Living With Colitis

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If someone had asked me 4 years ago what ulcerative colitis was, I would look at them like they just spoke a different language to me.  I would have had no idea what they were even saying, let alone what it was.

Living with Ulcerative Colitis - Chits and Giggles Blog

4 years ago, I met Jeremy and my life completely changed.  One day,  early on in our relationship, he mentioned that he had colitis.  I probably gave him a weird look but I wanted to know more about it.  It sounded kind of serious, so lay it on me buddy!  Basically colitis is a inflammation in the large intestine.  It’s in the same family of issues that irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease are in.  The difference is where in the large intestine the inflammation is.  Crohn’s disease is the most severe form, and usually ulcerative colitis will become Crohn’s disease as you get older.

Ulcerative colitis is maintained by drugs, but flare ups can occur.  Jeremy was telling me that a flare up (a bad one) is a similar sensation to cramps during our periods.  Lovely, right?  I can’t imagine a guy going through cramps when they are really bad, so I feel for him when he has a flare up.

So, why am I blogging about this?  Well, Jeremy is currently in a flare up and we are taking some huge strides to get him back in check.  Part of that is our diet.  During a flare up it is recommended that you not eat certain things like:

  • Fiber in the forms of beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and popcorn.  This can produce excess gas.
  • Fruits and veggies.  Only eat fruits that are melons or bananas.  And veggies need to be cooked thoroughly…no salads.
  • Spices, fats, and sweets.  Just avoid at all costs.
  • Fluids that aren’t water.

We are working on getting into the habit of eating better (week 2 of meal planning went well on Sunday.  All meals cooked).  But, one of our favorite things to eat is that Turkey Chili I made last week.  Well, that is out since it contains tons of beans.  Finding meals that don’t have beans or legumes that I can prep ahead of time was a bit of a challenge this week.

Even though it’s a little more challenging, I am committed to getting Jeremy to feel better and get out of his flare up.  We both know that eating fast food all the time not only made us miserable, but isn’t good for his health.  I know that he is miserable and wanting to change things when he sits on the couch, with football on, not paying attention to the TV.  He is focused on his phone, researching ways to change his diet to help with the bloated feeling he has.

It’s not going to change over night, but we are both committed to getting him healthy again and in a happy place.

If anyone has recipes that I could cook ahead of time that don’t include beans or legumes, let me know!


 

I want to introduce you guys to Recbecca.  This lady blogs over at Renovating Rebecca and she is fabulous.  She is a member of the Small Blog Mentor Program, and I am so happy that I had the opportunity to get to know her and help grow her blog.

Renovating Rebecca

 

Her photography tutorials are to die for.  They have honestly helped save some of my own pictures from ruin.  She has a way of explaining how to use a camera that just makes so much sense.  Photography tutorials usually bore me, but hers are amazing, full of examples and easy to follow instructions.

Rebecca is also a newlywed and her wedding was pretty fabulous.  There were chickens, and goats and her dog Finnegan (his name just speaks about his cuteness).  Her and her husband actually had a photoshoot with their dog.  I mean, how cute is that?

Renovating Rebecca

As if all of this isn’t reason enough to follow her, you need to check out her travel page.  Holy moly, she has traveled all around the world and I want to go to all of these places.  Her honeymoon alone is one that I envy.  She went to Greece and Italy.  What I would give to travel to both of these places.

Go check her out because she is awesome, and worth it!

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It’s Time To Lean In, Vol. 1

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A little over a month ago, I mentioned that I was reading Lean In.  Shortly after that post, I finished the book.  It was fabulous, in my opinion.  Since I haven’t done a book review in a really long time, I figured why not today?

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg - Women, work, and the will to lead

What I liked most about Lean In was that Sheryl shared stories.  They were either personal stories or stories from peers that really drilled things home for me.  I also think I was able to relate so much to this book, because I am a woman in a large company and have found it challenging to mo up.

One of the chapters that “spoke” to me was about your career advancement.  She mentions that your career doesn’t have to follow a ladder path.  It could look something like a jungle gym, where you take lateral moves to help you learn the skills you need for a step up move.  I have made a few lateral moves in my career (sometimes because I wanted to and sometimes because it was mandatory).  I always felt that lateral moves weren’t the best, because you weren’t moving up and you weren’t getting a pay raise.

News flash to self — pay raises don’t mean much.  I mean, they do.  But that doesn’t define you as an employee or that you are successful.  Sometimes you need a lateral move to help you learn new skills or capabilities to take that next step up.  I have heard that lateral moves aren’t a bad thing from co-workers.  But I think reading it solidified that for me.  It’s OK to take a new job that is the same pay scale that you are currently in.  As long as you will be learning something new and developing your skills, it shouldn’t matter.

There is a section in Lean In dedicated to mentors.  This is something I struggle with at work.  Not that I can’t find someone to talk to, but that I can’t find someone to stick with and who really gets what I am hoping to accomplish.  Part of that could be because, for a long time, I didn’t know what I wanted.  I had no clear direction of how my career would go (when you work in a large company, it’s hard to know what is even out there that you might be interested in).  I still wouldn’t say I have a clear direction, but I do think I have focused my attention on 2 types of jobs I want in the future.

A mentor is so much more than “Hey…will you be my mentor?”  It’s a relationship and most of the time a work friendship that develops.  It’s so much more on the mentee than the mentor to set up time to meet.  As much as I knew that before I read Lean In, I now know it even more.  Sheryl has a way of explaining things that just make sense.

I want to make this a monthly series, because Lean In has so much wonderful chapters that I can’t possibly review them all in one post.  That would be torture for you.  Check back next month for Vol. 2

The Weight Issue, Vol. 2

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About a month ago, I mentioned that I had started Weight Watchers.  Well, that hasn’t exactly happened yet — surprise, surprise — and I want to tell you why.

The Weight Issue vol. 2 - Chits and Giggles Blog

Even though I am not doing Weight Watchers currently, doesn’t mean that all the goals I set out to achieve in vol. 1 of this series didn’t happen.  Some did.  I have been cooking, and doing more meal planning.  This has helped us (so far – we are 3 days in) to feeling better and happier than we were before.

We are happily married, but it was taking a tole on us to be eating fast food every night.  And I do mean every night.  It’s not perfect right now and I’m not necessarily dieting, but I am much more conscious of what I am putting into my body.  Eating veggies makes my body REALLY happy, and so I am listening to that with a vengeance.

When I say meal planning, I’m not just meaning planning the meal and buying the groceries.  That’s all wonderful and good, but if you aren’t actually cooking the food you are buying, then what’s the point.  There were weeks that we wouldn’t go to the store to buy food.  Weeks!  To say that we started to get disgusted with ourselves is an understatement.  With planning our meals and cooking all the meals in one day has really helped to take that stress off of both of us and helped to bring us back to where, I think, we need to be.

One thing that I haven’t done at all since vol. 1 is work out.  It’s getting cooler outside here in Georgia, so we will start going for walks together and just doing activities together.  I think working out can be an activity that we can both do together, so no one feels left out.  I also found out that my gym at work (that I still haven’t joined) will be closing for renovations and will probably be closed for a year.  Our entire compound of a work campus (it really looks similar to a compound) is undergoing renovations…a few floors at a time.  There are 5 buildings on our work campus, so it will take time for our entire compound to be renovated.  And I’m glad they are going to get the gym done early on.  That way, people will feel more inclined to work out (maybe myself included?) and better ourselves.

Goals for this month:
  • Keep going to the farmers market and cooking the food on Sunday.
  • Have a cheat night (like last night) to break up the dinner options right now.
  • Communicate with Jeremy so that he knows what is going on and what we are eating for dinners.
  • Hold yourself accountable.
  • Maybe start yoga?  Anyone have any good videos or tips to starting yoga (I haven’t taken a class in probably 4 years).
What are your weight loss goals this month?