I won’t lie. Life has been difficult lately. I’ve been sharing a bit of that recently. I also shared that even though many of my maladies have been in my own imagination, I do have some things that are in need of being address.
We are currently on a journey toward total, holistic health. As a part of this, we went for a health assessment. Turns out that a lot of what concerned me was actually, you know, of concern. Perhaps it wasn’t to the extent that I thought, but still, something to take care of.
She told me a lot about what was going on in our bodies. Me, in particular. I got a list of things to work on and some supplements (which I still haven’t started). I was also told to go on a specific diet. Like, really specific. And really limiting.
I won’t lie. Food is my weakness. I love food. I love cooking it. I love eating it. I love reading and studying and learning about it. I read up on the histories of food! It’s just something that fascinates me. Plus, I think there’s something to the fact that we should know what nourishes us. We’re all going to eat so we might as well eat well.
A few years ago, I was introduced to clean eating, which is basically eating as close to whole as possible. No processed foods. Some die hard clean eaters will also shun some foods that aren’t “clean.” We were never die hard, but I loved the concept of eating whole foods. Making as much from scratch as I could and limiting what we ate to things I could pronounce.
Since we’ve been living in a camper and money has been tight, we’ve gotten away from the clean eating. It’s hard to store bread, much less make it from scratch. We went one step away and then before we knew it, I’m buying canned everything and hot dogs have become a regular menu item.
I also began to start medicating my stress and anxiety with food. Wouldn’t it be great if you got stressed and craved an apple? For me, it was a cookies and cream milkshake from Chickfila. I’d have a bad day at work – swing through the drive through. Great day at work – swing through the drive through. Accomplish everything on my to-do list? You got it. A shake would be in my hand. It’s no wonder that I put on 20+ pounds.
With returning to work and working odd hours (mostly in the middle of mealtimes) with no planning because who can plan with all this going on? I began to swing through the drive through and grab an 8-count nugget and some waffle fries to go with my shake. Or I’d hit McDonald’s 2 for $5 (though not quite as often). So of course, my health was on the decline.
And now I am where I am. I’m completely off sugar, processed foods, and cow dairy (goat cheese is my new best friend). There are a lot of restrictions. So much that I actually bought a protein powder so that I can supplement at least one meal and still get enough calories.
I’m having to think about food in an entirely different way. I no longer thing about what is going to be yummy or how delicious something might be. I think about sustenance. How can I get enough calories to nourish my body and have it function properly and also fit into these parameters so that my body can also heal from the damage I’ve done to it.
And it is hard, y’all. I don’t like it. I’ve started eating eggs. Plain. No ketchup. No hot sauce. How boring and disgusting is that! I have to plan now. If I want rice as a side for dinner, I can’t just dump it in a pot. I have to soak it for 8 hours ahead of time (same for oatmeal and beans). There are no quick dishes or grab and go things on this plan. I’ve started eating things that I don’t love, but I know that it’s good for me.
But it isn’t all bad. Thinking about food in a new way is good. I need to change some of my ideas. I need to stop feeding my emotions through food and go to Jesus when I’m stressed. Or happy. Or accomplished. I need to learn to put food in its proper place.
Lord willing, I will only have to be on this strict diet for a couple months. After that, I’ll get to add in more fun foods. But hopefully, I won’t forget all that learned while going through it. Also, I’m hoping that I’ll get to the point where I’m focusing more on what I can have and less on what I can’t.