Each Wednesday, I am sharing something that's inspirational. Because I'm an undisciplined sort, I have decided it can be anything and anyone. So if you fancy a guest spot on the blog or have a suggestion to make, comment below or message me, ping me on social media etc. I hope ping is an acceptable and cool word, but you get the idea!
So this week I am inspired by wellness. That is sensible wellness. Like so many of you might have done, I've pursed some crazy things in my time in the name of trying to conceive. Feet up the wall, cutting out food groups and mad diets. I've also struggled with eating. I have a mild disability called dyspraxia and honestly, it's mild. If you go Google it, you may think I'm sitting here in my pjs forever writing whilst being unwashed. I can assure you, I'm freshly pressed and ironed, capable of many things that others may struggle with. In short it's a broad term that covers many and we're all very different.
Nevertheless dyspraxia means I'm odd about some food and it got a bit mad in my teens. If you have the opportunity to ever meet my parents, they will regale you with the story of steamed pudding and how I could never eat the sponge on the bottom. Or runner beans and most meat. It can go on. It manifested itself into bulimia during my twenties.
Diets are either non-existent or full on madness of shakes and starvation. Prior to IVF, my thyroid went even madder than it already was - I am underactive - and since ending treatment, it's seriously misbehaving. Worse than Molly when a squirrel dares to enter our garden.
It all just felt out of control but despite dropping weight on Slimming World, I just didn't like the food. I do not like sweeteners, rarely go to a supermarket and try to be as organic, but cost effective, as I can be. But it's overwhelming trying to work it all out.
Balance gives me problems with exercise. I do cycle (thank goodness, it is necessary in Cambridge) and love kettle bells, but put me into a class and I really cannot do the moves. I've rarely heard of any personal trainer who can deal with this in a good way and I wasn't prepared to be the test pilot. If anything that defines me as much as infertility on a daily basis, so how I feel matters a lot. So that means no boot camp.
I downloaded a book by Bee Wilson, This is Not a Diet Book, about a year ago and it sat in the kindle app on on iPad unread. I wished I hadn't neglected it because it's rather amazing. It genuinely is not a diet book but actually gentle guidelines and tips to help navigate wellness by an author who knows her stuff and speaks as if she knows how you feel too. It's delivered in a sensible way without a focus on fads. One of my pet hates is shiny youngsters without any nutritional training coercing society to believe in the power of detox, did I mention I also like the Angry Chef?
I came out of 6 brutal rounds of IVF treatment thinking I should avoid food groups and OMG, that gluten is going to make me ill. As Bee points out, it's usually the bread loaded with crap that makes you ill. She suggests a month without sandwiches for example, not to be gluten free, but to adjust our taste buds and get excited about lunch. Following this advice actually makes eating ten veg and fruit a day so more achievable too.
The approach also gives a refreshing change to the concept of 'diet' as a term used to punish ourselves. Instead, it's about adopting an approach for life that promotes care, and caring ourselves is a good thing. One thing I should add is that Bee is a mother so she does talk about her family and there is a chapter on children but actually I found it very applicable to fussy adults too!
You can follow Bee on Twitter @KitchenBee.