From great to good?! … Isn’t that backwards? Isn’t that the opposite of what we are working for? Well, yes. Most of the time we are working on moving from good towards great. School, career, fitness are all areas of life best designed to be continually improved upon. But what happens when IBD is added to this equation? What do we do when things just aren’t right and our #1 priortiy is simply getting through a meal without pain or an emergency sprint to the restroom? Getting to good suddenly becomes an admirable and highly desired goal. We need to get back to good – as quickly as possible!
Feeling great never really happens overnight. It becomes something that happens almost without notice. While we are working on finding improvements in one specific area of our life (school, career, fitness, etc) it becomes difficult to notice the small and steady gains that we make. No one ever goes from lifting 50lbs on Monday to suddenly lifting 150lbs on Wednesday. But if you stick to a well-designed training program that has built in a steady, constant progression starting from Day 1 you’ll eventually get to that 150lbs amount. And on that day you achieve the ability to lift 150lbs you’ll feel as if the 100lbs improvement wasn’t as huge of a mountain to climb as originally perceived.
Making small steps every day will help you achieve a goal. The steady climb up the mountain doesn’t feel like much from one day to the next. When those days are stacked into weeks, and weeks into months, and months into years we can then look back at just how far we have actually climbed. Over time there were several positive actions taken to help you achieve a goal. Whether it was drinking enough water, eating healthy foods, taking vitamins, exercising better/more often, and/or limiting stress you most likely did not do all these actions at the same time. Each habit most likely built upon itself and you created momentum that helped you reach your goal.
But what happens when we must take feeling great out of the immediate equation and simply need to get back to good? In many ways the process is the same.
Living with IBD makes each meal feel that another chance for pain. Sometimes that chance is small, maybe only a 2-3% chance of discomfort. These times are great. We have found a way to manage the symptoms, our medication is working, and we are eating the proper foods and supplementing with the right mix of vitamins to all add up to a strong feeling of health. But other times are less secure and our chance for pain and discomfort increases. Why does this happen? Personally I am in the “less secure” range right now and I have to place some blame on myself. I have missed a few days with my medication. I ran out of the Vitamin E and probiotic supplements I have been taking. I haven’t been drinking enough high quality water. This has lead to more IBD symptoms which has increased my stress levels while making proper eating more challenging.
My main goal right now is to get back to good…and that journey starts just like any other – with the first step. For me that means making sure that I take my medication as prescribed. It means that I go buy more Vitamin E and probiotics to help create a better environment for health inside my body. It means that I might need to drink Evian water. And it also means that I take a deep breathe, relax, and focus on improving things that I can while letting go of anything that I cannot. Basically, it means doing small, seemingly minor actions that may not seem very significant right now. But over the course of the next few weeks and months these small habits will add up to something bigger – feeling good again…and while that may not be great or the top of the mountain, the view from there is always welcomed.
~With Strength and Nutrition