John used SCD and stress reduction to get control of his Crohn’s and lost 35lbs over about 6 months. I have a profound respect for those willing to step up and share their health stories publicly… and even more so for those who brave the world sharing photos like John’s above.
We love highlighting those who are taking control of their digestive problems, whether they use our materials are irrelevant. What is relevant is that the people on our blog are fighters whose path was cloudy, tough and sometimes hopeless.
For those who are currently feeling that way, I hope John’s story inspires you to keep going, keep fighting because that’s what it takes. Here’s John’s story:
Hi, My name is John Freeman and it has been an exciting journey.
I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease a few years back. I remember how hopeless I had felt when the doctor came in with the results of the colonoscopy. He started me out on Asacol and I felt better for a while, but then the diarrhea and bleeding came back eventually. It was a pretty depressing time for me.
A few years later, I went to my doctor because the Asacol wasn’t doing the trick any more. I was flaring badly and wanted relief. He prescribed me prednisone. I read up on this drug and it scared me. It used to be used in only the direst situations and now they give it out like candy.
This made me really think about the root cause of my condition. What got me here? I tried to reason with my doctor about how my diet and my stress levels had to do with this condition, but he politely blew me off. I read A LOT about Crohn’s and came to the conclusion that I would attack this from two fronts, diet and stress management. I wasn’t ashamed to ask my church to pray for me because I was going to turn down the meds and do this naturally. So I jumped in.
The SCD Diet Changes
I tried a few diets related to my condition but the one that fit best was SCD Lifestyle. I went ahead and bought every book they offered and promised myself I would follow it to the “T.” Well, I was out of my flair in two weeks. Back to lifting weights in three. Within two months, I was feeling “normal” again.
What I have learned is we are all different. I have foods on the approved list that bite me back. People say my diet is boring but I will take not eating pizza or spaghetti for not sitting on the toilet all day… any day of the week. I love a diet that doesn’t tell me how much I can eat; it only limits what I can eat. I can eat virtually any meat, any fish, most vegetables and fruits. I truly love this diet.
I have had a few flares, but they always can be traced back to me testing the limits of the diet or letting stress rule the day. When I stay on the diet, with foods I know are safe I sail. But who doesn’t crave popcorn at the movies? Or pumpkin pie at Christmas? It’s tough, but well worth it!
My Relationship with Stress
Stress is a killer. Every time I am in a stressful situation for an extended period of time, I can almost guarantee a flare. In stressful situations, I can almost hear my stomach churning. As a matter of fact, when I took my job way too seriously, I made an error on a design. After almost completing the project, the client made me aware of this mistake. I distinctly remember my gut wrenching physical response to this. THAT is the day I can trace back to Crohn’s revealing itself. Probably not when I “got” it but a stupid kitchen design mistake brought it out.
Since then, I have implemented a few measures in my business. For example, my business phone goes to voicemail @5PM and on weekends. The positive impact of not taking calls after hours outweighed any advantage of taking the call. I didn’t realize how unprofessional I was being by taking calls in the evening. The most important step I took was understanding that most of the stuff I worried about wasn’t really that important in the grand scheme of things. I prioritize more, and I don’t volunteer for everything anymore and I spend a lot more quality time with my family.
I also have learned to be very direct. Sometimes this comes across as being mean but I don’t mean it that way. If possible, I try not to harbor any resentment if possible. If it’s worth saying, I say it, and if it’s not, I try to forget. Most important of all, I have learned to place my trust in God.
The stress part gets easier. I just give all my cares and worries over to God. I try not to let things bug me. When I have a major project, I employ the brightest people I can to get the job done.
What’s the #1 piece of advice you’d give someone who’s beginning SCD?
Follow it strictly for the first few months. I have pulled out of flares in days because of this diet. Remember that food is fuel and not pleasure. Remember that the wrong food makes me sick for weeks. Whole Foods has made my diet fun. Yes, it costs a gazillion dollars to shop there but I take the kids and we have a blast. The sashimi is great, as is all the food there.
So, here I am today, 35 pounds lighter! Burning clean fuel and still chugging along by the grace of God.
Thanks SCD Lifestyles!
[You can get a copy of the book that John used right here -> SCD lifestyle eBook]