Don't let your Crohn's win. Beat the Crohn's.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I Can

Recently, a friend told me her theory that people age themselves by telling themselves they're too old to do something. Rather than enjoying life, people let their age define them.

"I can't"

This seems like a simple phrase, but it has the power to stop a person in life. Many of us fall victim to these two words. For the last year, I have let Crohn's use these words to define my life. 
In November 2013, I reached my first non-surgically induced remission. I ate healthy and exercised every day. I never felt so alive. Then, a study abroad program (which I'll never regret), caused my disease to spiral out of control. As symptoms worsened, I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted (telling myself that anything would make me sick). As the binge-fest continued, I became more fatigued and symptomatic; the summer of 2014, I rarely worked out.
The fall of 2014 became the worst time for me. At 21, I needed to wear adult diapers. I never exercised. I had pain all the time. I told myself I couldn't work out. I couldn't eat healthy because it wouldn't help.
Then, I switched physicians and my new medical team helped me find a new treatment plan. By January 2015, I started to feel better. However, months later, I'm still trying to find the perfect treatment plan, causing me to still have regular symptoms.
Although I've felt better these last few months, I've let "I can't" rule my life. I can't run as fast or far as I used to - I'm easily fatigued. I can't lift as much as I used to. I didn't want to do anything because I knew I couldn't participate in activities for the same length of time, or at the same intensity.
Then, I thought about what it meant to age oneself. By telling myself I couldn't, I didn't go to the gym. Obviously I wouldn't become stronger by sitting around in my dorm room.

"I can"

The start of this attitude has helped give back so much of my life. Rather than saying how much I can't do in an exercise, I tell myself what I can do. I can go outside and run until I'm tired. I can try higher weight sets. I can try.
With this attitude, and the help of family and friends, I can slowly feel my strength returning. I have set many new goals and stopped looking at what I used to accomplish. I have more important goals for my future that only present me can start achieving.

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