What is an OMSer?

December 10, 2018

amandaI guess I was naïve. I think I never really understood what it means to be an OMSer. I had this image that if you follow the Overcoming MS lifestyle, nothing can touch you. If you do everything right, you will be shielded from the bad. But really, being an OMSer means that you continue to keep pushing forward in spite of the obstacles that try to slow you down.

It took me a year before I was able to even talk about multiple sclerosis without crying or getting upset. My diagnosis was only three years ago, and for the last year and a half my MRIs have been stable. This led me to have a sense of security and confidence that the lifestyle I follow is doing what it is supposed to. Honestly, I think I was even a little smug about it, and of course it is easy to keep going forward when you feel like everything is working out. But MS is anything but easy. I thought that by finally accepting that I have MS I would be prepared for anything.

There is a plethora of scientific evidence which shows MS disease progression can be slowed through healthy diet and exercise. Unfortunately, I think I had unconsciously gone to the next level and convinced myself that this would stop the disease. That all came crashing down when a new lesion was found on my latest MRI. In hindsight, it should not have been surprising. The month prior to my visit I had experienced two weeks of constant dizziness. This kept me from doing anything strenuous. Retrospectively, I can see now that I was going through a relapse. The truth is, I had only accepted the fact that I have MS, but I had not accepted that it could actually get worse. Upon hearing the results of the MRI, I found myself having a hard time coming to terms with it.

The fact is, we cannot control the curve balls MS will throw us, but we can control how we live our lives and the foods we eat. So during those times we are stricken by a relapse or new symptoms, our body has the resources it needs to heal as best it can. It isn’t about stopping the disease because that is unattainable and will led to disappointment. Furthermore, since disease progression rates vary from person to person, it shouldn’t even be about slowing progression because that is difficult to measure. It should simply be about doing everything within your power to live your best life. For me, the foundation for this starts with following the Overcoming MS diet and lifestyle. 

An OMSer uses all the tools at their disposal to be equipped for what lies ahead. Even when there are set backs an OMSer will keep going and never give up. As people with MS we cannot predict the outcome of the disease but we can make sure we use all the tools at our disposal and continue to push forward.

Amanda Windhof

Amanda is an MS lifestyle advocate and promotes healthy dietary changes to empower people affected by MS through her website: www.mymslifestyle.com. Amanda is an active iConquerMS Research Committee member and holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany. When not cooking and creating MS recipes, you might find her practicing Qigong with her husband or exploring new hiking opportunities throughout the US.

3 thoughts on ‘What is an OMSer?

  1. Thanks for this Amanda. I am relatively new to OMS (diagnosis June this year – began OMS in July) and I found your piece to be a helpful reminder to keep my expectations in check. I find it difficult to balance optimism and realism with regards to my future life with MS. I see Professor Jelinek, and hope to emulate his level of health, but know that all our lives will take different paths.

  2. Great article Amanda. This has opened my eyes giving me a new perspective. I must take the time and effort to educate myself on diet and make the necessary changes. Thanks for sharing.

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