No! You’ll mess up my macros!

I uttered these words from my lips about a year ago, to a colleague who asked if they could have one of my rice cakes.

A rice cake.

It’s only now I can see how ridiculous I sounded.

I’ve spent the best part of 10 years on a diet. Never the same one for too long, but I’ve tried Slimming World, Calorie Counting and Macro Tracking. I tried 5:2 for a bit (but VERY quickly lost the plot with it). I’ve tried intermittent fasting and let’s not forget my time on The Body Coach where I got so swept up in Joe Wick’s curly hair I didn’t have a clue who I was anymore.

I’d successfully lost somewhere in the region of 5 stone. The trouble was, it was the same stone going on and off constantly.

The day I got told that I “might” have MS, a switch went inside me. I couldn’t go on like this anymore. Two weeks from my 31st birthday I decided that enough was enough and diets couldn’t rule my life anymore. I was done with constantly using food to reward and punish myself.

On 25th September, my 31st birthday, Mel Wells started her Self Love week. I hadn’t heard of Mel before. (Or maybe I had – she played Loretta McQueen in Hollyoaks), but I fell in love with her, and her wonderful tribe quickly. Everything she stood for and advocated throughout that week was everything that I needed at this moment in my life.

By the end of the week, I’d resolved to join her academy. In doing so, I’ve now successfully ditched the diet mindset that I’ve spent my last ten years obsessed with (and constantly being made to feel like a failure from). The trouble is, up until roughly a week ago, I was very much living from a place of abundance. Like, eat all the food Jo, because you can!!!!!!

It’s liberating to not feel bad for eating so-called “banned” or “bad” foods, and I’ve got carried away with that. I’ve probably put somewhere between half a stone and a stone on. And now I’m ready. I’m ready to start eating intuitively, and not be bound to a diet. I’m ready to start eating whatever food makes me feel good (by which I mean, not eating all the chocolate because whilst it feels good to not punish myself, it doesn’t stop me feeling shitty and sick! But also still eating the chocolate because I love a good Bounty!)

I’ve gone from obsessing about food to going to a place where I truly enjoy my food. I made this realisation yesterday whilst I was sat eating a salad at a little coffee shop Dave and I had gone to for lunch. I’d opted for tuna salad, and I found myself thinking about how the tuna tasted. Not like how I was used to. In fact I even thought it was salmon for a short time, until I realised the tuna was probably just out of a tin in oil rather than one in brine or spring water as I was used to. It was bloody delicious!

I’m only at the start of this journey, but I’ve realised that baby steps are ok, as long as I’m going in the right direction.

No – I won’t be getting results as quickly as people doing all my previously mentioned diets, but my results are no longer about the number on the scale. They’re about happiness and treating myself right.

I’m enjoying this journey and I’m looking forward to seeing how far I’ve come in another 6 months.

And I won’t get funny about people eating my rice cakes ever again. In fact, eat them all. They taste like cardboard anyway.

Answers.

Some of you will know that I have been having a really uncertain time with my health recently.

Back in June, I went blind in my left eye. After electrodes in my eye, countless questions about tingling in my legs and a brain scan I was told in September that I might have MS.

After every blood test imaginable, two further MRI scans, a meeting with a neurologist and A LOT of waiting, on Thursday I was diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS. And do you know what? I’m OK. I’m no different to Wednesday. Or May last year before I went blind.

That doesn’t mean to say that I’ve not got a tough period of time ahead of me whilst I come to terms with it. But I’ll get through it.

I might have MS, but it sure as hell won’t be having me.

Limbo.

This week has been pretty rubbish.

Actually, emotionally, I’ve been having a couple of really really naff weeks. A few blogs back, I wrote about the fact that I’m currently going through diagnosis for MS. My position hasn’t changed; I’m still going through diagnosis.

This place that they call “Limbo” isn’t really doing much for me right now. I’m not one to really dwell on stuff though. Don’t get me wrong, I have an emotional reaction to something, but it’s usually over pretty quickly and then I just get on with it. But I can’t do that at the moment. I can’t get on and “deal with it” because I don’t know what it is I’m dealing with.

As a result, I’ve found myself in the last couple of weeks being quite short tempered, emotive. Actually, I don’t even feel like me.

On Tuesday I had a full scale meltdown. Sobbed my eyes out, the lot. Because I can’t “problem solve” the energy I’d usually put into that, has nowhere to go.

So many people have told me how strong I’m being, considering what I am going through. Because people have told me that, I’ve found myself wanting to live up to that standard and not allowing myself to cry (which is crazy really because if there’s one thing I am, it’s a crier!)

I definitely feel better for allowing myself to feel my emotions but I can’t help but have this air of sadness hang over me. It feels alien to me. As a general rule, I have a naturally happy disposition.

At the advice of a colleague, I’ve contacted our employee assistance programme at work. I need someone to talk to. I’ve used it before and it’s brilliant. She correctly pointed out, I need to talk to someone before it gets worse.

Having taken a couple of positive actions (I also called my Neurologist’s secretary for an update) I feel a bit better. I feel less like I’m allowing this to “just” happen to me.

Thankfully, I’ve got an amazing bunch of people around me, from family, friends and work colleagues, to friends I’ve only met online.

You can’t ever underestimate the value of having people that really care about you around.