Frame of Reference

I urge all of us to take a step back from our dis-eases. Whether it’s Crohn’s, RA, bulimia, anorexia, cancer, depression or the man cold. It does not define you. Let’s pursue health. Let’s be athletes, instead of patients. 

I had an awesome conversation with a fellow crohnie today. It started when I saw that he put in his bio “former Crohn’s patient”. Curious, I decided I should probably slide in his DM and was pleasantly surprised when he responded quickly. John Vella (Johnny.bodybuilder) had Crohn’s disease and it was crushing him. Medications, surgery, fatigue, all things people with autoimmune disorders are familiar with. He lost so much weight from it his body weight dropped below one hundred pounds. Well good ol Johnny finally had enough and put his middle finger up at western medicine and forged his own path to health. 

Now of course his journey was defined by a restrictive diet, copious stress management and I’m sure some hesitation and self doubt, the biggest thing that helped him he says, was his frame of reference. He stopped referring to himself as chronically ill. Let me say that again. He no longer associated with disease.

At first I was taken aback. I was always told Crohn’s is for life. How could words change the facts? How could a shift in perspective change the outcome of his disease? And then it dawned on me. He gave himself the space to heal. Because he untethered himself from the disease, his path was no longer one WITH Crohn’s but one AWAY from Crohn’s. 

I urge all of us to take a step back from our dis-eases. Whether it’s Crohn’s, RA, bulimia, anorexia, cancer, depression or the man cold. It does not define you. Nobody likes to do things just because they are sick. But people will work their asses off for an inch of performance in sport. Let’s be athletes, instead of patients.