For 30 days, I will share the joys, pains, and dirty little secrets of my life with multiple sclerosis. My goal is to find a reason to convince you to support/share my fight against MS. Please donate today: http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/eleanor.
This is Effort Number 6…
For 2,335 days, I have been tracking my multiple sclerosis in depth. I learn so much from this tracker every day; it gives me the ability to drive what I do in hopes of improving how my body reacts. Some key takeaways:
- September 2016 was the last time my average daily grade was higher than August. 55.17% this month, 56.57% that September — everything in between has been a nosedive then struggle to recover.
- It’s been a while since I put all of the data together. It has surely been even longer than that since I’ve smiled so broadly as I did when looking at my chart.
- Since April 9, 2013, I’ve enjoyed 960 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! In full disclosure, I thought the number was higher than that… 934 of them have been with grape jelly, six with strawberry jam — this was a concession in favor of my daughter’s ever-changing food preferences. I don’t have a picture of my PB&J. Here is a BLT instead, same number of letters…
Food is a constant noise for me. With all the other ramblings going on at the same time, I spend my days thinking about the last meal I had (comparing and evaluating its result), the next meal I will have, and my continual search for something great.
[How can someone who is 6”3’ and 178 pounds spend so much time thinking about the food they ate and will eat?]
Great question, Inside Voice! If you remember, it was not that long ago when I weighed 257 pounds.
[Oh yeah. *chuckles*]
It was because of my 257 pounds, and my worsening multiple sclerosis, that my true love for food developed. I started counting calories, using the online Weight Watchers® tool. I measured everything I took in, weighing all food – even my peanut butter and jelly, measuring the amount of ketchup, sauces, and dressings that went on my food. I needed to cut calories – there are only a few ways to do this.
Cut out foods are “bad” for you: there was moderate success here, but I found it difficult to get rid of my truly gluttonous foods.
Cut down the portions: this was a new concept for me, a concept with which I struggle to come to terms for a long time. I still struggle, though not as much. It’s one that took hold. My 1/2 PB&J is just as satisfying with a piece of fruit
Cut out all the “extra” things: different from the bad food above, this category is more about the ketchup and all those other hidden calories. This was easier to apply – this was kind of my low hanging fruit for some easy, quick results.
Exercise more: now the old adage, the more you exercise, the more you can eat” really isn’t true. Exercise is more for the development and maintenance of your body. You have a body that still requires nutritious food, a body that will process quantities of unhealthy food into fat, and a body can not exercise enough to overcome unhealthy habits. That being said, exercise is important in burning those calories when exercising and eating lean, building muscle when training and eating heavier, and the constant aerobic and anaerobic development of your total person.
I Focused on All Four Requirements
MS wasn’t the initial reason I tried to drop a few pounds. It was more the belly overhang on my 38-inch baggy jeans. MS was, however, the initial improvement when I started to address those areas. The progression of my disability slowed. My impression of how bad I was getting, my daily grade, even began to slow and level out.
My energy level increased, resulting in an increase in what I could do physically. My time in the gym grew, and the variety of my exercises increased. Those are but a few of the simple factors that combine with many others to create an environment where living with a worsening chronic disability becomes a little bit more palatable.
Then I found Pinterest…
Are you one Pinterest? If not, I recommend getting on Pinterest. It’s like having every one of your friends’ cookbooks in front of you at any given time. We all have those friends who don’t make the best meals. They’re in there, just search around them.
I used to have some very specific loves when it came to food. I love pizza. I love Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. I loved a nice, rare Delmonico steak. I loved a lot of things when it came to food.
I now have some very specific loves when it comes to food. I love to cook (the fact that Eleanor enjoys my cooking makes everything that much better). I love the taste of food, and the constant search to exploit that food with the minimal effort possible (it’s a lot of work making all those damn sauces). I’m a creature of habit (noted by my 960 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches), but I love to find new foods that become my habit and focus (until the next new food overcomes my need for consistency).
My MS isn’t the only reason I prefer healthy and clean eating, the primary one being my love of delicious food. My MS has been the absolute greatest benefactor of my diet changes, as noted by my chart summarizing 135,430 distinct data points generated since April 9, 2013.
I love the effect of my compulsion with this constant noise – the effect it has had on my healthy living, clarity and focus, and ability to manage the effects of my multiple sclerosis.
The noise attributable to my MS constantly inspires me. The hope is my story will inspire your donation in this fight. As a side note, in addition to my thank you cards and books for donors, there will be an extra moment of gratitude for anyone who makes a donation to our fight on August 28, 2019.
Because it is a fight.
The fight is not over and it won’t be over until a cure is found.
It will never stop…nor will we
It will never quit…nor will we
This is why we ride!
Please donate today: http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/eleanor
100% of the royalties earned from my books go to the National MS Society, to support our fight: http://neverstopneverquit.com/books
Never Stop… Never Quit…®
Never Stop… Never Quit… Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off.