Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why I write about my health...

Day 4: I write about my health because...

I am actually excited about today's prompt. Why do I write about my health? 

When I started writing this blog it was mainly a food blog. And honestly, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't feel comfortable writing about my faith, about my life in general, or about my cats (I really didn't want to be the cat lady blogger)... but I felt like everyone could relate to food. And honestly, I knew I truly enjoyed writing. That's really what I wanted to practice: the art of writing

Several years into blogging I finally found (what I consider) my writing style. I started out rather silly and I remember getting comments from other bloggers who thought I was a teenager. (Maybe a compliment? lol I was giggly!) But eventually I learned how to be more real. More honest, share my depth, be more authentically "me." 

Over the past few years my writing has morphed into a blog that is centered on becoming healthy and what that means to me. In the beginning it was more about pleasing the reader. I wanted friends. I wanted to somehow be 'popular' in the world of blogging (whatever that meant!)... and now... it's just about sharing. About being real. About hopefully reaching other people who share similar struggles with their health and food journey. 

We all have different journeys when it comes to our health. For me, realizing gluten so adversely affected my body was the big start into becoming well. 

I immediately jumped into gluten free baking. I created cookies, cakes, breads, a homemade gluten free "bisquick" mix, along with lots of muffins -- and ALL those "gluten-free-flour-filled" Saturday mornings were incredibly therapeutic. I loved learning the craft of gluten free baking. It felt like I really accomplished something. I was good at something I could share with others. Sadly though, my health suffered. Continuing to eat baked goods with lots of sugar and refined flours was seriously expanding my waist line and upping my blood pressure. 

For the past few years instead of using those original gluten free flours, I've been experimenting with "alternative" gluten free flours, mainly almond flour and coconut flour. I'm still learning. I don't feel like I've mastered those flours yet and I'm okay with that. I actually love being in the stage of just exploring, instead of mastering. I've started to find more joy in simple cooking. Slow-cooking gluten free meals. Making easy meals with a small list of ingredients. Using more whole foods. Enjoying foods that truly feed me well, instead of just giving me instant pleasure. Eventually I realized that most carbohydrates don't work well with my body. I still struggle with eating them and finding the "right" foods for my body, but I know I'm on the right track. 

In the last two years I've finally felt more comfortable sharing about my personal struggles. How hard it was for me to give up gluten, struggles with family addiction, my personal challenges with depression, anxiety, and panic disorder, learning to appreciate and accept the blessings in my life and accept myself exactly where I am. 

I think sharing these emotional and physical struggles, has helped strengthen my self-image and feelings of self-worth. I hope that it has helped other people realize they are not alone. And that's why I write about my health. It's healing for me, but I hope it's healing for others too. When we can relate to other people, when we know we're not in this alone...  that's when we start a journey to better well-being, and to eventually accepting and loving ourselves for who we really are. 

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