That moment when you leave the doctor’s office with another issue which means medication and diet alterations… over the diets!
Since I was born I have suffered with colon issues, having polyps surgically removed at six months of age and again at two years of age, hemorrhoids by the age of sixteen, and irritable bowel syndrome which was always skirted around until into my late twenties. By the age of seventeen, I had developed migraines and by my earlier twenties, I had sever GERD. Not to be overly personal but, I had gone through most of my life with toilets filled with blood, days in bed or even hiding in the bathtub of windowless bathrooms, and days or weeks with no voice learning to sleep in an elevated bed. Side effects have included a bloated stomach, decaying teeth, and some embarrassing outfit changes. On top of all of this, in my early to mid-thirties, I learned that I have severe arthritis riveting throughout my body. So imagine my surprise in my mid-to-late-forties learning all of these issues are directly related to diet.
Food? Really? I rarely eat sugar. I don’t add salt to my food once plated. I don’t use dressing on my salads. I don’t understand. But it’s true. Everything you eat affects you, physically and mentally. In other words, you truly are what you eat. But, in order to correct the health issues, there are diets for each issue. There’s an IBS diet. There’s a Migraine diet. There’s a GERD diet. There’s even an Arthritic diet. How many diets do I have to follow? How do you combine the diets? Of course, then there’s the traditional diets because the doctor tells you you’re obese, needing to lose at least fifteen to twenty pounds but thirty pounds would be better. You’ve got to be kidding me! And then, while you are on all the diets, the things you typically wouldn’t eat anyhow are now a sudden craving! It’s madness! Complete and total meltdown has been had.
In the midst of attempting to diet, you realize through all of the huffing, grunting, and husbandly meltdowns, this diet thing isn’t going to work on a meat and potatoes man. So you begin to contemplate making two meals each night. Or, you could simply go out to eat each night and attempt to find something on the menu that would meet all diet requirements… or starve. So in a panic, feeling overwhelmed by it all, you have another meltdown and throw the diets out the window because you just cannot deal with the extra work of making two meals, eating out, and a grumpy old man.
Why yes, yes it’s true, I’m over the diets!
People you’ve shared your ongoing saga with are now asking you, “How’s the diet going”? … “UM, IT’S NOT”!
Have you ever tried cutting out garlic, onion, raw vegetables, 75% of fruit, beans, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, cheese, bread, pasta, sugar, and the list could literally go on and on and on and on…!
Of course, their responses are genuine when they respond, “Ohhh. You should try the Paleo Diet… the Whole30 Diet… diet, diet, diet”. Makes you just want to bitch-slap them, in an appreciative kind of way.
NO MORE DIETS!!!
In 1994, a movie was released titled, “The Shawshank Redemption” which I thought was a great movie. There’s a quote in the movie that I’ve repeated over the years which states, “I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying”. So in that moment, when walking out of the doctor’s office with one more issue, that of course also had its own diet, there was only a simple choice I had to make, did I want to be healthy or not. In other words, was I going to get busy living or get busy dying?
So long diets, hello intentional living!
Because being healthy is, after all, intentional living.
I’ve learned to breathe. I’ve learned that it really is everything in moderation… portion control. And I’ve learned, it doesn’t matter how much someone tells you that they’ll support you, it doesn’t mean that they’re going to participate. I am responsible for me and me alone.
My healthy changes now include the following: walking daily, doing yoga, no more than a cups worth of food and no seconds, eating six times a day, drinking more water, not eating three hours prior to bed, no smoking, no alcohol, buying organic, gluten-free, and/or vegan (about 75% of the time), and not being offended or caring if the grumpy old man doesn’t eat what I prepared – he has feet, a car, and money, and there are several places to eat around our town. I am also intentional in choices while paying attention to previous choices, all while sharing my food and/or recipes with others. And, I will always stand by and stay true to the two things (which are one in the same) that I instilled in my children:
- Don’t knock it until you try it. (learned from my mom)
- You can’t say you don’t like it if you never taste it.
All the pressure has vaporized into the wind now that I’m not consumed with diets. Don’t get me wrong, in order for me to become healthy, I must understand each diet that goes along with each issue but it’s finding the balance in incorporating them to work together and individually while not stressing over eliminating everything. Moderation and portion control are my best friends. For example, there are LOW-FODMAP’s and HIGH-FODMAP’s. I cannot eliminate all of them, so I avoid the high ones if at all possible and take the low ones and incorporate something once or twice a week. If I have garlic or cheese today, I won’t for the next six days. I also listen to my body, it will tell me if there’s something I truly can never have.
When you’re intentional, no one else controls your situation, your outcome, your happiness, because it’s all up to you.
If you like food, looking for new recipes, want to try the vegan, gluten-free, or diary-free dishes, than keep an eye out here for postings including pictures. Not that all my recipes will be all of these or even one of these, but it will be healthy and yummy… and if it’s not, I’ll tell you.