I don’t mind sharing my struggles with IBS. I think we all need to know that others struggle to ‘do the right thing.’ I just can’t help feeling as though I keep making the same mistakes over and over again with my diet and lifestyle choices. So many of them are simply HABIT. Sure, I go through the motions and eat my IBS food for weeks at a time, only to eventually make a big mistake. I don’t know if it’s just impulsive behavior or that I feel as though I have deprived myself of the things I like to do for too long. Nevertheless, I’ve been doing the ‘why, why, why!!!’ dance an awful lot lately. My first thought about this issue is that when I am eating right, exercising, meditating etc…is that I’m going through the motions and that I have not truly accepted this as my ‘new life’ since being diagnosed with IBS. Intellectually, I know what to do, how to behave, but have yet to make it HABIT in my life. How does one develop a positive habit? I personally know how easy it is to develop negative habits; it basically requires no effort at all. Let’s take a look at making a healthy lifestyle HABIT and part of who you are, as opposed to something you just do.
Easier said than done
I suppose that the catalyst for this article was another unfortunate CHINESE FOOD incident. It was Father’s Day and my son mentioned that he had never had Chinese food. Well, we want to make the little ones happy, don’t we? After perusing the menu and choosing the couple of things that my twin twelve year olds might like, I promptly, proceeded to skip over the ‘healthy choices’ part of the menu and went straight for the Bourbon Chicken with Lo Mein…and an eggroll…and fried scallops. You can judge if you like…I deserve it. Nevertheless, the point is that once again I was faced with a decision and made the wrong choice simply out of habit. That is what I normally order when I get Chinese. But things are no longer ‘normally’. I haven’t really accepted that yet. And yes, once again, I got hurt. Sick. Very sick. Over what? Some Chinese food? Sounds ridiculous in the aftermath. So…what would have been the right decision. I could have suggested that the child’s mother get him Chinese sometime because Daddy’s belly couldn’t have it. I could have had one of the vegetarian dishes and suffered a bit less (cause let’s be honest, even that probably wouldn’t have gone over very well with the ol’ tum-tum). I COULD have gotten them the food and had something else for myself. Simple, right? Well, yes, but easier said than done.
I believe the key to making a healthy life habit is first and foremost, doing your best to make the right choices as often as possible. The more you behave a certain way, the more it gets ingrained in your personality and way of life. Secondly, don’t shame yourself for your mistakes. As I have said before, relapse is a part of recovery. And after much thought, I think the absolute, most important part of all this is acceptance of the consequences of your condition and the unequivocal right you have to feeling good. It may take some time, but tomorrow is a new day, and hopefully at some point I can accept the ‘new way.’ I’m trying, but I need to change. I fear change ;-).