I was talking with Ian yesterday about how anxiety works because we’ve both experienced it in our lives. Still do, but to a lesser degree. We were talking about how worrying about all this stupid shit that you can’t really do anything about is a way to not focus on things that are actually a problem in your life, but that you don’t want to deal with. I mentioned trying to eat better–
Side note: We both realized in Malta that we were fatter than we felt comfortable with. Air France has really short seat belts probably because the French hate everything and everyone (joke/not a joke. Will never return to Charles de Gaulle), and I could barely click it. Once we were cleared, I took it off and didn’t put it back on until we were landing. In Malta, I felt even worse because I couldn’t walk for ten minutes without getting tired. Yes, part of it was the heat, but it’s also that I’m not in great shape. Anyway, back to my narrative.
I said that I wanted to eat better, but I’m not doing anything about it. Ian quickly exclaimed that I had done a lot. I paused to really think about it because he was right. I cut out gluten and dairy a year and three months ago, and that was the start of an arduous journey. Giving up wheat and dairy was surprisingly easy especially as there are so many tasty alternatives these days, and I don’t miss anything. Well, except cheese. I miss cheese a lot. And dumplings. And pizza. It’s OK, though. *sigh*
I’m also adding back in fruits and veggies. I ate a ton when I was a kid because my mom made me. It won’t surprise you to find out that I rebelled as an adult by not eating any at all. I really was cutting off my nose to spite my own face because I like most fruits and several vegetables. I eat an orange a day, and veggies in the deli food I get from the co-op. I try to eat at least one other fruit a day to get my five in.
Next up, I have cut way back on my caffeine. I drank up to sixty ounces of it a day (yes, I know that’s not how caffeine is measured, but it’s how I view it), and now I’m at eight or less (most days). Meaning, I went from five-ish cups to one. I’ve mostly stopped drinking coffee, substituting tea in its place. Currently, I’m giving up chips and other nibbles which for some reason I started eating again after I gave it up the last time. I find that it’s means I’m less anxious and jittery, which is a net positive. I don’t even miss my Diet Coke. I had a few while I was in Malta and when I’m eating out, and to be honest, it tastes weird to me now. So, yes. I’ve made big changes. I eat better overall now than I did a year-and-a-half ago. And yet, I still have so far to go.
Let me be clear. I hate the way I look. When I glance in the mirror and see all the roundness, I flinch. I look monstrous and grotesque to my eyes, especially my face and my belly. I’m not the biggest I’ve ever been, but it certainly feels that way. I had thought when I cut out dairy and gluten, I would naturally lose some weight. I didn’t. I think it’s because of the aforementioned delicious substitutes that are readily available these days that I didn’t really feel the pinch. And (and now we’re getting to the meat of the post) it’s because I don’t cook.
Let’s push that back for a little because I want to mention something else. I cut out gluten and dairy, and I immediately felt better health-wise. However, I still had issues with my digestive system, and it’s been frustrating as hell. I read (on Mayo Clinic’s website, so I trust the info. They’re my go-to for all things health-related) that if you have allergies to weeds and such, there might be a corollary food-related allergy. It was eye-opening because I’m allergic to every freaking thing in the wild, which then makes sense that I have a ton of food allergies as well.
So. I know I’m allergic to ragweed, and the corollary food allergies are–bananas, cucumber, melons, and zucchinis. I’m also allergic to several kind of grasses, which means a possibly allergy to cucumber, melons (cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon), oranges, peanuts, tomatoes, white potatoes, and zucchini. So far, I’ve noticed a reaction to bananas and watermelon from the foods listed. I’ve also had some problems with grapes (which is not on any of the lists), cherries, and plums. Cherries and plums indicate an allergy to birch pollen.
I’ve looked at the FODMAP list (foods that prock IBS), and I see several that gives me problems. Apples, watermelon, ice cream, and wheat to name a few. I think corn might be an issue, but I don’t know for sure. I really hope not because I love corn, and I eat perhaps too much of it. When I eat something and have a bad reaction, it means I get bloated and gassy, and I have to spend quite some time on the toilet. I don’t feel like I had this much trouble with my digestive system in the past, and there are two possible reasons for this. One, I just didn’t notice. I was very much out of my body when I was younger, and I thought it was pretty much a vessel just to carry me around. I hated it for being weak and fat and ugly, and I wanted nothing to do with it. Because of trauma to it and eating disorder issues, I learned to ignore it the best I could. After taking taiji for ten years, I’ve learned to inhabit it, albeit it grudgingly. The second option is that it’s just a matter of age. I’ve noticed a ton of changes as I age, so this might be one. Oh! To add, caffeine is giving me the runs, especially coffee. It’s better that I cut it out.
Either way, I probably could deal better with it by cooking. I told you I’d get back to it, and I have. Let me say, I can cook; I just hate it. I especially don’t want to do it for myself because it’s more effort than is worthwhile. Yes, I know I can make batches and freeze the portions, but then my laziness kicks in. Look, part of my depression is that I want to do as little as possible at any given moment. It’s one reason I like taiji so much–it’s been called the lazy person’s martial art, which is right up my alley. Anyway, In order to do batches, I have to make a huge stew or whatever, parcel it into portions, take out a portion and defrost it hours before I want to eat it, and then I have to heat it up. I’m not going to do any of that. I know myself. I’d be overwhelmed before I even started. Plus, I eat when I’m hungry, and the idea of prepping for it is an anathema to me.
Still. I know that the things I can do to eat better is limited if I don’t actually cook. I’ve cobbled together my meals from delis and hot bars, mostly. Now, I actually have to do the work.