As many of you may know, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis back in 2016. It was a mental struggle to accept the news. I finally got to a place of just being “okay” but with a touch of denial. It was as I previously described, just okay, and I was VERY comfortable with those feelings. I had become stubborn to accept the fact that life was changing, and I needed to make adjustments in my life. Key indicator? My anxiety. It was BEYOND my control. I never knew when it was going to show up and never knew when it was going to settle down. It had me in bondage in my thoughts causing me to lose confidence in who I was, questioning who I am, and living in fear. I could hardly recognize the person in the mirror. Even though I didn’t feel this way all the time, I yearned for consistency within myself.

Enter Sherilynn, last summer. Sherilynn, of Re-New You, reached out to share her story with endometriosis (if you haven’t read it, you should - here) and encouraged me to join her on this journey of food combining. I was interested but very hesitant at first. Deep down, I was just not ready for change, so I pushed it to start at a more convenient time. Well, October came, and Sherilynn came knocking. Again, not ready, but for two reasons: 1. I cannot stress enough how much I wasn’t ready 2. EF and I were going to Italy in November. She kindly understood, so we settled on starting in 2019.

I held to my word, and with Eddie by my side, we started this new lifestyle. Food combining opened my eyes to what I was putting in my body. It was the first step to being kind to myself, by being kind to my body. 

Boy, it was a rough start. Day 2, I completely lost it. Tears and pure panic. How was I to sustain this lifestyle? There was no way in hell I was going to be able to “limit” myself to this way of eating and enjoy life. I could only see what was being taken away from me, just like any tragedy I had experienced in my life. This new way of eating was not only going to interrupt the convenient lifestyle I had become accustomed to, but would also make me face things I had placed in small locked compartments in the dark for no one to find.

Sherilynn and I spoke weekly about my daily food logs and life. We would discuss how my body would react with certain foods, specifically regarding digestion. While I was learning and implementing the foundation of food combining, Sherilynn was coaching me and helping me introduce new tactics to live a better balanced life. This allowed me to focus on self-awareness in order to eliminate foods and bad habits that no longer had a place in my life. Week to week, I became stronger in my dietary routine and in my body. Week to week, Sherilynn would suggest additives that were easy to pair and introduce in my routine. I found our talks becoming more about healthy routines and mental balance. I was able to connect my healthy eating to my mental capabilities and started to see small accomplishments in my everyday life! 

Through my journey, I built a relationship with Sherilynn that had made me face the elephant in the room: Anxiety. The root of my anxiety? Fear. Fear made me believe I wasn’t worthy, wasn’t valuable, and that I was a failure. How was I going to face fear, and let it know it had gotten too cozy in my space? Fear told me I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t smart enough, and I believed fear. Next step to being kind to myself: Being kind within my thoughts. 

I am worthy.

I am knowledgeable.

I am special.

I am brave.

I am uniquely me.

Talks with Sherilynn allowed me the time to open up about the different levels of my anxiety. From random flare-ups at work to panic attacks before social gatherings, I was able to allow myself to feel my anxiety and calm myself down to let it pass. This was accomplished anywhere from breathing exercises to self-care. I was able face the lies I had been repeating and replaced them with truths I knew about myself (or at least that I wanted to be true). From that moment on, I had accepted my emotional intelligence as a strength of mine and told fear to hit the road.

This journey gifted me more than just the healthy eating habits. It gifted me self-awareness, confidence, grace, and most importantly: HOPE. Some days are great, and some days are shitty. But either way, I know I can always start anew the next day. And that gives me hope. 

Sherilynn, there are not enough words to express my gratitude, so I will keep it short and simple: Thank you for bringing me closer to the light, and thank God I decided to go on this journey with you!