Monday, May 2, 2011
Breaking the Vicious Cycle, Redux
I found, purchased, and read the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle in one day. This was no easy task. Not all book stores carry it, and even when the book store does carry the book it must be special ordered. I am more of your "instant gratification" kind of person. So when I found a store that carried the book, I went and purchased it. After reading the book, the initial two thoughts that came to my mind were:
1. WOW! Why didn't I know about this 16 years ago?
2. It works. If you follow the plan, it works.
I am one of the more skeptical people living in this world. So when I hear about something that is touted as a miracle cure or something that put someone in remission, I tend to think, "BS!" Nothing is free in this world. It is just not possible. That would be like saying that energy is just created out of no where. No, my life is more like a game of tug-o'-war (very simple analogy), where those with any sort of IBD want a stalemate to occur. When the tug-o'-war is in a stalemate, our bodies are not experiencing a flare-up. If either side wins, then we are in pain or worse.
I went into remission in 2007 after 11 years of hell and a LOT of experimentation on what I can, can't, should, and shouldn't eat. While I really wish I had read this book when I was first diagnosed, something tells me that it would have been the same amount of time for me to hit that remission point. It is a very strict set of guidelines the books gives and one needs to create their own set of rules within those guidelines. Then you have personal stamina in not breaking your new diet, otherwise you will have a relapse. I am still amazed that the list of "legal" foods and "illegal" foods is so similar to what I allowed myself to eat and not eat when I was very strict with my own rules. My legal foods were actually much more narrow due issues with fiber and other allergies, but over time I was able to start eating some illegal foods from time to time so long as I didn't overdo it.
The biggest thing to realize about this book is that it is NOT a strict set of rules and it is not a self-help or guru guide. It is a set of guidelines to follow. It is a book that is based on scientific research that gives you information that you can use to create and follow your OWN rules -- so long as they fit within the prescribed guidelines. What is even better, is that the books gives citations and references. For a consummate book worm always striving to learn more and to see where people derive their ideas and thoughts, I think this is great. It helps support the premise in the book AND it helps me find new reading material.
This is not to say that what I eat is the only thing that dictates my health. No, there are MANY other facets of my life that I must keep in balance in order to keep myself healthy. I still have acute flare-ups when I don't get enough sleep, I experience too much stress, or over-exert myself in addition to those times when I try new foods that have unmentioned contraband. The frequency of flare-ups is very small and easily managed at this point.