A few have inquired as to how I’m doing in “Phase II” since I talked about my experience roughly a year ago. Long story short, I’m pretty much back on the SCD. Allow me to clarify. Remember what the BTVC book says about “fanatical adherence”? In that sense, I am no longer doing the SCD as I allow myself to digress about ten percent of the time.
It can be confusing to talk about how SCD you are when in reality you are either complying with the SCD or you are not. The people that try to do the SCD partway generally experience frustration, lack of progress and dissatisfaction. My characterization of being 90% SCD is simply a convenience of communication, not an endorsement of divergence from the SCD.
My experimenting with illegal foods started slowly with care and diligence. That control eroded and I found myself eating non-SCD a great deal of the time. I was trying to make up for lost donuts. And chocolate. And chocolate donuts.
As I was wallowing in those carbs, I experienced a year of difficult times. It was very stressful, took me out of my home and routine a great deal and I used that as an excuse to turn to those forbidden foods for comfort. I suffered for it and knew that I needed to return to the SCD. I found that I was very angry about the need to go back to SCD and being stubborn, resisted it. It took me a while to understand that emotion, but I finally realized what it was. I was mad that I had Crohn’s. I don’t remember feeling angry when I was young and so sick. I think I was just grateful at the time to have found a surgery that saved my life. I didn’t have the time to shake my fist at the sky as I was too busy enjoying being alive again. Even more than the anger, I realized that I had invested heavily in the idea of doing the SCD for 3-4 years, being healed completely and showing the world how great the SCD is. That investment did not meet my high hopes. Once I accepted the reality that I would have to be strict SCD or nearly so, I was on my way back. I had to switch from a delayed gratification mindset to a way of life mindset.
One of the things that I’ve learned about myself is that I am a weak human. My family and friends may not understand how I could say that. After all, I went four plus years denying myself chocolate, french fries and all those “good” things. My challenge is to keep the cheats to a minimum and watch out for “cheat creep”. Cheat creep is my term for thinking something along the lines of “if one taste of potato chips is okay, then two can’t be much worse, right?” After all these years and all the reinforcement the diet has given me, it’s still a challenge for me, a weak human.
To conclude, phase II was also an experiment. I learned some things about myself and now I’m nearly SCD compliant. Only time will tell if a 90% SCD lifestyle is a bad idea. Right now it feels like a good compromise. I get to feel awesome nearly all the time and I’m not mad anymore.
To read my previous update, see this post from April 26, 2009.
For my next update, see this post from January 18, 2012.