These two pictures represent so many things to me.
The first picture was taken one year ago today.
I just had surgery removing a significant amount of my large intestine. Please ignore the steroid induced chipmonk cheeks...it made smiling difficult.
The five months prior to this day I was on medication after medication, none of which worked and led to even worse side affects. I was fed up and knew there had to be a better way to heal my body.
I began researching and came across Danielle Walker and Against All Grain. She shares her story of a similar autoimmune disease and how she used food as medicine.
Recovery was slow and long initially. I became very aware of how every little movement involved using my core (which also made me wonder why I didn't have stronger abs to begin with!), and I tried to move as little as possible. I needed to nap every time I got up. I became very thankful our condo was so small.
I was often discouraged with my progress. It wasn't just a healing incision. But it was healing 6 months of a flare and infection and now missing parts. It was healing my heart and mind. But soon I reached the six month mark (I was told it takes about 12 months to fully heal from intestinal surgery) and I remember calling my mom after coming home from a 2 mile walk to the park with my dog. I ran maybe a 1/4 of a mile home. And while that may not seem like much to you, this sick body couldn't even walk 1/4 of a mile a few months ago, let alone run it after a 2 mile walk.
It was at that moment I became proud of how well I was doing. I began to give myself/my body grace. And now here I am, 12 months later, still working on healing my body, mind and heart, but we are doing much better! My body doesn't function the same way anymore, and there are some days it is sure to let me know it and I manage to forget the grace.
Celebrating being well enough to go out and celebrate both of our birthdays. Chipmunk cheeks slowly going back to normal.
During this whole process I began changing my diet. I cut out foods that caused my body inflammation and added in lots of nutrient dense foods. I was constantly flipping through Danielle's cookbooks. This process of healing my body naturally reignited a passion for cooking and excitement to learn about new ingredients and how God designed our bodies to work. And it started a new passion about natural healing. It gave me joy in the midst of pain.
That second picture was taken last week when I was able to meet Danielle at her book signing for her new book Celebrations. I had the privilege of being on her launch team and cooking my way thru it before it came out to the public. I was able to share with her what her story and books meant to me during one of the most difficult points of my life.
So today, instead of remembering the pain of that season, I am going to Celebrate health and healing (and the incredible food I have made from Celebrations Cookbook!) Plus, I just found out that I won the Against All Grain giveway!!
I called Chet to tell him about it and I said it was fitting that today was the day I won the knife (as it was her story that changed everything). Chet assumed I meant that it was because I "went under the knife" a year ago today.
Either way, I am grateful for health and for grace.