I’ve been writing without any whimsy lately, and the name of my blog is Bring On The Whimsy, so let’s shake things up! I don’t know how whimsical today’s subject matter is, but it is decidedly lighter than race relations in America (last post).
I went to Emory a month ago, and the doctors I met said they wanted me to go on a medication–let’s call it Bill–that is known to highly increase one’s risk for weight gain. I’ve already gained about 45 pounds since beginning my fistful-of-pills journey ten years ago, and I’m currently on three medications that screw with my metabolism and make me intensely crave carbs. So when they said I’d have to manage the weight gain from Bill with diet and exercise, I started coming to terms with my “half a large pizza for dinner”, devil may care attitude toward taking care of myself. At a family meeting with my counselor a few days later, we talked about nutrition and exercise again. The poo hit the fan on high speed.
For some reason, that poo poo fan really motivated me. I started by acting out the drama I always perform when I have a self-betterment project. It’s a one-woman show called “I Am Completely Obsessed and Self-Absorbed.” I tracked every bite of food for the first two weeks with the My Fitness Pal app, and I checked it constantly. It produced in me a painfully strange mixture of pride and disappointment. My counselor suggested I try not tracking for a while, and that has made eating food so much more enjoyable. I was also pretty dang hangry for the first week or so, but thankfully I didn’t maim any patrons or co-workers. ALLLLLL I thought about was food.
Since all I thought about was food, I did a good bit of research into what my goals could be. What I’ve been doing is trying to eat whole foods, paying attention to portion size, trying to cut out starchy stuff like bread and potatoes, and really reducing refined sugar intake. (Also, I haven’t been inhaling my food.) That’s it in a gist. It is CRAZY how much sugar is added to processed food! It is CRAZY how easy it is to be swayed toward processed food products just because they’re organic! (Or maybe you aren’t swayed because you think organic food is stupid and unnecessary. I dunno.) Example: I picked up my usual organic milk at Kroger and saw that it had omega-3 fatty acids in it. “Awesome! I read about those!” said me, not thinking about how those omega-3’s got in there. One morning I looked at the label and found out it had fish gelatin added to it! After that, every splash of milk in my tea made me feel betrayed. Stay out of my dairy, finned ones!
Y’all, I probably have not eaten this many fruits and vegetables since I was sucking down baby food. Even stranger, I’ve found myself craving them. Also weird: if I eat sugar other than what’s naturally found in dairy or fruit, I can actually feel how my body responds to it. If I pay attention, I recognize that I crave food much more quickly if what I ate last contained refined sugar. The less you consume refined sugar, the less you crave it. You can eat sweet, amazing grapes instead and feel very satisfied.
Unlike any time in my recent past, I’m just easing myself back into exercise, rather than “committing” myself (ha) to being the Goddess of Fitness. I’ve just been going on 30 minute walks a few times a week. I’ll step it up gradually, but for now, while I relearn how to feed myself, that’s about all I want to do.
Part of the reason I’m writing this publicly is because I so desperately need for this to stick, not necessarily for weight loss, but for the regulation of my mood and energy and the prevention of diabetes. I’ve started so many self-improvement projects, but taking care of myself needs to be the one that sticks. Will you help me? If you’re reading this and you feel led, send me a message sometime soon and ask me how it’s going! By that time, I hopefully will have ended my performance of “I Am Completely Obsessed and Self-Absorbed”, so I’ll ask you how you’re doing too.
Good tidings, readers! Have a safe and happy Halloween.
P.S. A little FYI: