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Changing My Attitude Towards Food

The longer I live with chronic illnesses like psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and fibromyalgia, the more I find myself learning about my body.  Some of those lessons have included learning how to work with or around a physical limitation, overcoming stigmas or fears, as well as how to improve my life by becoming choosier about what I put in it. 

Get in my tummy

I no longer view food the way I used to. In the past, I believed that should satisfy all of my senses.  It should smell good, look good, feel good, and of course TASTE good!  I didn’t care about additives or preservatives.  Nor did I take time to notice if the foods I was eating were actually increasing my physical pain.  As long as it covered all the senses it was good enough for me.  Last year, I had to take a look at my diet.  Abdominal adhesions were strangling my bowels.  Before admitting that this was the problem my doctors put me on one diet after another to see if my GI issues were being caused by food.  While frustrating at the time, it did help me recognize how certain foods were actually increasing my pain and sometimes triggering pain in regards to fibromyalgia and PsA.  This was a turning point in my wanting to eat healthier, because I found myself no longer liking or desiring foods that were making me miserable.

Who is punishing who?

I used to think of diets as a form of punishment.  It was my punishment for gaining weight.  I couldn’t stand being denied the foods I craved.  After going through the process of seeing which foods were increasing or triggering inflammation and pain, a switch flipped in my brain.  Not eating the foods that were known to hurt my body wasn’t a form of punishment, eating those foods was!  Eliminating those foods from my diet hasn’t cured me or even dramatically reduced my overall pain, but it has made enough of a difference to keep me from stuffing them into my mouth.  I have a confession, Cheetos used to be one of my guilty pleasures.  Then after noticing how sick I felt the day or sometimes hours after eating them, I stopped craving them.  The longer I make better dietary choices, the more I notice how my poor choices were contributing to the decline of my health.

For the right reason

I also had to let go of weight loss being a goal of eating healthier.  While I am thrilled to have lost 5 lbs in the past few months, it isn’t why I am making better choices.  With a goal of being good to my body and providing it with the nourishment it needs and not just satisfying my taste buds or cravings, I fall off the wagon less than I would have in the past.  Have you noticed a food that either increases or triggers pain in your body?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.