I am on Day 6 of the Whole30, and I have to say, “So far, so good.” Thanks be to God! I have reached a point with my Hashimoto’s where I am fed up with unexpected weight gain, swollen ankles, and chronic fatigue. As in, “I’ll try anything, if I think it might work.” Hence, the Whole30!
But it took me awhile to get here.
The first time I attempted the Whole30, I made it to Day 13. I got off track for one day, which turned into weeks and then months. I just couldn’t recommit. I was on this inescapable cycle of wanting health and wellness but having little energy and lots of discouragement. I geared myself to begin again, and I ate super healthy for awhile. But I admit, I was not too keen on giving up my favorite foods. Let’s face it, that’s a lot of work. I had an all-or-nothing attitude, and nothing won every time. This led to despair, which usually ended with me trying to feel better via ice cream or chocolate. Then, the whole torturous cycle started over again.
I asked myself, “Why can’t I do this? How can I strengthen my resolve? Where can I find the rest and healing my body so desperately needs, while maintaining my role as mom?”
You are my hiding place, O Lord” (Psalm 32:7)
Through the intercession of Our Blessed Mother, I begged the Lord to untie the tight knots that filled my body, mind and soul. “Please heal me with the ointment of Your grace and mercy; wrap me in swaddling bandages that protect me from exposure, infection and a fear of being un-healable. Help me to trust You, Jesus,” I prayed.
As I sat before the Lord in my parish’s Adoration Chapel, I settled into the reality that I was looking at the cross of Hashimoto’s in the wrong light. I thought that if I made progress, the cross would go away. But because I wasn’t making progress, I was falling further and further behind.
I slowly started to realize that I needed to look at my cross differently. Perhaps, God was allowing my suffering for reasons I did not fully understand. And maybe the type of healing I envisioned wasn’t the type of healing God had in mind for me. Rather than looking for the quickest way out, did I need to endure, settle in and pace myself?
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Jesus Christ has made me His own …” (Philippians 3:12)
For so long, I have responded to Hashimoto’s as a victim. Hashimoto’s “did” this to me. I didn’t want to pick up my cross, let alone embrace it. I was not pressing on to make it my own; I was running from it and perhaps flat out rejecting it.
But Jesus made me His own, when He picked up His cross and carried it all the way to Calvary for me. Now was the time to pick up my own (much smaller) cross, and unite it to His.
Therefore, I tell you, (Sarah), do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body … (Matthew 6:25)
So often, I want to know the “hows,” the practical ways to “do” this or that. But waiting for the perfect formula or for someone to tell me what to do, is only going to keep me on the cycle of being an overwhelmed victim. The right approach to my health will come and is coming, as I learn to live with Hashimoto’s. And that brings me to this Whole30. It is my first step in making it my own.
When it comes to suffering or trial, how do you “press on to make it [your] own?” What Scripture passages have given you comfort, strength and/or encouragement?