My name is Allison and I am a 20-something-year-old, newlywed, mother of a crazy puppy, and am I taking a bite out of life one day at a time! I love spending time with my family and friends, cooking up a storm in the kitchen, all things pink, and learning about myself each and every day.
My health has had its highs and lows, mentally and physically. In the summer of 2009 I started training for my first marathon. Since kindergarten, I had always been extremely athletic, playing year-round basketball and lacrosse. After much debate, I decided not to continue playing collegiate lacrosse after freshman year. Feeling the need to continue to workout, I became a gym rat. My workouts were satisfying but they weren’t rewarding. I needed something more, so I started running.
On a whim I decided to sign-up for my first marathon with one of my girlfriends from school and before I knew it, my mileage was in the double-digits. I had no problem waking up before the sun rose or pounding the pavement at dusk, I needed to run. A few months into training, it was time for me to return to school. Trying to manage a full schedule was not easy and it quickly took a toll on my body.
My joints ached, my head hurt, and an 8PM bedtime sounded wonderful. I honestly just shrugged off my symptoms and thought that my body was in pain from pushing it to the max so I made an appointment to see a physical therapist. In order to see the physical therapist I needed to get a referral. One thing led to another and a bunch of blood tests later, I was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia and Lupus. To say that I was surprised would be an understatement, I was in shock. Unfortunately, my training was put on hold and my health took priority.
The past few years I have learned to listen to my body. I am still learning how far I can push myself without reaching my breaking point. I am still learning how to recognize my body’s warning signs before a flare-up. I am still a work in progress but I am definitely better than I once was.
One of the biggest lifestyle changes that I have made since receiving my diagnosis is adopting an all-natural, preservative free diet and it has done wonders for my body! Simply put, Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the body mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. Natural foods = easy to digest; artificial foods = hard to digest, put unnecessary stress on the body. And most recently, I have been experimenting with a gluten-free diet because after many GI issues and various tests, my doctors suspect that I have Celiac disease.
All in all, I am extremely thankful for a great support system that I have within my family and friends, that I can do pretty much whatever my heart desires, and I am getting back into the kitchen!