How I Achieved Health Through Diet (My Magic Pill)
HOW IT ALL STARTED
After college I climbed the corporate ladder. By age 28 I had a six-figure salary, and juggled a dual role of general manager and director of sales at a nationwide hotel chain. Within this corporate culture, I was the youngest in management and I was in the top ten for profit margin. I had a fast-paced lifestyle and diet to go along with it. I lived off fast or prepackaged foods and was lucky if I saw a green vegetable in six months. Frequently under pressure, and working 80+ hours per week, I was often sleep deprived. I drank about a pot of coffee a day to accomplish what seemed like an endless stream of demands and deadlines. I had limited time to diffuse stress, so it seemed ingenious to multi-task on a stair-stepper…while having a couple of beers to unwind. The financial rewards of my work were enticing, but eventually I had to accept that I could no longer continue with such demands on myself and my body. After taking six months off to recharge and stare at the carpet, I gravitated back into sales, where again the environment was high stakes and intense, now with straight commission and cut-throat competition. Self care was again a sacrifice. At that age, I felt invincible and far removed from the idea that there’d be repercussions for long hours, high stress, and poor diet.
At age 30, I was diagnosed with the early stages of ulcerative colitis (UC). Initially my UC flare ups had what seemed like little or no major symptoms and they would come and then go, but as the disease progressed my flare-ups grew worse. I became anemic, malnourished underweight, and I was in constant pain with intestinal cramps. Eventually, I had to resign from my job and what felt like my role as a capable, independent person. Eventually, it became difficult to even leave the house because I couldn’t be far away from the bathroom. Simple trips outside the home, like grocery shopping or taking a walk, became stress-inducing ordeals.
My condition continued to deteriorate. I remember lying in the hospital bed after yet another colonoscopy (my third in five years.) The news was bad. My entire lower colon was inflamed and littered with ulcers, and my condition was labeled as “severe.” My doctor outlined a treatment plan that included expensive medications with troubling side effects. I recall gasping in the mirror when I’d noticed random fat deposits on my face, chin and neck getting puffier from a new medication. The temporary relief of symptoms was overshadowed by this hard-to believe reality that I’d now be dependent on these drugs to just exist. Should these treatments not work future surgeries were predicted to keep my condition manageable. It was bad enough to have my own body revolting against me. It was even worse because I didn’t know what caused the problems or how to stop it.