The title is a little misleading, I am over halfway through the initial 30 day detox stage of the autoimmune protocol diet. If I’m honest, I never thought I would get this far.
My relationship with food has always been complicated, but my willpower with diets has never been successful – I have always ended up binging when I restrict myself too much. This time though, something has been different.
Maybe it’s the support I’ve had from my family, friends and especially my boyfriend, who has been my main supporter in this diet since I first contemplated starting it. Maybe it’s been the finite preparation every week that I’ve undertaken to ensure I never get hungry and risk binging. Maybe it’s knowing that in a few months, I could be a little closer to knowing what is making my body rebel against me. Maybe it’s a combination of all of these things.
What I know for certain though, is that my body has never felt better. Not since before my diagnosis at 17 have I been able to maintain my energy levels and not a single bone ache in my body, without the help of prednisone, of course. Not that I’m without a little ache in the morning, but seriously, if that is all it is, then I could take that for the rest of my life. This freedom from pain is seriously addictive.
I know that I’m fairly lucky in the grand scheme of things, as a lot of people who undertake the autoimmune protocol diet don’t have such immediate results. I was lucky that my arthritis was caught quite early, so has yet to cause any joint damage, which can tend to affect people’s results on the AIP diet.
In all honesty, I will actually be a little nervous to start reintroducing food. Sure, the restrictive diet is a little tedious at times, and potentially finding out what foods trigger a flare up will be both fascinating and relieving. But this past month has taught me a lot about listening to your body, being mindful of how things like sleep, work and play can affect us, and a LOT about self-control! I tend to think of our lives as chapters of a book, as cliché as it sounds, it helps my mind gather itself. If the current chapter has been about mindfulness and listening, the next is all about learning and evaluating.