Last night I went out for a couple of drinks with my lovely friend Heather. She too is on the overcoming MS lifestyle and is another living proof that it really does work.
When I was diagnosed and got onto the lifestyle I heard about Heather quite soon. We met for a coffee and a massively reassuring chat. She is a colleague of Martyn, my husband. He knew that she also had MS and that she was doing really well. At the time it was a huge relief to meet someone who was committed to the lifestyle changes because most other people in my life were really worried about the diet I was on and whether I was doing the best thing for my body.
A few years on my lifestyle is totally accepted by my friends and family and they can see how well I am doing. I am loving my diet, the meditation and the exercise plan and would never deviate from it now. However much I love it though it was still really lovely to have big talk about it all last night with someone who goes through the same health issues.
Heather and I did not stop talking for the whole time we were out. We swapped stories, gave each other tips and enjoyed being pleased for each other that we are both still doing so well with our recovery. It got me thinking about why we both love the plan that we live by and why it works for us.
Heather and I are both very committed and driven in whatever we do, not just the MS recovery. We both have to check ourselves on a regular basis to make sure we are not overloading ourselves and fitting too much in. We are both proactive in everything we do and that is why we take that approach to MS too.
The programme gives us structure to our day and a routine that we can rely on to keep us well. It seems to be a really common feature amongst MS suffers that they were really active and busy people before diagnosis, often to the extent of wearing themselves out with all of the activity. I know that was true for me and that I have had to learn to tone things down!
As well as keeping us active and on a healthy diet the plan looks after our minds too. We meditate for 20 minutes a day in order to reduce stress in our lives and to bring some peace and calm. That is how I first got in to mindfulness.
The regular commitment to meditation makes everything else on the programme possible. At the beginning of every meditation I remember why I am doing it; to stay well so I can be here for others.
Because I give my mind the chance to have a bit of time off I don’t get anywhere near as stressed as I used to, so much better for my physical and mental health. Because I have learnt to be mindful I don’t experience cravings for the foods that I no longer eat, this makes the diet possible and enjoyable. I need to exercise 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes and I have the settled mind that allows me to get out there and run, whatever the weather.
Mindfulness can help you to achieve amazing things. It isn’t just about sitting still, it is about preparing yourself for everything life has to throw at you. It makes the challenges we face in life so much easier to face, whatever they are. Come on a Revitalise Day to enhance your mindfulness journey and to help you achieve the things that you strive for.