet has to do with the molecular structure of food, and eliminates complex carbohydrates that my compromised digestive system can’t break down.)
I adopted the diet when I was at a fork in the road to either get part of my intestines removed and have a “J-bag” — or go on Humira, which is basically a chemo-like injection every few weeks for the rest of my life.
And after about 10 days on the SCD diet, my symptoms began to clear up, and praise God, I’ve been symptom and medication-free for the last 11 years, never “cheating” on the diet once.
But long story short: most people don’t try this diet because…it’s intense. We’re talking no gluten/grain/dairy/soy/sugar/potatoes/corn/most legumes.
Yeah….try explaining that to your waiter at Applebees.
And for someone who is in recovery from anorexia, I resisted adopting the diet for a long time, a) not wanting to live a restricted life anymore, and b) fearful of what this restrictive diet would do to the strength of my recovery.
And honestly, it’s just grown to be my regular, every-day norm. I love cooking and creating recipes. I’ve never been healthier, I am eating like a gosh darn queen.
But yeah, in this summer season of barbecues and dinner parties and picnics and social occasions where a host or hostess is cooking for guests, I’m always the “weirdo” who brings her own food — as I would never want to burden the host with having to create something that meets my SCD criteria.
Which is great, and easy, and doesn’t bother me at all! However…it invites curiosity.
My dietary “stuff” is kinda right out there in the open for the world to see, as witnessed by my Tupperware container at the social gathering.
And this is where it gets interesting.
Because, as I open up about WHY I’m eating this meal, and share a tiny bit about my health history, it in turn, invites other people to open up to me about theirs.
Vulnerability invites vulnerability….take that one with you on your journey. 😉
But — and I promise we’re getting to the point here — in just the past week, I’ve had conversations with two different people, who also have Ulcerative Colitis! And I was able to share with them my whole story, and about the SCD and how it changed my life, and was able to answer their questions and offer support, from one UC warrior to another! One is even going to give the SCD a try!
But here’s the thing – both times I was telling my story, I heard myself say that “I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
I had reached the end of my rope – physically, emotionally, mentally – and decided that enough’s enough.
I had to get to the rock bottom of it all, only to realize that surrendering to God was literally my only option. He had allowed this diet to come across my radar, and literally all 101 other medications/pills/remedies/powders/drops I had been trying were failing. I had been sick and tired for 10 months – I had lost 30 pounds, was sick as a dog, in excruciating pain, discouraged, in despair and missing out on life.
Enough was most certainly enough.
I had to step out, put my stubbornness and resistance aside, and try this unorthodox possibility for a cure. I had to trust God.
And sure enough, here we are.
But that’s the thing that really resonated with my conversation partners — they know that point. They know exactly what I mean when I say I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.
And I think there’s a part of all of us — be it about health or recovery or a relationship or other situation in life — there comes that point where enough is enough. You just can’t take it anymore.
I’ve only experienced it one other time in life, and it was right before I embraced recovery for my anorexia…I lovingly refer to it as “the basement of rock bottom.”
And I’ll tell you what. Everyone imagines God on the throne in Heaven, the golden streets, the pearly gates. Which — of course, He’s there. (He’s omnipresent.)
When I imagine God, He’s down there deep in the trenches with me – residence: rock bottom.
You want a sure-fire way to find God? Well look no further.
He is that way out. He is that hope. He is that source of courage, of strength. He’s that whisper to go on – or in my case, try this unconventional source of healing.
If there’s one thing I learned at that basement of rock bottom: it is that we are never stuck. That’s the beauty of our faith: realizing that we are never alone, and never stuck.
Two truths that were enough for me to build my life on.
Have you had an in the trenches experience with God? What was the message He placed on your heart during that time?
For more information about The Specific Carb Diet, check out the book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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