The case for weighing yourself every day.

weighI weigh myself most mornings to better understand when my body is responding to something with inflammation, or when my body is responding well to something I’ve added to my routine.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I was only able to start doing this in a mentally healthy way AFTER I identified that my body was having massive issues with inflammation as a result of food I have an autoimmune response to but didn’t know. When I first went to a gastroenterologist to try to explain that this is what I thought was going on he said, “No, you’re just fat.” Continue reading “The case for weighing yourself every day.”

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The worst nutrition advice I’ve ever heard?

lala2The most bullshit piece of advice I’ve ever gotten around nutrition was “it’s just a simple matter of calories in, calories out!” It was my OBGYN in 2012, and I had gained about 15 lbs while on the Depo-Provera birth control shot.

Knowing less than I do now about what affects my body, I took what she said and went with it. I started eating 1500 calories a day – STRICTLY – and really upping the intensity of my workouts. And I gained 10 more lbs.

I’ve since learned that a bajillion things affect my weight, and the large majority of them are not a “simple” calories in, calories out. Stress and hormones are two really big things, as is the quality of food we eat – 1500 calories worth of packaged, “low-fat, low-calorie!” food will kill you, promise. But perhaps the most significant and hardest to fix? Alignment.

I’m gonna get a bit woo-woo here, bear with me. Continue reading “The worst nutrition advice I’ve ever heard?”

Crave junk food every night?

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“How do I want to feel?” VS. “What do I have a craving for?”

I was craving McDonald’s all evening yesterday. I wanted a cheeseburger, chicken nuggets with honey mustard, an apple pie, and a chocolate sundae. For 4 hours straight.

The ONLY thing that kept me from walking the ONE block from my house to Micky D’s was reminding myself how I was going to feel afterward – bloated, dragging for a few days, feeling foggy and lethargic, probably with a headache and – if I gave into french fries, which, let’s be real I was going to give into french fries – with a hell of a lot of joint pain (I can’t do most nightshades without a fast train to pain city).

Sometimes I don’t feel all of those things at once or with the same intensity, but I certainly always feel not-quite-right for a few days after fast food. Continue reading “Crave junk food every night?”

What it was like for a white woman to watch Black Panther.

In case you missed it, a movie called Black Panther came out last week and it is uh… kind of a big deal.

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I saw the movie in New York on opening night, surrounded by excited fellow movie-goers adorned in kente cloth and other African prints. So what was it like for me, as a white woman, watching Black Panther?

Continue reading “What it was like for a white woman to watch Black Panther.”

Yaz birth control made me suicidal.

In May, I started taking a new birth control pill – the generic of Yaz. I talked about why I started taking birth control again after a three-year hiatus here.

Hindsight is everything. But at the time, I hadn’t linked two really crucial happenings in my life –

1) Starting to take Yaz birth control pills.
2) The start of the worst anxiety spiral I’ve ever experienced, eventually leading to multiple daily panic attacks and suicidal thoughts.

My Experience with Yaz

I had been a bit worn out and experiencing some chronic pain flares in May but was also coming off birthday month – for the entire month of April I celebrated the big 3-0 – so I hadn’t thought much of it. I was tired, but I still felt like myself and was able to process my emotions in a way that was normal for me – calm, balanced, able to maintain perspective, and able to remove myself from situations if I felt like I needed to take a break.

By late June/early July, I started to feel off. However, because it was a continuation of the fatigue I felt in May, it didn’t feel different ENOUGH to raise my alarms. I thought it was a continuation of *me* rather than anything different being introduced. Continue reading “Yaz birth control made me suicidal.”

My 2018 word is __________.

Every year since 2010 I’ve forgone new year’s resolutions – since they never stick anyway – and have instead chosen words to guide me.

From healthcare (2010), wellness (2013), and realignment (2014) to relationships (2012), growth (2015), and purpose (2016), each time I’ve set an intention for my year the universe answered.

By the end of each year I could clearly say, “yup, that word definitely guided me,” but – whether it is because I’m hardheaded or it’s just the way lessons are taught – these intentions also cracked me upside the head with hard-fought wisdom.

The year I set healthcare as my intention, I ended up being without healthcare (while living with type 1 diabetes) until October 1st. It made me deeply appreciate access to healthcare and become a lifelong advocate for healthcare as a human right. Continue reading “My 2018 word is __________.”

Why I’m not talking about being sick anymore.

A few days before my first book published, I found myself suicidal for the first time in my life. I’ve had rough times before, but I never before knew what it felt like to truly want to give up until that moment. That moment terrified me.

In a few years, I know that I will look back on that early morning – standing in the shower with my hand on my heart, shuddering in sobs until my back muscles ached, trying to tell myself that I was okay – and see it as one of the times when I got knocked down but got back up again. Per my own book, it’s what I’m in the practice of doing – getting knocked down. Getting back up again.

But that morning, I was just knocked down. Exhausted. Feeling broken. Continue reading “Why I’m not talking about being sick anymore.”

Four ways to love a messed up body.

Here’s the backstory; the four ways – how is a bit below. My body is constantly killing pieces of itself off. When I was ten, my immune system attacked my pancreas and killed off the beta cells that create insulin, the hormone vital to breaking down the food you eat into fuel for your body.

In my twenties, it decided to start treating the food I ate as foreign invaders, everything I ingested setting off the immune system response squad and leaving me in joint pain and nausea spirals.

At thirty, it’s developed a weird need to constantly break down my muscle fibers like an Olympic weightlifter and, no matter how much I try to coax it that we are not, in fact, aiming for any gold medal, my body seems to think that it needs to act like it’s training for the podium in our sleep. My shoulders are in a cycle of freezing, draining the fluid that allows me to reach and bend to the point that my joints lock up, then – months later – magically deciding we’re done with that and granting me motion again.

The cycle is frustrating but throughout it, I have to give my body credit. For all it messes up, it is trying REALLY hard to protect me. Like the guard dog who has lost all semblance of cool at the mean, scary leaf that just drifted into its yard, my body seems to have no idea that it’s in major overkill mode. Its intentions are good; it’s just supremely bad at its job.

In my early twenties, all of this overzealousness led to almost 60 pounds of weight gain. Continue reading “Four ways to love a messed up body.”

Sick doesn’t equal weak.

 

It’s been really interesting to watch how some people react to the idea of being sick, particularly when it comes to mental and chronic health issues. Having a body that doesn’t quite work the way everyone else’s does isn’t weak. It’s the most normal damn thing there is.

No one’s body works the same as anyone else’s. Some of our quirks are a little more pronounced than other’s, sure. But the same way someone has freckles, my pancreas doesn’t produce insulin. The same way someone has a thumb that bends all weird (you know what I’m talking about), my brain doesn’t produce enough serotonin.

It doesn’t make me weak. It makes me human.

It doesn’t make YOU weak. It makes you strong as fuck. Continue reading “Sick doesn’t equal weak.”

Get to know me ❤

With the recent publication of my book – Beyond Powerful: Your Chronic Illness is Not Your Kryptonite – I recognize that a lot of you are new visitors to LalaJackson.com so I wanted to give you a little intro into who I am!

You can also learn more about what I write (and love to talk about) here. Drop me a note to lala@lalajackson.com if you’d like to say hello or have an idea for how we can collaborate on something together!