Enjoy this guest post from Wahls Health Practitioner, Alene Brennan from lesspharmmoretable.com
When I was first diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting MS, I remember wondering what this meant for my dream of becoming a mom.
At the time of my diagnosis, I was thirty-six years old and single, so the odds of motherhood weren’t exactly stacked in my favor from the beginning.
Now, I was adding a diagnosis of a chronic illness.
Would it impact my ability to conceive and sustain a healthy pregnancy?
Would I experience a post-partum flare?
Would I have the energy to be the active mom that I desperately wanted to be?
Given that MS is so unpredictable, nobody could truly answer those questions for me.
Yet, I was determined not to let it stand in my way of trying.
So, becoming an active mom immediately became my “why.”
Identifying my why propelled me forward to taking an active role in my healing.
It’s why I changed my diet.
It’s why I took the supplements.
It’s why I prioritized sleep.
It’s why I did ALL the things to stop MS from progressing in my body and progressing into my dream of motherhood.
Instead of getting stuck in all the “what ifs” of my diagnosis, I focused on my healing.
It gave all my efforts more meaning.
I no longer was choosing the side of veggies over the side of fries because “I have MS,” or simply because “I want to be healthy.”
I was choosing the healthier options because I want to be an active mom.
It felt very different.
Because for me, staying compliant with what I should and shouldn’t eat wasn’t the hard part. The hard part was how I felt in the process and the story I was telling myself.
So, focusing on my why took me from a mindset of deprivation to one of empowerment.
I replaced thoughts like, “everyone else can eat what they want, why can’t I?” with the thought “every bite is an opportunity to fuel my body with foods that support my healing and stop MS in its tracks” or “healing foods are my fuel to becoming an active mom.”
I’ll admit even with this focus, the process wasn’t perfect.
But as imperfect as the road was, it led me to a healthy pregnancy at 42 years old and the moment of holding my healthy baby girl in my arms.
In that moment, I was not thinking about the foods that I passed up, or the Netflix shows I skipped by going to bed early or going for a walk outside.
In that moment, I was so grateful that I chose to play an active role in my healing through diet and lifestyle because that is the fuel that led me to this dream coming true.
And it’s what will keep me moving forward in maintain these habits because let’s face it motherhood is long, exhausting and hard. Living with MS is long, exhausting and hard.
Attempting the two together… is for the resilient.
It’s for those of us who had our life and dreams interrupted by a diagnosis and said, I can still live a meaningful life.
For me, this means letting the dishes or the laundry sit so I have the energy to prepare a healthy meal for myself or take my daughter for a walk outside.
It means that I say “yes” to fewer commitments outside of the home, so my family gets the best of me.
My family is my priority.
Time with them is what makes my life meaningful.
My day needs to reflect that.
Every journey with MS is different, just as every journey in motherhood is different. Each of our journeys is unique. But while our stories are unique, we are not alone in the journey.
As we celebrate Mother’s Day this year, remember that you are standing among many fellow MS Mommas who are braving this journey too. We do our best each and every day and on the days that seems to fall flat, we get back up and begin again because we are resilient warriors.
As a little Mother’s Day gift to my fellow Wahls Warriors, enjoy these deliciously healthy Mother’s Day breakfast recipes