Hello, I’m Marcy. I’m glad you stopped by. I suppose if you clicked on that little button that reads, “about” you might be wondering who I am or what my story is. So let me tell you a little about me and how this blog came to be.
I could go all the way back to puberty when in the span of one year, I gained 30lbs, and suddenly found myself on the chubby side.
Or how after high school, I slowly began gaining weight. Every year. 150 . . . 170 . . . 190 . . . 215 . . . 240 . . . until one day I woke up in my 40s and weighed in at 295lbs.
I could also tell you about all of the diets I’ve been on — Weight Watchers should give me a lifetime membership just for the fact that I’ve joined no less than 20 times.
I’ve lost (and gained back) hundreds of pounds over the years. I’ve had periods of intense and regular exercise, and periods of none. I’ve eaten well, and not so well.
Overall, I’m seemingly not that unhealthy. If you looked at my blood work, you’d never know. Blood sugar is good, cholesterol is good. Even my blood pressure is normal. But if you saw me when I first wake up in the morning, or when a rainy cold snap hovers outside, you’d know the truth. I am far from healthy. I am in pain. Real, physical pain. And the fatigue is often worse. Overwhelming really.
I’ve suffered from chronic pain for years. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about 16 years ago. But over the years, what began us muscle pain and fatigue became joint pain, anemia, IBS, asthma, and migraines. The fatigue has worsened as well, to the point that there are many days I can barely get out of bed.
About 6 years ago, the Lupus diagnosis came, along with some prescriptions for steroids, Plaquenil, and anti-inflammatory meds. I took them faithfully for 6 months with little improvement in my symptoms. Then something really difficult happened — in a 2-month span of time, I had 2 episodes of bronchitis (causing asthma attacks), strep throat, and shingles. I think in that 60-day period, I had maybe 5 days when I was not sick.
My rheumatologist, lovely as she is, insisted that the immune system suppression from the meds I was on was not enough to cause this. But what else could it be? I immediately began the process of weaning myself off of all medication, and began researching what I needed to change to help improve my symptoms in a more natural way.
A couple of months later, I tried going vegan. Over the next few months, I was able to lose 30 lbs, on top of the 20 I lost while I was sick. But I didn’t feel well. I don’t think I was a good vegan. Did you know you can still eat a pretty unhealthy diet and be vegan? That Oreos are vegan? Yeah, me either.
I remember the day I broke my vegan ways. I was at McAlister’s with a friend and was about to order my favorite Greek chicken salad (with the cheese and chicken on the side for my son to eat), when I suddenly had such a craving for that chicken. I couldn’t resist the urge to add it to the salad this time. I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. Once I ate that chicken (and the feta, too), my vegan days were over. It was ok, I had not realized much improvement in my symptoms anyway.
I gained back all but 20 of those 50lbs in the next year as I spent some time wallowing in self-pity and denial about my health (or lack thereof), knowing that I needed to make changes in my diet for healing. If vegan hadn’t helped, what would? Plus, it’s very difficult to maintain your weight when you’re spending so much time in the bed or on the couch. Exercising had become a pipe dream.
Then a few months later, I began thinking about it again. Changing my diet, I mean.
I’m not sure where I first heard about juicing as a way to heal the body of autoimmune diseases. But I did read several articles and grabbed a few free Kindle books to read more. I became convinced enough that this is what I should do, that I requested (and received) a juicer for Christmas. It sat in the box for over a year until I watched the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, the story of a man with a different auto-immune disease who had put his disease into remission with juice fasting.
I attempted and nearly completed a 40-day juice fast soon after that. And let me tell you, it was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. But the results were no less than amazing. When I finished that fast, I felt better than I had in years. My pain was all but gone and there was a new, more energetic spring in my step. And it lasted for many months. Unfortunately, I did not continue in a clean eating lifestyle after that fast and eventually, the 30lbs I lost and most of the pain and fatigue returned.
It’s been several years since that juice fast. I have attempted to do it again many times, but I just have not been able to. I’ve been there. I know how hard it is. And I just can’t.
But I’m so tired of being fatigued and in pain. It has warn out not just my physical well-being, but my emotional and spiritual well-being as well. I was recently sharing with my 16-year-old son my desires for his life — to be able, willing, prepared, and equipped for whatever God’s plan is for his life. Funny how I had grown so complacent in my self-pity that I forgot about the need to be able, willing, prepared, and equipped for whatever God’s plan is for mine. I’m pretty sure this is not it.
So close to a year ago, I once again hit rock-bottom. I began crying out to God to heal my body.
It was then, for the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, that I tried my first Whole30 Challenge — a 30-day program of eliminating grains, dairy, sugar, sweeteners, legumes, and more (the closest thing I can imagine to a juice fast that is not vegan and allows me to eat). It felt good to finish those 30 days, but I skipped the reintroduction part and just began eating normally again. Within a couple of months, I was having daily migraines (those lasted for nearly 3 months). I knew that I needed to do the Whole30 Challenge again, and this time do it right. So in March, I began again — another 30 day challenge, followed by the re-introduction of a few foods (grass-fed butter, raw honey, feta and goat cheese). In July, I began working out regularly for the first time in 12 years. By August I lost 40lbs and was realizing some of the same benefits of juice fasting — a decrease in pain and increase in energy.
I feel strongly that this is exactly what I need to keep doing to heal my body and control my pain. The past couple of months have been more challenging with a lot of travel and, once again, a lack of commitment to stay the course diet-wise (the story of my life really). But I just finished a 3-day water fast (that I may extend to 7 days), in an effort to detox and reset. I have gained 5 lbs back over the past 2 months, and some of my symptoms are starting to rear their ugly heads again (migraines, in particular), but I’m sure those will be gone again soon, and I will resume my mostly Paleo lifestyle immediately after the fast is complete.
I am excited to reclaim my health, but I know that I won’t do it perfectly. History shows that to be true. That’s why I started this blog. I want a place to share what I’m doing, how I’m feeling, and the results of this change in lifestyle. I want to encourage others on their own journey to healing and to share what I’m learning on mine. I want to be held accountable. And I want to hold you accountable, too.
On this blog, I will share transparently. It won’t always be pretty, but it will be real. There may even be more pictures (and I will be fully dressed in all them — the 20-somethings can share the before and after shots in underwear; no one needs to see this 50-something body that closely).
There for sure will be struggles, triumphs, hopes . . . and recipes. And essential oils. Did I mention that I’m also training to become a certified aromatherapist? I’ll have to tell you more about that later. But no worries — I won’t be asking you to join Young Living or doTERRA (I don’t actually use oils from either company).
I hope you will find something inspiring in my journey. I hope that you will share your own journey with me. I want to build a community of women who are “clothed with strength and dignity” and “laugh without fear of the future” (Proverbs 31:26).
I hope you will come along.