Learning Consistency

2020 has just been a year. I mean, everything that could go wrong all went wrong at one time (Mary Mary – “Shackles” mood) but seriously, I had not envisioned the year to unravel this way. But I digress…

The blessing I found in it, is that I learned consistency.

 A few things I am being consistent in currently is my health. And I know what y’all thinking (I know I need to eat healthy, get moving, etc) but this post is not about that at all (you can click here for my post on my weight loss journey). So, many of you don’t know this, but I have battled with HS (hidradenitis suppurativa) since I was in high school. If you’re not familiar with what HS is then to sum it up briefly, it is an autoimmune condition that presents itself as inflammation in the skin in form of boils and cysts located in places where hair or skin meets. Or, more plainly, boils that grow, drain and don’t go away.

 My story is that I had to learn consistency. And that is focusing and pulling all of my energy into one, and only one, thing.

I find, for me, being consistent with many things at once can cause a serious case of overwhelm-ment.

So, my one thing was a new diet I began that is supposed to put my HS into remission. There is, currently, no cure or cause for HS. Thus, some believe a change in diet works. And let me tell you, this diet, ain’t no joke. The autoimmune protocol diet, or AIP for short, is sister to the paleo diet but much more restrictive. On the list of foods to avoid are diary and eggs; all grains and legumes including beans and corn; nuts; gluten; yeast; all berries and some apples; nightshade vegetables – tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers (hot sauce, too); mushroom; fermented foods (think olives, kombucha); all sugar, fried foods and vegetable based oils; and alcohol and caffeine.

I know right? Totally unrealistic and uncalled for! Some of you may be looking at that list like – so, what can you eat? And it’s been interesting discovering that BUT, what’s more, is that I found that I am a lot stronger than I thought.

Diets, like all good things, require an unbelievable amount of consistency. Since I began this in August, I have not had one cheat day. Truth is, if I did, I would have had to start all over again. Research shows that those on the AIP diet begin to see changes in their health between 30 and 90 days and I was not about to start all over again at day one.

Here’s what I learned about consistency:

  • Find support

My family and close friends who know what I’m doing and why have been hugely supportive in my struggle. Some have even made recipes to help me with the diet. Others have prayed for me. And others still have made sure they stopped brining around foods I can’t have. Talk about real love? Get you a tribe or find a support group on Facebook for whatever you want to be consistent with.

  • Champion yourself

No one truly knows exactly what I go through or exactly how it feels to deal with my own unique form of HS. So, in those moments when I find no one else is rooting for me, I push myself not to eat philly cheesesteaks, fried chicken and chili. Championing me, patting my own self on the back and tracking my own wins have been the single most beneficial aspect of staying consistent. Progress is not made through leaps and bounds but with each small step.

  • Plan ahead

If I hadn’t planned my meals ahead of time, then I’d be forced to eat whatever I could quickly get my hands on. And that, my friend, is a recipe for disaster. Planning out whatever you plan to do in a daily, weekly, or monthly planner is just plain smart.

These steps to consistency I learned are exactly what I need to keep striving. And I know they’ll help you too.

Keep being honest,

Shanisha.