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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43 responses to “Sick & Tired of Being Sick & Tired”
Very nice post thank you so much
thank you so much! Hugs and love xox
Go back to the 1964 Democratic convention when speaking for every African-American living under the South’s Jim Crow rules, Fannie Lou Hamer says she was “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Now that’s something to be sick and tired of.
Yes, that certainly is.
Keep up the good work. Yours is a helpful ministry to many who have a similar experience.
Thank you Ian! Gosh, you’re kind to say that. i appreciate it! Hugs and love xox
[…] Sick & Tired of Being Sick & Tired […]
Thank you Tonya for the link up! Hugs and love xox
So proud of you!!! Love you as always, my beautiful friend! Hugs!!XO😀❤
aw, Tonya, thank you so much my dear friend!! God has been so good. I am so grateful for the healing! love you friend! hugs xox
xoxox 🙂 🙂 🙂 xoxo
You are such an inspiration! I just adore 🥰 your blog!
oh my gosh, thank you so much Eleanor!! I’m so glad you enjoy it!! hope you have a wonderful night! Hugs and love xox
Amen, and Amen!! Someone said “when you get to where all you have left is God, God is all you need.”
thank you so much Myron! amen to that – God is all you need. i love that. so glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox
What a beautiful personal post. We have a grandson that is autistic so I am definitely intrigued by the diet and it’s potential aid for autism. You are an inspiration and your depth of wisdom is a great benefit to all ages. Keep up the work…you are making a difference.
thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words. yes! definitely look into it – it has literally changed my life! Hugs and love xox
Those 11 months must have been so difficult for you! But I’m glad that you were able to discover the perfect diet that will help you live a normal life despite the ulcerative colitis. ❤
May God continue to bless you. 💖
thank you so much Irene, yes they were definitely a test of faith. so grateful to have had my wonderful parents’ support through it all! God is good! Hugs and love xox
In the trenches, it was grace – both that I was loved, and as something for others…
That was the message placed on my heart
oh wow, thank you for sharing that David. Hugs and love xox
Love your dish 🤩
thank you so much Sarah! I love to cook!! :). hehe Hugs and love xox
I’m not sure how to respond, so I’m just going to start writing.
I completely understand vulnerability invites vulnerability. Someone very close had to go to an inpatient facility for mental health issues that drugs couldn’t help. The people there all twigged onto each other fairly quickly. They’d say, “Crazy knows crazy.” People respond positively when they see themselves in others.
That’s what you bring. Your blog is successful, because everyone is recovering from something and they see themselves in you. People spoke with you about their food issues for the same reason. Your speaking career is taking off, because people listen to you and recognize their own struggles…plus hope!
That’s it, isn’t it? The hope you have in Jesus to strengthen you and save you is the hope that’s missing in their own lives. Or they have Jesus’ hope, which is often hard to keep hold of, and see your example to inspire them to continue the struggle. I think that’s how you attract both Christians and non-Christians. Hope. Successful hope.
You have learned not to be ashamed of your past, and I am so gratified by that it gets me weepy. I watched you struggle with it for so long! You are now learning to wear it proudly when people respond to you so positively, when they embrace you as I always said I wanted to. Like when you started crying at that convention and you were supported with loving applause instead of getting ridicule.
So here’s another virtual hug from your friend!
oh my gosh, Jeff you are the greatest. Thank you so much, my dear friend. You really have been right there with me along the way, and I’ve got to say, you personally played a huge role in that “coming-out-of-my-shell-ness” and embracing my past: good, bad and ugly. Through your friendship you really helped me see that its nothing to be ashamed of and that it is possible to still be accepted and be deemed worthy of connection, even when absolutely everything is out in the open about my past. so thank you with all my heart! sending big hugs to you and your girls!! have a great Tuesday! 🙂 xoxo
🙂 🙂 🙂 xoxo
One of my favorite authors: “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
(C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves)
oh wow, that is a beautiful beautiful quote. Father Mike did a homily this Spring that was centered around this quote – it was so powerful. i’ll see if i can find it and pass it along! thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox
Gosh, what a great post!! So glad to hear you were able to share what you’ve learned with others, and to invite that vulnerability. I have a different, but similarly restrictive diet, so I can understand how you feel! Once you reach the place where you’re so sick and tired of being sick and tired, you’ll try just about anything… thankfully diet and nutrition are game-changers for so many of us.
Thank you so much for your kind words! Yes! Vulnerability invites others to open up their own hearts too. You’re so right about that – diet and nurtition are game changers! so glad you’ve found that too! Hugs and love xox
I always smile when I see your post includes a recipe.
I love many of them!
When looking at your recipes and the fabulous photos I don’t think of special diet but more like beyond the ordinary.
aww, thank you so much! i’m so glad that! that seriously made me smile. Beyond the ordinary — I love that!! have an awesome day! Hugs and love xox
SCD works. Plain and simple. Many people I meet who ask me why I bring my own food are supportive. But every once in a while, someone looks at me and says, “I could never do that.” And I finally just said, “You could if you were dying and wanted to save your life. You’ve never HAD to. I have.” And that got rid of the criticism real quick. Thanks for what you do to share your story and educate people because most folks don’t understand the depths of despair and destruction that we come out of, and summertime potlucks generate a ton of anxiety.
You’re so right about that, Eden! it is a God-send! You’re right – we are capable of so much when it is our only option! Thanks for sharing that. I’m so glad you’ve found the power of diet too!! 🙂 and you hit the nail on the head – despair is a powerful emotion. but hope is greater! hang in there friend! Hugs and love xox
I really appreciate your posts…I love your vulnerability and humility- two rare qualities but so very precious! Although I experienced a somewhat different digestive issue, I too struggled to figure out why I couldn’t eat like I had all of my life and why suddenly certain foods made my sick! My doctor wasn’t much help, but eventually I was able to discover the culprits in my diet and I found help through “Ending the Vicious Cycle.” A nutritionist shared it with me. Recently I have finally started enjoying more foods- hooray! I also love how you share your faith as a big key in your healing! He not only doesn’t leave us in the pit, but He climbs down, holds his strong hand out and helps us to climb out! Keep on sharing! 🙂
thank you so much Karen, gosh I am so touched by your kind words. I’m sorry you can so personally relate to the digestive issues .Isn’t that book just a life-saver!? I have 3 copies — one for my home, one for my parents, and one in case I need to share it with someone who needs it!! Amen – He climbs down and helps us out!! so glad you stopped by! i’m glad you’ve been experiencing relief through the diet!Hugs and love xox
Do you eat any desserts?
Hi Veronika! YES! oh my gosh dessert is my favorite part of the day! I make this amazing banana ice cream out of frozen bananas, frozen fruit and coconut milk. It’s amazing. I make a lot of date-based cookies and bars, cookies with almond flour, fresh fruit with coconut milk cream, and my personal favorite right now: fresh pineapple with fresh-ground cinnamon almond butter! Hugs and love xox
Thank you very much for this post, I found it extremely insightful, and it was also a blessing to hear that your faith in God has also helped you on your journey towards health. God cares about our physical health just as much as our spiritual health, this is exactly what the Holy Spirit was ministering to me about today on my drive to work 😊
Your food always looks so good! 😁
You inspire me to eat how I’m supposed to so I will feel better. And I love how you share your faith. 💕
I hope you feel better. Hugs.