The battle within myself is multi-faceted and challenging. I’ve been reflecting on this the last week. Ultimately, I answer to myself. It is almost easier to be on the strictest form of the Candida diet. There’s less interpretation or “gray areas”. As the body heals, there are more foods that can be eaten. Some foods can be eaten regularly, some only occasionally, and some are still out completely. It all depends on each individual’s body and restraint levels. The most important part of this step is monitoring how the body reacts to foods and making necessary changes. Keeping a food journal is very helpful.
There is a very emotional side to this step. There is uncertainty, fear, and guilt. Uncertainty comes from not knowing how my body will react to food changes. For a while, I avoided graduating to the next phase of the diet. The first time I tried this on my own, I “graduated” too early and relapsed. So, when my doctor encouraged me to graduate to the next phase of the diet, I waited another month or so. I was frozen in fear and wanted to stay in the “safe” and “sure” path. At one point, I had so much fear, it was easier for me mentally to stay on the more rigid diet. As Candida sufferers know, I need to avoid stress. In a way, I was avoiding the stress of potential failure.
Guilt is an interesting beast. I have experienced guilt before when it came to overeating or not exercising, but this is a more intense guilt. For some reason, I feel guilty when I eat any carb or sugar. It may be because I have avoided these so long on the Candida diet. Even when I eat a small amount, I feel guilty. One reason is that I mentally think “I am not supposed to eat this no matter what.” The other kind of guilt I am experiencing is “why should I be able to eat this when there are so many other Candida sufferers who cannot? Am I being hypocritical or letting others down who read my blog?” There are so many interesting emotional layers. Even though I appreciate this new level of health, I am still navigating through the emotions. When I have been training myself so long to eat a certain way, I guess that is natural. Especially since this whole process requires a certain mental focus in order to succeed.
This is a difficult journey with twists and turns. I want to be honest with you. The good news is, with persistence over time, you can return to better health. We may have gotten to this point for different reasons. Whether it was stress, lots of antibiotic use, or a high sugar/processed food diet that triggered Candida overgrowth, there is hope. The battle may not be easy, but it is worth the fight. Sometimes it takes a few relapses before you win. That can be frustrating, but it is a learning process. Stick to it, learn, and teach others. Helping others is a huge blessing.