It's true that I have chronic pain that limits what activities I can do.  However, this morning I woke up thinking about how I've let those limits not just "limit" me, but STOP me from doing things I want/need to be doing.  More specifically, exercise.  The funny/ironic thing about this is that with arthritis, the less active you are, the more pain you feel because your joints don't stay warm and loose.    But but but I have no time!  I have no energy!  Tax season has sucked the life out of me!  I am BARELY surviving each day with working and taking care of the kids and what little housework I can keep up with.  The other major annoying limit is that my pain is the worst in the morning -- which in the past, was my favorite time to exercise.  And now I can't.  Well, at least that's what I've been telling myself.  But this morning, as I hobbled to the bathroom for my morning pee, I said to myself, I'm SICK of being limited!  So, it's time for me to adjust my state of mind.  I have to just accept that morning workouts just aren't going to happen for me...until my body is feeling better.  So I am making a goal to try to do SOMETHING - a short walk, yoga video (if my wrists are OK), bike ride...SOMETHING!  AT least 3 times a week.  I know I can squeeze in 3 things.  Eventually I truly hope to be running again...but my dang feet hurt too much I can't even imagine trying to run right now!  Super annoying and frustrating -- but I need to stop looking at these problems as limits, and instead treat them as obstacles that I can work around and readjust.  

On a happier note, guess what???  4.5 weeks ago when I started the BX, my initial weigh-in was 256.2lbs.  (SCARY!)  Today, my weigh-in is 239.0lbs.  Still high, (in fact it's how much I weighed the day I gave birth to Drew!) but a MAJOR improvement.  Proof that what you eat matters!  I've been sugar-free and vegan this whole time -- and not gluten free, but very very limited gluten.  On saturday I will have reached my 5 week mark, and can slowly start adding very limited amounts of meat back into my diet, as well, as butter and cottage cheese -- but that's it for dairy.  I'm not gonna lie, I've been craving red meat!  So I hope I get a big fat steak for my birthday!  Its not the same as a piece of cheesecake, but it sounds pretty darn good right about now!  Ha ha.  

So, I'm excited to see if my weightloss continues...I can't imagine that it won't, because I have to eat like this until next March.  It's not easy, but I know I can do it.  

Beyond weightloss, and hopefully RA symptoms in remission, the thing I look forward to most is hopefully having another baby.  I never thought I'd be trying to get pregnant at age 40 (next year), and I feel a little crazy about it, but I feel like it's supposed to happen.  

Also, still no noticeable reactions to the BX yet -- so not sure how my body will feel when/if it starts working.  Fingers crossed it isn't too bad.  If you're curious about what I'm talking about, here's a good explanation of what I will probably experience when the bad cells start dying off:

Happy Hump Day!


1 week in...

Well, I have made it one week into this new lifestyle!

Guess what?  I am surprised and happy to report that I have lost 9 pounds!  Now, this isn't atypical for me, because based on past experiences when my system is shocked and I drastically change my eating habits, I quickly lose 10 or so pounds in the first 2 weeks.  Then it tapers off to about 1-2 lbs per week.  So...I guess I'm on par...  But happy about it nonetheless!

I felt very weak on day 3 of the juice cleanse - partly because i was extremely busy that day and had hardly any time to make myself a juice, but also because I endured a massive root canal, and that was draining in itself.  So, by the evening of day 4 of my pre-cleanse (juice cleanse was days 2,3,4) I was ready to collapse.  Then I began my distilled water fast, which was supposed to be a 10 hour fast, but turned into a 20 hour fast because I was awaiting dosing instructions from my case manager.  I was hoping to hear from him when I woke up, but nothing...then I had to go to work and so I wasn't able to get online until 1:15pm -- and I'd been fasting since 5:30pm the night before.  Needless to say I was a little shaky and blood sugar was low -- I needed food!  I was happy to see that I had dosing instructions when I came home from work, so I administered my first dose of the BX energy catalyst and then had to wait 30 minutes more before I could eat anything.

When I was finally able to eat -- and I was back to SOLID foods -- I could hardly eat because my tooth and jaw were so sore from the root canal the day before!  :(  It took me almost 40 minutes to eat an english muffin (Ezekiel sprouted grain!) with cashew butter and a small banana, with a small glass of almond milk.  But, it felt good to get some food in me, and thankfully my tooth/jaw have improved every day since, making eating a bit easier on me.

This weekend I plan to gather a larger variety of foods, and hopefully do some meal prep for myself.  It's not easy #1, trying to figure out what I CAN eat & #2, preparing food for the rest of the family, and then for myself.  So, if I do some prep ahead of time, I will be much happier!

One more month of tax season and then life will get easier.  I don't like working every day -- it leaves me very little time to take care of what needs to be done at home, and then when I am home and have a few minutes, all I want to do is collapse on my bed!  I don't think Brad has a clue how draining this is for me.  But I don't want to complain because I know it's hard on him too.

Just for my records here is what a typical day is like for me:

5:45am - Wake-up (I move very slowly in the morning so it usually takes me about 20-30 minutes to get going)
6:15am - make sure kids are up and getting ready for school; help with breakfasts, make Aleks's lunch, help him get his backpack ready, etc...
7:15/7:30 - scriptures and prayers
7:45am - get kids to school
8:00am - administer the BX, record vitals (Blood pressure, temperature, PH, weight, O2, etc), record previous day's symptoms, read and respond to any messages on BX website
8:30am - get in the shower to get ready for work
8:50am - grab something to eat
9:00am - 1:00pm -- WORK
1:15pm - eat lunch
1:30pm - pick up Aleks from school
2:15pm - pick up Drew from school
2:30 - help with homework, take to piano lessons or sports practices or cub scouts, etc
5:30/6:30 - make dinner
7:30pm - start getting Aleks and Drew ready for bed & tucked in
8:30-9pm - make sure Jakob and Josh are getting ready for bed, say good-night
9pm - Brad is usually home around this time
9:30/10pm - collapse into bed.  try to catch up on a TV show, fall asleep.

** This of course doesn't include all the many errands I have to run - to the grocery store, post office, doctors appointments, etc.

** also, somewhere in all this I have to fit in tidying up the house and keeping up with laundry.

JUST SHOOT ME NOW!  just kidding.  It's a busy life, but a happy life.  I am not all doom and gloom, I am aware of how blessed we are, and am constantly trying to maintain a grateful heart.  I know that gratitude can help me get through these tough times.

xoxo, Shari


Pre-Cleanse Days 1 & 2

I have officially begun my journey into the BX world...

The way this protocol works is that you first have to complete a 5 day "pre-cleanse" in which you begin adhering to the BX Diet, do a 3 day juice cleanse (smoothies are OK too), and then on the evening of the 4th day, begin a distilled water fast for 10 hours before administering the first dose of the BX energy catalyst on the morning of day 5.  Oh yeah, and you also have to do intestinal cleansing every day too.  I promise not to go into detail about that part.  EW.  Just EW.  This is what I think of every time I hear the word enema: https://youtu.be/jKofnVkUwBA

Anyway...yesterday was hard.  I wasn't prepared and we didn't have much in the house that fell within the parameters of the BX diet.  So, I was HANGRY and just generally pissed at my situation and unfortunately was very moody and not too nice to my family.  BUT, I went shopping last night, and got enough to get me through my 3 day juice cleanse, and that reduced a lot of my stress.

Just as in times past where I've tried to change my eating habits, it's very MENTAL, and I understand this, but it's also EMOTIONAL.  Here are a few reasons why I'm lamenting the loss of sugar and hundreds of other foods from my life...

Food has so many meanings!

It means FAMILY!


It means TREATS!

It means HOLIDAYS!

It means COMFORT!


I kept focusing on LOSING those things...but in reality, I'm not losing any of those things!  They might be altered because I will have to modify the foods -- but I will still get to participate in all of those things, and I know I can still find joy!

Today I woke up feeling more optimistic than I was yesterday...I know it's only day 2, but taking it one day at a time, like everything else in my life, is what keeps me sane.  I know that positive thoughts will become positive words and actions, and so I am trying to see the positives in this situation.  There are many!

1.  I know I will feel better
2.  I will most likely lose weight
3.  There are still a ton of foods on my approved list that I LOVE
4.  This process will help me get healthy so that I can hopefully have another baby
5.  I will learn how to eat healthier and incorporate that into how my family eats, resulting in everyone getting healthier

I also know that there will be many hard days ahead, and that as my body heals and the bad cells die off, I will feel like crap.  BUT IT WILL BE WORTH IT.

So, I thought I'd share 2 recipes from what i've eaten today:

Purple Cow

1/2 head of red cabbage, cut into wedges
2 kale leaves
1 red bell pepper, quartered
2 red apples, cut into wedges

Juice the cabbage first, followed by the kale, pepper, and apples.

(This recipe was taken from "The Complete Book of Juicing" by Michael T. Murray)

For lunch I wanted something sweeter -- so I made up a smoothie:

1 cup coconut water
1 medium banana
6 large strawberries, hulled
1/2 cup blueberries
2 kiwi fruit, peeled
1 small avocado
1 cup ice

Blend until smooth and enjoy!


dragging my feet and excuses, excuses

The initial shock/anxiety about the complete diet overhaul for this new protocol I'm going to do has worn off, yet I'm still dragging my feet.

I'm still avoiding making the necessary preparations.

I'm still making excuses.

I keep telling myself, THIS WEEK!  I'll start THIS WEEK!

But, 3 weeks have flown by.

Then I say to myself, but Valentine's day is coming up!  How can I enjoy Valentine's day without being able to eat any chocolate???  (Seriously?  I have a real problem)

I love Orange Juice, and LEMONS, and LIMES!  No citrus for a year?  What??

My family loves going to movies -- how can I NOT have movie popcorn at the theater??  (unheard of, RIGHT? ha ha ha)

I love going to Disneyland -- what can I eat at Disneyland?  NOTHING.  UGH. So that means I have to pretty much pack any food or snacks I want EVERY SINGLE TIME I GO SOMEWHERE.

Oh, and I can only drink distilled water.  WHAT??  I have to go to the store to buy water.  Every time I take a pill, or brush my teeth, I have to use distilled water.  CRAZY TALK!  But it's part of the deal.

Are these things really THAT BIG OF A DEAL??  When compared to the BENEFITS I will get from doing this????  Why am I letting myself be such a whiny baby??

But I'm feeling guilty about it.  It's like I'm trying to hide from it.  Why?  What am I so afraid of?

I'll tell you:

As silly as it may sound to some of you, meal planning, grocery list making, and grocery shopping cause me a lot of anxiety.

I've never liked it.  I avoid it.  Sometimes I avoid it to the point where our fridge and cupboards are practically empty.

I'm scared that I will fail.

I'm scared that I will be hungry all the time.

I'm scared that I will be a raging B because of the sugar withdrawals.

Learning to eat a completely new way - one I've never tried before - is daunting.

I'm afraid of the intestinal cleansing.  (um, enemas sound DISGUSTING and uncomfortable!)

I think I'm a little afraid of the work.  It will be a lot of WORK.




I still wake up in pain every day.

I still have pain that lasts throughout the day.

I want it to go away.

I want my Lyme levels to be equivocal or negative so I can finally get pregnant.

Yes, I still want that 5th baby.  That desire has never left me.

So it's time to just SUCK IT UP and DO IT.

I know this trial is for my betterment.  I know I have a lot to learn about what I'm capable of, and I'm ready.

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.


just get it out of your system

are you one of those people who just has to get things out of your system?  I am!

when i'm mad or frustrated or hurt or whatever icky feeling is going on inside me, i am not one to hold it in and let it fester.  i have a pretty low boiling point in fact!

so, after i let it out yesterday, i felt so much better.

today is a new day, and i woke up (in pain as usual) but in a much happier mood!

yay for saturdays!



how i feel today:




i don't write anything here for pity, so please, pretty please if you're reading this, don't pity me.  sometimes people just need to be pissed off and vent.

disappointed because felt stretched very thin yesterday and didn't feel any support

frustrated because i let that get the best of me and spoke harshly to those i love

angry because being in pain is exhausting and well feeling shitty is just SHITTY

angry because sometimes i give in and feel sorry for myself

disappointed because i let myself wallow

frustrated because i know it's stupid to wallow

disappointed because i'm not the kind of mom i want to be

frustrated because i let myself take things personally

angry because - honestly, sometimes i like to be angry-- like it's some warped way of rebelling against all the crap that i feel on a daily basis

oh.  and i'm tired.

so, so, so, so, so tired.



I just did the new member orientation yesterday for the protocol I'm going to start next week to treat Lyme and Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Holy moly!  I am overwhelmed.

The diet is the most important part of this protocol (with the exception of the bx catalyst) and I am freaking out!

My first reaction to learning about the diet was one of resistance and sadness.


NO DAIRY or MEAT for the first 5 WEEKS?


Sounds impossible to me.

Oh yeah, and not to mention the "pre-cleanse" requires that I do intestinal cleansing 5 days in a row, including AT LEAST one enema.


During that time I have to do a 3 day juice cleanse.

Then a distilled water fast.

Seriously?  What the heck did I sign myself up for????

TORTURE.  It sounds like TORTURE to me!  No joke.

Every part of me is like, RUN, RUN AWAY!

Every part of me that is, except that teeny, tiny voice in the back of my mind that's saying, "This will SAVE you."

I'm not "dying" from Lyme.

I'm not "dying" from Rheumatoid Arthritis.

I AM "dying" from eating crap all the time though.

I am not taking care of my body in the way that it so desperately needs to be taken care of.

I've tried "eating right" and "exercising" and "tracking my food" and "etc, etc.." and it WORKED.  But it didn't last long.  I gave up.  I retreated back to my "comfort zone" of laziness and junk food.

Why?  Why is it so difficult to take care of myself?

I'll tell you why.  Because I truly have an addiction to FOOD, and more specifically, to SUGAR.

I am 100% convinced of this.

So, in an ironic turn of events, I am diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, and then with Lyme Disease.

Then I am given the amazing opportunity to participate in a special treatment program that will not only help with Lyme, but also with RA!

AND...AND...AND...my sugar addiction.

You see, the bx catalyst cannot do its job if I'm eating crap.

So, if I want the bx to work, then I need to follow the diet explicitly.

I've never done anything like this before - with so much on the line - and it's ironic to me that I had to get RA and Lyme in order to finally kick my sugar habit.

I think I am more excited about that than anything else at this point.  If I can get my body healthy (minus the RA and the Lyme) then I KNOW I will start to feel better.

I'm trying to be positive and optimistic - I don't want to waste energy on worrying and being sad that I won't get to drink a coke or eat ice cream ever again.  (well, maybe not NEVER, but at least for the next year!)

Im looking forward to being FREE of the hold that sugar has on me.

It's going to be hard, and it's going to suck sometimes, but I have to do it.

I hope I can.



Warning:  I need a place to get my crazy thoughts out of my head, so this blog is going to be where I do that.  I might make this blog private if things get too personal, but for now it will remain public - because the thought of possibly reaching ONE person who can relate to me gives me strength.  Thank you for reading...

When you just don't want to deal with stuff that needs dealing with, what do you do?

Netflix binge watching?
Binge eating?
Social Media surfing?

Unfortunately exercising hasn't been one of my avoidance behaviors lately!  But I've done everything else on that list.  Sometimes a mindless escape is what we need to cope with the bigger, uglier things happening to us.

For me, right now, it's health problems...and...and...and...a few others...but mainly dealing with the health problems has me all CRAY.

On the surface I seem fine.  I am mostly fine.  I am still ME.  But my subconscious mind is having a stronger effect on my actions and it really hard to ignore the fact that I truly am doing everything I can to AVOID my issues.

I found this blog that described my behavior so well, it actually made me feel better knowing that there MUST be others out there who act like this if a PHD is writing about it!  Here's what she says are the types of avoidance behavior:

"1. Distraction involves busying yourself and your mind with activities or thoughts to avoid confronting a problem — making phone calls, eating, shopping, and facebooking — basically twittering away your time.
2. Escape behavior consists of contriving a way to physically avoid an anxiety-provoking situation, such as faking an illness.
3. Procrastination means postponing action in an attempt to avoid the stress involved with taking that action — “I’ll do it tomorrow.” “I’ll do it after the holidays.”
4. Safety behavior includes self-soothing actions such as fidgeting, biting your nails, twirling your hair, or engaging in other repetitive nervous habits (or behaviors.) While safety behavior allows a person to stay physically present rather than escaping, the behavior often turns into a nervous habit preventing adequate focus to confront the situation."
Source:  http://www.sowhatireallymeant.com/2012/02/20/avoidance-behavior-“i’ve-been-dreading-telling-her-about-our-financial-problems-”/
I personally have done 1-3 many times!  I'm pretty sure I don't have any Safety Behaviors - but I will think about that a bit more and try to be more aware of my habits to identify if I do any of those things.
So, you might think it's weird to be avoiding issues with health - right?  I mean, I think it's weird!  What's the big friggin deal??  
Well, when I say it like that, it does seem a bit silly that I'm making it a "big friggin deal!"  So why am I torturing myself by worrying about things that "might" happen or worrying about how hard it's going to be for me to completely overhaul my diet and maybe once and for all overcome my sugar addiction?  
There it is.  PROOF.  I am scared of giving up sugar.
I am scared of giving up foods that I enjoy.
I am scared of failing.
I am scared of the possible extreme pain that lies in my future because of the protocol I'm doing for Lyme.  
I am scared of my RA progressing to the point where my hands and feet are so gnarled that I can't use them anymore.
I am scared that i can't do this.
Why am I letting FEAR control me?  
I used to pride myself in being a "take charge" kind of person.  Someone who wasn't afraid of conflict or problems, but who thrived in taking them head on and trying to figure things out. 
Where is that brave girl?  Who is this new weak version I've become?  
This idea about avoidance has been swirling around in my brain for weeks now.  I know I am avoiding things.  I'm avoiding processing things.  And in doing so I'm not allowing myself to accept my circumstances and move FORWARD.
I really hate it when I know what the right thing is to do, but I just don't WANT to do it.  
Most of the time I don't want to be an adult at all.   It's hard work!
Ultimately I know things will be fine.  I know I'm strong.  I know I can do these "hard things."  I know that I have an amazing family who supports me and lovely friends who also support me.  
Until next time... XOXO