18 Jun MAY – Eat to Heal
Eat to heal
Food for me is a huge point of contention…Since contracting a horrific stomach bug in 2011, I had ongoing issues with food, an upset stomach, bloating etc. After years of trial and errors with a range of “diets” and eating plans. I had cycled through paleo, FODMAPS and eventually landed myself at the ketogenic diet – high fat, carb free which meant – grain free, fruit free, sugar free, dairy free…fun free! Basically I could eat air. I strict diet of air and water. Go me! Not really, but I was very restricted. My list of approved food was basically meat, eggs, veggies and salad. But even then I am restricted with some veggies. I can’t eat potatoes and mostly stick to green veggies all cooked a certain way…sigh! This way of eating had been something I had accepted long ago. I embraced drinking coconut oil and butter from a mug. I heaped a whole big ass avocado onto my plate each morning. I passionately purchased “sugar free” chocolate and turning down “clean treats” that my friends so kindly tried to bake me so I’d fit in at dessert time at dinner! I was constantly experimenting and evolving and my stomach was improving! What I had discovered in the last 12 months was intermittent fasting (applying long fasting periods in between meals). This worked for me because my digestive system was about as slow as a 150kg man running a marathon. By eating only twice a day (breakfast and dinner) I eliminated the need to fill my belly up at varying parts of the day and battle the slow process of waiting, waiting, waiting for my stomach to make it’s way through the contents of my gut. Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t starving myself. My 2 meals were the equivalent of a normal person’s daily intake of food. Both were slathered, and I mean COVERED in some kind of healthy keto approved fat like butter…mmmmm….delicious buttery goodness. Matt still laughs at me every morning as I lick the buttery deliciousness from my plate!
So the resolution came about because while I was very strict with my eating, I had fallen slightly off the bandwagon of late and was diving into mid day treats (usually supplied by the work morning teas) or snacking late afternoon. This lead to bloating, constipation and a miserable cranky Adrienne. In addition to this, I had created something far worse than bloating. I had started to critically analyse every bite of food. Would this upset my stomach? Would this lead to water retention? inadvertently, without even being aware of it, my intolerance to everything made me far too sensitive to not only the gluten, but to food itself.
I needed to stay on top of my self-control and continue to keep a healthy gut and (probably more importantly) develop a healthy relationship with my food .
I set the resolution to remind myself that even though the twiggy sticks, chocolate treats, dip and raw veg etc may look totally delectable and delicious – that if I inhaled them like a hungry seal, my ass would be tooting like a car full of youths passing a prostitute soon enough. For my mental health, it was just as essential that I get to the point where if I could enjoy myself as I munched on a malteaser or 10…20…30….and not kill myself with self-sabotaging comments and guilt ridden thoughts about how fat I may get the next day or how hideous I now looked. Following my commandment to ‘love yourself’ could only be achieved if I gave myself a break and remained ‘realistic’ – – another solid commandment!
Listen, I’m not going to say this resolution was stuck to as closely as I initially would have liked… especially as it’s the first month! I thought I’d be turning away the Cadbury favourites and creamy pina coladas. But, May was a month full of parties and catch up’s with friends and family. This lead to a couple of occasions where I would drink and indulge in foods that do not promote healing and my “natural” and “ancestral” ways.
At times, these moments are definitely worth the week long sore stomach! I tried not to beat myself up over some splurges. In particular, the fun nights out, where I consumed too many vodkas or giggled with Matt in the back seat of an Uber as we stuffed our faces with chocolate. Those nights created so many memories and I was not going to take those back for the world. I worked hard to let these incidences slide and to my credit, I did find that I was less critical of my body afterwards. For the first time in years, I stopped looking into the mirror and seeing a red headed whale staring back at me.
I saw me and I was fucking fabulous!