Week 2 is almost over. I take my lithium tomorrow and then stop for the weekend. Despite some challenges…Week two hasn’t been bad. My mind is clear and I’ve been happy. My students have been happy and THAT’S the litmus test. If I’m not happy. They are not happy. Not because we’re all emotionally in sync or anything… it’s just that when I’m not happy I tend to become a nagging shrew and NOBODY likes that. I was a bit short today, but I’ve just been so tired that it’s harder to have my normal self-control.
I KNOW it’s because of what I’ve been eating. I’ve been craving salt for one thing and that causes me to retain water. It’s also kicked my heart palpitations at night up a notch. I’ve also had a bit of bread and my adhesions don’t like bread OR white rice (which I ate a lot of this week). It creates all sorts of gnarly business in my innards that’s both uncomfortable and painful. So my swollen digits and the bone pain in my hands and feet are my own fault. I need to get this under control before I get too far into The Plan because I am, by nature, a whinny baby when it comes to pain. I might sound all stoic and accepting here… but God knows better. I grumble and complain. My road rage is harder to control. It’s not pretty when I’m ON medication. I shudder to think what it could look like once I’ve tapered down some more.
The stuff I’ve been eating has been messing with my GERD. At first I thought I was having chest pains until I realized it was the salsa and the chips coming back to haunt me. I’ve been doing without this stuff for MONTHS… so when I try to slip it back into my diet my body rebelled. Same thing with dairy. I’m lactose intolerant. A lot of black folks are. I avoid milk, but I like me some cheese. And you can’t have cheese without crackers and salami. Right?
My problem is that I don’t know the meaning of “moderation.” So I’ve been eating myself into illness which isn’t going to make The Plan any easier to follow. I have stayed away from obvious triggers like McDonald’s (whimper) and desserts (no biggey)… but the bread, the salt, and the cheese have been calling my name. I even drank two Cokes the other day. I haven’t had a Coke in years so I thought I was missing something. I couldn’t even drink the first can. Ew. I just did not like the cloyingly sweet taste, so I poured it out. So why did I reach for the other one the next day with dinner? Doesn’t matter actually. I ended up as sick as a dog. That will be the last Coke I ever drink. I think that was what kicked off the heart palpitations again. They’d gone away for a while. Now I cannot sleep on my left side because the telltale heart will keep me awake.
It’s good that I’m incorporating exercise into my life more. The Plan is pretty specific about what I can do and what I plan to do. There’s very little room for confusion or failure. One of the other points in The Plan IS food… but as I’ve limped through this week I realize I need to be more specific and intentional about my food goals in The Plan. It’s rather vague. And I tend to not be able to stop myself when tasty food is around.
Oddly enough, while I was eating dinner tonight my taste buds just died. They literally stopped working mid-chew. One minute I could taste the food. The next minute I could’t. Ok. I could taste the onion… but onion wasn’t a primary ingredient. My sense of taste is normally impaired because of my allergies. I’m used to not tasting my food… but tonight it tasted like I was eating white noise. When I tried to cleanse my palate with water, the WATER tasted somewhere between no-taste-at-all and horrible. Ew. My mouth still tastes funny. Not the GERD funny that I’m used to. I can’t describe it, but I cannot taste anything.
Who wants to eat if you cannot taste? Maybe God is telling met that Bipolar Girls “don’t live on bread alone, but by every word that falls from the mouth of the Lord.” I watched that mock-u-mentary “Fat. Sick. And Nearly Dead.” It was eye opening and inspiring. The guy went on a juice fast for 2 months. I’d be stupid to try that now, but I like the idea of rebooting my system. For the first week he was as sick as a dog with a lot of the symptoms that I’ve worked really hard to get rid of (dizziness, nausea, tremors, diarrhea)… so trying to incorporate that into The Plan would be the height of stupidity. It would mess with my mood and trigger episodes. I’d like to think that somebody reading this would say something to stop me if I was talking about doing that now.
But I need to do something though. My poor eating habits is probably what created challenges for me this week. I’m 48 years old and don’t really know how to feed myself properly. The fact that I’m deficient in some vitamins and overdosing on others proves it. I do not eat enough fruits or vegetables because I can’t taste most of them.
It’s a vicious cycle. I eat foods that aren’t good for me because I can smell then and I can taste them…. so I end up feeling bloaty, sick, and lethargic. My bones hurt more. But then I’m too tired to cook healthy dinners which are really labor intensive… so I eat whatever’s quick and the cycle continues because “quick” might taste good, but it’s wreaks havoc on my body. This is one point where I don’t have an easy answer or a plan. I’ve tried diets before and failed. But this isn’t about weight loss. It’s about health. I know the internet if full of information. My doctor has even given me some materials, but having the information doesn’t mean that you know how to walk it out. SO I guess I could use some prayer on this one. My goal is NOT to became some granola cruncher who won’t eat “anything with a face.” That would be a mood changer. I get cranky when I don’t get my meat.
Next year once I’m off the lithium I might revisit the notion of a juice fast — like a 10 day one. Take a vacation, plug in the juicer, and stay near a bathroom. I could do that. For now, I think I might just incorporate fresh juice into my diet to get more of the nutrients that I’m missing. For a girl who used to eat at McDonad’s at least 3 times a week… I’m doing pretty good. I pass no less than five fast food restaurants on my way home and I’ve not been tempted to stop at any of them, but there is more work to be done. When I think of the consequences of eating that burger or pounding down those fries, it no longer seems worth it. So today, I’m not sharing a point from The Plan. I’m recognizing that The Plan could use some more refining. Today is Day 6. I’m tired and I’m hungry. Yes, I’m fat and I’m sick, but I ain’t dead yet. God and I need to have some conversation about this…
Me: God, if I shouldn’t live on bread alone, what’s a girl to eat?
God: “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live.
I need God to show me how to eat in a way that is healthy and sane for me. I also believe that on the sixth day God created animals because he knew they tasted good? Then he created man to enjoy all the tasty goodness. The early animal sacrifices? The first were the first barbecues. But since God created plant life first… I need to at least try to eat more of it. Today is Day 6… and it was GOOD.