I’ve lost track of the ‘health phases’ I’ve gone through since being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis back in 2010. I’ve tried to feel better by running, or playing different sports, or changing diets (I’ve had a couple of good shots at the SCD…). The problem is it’s easy when you’re feeling great, but as soon as you start going down hill it’s hard to summon a) the energy needed to get your body moving regularly, and b) the mental strength needed to stay focused on eating well. It’s way too easy to fall into comfort-eating mode, which makes you feel like crap, and even less likely to get back on track…it’s a vicious cycle.
While I was on prednisone I felt invincible. But at the same time, underneath it all, I was completely shattered. Prednisone is wonderful at masking what’s happening below the surface, but when it’s time to come off it you better look out – you’ll be paying for all that fast-paced activity, with interest.
In December my specialist told me he wasn’t giving me any more steroids, that was it, I’m too young for the damage they’re causing. He referred me on to a surgeon, and I’m now on a waiting list to find out about hugely life-changing surgery. I’ve heard all sorts of stories on that front, both good and bad. Personally, I’m not ready to make that call yet.
For the first time since being diagnosed I’m waking up with determination to fight back. The idea of surgery has hit me hard, and made me realise how real this all is. I have a wife and two kids, and I want to live life on my terms, with energy. I don’t want to just try a bit of running here, or a new diet there – I want to do ALL the healthy things. I want to revamp my whole LIFE. Processed and fast foods, gone, sugar, gone, fresh vegetables and whole foods, HELLO. And fitness…BRING IT.
So what’s with the martial arts? I grew up as the son of a Karate instructor, so spent the first 10 years of my life frequenting a dojo. I loved it, but when my family moved cities when I was 10 I never took it up again. 22 years later, I’m ready to start that journey anew. I feel like the focus and determination you gain by studying a martial art are attributes I need to get through this – there’s no way I’ll fight this thing without them.
I’ve enrolled in a local Taekwondo class, and I’m underway. I want to see if a total holistic, physical AND mental approach to health can help me halt the internal self-destruction my body is putting itself through.
Bring it onnnnn.