It's funny, sometimes, to look back on the early days of the Candida Diaries and remember how I came into this whole thing kicking and screaming. I was sure that my life - or at least, anything good about life - was pretty much over.
And now, 4 1/2 months later, all I wanna do is go back to the early days of treatment.
I keep thinking of that Shaun White quote I talked about a couple weeks ago...about being no carb, and then you have a carb. I feel like, ever since giving myself permission to break treatment on my birthday, it's been harder and harder to stick to it. The more I break from it, the easier it is to keep breaking from it. And the more I break from it, the crappier I feel. And the crappier I feel, the more tempted I am to turn to quick fixes - a.k.a., sugar-ladden stuff - to provide that pick-me-up.
It's kind of a crap cycle.
So I've decided to do a flying body-slam onto the reset button.
A.k.a., we're doing a rematch, kids.
The contract takes me back to the early days of treatment - no carbs, no dairy, no processed food, no sugar, no fruit, etc - but also makes for a couple of allowances that I know will be crucial for me in order to stick to this long-term. For one, I can have an alcoholic beverage on rare, special occasions - two times a month, max, and a two drink maximum. The drinks must either be champagne, white wine, or vodka and club soda (they have the lowest sugar and carb content) - no beer, no red wine, no mixed drinks. I don't really like drinking all that much anymore, anyway, but I know enough about myself by now to know that I need to have built-in permission to occasionally imbibe when it comes to celebrations, otherwise I'm going to want to revolt and do a Hulk Smash on everything else, too.
|[From Easter] Jesus died and rose again, which proves that he loves me and would want me to have this mimosa. #cheersJesus #candidadiaries|
I can also have 2 cups of decaf Americano or one 20 oz. decaf coconut almond milk latte a day. Being able to have this in my daily life makes me feel human, but I also don't want to go crazy with it, either - if I let myself have three lattes a day, I will. So I'm building in the kind of moderation that feels safe and makes these things seem like a reward.
|My favorite baristas in the world let me bring in almond coconut milk for my lattes, and it makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE. #candidadiaries #lattejoy|
However, I also added a caveat to the contract: If I actively make a good choice - abstain from present alcohol, cake, chocolate, etc, and/or choose treatment-based choices while eating out or traveling, I get to reward myself. I set up two separate savings accounts: One is for travel, and the other is for super sweet workout gear (like yoga pants from Athleta, etc...I have a really hard time rationalizing $100 yoga pants, even though the fabric feels like your body is being massaged by a freaking cloud. However, if that $100 comes from treatment-based rewards? I am totally okay with buying out their whole stock of yoga pants). Whenever I actively choose to stick to my treatment over the above temptations, I get to deposit a certain amount into one of these accounts. This way, I have permission to indulge, but a strong motivation not to.
Along with the basics of no carb, no sugar, etc, I added in some extras to round stuff out: An apple cider vinegar shot a day, daily dose of vitamins, daily yoga and/or strength training. The other thing I added into the contract was a term to share this stuff more often on Instagram, Twitter, and other social media outlets. To be more visible with it, with what I'm doing day in and day out. First, I always get great feedback - my friend Stacy basically saved my life when she saw a photo of my apple cider vinegar tea and advised me to just do a shot of it and chase it with water instead. Second, it helps *me* stick to treatment if I'm mindful of documenting it for my own edification. Third, it just makes this stuff more fun.
So, basically, get ready for a lot of super boring yoga-pants selfies and food shots.
For up-to-the-minute photos and updates, you can also follow my *other* blog over on Tumblr. I've also made a board over on Pinterest for The Candida Diaries, which will include posts, photos, and other resources around the web for those of you who want to know more about this whole candida overgrowth shiz.