Wednesday, January 8, 2014

blog like you are dying

At the end of November I went to the bathroom and noticed that I was peeing blood.
How's that for an opening sentence? They teach you all about "hooks" as an English major -
and I've pretty much perfected the art. *serious/not serious face*

Kidney infection. Not a death sentence by any means, but a familiar flag to me. Not again.
I've been round and round with infections for the past four years.
Antibiotic after antibiotic, like it's no big deal. Like it's normal.

Last year, I wrote THIS post and it was ALL true. Four months of a pure diet brought me to a place of
SO MUCH healing. I did not get sick for over a year, some of my allergies even went away...

and then I got cocky with my diet.

Braving sugars, processed foods, dairy and even... *gasp* wheat on occasions. A slow suicide really.
The truth is, it didn't seem to have major effects on me. Thinking everything was as fine as picnics
on the lawn and fourth of July fireworks, I ran straight back into the arms of the American diet

only to be betrayed.

I seriously felt like a crazy person living in the United States of high fructose corn syrup.
I feared that I had imagined or over-thought some of our health/diet decisions...

It felt like the hippy in me was a little too happy for it's own good or something.

I wanted to blend in; eat crepes at the Farmer's Market like everyone else
and not have to pack food for my family wherever we went.

People pleaser right here. Herd lover. Crowd surfer.

CURRENT STATUS: undergoing a serious conversion

I saw a nutritionist who ran a lot of "not your typical" lab work.
He wiped my blood on a slide, turned on his microscope and asked me to come take a look.
First, HOW COOL?! Second, I cried.

He pointed out everything to me. Like the curator of a museum, he gave me a tour of my body via
my blood. I saw the bright, celestial-like white blood cells - all perfectly formed, in line, in check.
Hundreds of healthy red blood cells going about their daily route. Made sense why all my blood
work comes back "normal."

And then I saw the inflammation. The warning signs. The flags.
Danger - you are STILL consuming or being exposed to material that is breaking down your body.
Reaction. My blood was reacting.

We talked about auto-immune disorders that day. We talked about multiple-sclerosis.
I don't have a definite diagnosis at this point, but it doesn't matter. What I DO have
are the makings of a serious disorder that plagues my body EVEN NOW.

Various allergies, infertility, repeat infections, anxiety, panic attacks, and the rashes...

"My body is breaking," I sobbed one night in bed.
Ok, I cried every day at some point for a month straight.

It felt, still feels, like a kind of death. A death to a way of life that I am so used to
living. Giving up the American diet for good - and certain products that flare up my symptoms
seems so heavy at times. I drive past McDonald's (which is something I didn't even eat BEFORE
I had issues!) and find my bottom lip quivering because I can't get in that glorious drive-thru
like everyone else and order a number "give me a heart attack" with a diet Coke!

I think the most overused hashtag of 2013 was #firstworldproblems...
but I'm going to use it again right now. Because it's applicable. And I'm pathetic.

There are hundreds of thousands of people around the world who would feel so blessed to be eating
clean meats, vegetables, nuts, grains, fruits, distilled water...
and I'm crying because I can't go to Dairy Queen.

I have a love/hate relationship with perspective.

In the middle of all that was spinning out of control with my health in the past 6 weeks,
I was asked two questions that stopped me in my tracks.

One: "If you knew 100,000 people were going to read your blog tomorrow, what would you say?"

Two: "If you were going to die from all of this, what would you tell your audience?"

Things around here are going to look a little different as this year unfolds.
Please bear with me when days pass by and I cannot post. The diet/lifestyle change
requires more of my time in the kitchen than ever before - at least for now. I'm sure once
I get the hang of this I'll be chopping veggies in my sleep. Or get a private chef. Either or.
Uhhh and yea... the changes have fun with my body and create all kinds of nice side effects.
I'll leave you to your imagination.

Come 100,000 people or my death - I know what I would say.

Welcome to The Lily Field 2014.

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  1. Proud of you! I've loved your beautiful instagram food posts :)

    1. Hey! Thanks, Shannon! Those beautiful pictures keep me motivated --- my brain still wants a pop tart. Lol.

  2. This is good stuff! I watched two family members die of diabetes...a very controllable thing ... glad you are taking your health seriously... :)

    1. Wow, so sad. I'm very sorry for your loss. It's so rough. I feel like it is becoming the NORM to find people with some form of diabetes, cancer, auto-immune issue, etc.

      I am trying my best to take it seriously. I find great joy in knowing that there are SO many GOOD foods out there that GOD made that can heal and sustain life as it was meant to be :-)

  3. Oh girl the truth is there are probably so many who have huge issues who do not realize it is food, I pray and believe this is going to open eyes to at least one person.

    1. Yes, me too. Totally. I have to turn my brain off all the time when I'm talking with people about health issues... I'm always like, "I wonder what would happen if you stopped eating wheat? Dairy? Sugar?" Lol. That is my prayer as well, Katie <3

  4. This is what happened when I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes ( at 18), they thought I had leukemia and had basically told me to prepare...I am now an, auto-immune disordered- type 1 diabetic, that lives on a strict diet.When I stray, I pay... We can cry together when needed, but we will conquer our bodies and adapt :) Reach out if you ever need to vent, pretty lady - that is what the blog-o-sphere is for!

    1. Brittney! Thank you so much for sharing this and reaching out! It is SO GOOD to not feel alone in all of this and to know that others out there are taking back their health with good diets!!! Very encouraging. I will definitely reach out. You are too sweet. Keep up the fight, girl!!! XO

  5. I was diagnosed with Celiac several years ago. It is hard, SO HARD, to not "be like everyone else" when it comes to food. The McDonald's thing? Been there, done that. Really, the food there is not that good, but it when you suddenly can't have it, you want it. I am lucky to have a super supportive husband and I am getting the hang of the "What will I eat?" question if I leave the house for more than a few hours. One small piece of advice would be to not go food shopping while you are hungry. I find that things seem so much more unfair and harder to take if I am hungry around food I can't have. I know your journey is going to be much harder that mine, but you can do it!

    1. Haha thank you, Christy! I feel like I've been eased into this. I went gluten-free a year and a half ago and have not regretted that decision for ONE MINUTE. I know that wheat is the devil to my body. It's just all the other stuff... like sugar, dairy, etc. that has SLOW effects on my body that is hard right now. AHHHH! Good to know there are other out there though. Glad you have such a supportive husband! Makes all the difference, right?!

  6. Brittany - I am addicted to your blog. Even when I SHOULDN'T CLICK AND READ BECAUSE I AM WORKING I do it anyway. And it always touches me. I wish I had the stamina to either go vegan or all "clean foods". It's a leap - one that will be easier once it's just me and Jeff. I have some of the same health issues - a recent thyroid disorder diagnosis - called Hashimoto's Disease (which I learned was inherited from my birth mom), I at at a higher risk for MS - and Lord knows what else. I was happy to learn I have a very high resistance to influenza type maladies which explains why I rarely get sick. Hang in there, tough it out. You are such an inspiration!!!! AND, by the way, whenever I eat McDonalds I run for the bathroom - my body cannot handle the torture. I have all but completely given up red meat because it makes me sick every time I eat it and I'm a steak lover :( Be strong my friend <3

    1. Hi Tamara!!! OH MY GOODNESS - I had no idea you were in a similar boat. It is really very scary to me - all the issues that seem to be ABUNDANT out there right now. I so hope you can find healing, rest, peace in your journey!!!! Diet is KEY for me... I'm sure it will help you too when the time comes :-) Claim your life, woman!!!! Fight. You be strong, too!!! THANKS and LOVE XO

  7. Wow, Brittany you are so strong. I don't know what I would do if I were in your position. I struggle as it is to just eat salads. I'm definitely praying for you and your family as you go through this. I know you are such a rock star that you will get through this just fine. If I lived closer to you I definitely would volunteer to be your personal chef ;).

    1. Thank you, Stacy!!! Oh man, I have you fooled! I am NOT strong, but God is strong and keeps me motivated. So appreciate your prayers. OMG I would love you to be my personal chef!!! That would be amazing!!!! Many hugs!!! XO


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