My hubby and I went to Cinn City this morning. No, not sin city, as in slot machines and shows, but Cinn City, a little piece of heaven on earth. It’s a place that specializes in cinnamon rolls and beignets.
I had torn out an article about them back in December and while cleaning my desk (yes, this desk thing is a never-ending cycle with me) this week, I came across it again. I suggested to my dear hubby that we give them a try this morning.
This, along with coffee, is what we had for breakfast this morning:
I know some of my Fibro friends would be appalled. All that gluten and sugar just can’t be good for my fibromyalgia, could it?
I guess it depends on how you look at it.
No, it’s not anywhere near anything that could be considered healthy, and it’s definitely not something I would eat routinely.
In fact, just a year ago, I wouldn’t have even thought of going in a place like this because six years ago I went completely gluten-free in an effort to manage my fibromyalgia symptoms. I’m still ‘mostly’ gluten-free, but over the last few months I’ve started loosening some of the restrictions I’ve placed on myself, including with my diet.
Being strict with my routine and diet were absolutely essential initially. It allowed me to find things that worked to help with my pain and fatigue, and helped calm my nervous system.
The only problem is that although I physically felt better, I wasn’t getting a whole lot of enjoyment from my life. I had a decision to make — Do I stay on a strict regimen that prevents pain but restricts my enjoyment of life, or do I start to take some small chances and see what happens?
For me, being able to get out and enjoy life, make memories with my family, and serve in some small part in my church is more important than staying completely pain-free at this point. I’m not saying I want to hurt; trust me, I still do as much as I can to reduce my risks of flares, and I have to make a lot of choices between “good” and “best” as far as what activities I’m going to do and which ones I have to let go, but I’m not getting any younger and I want to enjoy the rest of the time I have left here on earth.
Sometimes that means throwing caution to the wind and eating that cinnamon roll, or having some fun little adventure, or enjoying some new experience. Sometimes it means deciding that the fun we might have is worth the discomfort I know I’ll experience later. I can always help mitigate the impact by pre-planning a recovery day to allow my body to recuperate.
Finding balance between what works the best for symptom control and being able to actually get some enjoyment out of life can be tricky. It’s kind of a two-edged sword because if you can’t decrease your pain levels, fatigue, etc. you don’t feel any sense of enjoyment, but if you have to be so strict with your self-care regimen that you feel you don’t ever do anything fun anymore, you’re not really enjoying life either.
Sometimes that balance comes in just realizing that there are a lot of little things that can give us enjoyment, cultivating an attitude of gratitude, and learning new ways to approach things. It doesn’t always have to involve a big shift or a big step outside our comfort zone. In fact, just stretching it a little can provide big benefits, especially if we’re still figuring out what works for us.
Finding this balance is very personal, and will look different for each of us. We each have to figure out what works best for us.
In my case, going out and having that delicious cinnamon roll and cup of decaf with my hubby was just one of those little things that make life fun for me. It wasn’t so much about the food as much as it was having some time to enjoy my husband’s company and experience a new place with him.
It’s one of those ‘small’ things that brought enjoyment, and although I may pay the price for eating something I don’t typically eat, it was absolutely worth it!
How do you find balance between symptom management and enjoying life? Please share!