The following was written by Stacey Robbins, a reader with Hashimoto’s who made the lifestyle changes necessary to manage her health. She originally made this post about the autoimmune diet for the Facebook Hashimoto’s 411 group and turned it into a chapter for her book You’re Not Crazy and You’re Not Alone: Losing the Victim, Finding Your Sense of Humor and Learning to Love Yourself through Hashimoto’s. Stacey’s story not only illustrates the importance of your diet, but also how your attitude can affect your health:
This subject has been on my heart big time:
What a button-pushing topic for those of us with an autoimmune thing.
I remember in the beginning of being sick almost 20 years ago and then, the diagnoses a few years later, I was looking for a miracle.
“God, YOU do it!”
Then, I switched to, “Doctors, YOU (and your synthetic meds) do it!”
Next, I found the natural route and I was like, “Supplements, acupuncture, Reiki, Jin Shin, NAET, and on and on and on: YOU do it!”
And all the while messages were coming to me:
Change your lifestyle.
Change your relationships.
Change your rest.
Change your food.
Essentially: Stacey, YOU do it.
I think I wanted to do anything but change my food.
Being raised in Italian family with my mom as an amazing cook, my grandmother (who taught me how to make homemade pasta) was an amazing baker. My great aunts who made homemade sausages and grew the peppers that they’d roast over the fire, and my great-grandmothers who woke up at 3 a.m. to make bread.
This was my food experience.
Food was my life, my culture, my sense of belonging, my holidays, my pride, my liberty…my identity.
It was attached to my sense of fun when I went out with my friends because fun meant I could eat and drink any way I wanted.
And it was attached to my dreams of the future: When I go to Italy, I will eat my way through Amalfi and all the way down to Sicily.
How does one exactly go to Italy and NOT eat the pasta?
Is life even worth living if you can’t go to Italy and drink the wine and eat the bread???
It has been SUCH a process of surrender for me to redefine the “Life of My Dreams” as a life where I eat and drink whatever I want to “The Life of My Dreams” meaning that I felt good again.
Trust me, I really wanted a pill to make it better and if you told me that I could have slept long enough to heal myself of this thing, I would have gladly gone into hibernation.
So, why do I share this? Because I understand how it’s more than letting go of gluten and dairy and corn and eggs and soy and nightshades and grains. It’s about letting go of all the associations we make with food.
I did all those other things — relationships, rest, supplements, meds, lifestyles — they’re all valuable but none of them substitute for what the food changes provide.
Myalgias went away, weight was lost, depression lifted, clarity of thinking returned, internal order resurfaced — I had no idea that cake was making me bitchy and that raw veggies made me want to have sex again. Who knew?
So, please know, friends who are new to this great group or if you’ve been here a while, when you hear the beating drum from the long-timers with Hashi’s about making some food changes, it’s not because anyone’s trying to ruin your fun or create some cultic thinking — it’s because many of us have traveled the long journey of trying to change everything BUT food and we want to short cut you to one of the quickest ways you can start feeling better.
This is a caring place and a lot of wisdom flows here. I really want your journey to feeling better to be shorter than mine has been so, the encouragement and experience I want to offer is this: Face the food issues head-on.
“The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” (Unknown)
Love and Health to you,