Keeping A Journal

When I moved away from my home town and found myself in Texas, I bought a tiny little book to carry in my purse. For thirty days, I wrote down every penny as I spent it.

I've never done that again. I've never needed to.

Doing that taught me something and permanently altered my relationship to money. I can deal with my finances with less time and effort these days and keep things on track, in spite of chronically being short of funds, health drama and you name it.

Similarly, a few years back, I had a Posterous account that I updated a few times a day. One of the things I used it for was tracking my diet and my medical symptoms. I used Posterous (a now defunct service) because it was free, user-friendly and easy. I could update it via email and that worked for me.
Make journaling easy. You are more likely to actually do it.
You should try to make the process of journaling as easy on yourself as possible. You are more likely to actually do it. Posterous no longer exists, but you can do the same sort of thing with BlogSpot or go with whatever is familiar and easy for you.

These days, I only write stuff down when it's really significant and I want a record of the event and the thought processes related to it. I no longer write about my health every single day.

I also frequently hash things out with my sons, who have lived with me the entire time. Such conversations are very valuable. If you don't have a similar social resource, it might help to keep more records.

But don't get intimidated by the idea of having a food and health journal. You should carve out some time regularly for at least a few weeks, but the primary point of doing it daily is to teach you something. You don't have to keep daily records forever and ever.

You should do it daily for a minimum of one month and probably longer. Then plan to make more infrequent entries "as needed" when you want to note an important health event and/or do some writing to mentally hash out what is going on now in your healing process. It will remain a moving target and your maintenance routine will have to be periodically revisited to stay on track.

One of the problems here is that if you have a chronic illness, like Cystic Fibrosis, and you manage it by taking maintenance drugs, your mind places a strong emphasis on "drugs" as "healthcare." And that needs to stop.

Drugs are emergency management. Diet and lifestyle are foundational. You need to strengthen your mental relationship between diet, lifestyle and health and weaken the mental emphasis on medication as "healthcare."

Medicine and healthcare have become synonyms in the minds of many modern peoples, but they really aren't the same thing. Thinking that they are is a mental model that leads you astray.
Life is chemistry.
Medication needs to stop playing the starring role in your mind. Life is chemistry. Everything you eat, drink, touch or breath impacts your health. You need to start working on wrapping your mind around that fact as the primary approach to managing your chronic medical condition.

Again, I am not anti-drug. When I was finally diagnosed just before my 36th birthday, the best thing about having a diagnosis was going to the ER and being asked what I preferred and saying "Zithromax" and being handed a prescription for Zithromax with one or two refills instead of being blown off and given wimpier drugs and treated like a hypochondriac. Being able to get strong drugs up front was amazing and it put a stop to me having to go to the ER two or more times before getting drugs that would clear up my latest infection.

I had never before gotten a refill listed on a Zithromax prescription and it was totally awesome to get that. Zithromax was my drug of choice and did more for me than Biaxin, a related drug that is supposedly stronger. But I loved Zithromax.

So, I'm not anti-drug. I'm pro-nutrition and prevention. It's not the same thing.

You need to work on wrapping your brain around diet and lifestyle as your first defense. You need to get your priorities in order here.

It's a process and it takes time. It won't happen overnight. You probably have a lot of de-programming to do to get away from equating "healthcare" with "medication."

Step one is to start a food and health journal so you can start focusing your mind on the importance of food and lifestyle in your health. Also, read labels, read labels, read labels. You need to start understanding what is in your food.

Food chemistry is a big part of my head space these days. Not all "bread" is created equal. Not all "salt" is created equal. Etc.

Start reading labels if that isn't something you are already doing. For now, just start learning what the contents are of the things you are putting in your mouth.

Making changes can come later. First, just get some idea of where you stand currently.