Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Health Update and Life Hacking

breakfast nook with banquette in Black Sunbrella fabric with brass nailhead detailing, tulip table, vintage chinoiserie dining chairs, and wall mouldings via Bliss at Home

Hey friends! Long time, no talkie!

I just wanted to take a moment today to catch you up on some things going on here. You have been so supportive and encouraging and I just wanted to be a bit more personal with you today.

As you have seen, I met my collaboration commitments that I had signed on for in the beginning of this year, and this last month has been few and far between with posting. I did not fall and get stuck under something heavy!! I just have been, shall we say…life hacking?


I haven’t shared much about my disease here on this blog, because after all, this is a design and DIY blog! But, a couple of years ago, I did share about my struggles with Crohns disease and my approach to food and how it has been a real lifesaver. I am so thankful I did put myself out there. You can read about it HERE if you want the background.

Around Christmastime, I posted that I was taking a break due to some health struggles. Then, I disappeared for over a month–came back and did some big reveals and then I disappeared again…yeah. I didn’t go into detail right then because I think the stress of it all was affecting me too much emotionally. I felt shrouded in a cloud of negativity. A snarky comment from another blogger, the lovely backhanded “compliment”, or a passive aggressive remark or action would just put me into a deeper depression. So, I cut out the negativity. I took some time away from it all so I could focus my energies on getting well physically and emotionally. I basically turned off the noise.

When I got diagnosed with Crohn’s 5 years ago, I remember the doctor delivered it like it was a death sentence. Strongly advising me not to have anymore children and telling me that my life would be lived and managed with prescription medications and there is no cure in sight. Well, after a couple of years of that and getting progressively worse day by day, I started to take matters into my own hands and found some relief with changing my diet to a strict autoimmune paleo protocol. I found healing pretty quick with this approach. I would still suffer the occasional flare-up in the years to come, but I was not bedridden and could live pretty normal.

Last year, things started to change quite a bit. I was very stressed, some due to taking on a lot more work for B@H, some of it D traveling A LOT for his job, and some of it trying to be everything to everyone as us women tend to do. I also noticed despite staying pretty good on my paleo approach and working out I was gaining weight. Pretty fast too. So, strange considering I always thought people with these kinds of diseases had trouble keeping weight on. It was quite puzzling and frustrating at the same time.

I also started to feel a huge amount of joint and bone pain. At 36, I was feeling 76. Getting out of bed in the morning was painful. It was time to speed up my check-up with my doctor. I ended up seeing another doctor to get some answers and explore some other options. After lots of tests, mostly checking my blood work and enzyme levels,  it was clear that despite dietary changes my Crohns disease will never really be gone. It doesn’t really go into remission as they say. It still affects how my body processes food and absorbs nutrients… or the fact that it doesn’t absorb nutrients well. Also, it has weakened my muscles, and my heart muscles have become weakened which is not a good thing to hear. It was also affecting other organs in my body which explained the rapid weight gain. Felt like a bit of a crushing blow.

I felt like I was a pretty tough cookie these past 5 years, but my mental health was starting to crumble. It was clear, that I had to be a bit selfish and make managing this disease even higher on my priority list. D always supports me and even though he didn’t want me to give up on my dreams, he supported the break from blog work and turning down some great opportunities that came from it. I wasn’t in a mentally healthy place. I started to look at things differently. People differently. It was not a time I reflect on and feel proud of. I didn’t like who I was or what consumed my head space day in, day out.

After test results came in, my doctor upped my dosages of certain supplements and I started really focusing on including foods daily that would help my problem organs. She signed off on a diet plan and exercise approach and I started on another health journey. We agreed that Crohn’s medications were not the answer right now, if ever.

My diet is similar to what it was before on the AIP plan, with fewer calories and more healing foods specific to my issues. I have been sticking to this plan for just over a month consistently now, and it’s been a good change. I’m losing the weight (10 lbs. so far) and at a place physically where I can run a bit again. My energy is up and I can keep up on everything that needs to get done daily. It feels really good to say that. I still have a lot of joint discomfort but it is improving.

One thing I didn’t account for is how stress plays into this disease. I also thought I’d never be one of those people who would fall victim to depression with chronic pain, but it’s amazing how that happens, even if you think you are mentally tough. It’s a great reminder that I can’t do this alone. God is always with me. I need Him. It also made me realize how important it is to support others who are going through something similar. As bad as it sounds, most people don’t sympathize with your disease. Especially when you don’t outwardly look sick, and why should they, I guess. The people who support you are your inner circle (basically my husband and parents) and friends who have gone through it or something similar.

So, for the time being, I am keeping the stress at a low and going to continue on this health and weight management journey. I see glimmers of my old self shining through again and it feels really good to see that happy girl. She’s a lot more fun than the other one.

I wanted to share this today because if it just helps or supports one person going through something similar it is worth it. It’s not for you to feel sorry for me or pity me, I have a lot to be thankful for in this life. We are warriors and we need to lift each other up. I’d also like to thank Ali and Lindsay for their friendships and support through all of this.


I know that was a lot. It’s been the past 6 going on 7 months of my life, well 5 years if I am honest here. Stepping away from work, has been good and bad for me. For one thing, it made me realize how much I love what I do. It also reminded me why I started blogging in the first place.

So, life hacking? What’s that about?? What’s she talking about???

Balance is something we know we should try to have, but most of the time we over extend ourselves and things are quite out of balance as a result. So, knowing now how much I am thankful for this blog and all who have become a part of my life because of it, I can’t just quit. I thought maybe I would. I pretty much had my mind made up that I was going to stop blogging and sharing here. I was pretty stubborn about it too.

As I have had this healing time, my heart has changed. Despite some negatives, too much good has come from this blog. So, I am keeping her going. It’s definitely going to be a more balanced approach though, keeping my health and family first. I will always be sharing design and DIY, but I also feel like now I peeled that real life band-aid off. We got personal…again! That’s like 3 personal posts now. I guess I’d rather be personal and you can love or hate me for it. So, I have been thinking about ways to incorporate a bit more realism into this blog space. Whether it be sharing some travels, or a AIP recipe. I haven’t decided yet. I feel like it’s time to mix it up a bit more. I am also itching to work on something, but I can’t right now because…


With that said, we have some big life changing things happening here for our whole family. It’s been a lot behind the scenes and I am going to be sharing that when it all unfolds. I’m excited–heck, we all are!   We are definitely “saying yes to new adventures” and I wouldn’t have it any other way. More on that soon…maybe in the next 30-45 days…EEK!

I will keep you updated. So, I am going to keep sharing with you. In this month of May, it is a little hard to blog a lot, and I did not to commit to any projects for this next month knowing that. It may be a little silent for that time, but I am excited to continue on this journey with you. I do have a few features coming up that I can’t wait to share, but other than that nothing is planned.

Thank you for all your love, support, and encouragement. I am truly thankful to all of you for that. Reading your thoughts and well wishes has been food to my soul. If you are dealing with a chronic disease, my heart goes out to you. Much love to you!! I really do know how hard it is to deal with that daily. You have my support!

Until next time…



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