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True Story

Saturday, June 08, 2013

"Everything in the world makes sense
and is wonderful
if viewed through open eyes."

The Food Addict's Guide to Redemption

To preface, in reference to my previous blog entry (link above) I was told by a reader that what I had to say was "unnecessarily hurtful to those who suffer"... that I was suggesting that being fat was an "inability to control yourself [and] a character flaw - it COULDN'T be physiological" that I was "equate[ing] the mechanics of addiction with "simplistic"" that I am "telling people who suffer from depression to just eat some healthy greens and they'll get better."

(Actually, on that last point the commenter is sort of right... I do believe that how one eats CAN make a myriad of diseases and conditions better... though note, not everyone will be able to heal to the point of no longer requiring on-going care of some sort... millions of people who suffer from depression, in fact, do very well by simply using nutrition to manage their biochemistry - I know several... did you know that the lion's share of serotonin is produced in your gut, not your brain?)

She also implied since I was no longer 'really fat' that I somehow felt superior, and am sitting in judgement of those still on the journey. All I have to say to anyone thinking any of this about *me* is you need to read the rest of my blog, LOL!

I've been at SparkPeople for 5 years now, and I'm still fat (obese, actually... I've managed to drop the 'morbidly'). Though I've experienced remarkable healing through nutrition at this point, my body remains the epitomous example of 'hyper sensitivity to environmental impact' (as evidenced by my most recent fall from 'grace' via antibiotics). As I journey, I am coming to accept that, after 50 years of getting it wrong no matter how hard I tried, there are aspects of my situation that may not ever 'heal' (the longer you don't intervene, the more damage is done, and the greater the intervention needed for any degree of restoration... estimated time for me is 5 years to achieve whatever healing I might)... but 'wellness' becomes ever more mine for the taking.

(I explain my whole ticker/goal weight thing here):

I've Reached My Goal Weight!!!!!!!

Besides the fact that I don't believe this particular person gave the entry a fair and objective reading (and it concerns me that others may have read the entry similarly), the best way I can address her indictment of me, and clarify what I was actually suggesting, is to tell you a story to further illustrate what I'm trying to say in the previous entry:

Eating Inedibles

(THIS was my little girl, too)

I had a friend years ago who, when she was pregnant, craved the smell of gasoline. Since sniffing when pregnant is a very bad idea, she told her doctor and he prescribed zinc... craving for the smell of gas went away just like that.

(My mom knew a girl growing up who would compulsively eat chicken poo... can you imagine just how driven you would have to be to do that?)

One of the things that tipped us off to the fact that our daughter had some sort of serious problem (initially we labelled it a 'brain chemistry' issue) was that she continued to compulsively eat inedibles long after it was age appropriate to do so (under the age of 2-3 little ones stick almost everything in their mouths). She was 5 and I was still getting freaked out by the things I found in the toilet (I thank God she never got good at flushing so I was at least aware)... and, when I'd gently question her, she'd be overcome with such bewilderment and distress at her own behaviour (because she knew she shouldn't and clearly didn't want to be eating this stuff... I feared a diagnosis of Pica). I was also terrified that social services would take her away based on the number of doctor reported incidents (the same doctors who thought I was nuts because of my insistence that something was very wrong), and all of my calls to the poison control hotline, or that she would inadvertently perforate her bowel, or poison herself... and I was watching the little girl I loved slip away from me... her personality was changing rapidly (we were told that at best she should be put on medication and, at the worst, children who manifested anxiety at this level so young often developed additional mental health issues as they got older... depression, bi-polar, OCD).

Since we've begun eating Ancestrally, almost two years ago, to heal her gut (and consequently ours, too... my own lifetime of chronic malaise has been put to rest) her compulsive eating of inedibles has STOPPED (I no longer have to supervise book reading, crafting, outdoor play, bedtime - she'd peel wallpaper and eat it), her skin has healed, her insomnia has resolved, she no longer struggles with ANXIETY, her moods have levelled out, her self-control has increased astonishingly (no more temper), no more bone pain, no more tummy aches (keep in mind she's only 8 now and was only 5 when things got really bad... school was a nightmare because nobody believed me, so nobody was watching her)... all eliminated, I believe, because she is now getting the nutrients she couldn't previously absorb from her food due to the compromised condition of her gut. I have my bright, sunny, funny, loving, energetic, engaged girl back.

Believe it or not [it's apparently my week to attract weirdness], another reader has suggested that perhaps my DD was simply imitating our poorly modelled eating habits (comment deleted)... you know - Mom and Dad eat 'junk food' so she might as well eat erasers, crayons, stones, wallpaper, her own hair (we had to cut her hair short because she chewed off one whole side), houseplants (probably because we never gave her enough greens... yeah, I'm a little angry/offended), plastic crafting beads, string, loose change, glue, bugs, whole board books, kleenex [all continuing even at the age of SEVEN]... right?! [REALLY!? Who does this when a person is showing you their underbelly!?]

WRONG! To be EVEN MORE CLEAR, our daughter's eating of inedibles was *COMPULSIVE* (you know... when you know you shouldn't do something, or you don't want to do it, but you do it because you literally can't stop yourself?)... I believe I've used the word many times already. In many instances, I would watch my daughter, in public places, reach down and pick something off the floor, and with a look of horror on her own face, pop it into her mouth (but of course, that might have been because of our example at home).

Additionally, though I consider our eating habits now to be healthier, our habits prior to this were exemplary by any CONVENTIONAL SAD (Standard American Dietary) standards: I made all of my daughter's baby food from scratch, we kept no 'junk food' (sugar laden, manufactured, snack, candy, soda, 'treats') in the house, we ate no processed food - everything was made from scratch - including our whole grain bread, we ate no processed grains or white flour - everything was whole grain, cookies and cakes were a rarity, and we ate primarily fresh veggies and fruit. Despite this, my daughter was still slowly slipping into mental illness, both my husband I got fat, and my health continued to deteriorate.

Considering there are countless stories like this out there, it's beyond me how the vast majority of people would still rather live with labels of 'mental illness' or 'addiction' or 'ADHD/autism' (AUTISM & GI PROBLEMS www.breakingtheviciouscy
) or 'eating disordered' or even 'brain damage' than they would even consider that perhaps the answers and 'cure' is in how/what they are feeding their bodies. It equally baffles me that people would prefer to additionally consume potentially toxic chemicals (we call them 'medicine') rather than give their bodies what they need to potentially and even actually heal!

For anyone unfamiliar with Ancestral nutrition, this is a really great chart:

Now, before anyone else tries to 'rip me new one' over my opinion, YES, the conditions I've listed above are very real and identifiable conditions, and medical intervention can be helpful. I know as many cases where it is not.

There are also some conditions and instances where the nature of one's diet will not 'heal' the issues, and there is such a thing as 'broken' beyond repair and one must be content to simply manage their issues with varying degrees of success....

*YET* I can almost guarantee that 'managing' can be taken to a whole other level of success if eating mindfully, responsibly and effectively (with awareness of just how powerful food is) is part of the solution.

I find these 'labels' so much more indicting than anything I'm saying in my previous entry and here, and I believe that it is only a very small percentage of people with identifying 'labels' whose health and well-being cannot be redeemed.

The truth is, our understanding at this point in time has only scratched the surface of what our bodies are capable. So often we treat the label as the end, rather than the beginning. Instead of using the label to inspire a leap of faith, we too readily accept that this is our 'cross to bear'... some people even take a perverse pride in that cross, and carry it around like a badge of honour (I was never able to shrink mine down to the size of a lapel pin... perhaps had I been able to do so, that may have been my choice, too).

Ask yourself: what might happen in your life, or in the life of someone you love, if you were to choose to believe that:

~ changing how/what you eat should be the FIRST line of attack in treating *every* malady, syndrome and condition?

~ regardless of the 'label', whatever 'it' is, it's only a *symptom* of what is really wrong?

~ the development of full-blown 'addiction' 'mental illness' 'certain intellectual deficits' 'autoimmune issues' 'obesity' 'every manner of disordered eating' is a gradually declining process, the roots of which can be found in malnutrition at a cellular/metabolic level?

Granted, it won't make 'recovery' or 'healing' necessarily any easier or even quicker, but it is certainly more hope-FULL, and I think this is a more empowering position to take! Telling yourself you are 'helpless' in the face of anything is a really good way of ensuring that you will be.

For the sake of all of us... and especially for your own... please, simply CONSIDER that the many problematic elements in whatever is your physiological (body & brain) condition/struggle/challenge in life could be resolved rather painlessly by changing how/what you eat.

While 'healing' may not always be possible, 'wellness' is always yours for the taking.

My Divine Miss O... hair grown back, and no longer kept in a pony tail! True story!

Oh! And don't forget to look up... though if you're looking down, don't miss the strawberries!

Tigers & Strawberries... A New Perspective

My DEAR Sparklings... May today and every day bring to you a ridiculous abundance of whatever you need. May you find peace within and all around you. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith and desire... a desire which even itself issues from God. May all your concerns, struggles, anxieties and fears fall like ashes as you rise on eagle's wings, SOARING above all that would hinder you along this tremendous adventure of being and becoming all you are created to be. May you answer your call and use those gifts that you have received to pass on the love that has been given to you. May the presence of God settle into your bones and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love beyond your wildest imagination. May you be overwhelmed by the grace of God as it simply "overtakes" you moment by moment... rather than being overwhelmed by the cares of life!

{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}

Two more resources I have yet to explore... but I CAN'T wait! THANK YOU, SCARLETT_21!

Improving Your Emotional Health Through Healthier Eating

Every Woman Over 29: Food, Mood and Women's Health


...Because we all have a story crying out for REDEMPTION!



UNTIL. (My 'Just Do It' blog)

No more Mrs. Doubtfire... or Picture UPDATE at nearly 100 lbs. ELIMINATED!

'BEFORE' Pictures (May 31, 2009 - September, 2011) & Continuing PROGRESS (February 2012)! Next pictures SEPTEMBER 2013!

(I'm now keeping these right under my nose... in addition to being part of every blog I post, they are printed off and taped to my bedroom mirror... and I update whenever I feel the need - likely early September, 2013... to either see for myself what feel like significant changes, or to encourage myself to keep the faith when I feel no change at all despite my efforts)

Measurements, Musings & Motivation to MOVE!

(UPDATED/rewritten: JUNE, 2012)

I've Reached My Goal Weight!!!!!!!

NOTE: My weight tracker is NOT a truthful representation of my weight. Instead, I am using it as a tool to help me visualize my goal as though it's already been achieved!
(Tom Venuto)

DONE Girl Love...

(the footsteps into which I place my own feet)

Leaving NORMAL... In Pursuit of Happiness

Why I'm STILL here... my SparkJourney Saga

Words CAN Be Enough... page 3

Paleo... Do you really know what you're talking about?

Breakfast is Served! (RECIPES)

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • DEBBY4576
    I feel you were guided by God or your Higher Power if you prefer that to God. Ramona, you are a gift to anyone striving to better their lives thru correct eating. The amount of research you have put in, and continue to put in is astounding.

    You know that expression, you get lead the horse to water, but you can't make them drink? I still continue to feel that whenever I meet someone with Crohn's and tell them about the SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet), and how it healed my DH, and they don't bother to try it. Yes, it is a VERY hard diet to live by. He was better in 10 days. Not well, that took about a six months. But what the heck? To date not ONE person has tried it. Back then I saw articles about autism when I was researching Crohn's. Most kids have bowel disorders with it (if not all). I have a lot of research to do on your way of eating, but it sounds worth the effort.

    So I'm just saying, keep telling your story, and sharing. Maybe only a couple of people will understand what you are telling them and try a few of the things, or maybe hundreds will remember your blogs and comments on the sites, and return to them to relook when their lives become unmanageable and they are in enough pain.

    Your daughter is no miracle, it can happen to other children too. ( But, I can't help thinking of her as the Divine Miss O now). The miracle is what you found to help her, and implemented it. I'm sure it wasn't easy explaining to a 5 year old why she couldn't have something, and I think just the parent thinking how hard it will be is one of the reasons they don't even attempt changing their child's diet.

    I'm rambling. I just am so impressed with you and your results. IMHO this isn't just your opinion btw.
    1123 days ago
    I had no idea. God placed the Divine Miss O in the right place when He placed her in your arms. You have done everything in your power to heal her and yourself. Great research, great bog. You are an amazing lady Ramona!
    1549 days ago
    Wow you and your daughter have been through allot and so glad that you found a way to get her to stop that dangerous eating. I saw a show on that and they eat all kinds of things and they are adult but did not know that children also had that problem and you are right it is about the food and also how they messed our food up. All that GMO and adding poison in to our foods that is the problems with our health.
    1566 days ago
    You go girl...you know exactly what you are talking about and am so glad to have read what you have to share thank you so much emoticon

    Food is medicine and medicine is food for the body.

    What we eat is what we are and don't let anyone lie to you about this.

    Some people want a lie because it is so much easier to live life in a lie then fight to line up our bodies and life styles to healthy living for a long, strong and satisfied life.
    1780 days ago
  • KNH771
    A lot of comments people leave on blogs say more about them, then about what you write (I know mine do). My father, who is a retired physician, says that the more you know about the human body, the more you realize you don't know. emoticon I know that WHAT I eat has as much impact on my mood, sleep quality, etc. as anything else. If I add little journal notes to my food log, it becomes even more obvious. Eat crap. Feel like crap. That said, I will be forever grateful for the medical intervention that made not eating crap so much easier.

    Have an awesome week!
    1780 days ago
    emoticon blog!
    1781 days ago
    great blog
    1781 days ago
    Another great blog! Thank you for sharing your struggles, and your family's struggles so we can all learn something new and get to know you in the process.

    MJREIMERS does make an interesting point about behaviours and schedules, etc. Some children do need that - in addition to good, healthy, unprocessed food, they can often benefit from routines and clear expectations. Like MJREIMERS, though, this is simply my opinion from my experience with disabled and learning challenged students, as well as those struggling with attention disorders.

    1781 days ago
    Doctors don't listen. Real food is better. Our world became so fast with having quick fix for hunger at fast food places that it is no wonder there are so many health issues among the young especially when we put pressure on them to do so much more than just being a kid.

    1781 days ago
    Waow, great post !
    It reminds me of several articles on PsychCentral about food & mood, which all concurs with what you said :

    emoticon emoticon
    1781 days ago
  • -LINDA_S
    Wow, I had no idea you'd gone though this with your daughter! And I'm so glad things have turned around. I wish I could get my daughter to look at the possibility that my grandson's "asthma" could be food-related. As of now, I think they're still calling it restrictive airway syndrome, but the upcoming pulmonologist visit will probably brand it as asthma. She won't take him to an integrative doctor for a different view on things, despite my pleading. I don't think she understands that our food supply has changed so drastically over the past few decades. The first thing I would do is yank him off wheat and probably dairy and she what happens, although I realize the logistics would be very difficult, especially at school.

    Every time he gets a cold, it takes close to a month for the awful coughing to go away. Sooo frustrating! I don't see why it's so hard to start with the food and go from there, although so much of our culture is based around celebrations with food and often not very good kinds. Easter and Halloween, for example, Christmas cookies--oh, it just goes on and on...Thanks for yet another very thought-provoking blog!
    1781 days ago
  • JUNEAU2010
    Such a victory with the Divine Miss O! I am inspired to continue my quest and, yes, I do like the idea (and will explore it further) that cleaning up my eating is and should be that first defense. How empowering is that?!
    1782 days ago
    I'm one of the many here I'm sure who are grateful for your blogs, for your sincerity and all the work you put into your research and your willingness to share it with anyone who wants to read with an open mind. Not to worry, no one who reads carefully could misunderstand your purpose or your kindness.
    1782 days ago
  • BERRY4
    I do share the question re. the number of people who do NOT see that our body's are an amazing chemistry of parts and interactions!

    I would WANT to start with food and see what difference I could make in my outcome. -- Once the process of medicating w/ man-made chemicals begins, one introduces a typical "snowball" of drug interactions with our body's chemistry. And my personal observation is that it is certainly, for many, a path of destruction for overall health.

    It must be nice to think that taking a pill will "fix" something. However, more often than not, it is a band aid to cover the real source of the problem (which has NOT been identified or found).

    IMHO food / nutritional input should be a starting point! -- I do know of a case of a young man who has Asperger's Syndrome. Even though he was eating healthy foods, right out of his family's garden, his intestinal track was unable to process and benefit from the nutrition. He was in fact presenting as malnourished. So the idea of needing to heal the gut so that it can work as it was intended should be the START of working with his problems.

    But then we have to be willing to DO THE WORK!

    Somebody, somewhere, gave a lot of people the idea that "medicine" was a cureall and taking a pill would fix us. Guess we bought into the idea that that was simple & preferable???!

    Thanks for your heartfelt sharing and challenge! -- Keep on keepin' on!

    1782 days ago
  • _JULEE_
    I'm really sorry you got such a negative person on your blog.

    You're emoticon
    1782 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/8/2013 10:22:08 PM
    MJREIMERS, thank you for your thoughtful response! I very much appreciate it.

    I actually don't know much about the specifics of Jenny McCarthy's diet (which, for that reason, I am not personally advocating)... she was simply a readily recognisable example of what I'm trying to illustrate.

    From my experience, simply going 'gluten-free' won't do it... and if people are simply replacing 'regular' products with commercial gluten-free products (some of the most nutritionally devoid food on the planet... we took a brief tour down that road) I can actually see THAT making things - anything - worse.

    There is so much more to eating Ancestrally (or GAPS, or FODMAPS) than eliminating gluten (for many you must also eliminate chemicals, sugar, legumes, nightshades, dairy), and every body will need to tweak to its specific and individual needs/responses. An important element in eating Ancestrally, that most people shy away from, is including a high level of fat (over 60%) into their diet, and making a good portion of this coconut oil, which can make a huge impact on brain and cognitive function. Additionally, change/healing can take a really long time... I was told to expect my own 'healing' to take approximately a month for every year I was out of whack... that's five years; and 20 months in, my daughter continues to improve daily still.

    There are many, many anecdotal examples in the Paleo community of this way of eating completely turning around formerly impossible to manage kids... even in families where there are more than one child on the spectrum. "?"

    Rarely, though, is any one thing going to solve the problem whatever it is. I also agree that structure is a very important, and often as over-looked, aspect in dealing with mental/intellectual/emotional dis-ease in both children and adults.

    I'm honestly not advocating any one way of doing this (though I do believe gluten is best avoided by everyone). What I am inviting people to do is to consider being more critical and discerning about our food sources, of how we nournish our bodies, and of how we approach physiological/mental dis-ease.

    I'm really sorry for your parents and their kids. I pray they can find solutions and peace. When your child is struggling it is an extremely heavy load to bear.

    1782 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/17/2013 3:02:59 PM
    Everyone has personal journey. I wish everyone would understand that one way is not the "right way" for everyone and that when others blog about their journey it's just that....sharing the journey with others.

    I'm glad things are going well for you and your family. I have had parents that have tried gluten free diets for their autistic kids and so far, there isn't a change.

    I have to comment on Jenny McCarthy's diet change for her son. I personally believe that the structured setting that she has established with her nanny for her son has done him more good than the diet. I'm all for eating healthy, but structured behavior analysis and structured schedules should be given a bit more credit. Of course, this is my opinion and experience and others may have different.

    emoticon for the blog! I love your honesty and hope that others can appreciate it, too. I only hope that they can respect your opinion as well! emoticon
    1782 days ago
    I am so pleased to hear the Divine Miss O is feeling better Ramona!

    Have a great weekend hun emoticon
    1782 days ago
    You are such a good writer. What is ancentral eating or eating ancestrally? I am glad your girl is feeling better and thanks for sharing.
    1782 days ago
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