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“Perfect” Health is Not Always within Our Control

Starting the New Year Right

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” – Oprah Winfrey

As 2012 comes to a close we all have the chance to ring in the 2013 New Year with a clean slate and hope for a brighter and better year ahead…

Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!

– William Arthur Ward


Along with a new year comes New Year’s resolutions. Losing weight, eating healthier and fitting in fitness always seem to top the resolution list for many people. Since my husband and I made our healthy living resolutions years ago so we always have to come up with something new. As usual, my husband’s resolution involves money; this year he says he is going to stop wasting money on stuff we don’t get true value from (this includes things like cancelling our phone land line that we never ever use.) As for me, those of you who have been following Clean Cuisine for a while now know that 2012 was a very, very tough year for me with my [intlink id=”146″ type=”page”]leg /hip surgery complications[/intlink] and not being able to walk for over 6 months. I will go so far as to say 2012 was the absolute worst year of my life. Luckily things started to rapidly improve around September and I am entering 2013 on a happy, high note. However, as I look back on what I have learned through my 2012 ordeal I realize not every situation in life is within our control. This is hard for me to accept because I am someone who very much likes to be in control. I want everything to be “perfect”—including my health.

When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1998 and told by my neurologist that [intlink id=”163″ type=”page”]changing my diet could help me manage the disease[/intlink] I felt comforted by the thought that maybe I could control my health by controlling my lifestyle. I am lucky that for me, lifestyle modification has kept my MS under control for over a decade. My experience dealing with MS led me to erroneously believe I could control every aspect of my health with diet, exercise and lifestyle modification. But my experience dealing with my leg/ hip surgery this year has made me realize that our health—and life—is not always within our control.  I tried absolutely everything under the sun to recover from my surgery and I spent hours and hours each day for months on end doing rehab.  Weeks and months would go by with zero improvement in my pain or function and so I sunk deeper and deeper into a major funk. Instead of trying to adjust to the situation I put all of my energy into trying to take control of it and “fix” my leg/ hip. I couldn’t see or appreciate anything else positive that was happening in my life because I could only focus on the bad part that was unfixable.  My husband repeatedly suggested I see a pain management doctor but I refused to go because I didn’t want to “manage” my situation, I wanted to FIX it.

Even though I am walking now and back in action the leg/ hip that was operated on will never ever be the same as my “good” leg/ hip….but I have finally, finally come to the realization that life can still go on—and life can still be great— even if everything is not perfect.  In October I decided to go through with making the exercise video that is supposed to launch with our Clean Cuisine book (it was something we had planned on doing long before my surgery) and I modified the workout to adjust to my imperfect leg and hip—this was a major turning point for me because in the past I would have never gone through with filming a workout video if my body wasn’t functioning perfectly. But I realize now things can’t always be perfect. Seeking perfection can ruin happiness and can actually interfere with success. I recently read a quote—I can’t remember from where—but it went something like “success happens in spite of perfection, not because of it.” I would say the same goes for happiness. I am 36 years old and I am sure I will face additional health and life challenges in my 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond…and so from here on out I resolve to not let whatever I cannot control ruin my life and ruin my happiness. Of course this is sort of an abstract resolution because it is not exactly like saying “I will stop smoking” or “I will lose 10 pounds”, but I am going to try my very hardest!

Ivy Larson

In 2010, Clean Cuisine was launched because Ivy Larson wanted to share her anti-inflammatory lifestyle and delicious recipes using ingredients in their most natural and nutrient-rich state. In 2020, Ivy passed the website to Aimee and Madison. Since then, they have been adding new recipes and nutrition posts while updating old recipes and articles. Thanks for visiting Clean Cuisine!

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