I thought about calling this post “Know Thy Enemy.”
But that was a little overly dramatic. And, it presupposes intentional opposition, sabotage, or malice on the part of some person, place or thing. I’m more inclined to believe that malice, sabotage and intention are giving too much credit and power to inanimate objects and completely neutral or oblivious others. There isn’t anybody out there with the intention of causing me to be unhappy, unhealthy, or harmed — at least not since my mother died.
There is no food that is “the enemy.” There is no situation or person out to trip me up.
There’s just life.
I also thought about calling this story “When Things Fall Apart.”
But again — too dramatic. To final. It sounds like one of those Oh-My-God!-NOOOO moments.
But that’s not really it. Again — it’s just life going on as it does — and if we lose track or get lost a little, it takes a little effort to get back on track again.
Bad timing. Bad choices. — Usually fixable.
I had a new experience yesterday. And it was not pleasant, and did not end well.
Since it was a holiday, I decided to alter my normal breakfast menu so that I could make my husband his favorite pancakes for breakfast. I measured and calculated it so that I could have a pancake and eggs — and come as close as possible to the numbers I needed to eat. It turned out to be about 2/3 of my normal calories, protein, and fiber, and about 30% more carbs than I’ve been eating for breakfast. I calculated the rest of my day to make up for those changes — and it all looked pretty good.
After I did my morning walk, I was hungrier than usual, so I ate lunch early.
Then I was hungry again early, so I had my after-walk #2 stack BEFORE my walk — which made me sleepy, and so I didn’t ever do the second walk.
Then I was hungry again early, so I ate my light dinner early– I picked out something I was hungry for rather than what I had calculated earlier in the day — still trying to adjust the numbers on the fly — and I was still hungry. And restless. So I had another snack.
And I was still hungry. At 7:30 I had my bedtime snack.
Then I had another.
By then, I was starting to feel sick.
I was pretty much uncomfortable and slightly sick all night, and even this morning.
So I won’t be doing that again.
WHAT HAVE I LEARNED?
As a result, I got up this morning, and made my usual, more successful breakfast. I’ve already had 2 glasses of water, and in a few minutes, I’ll be walking my first walk on the treadmill — 30 minutes @ 1.1mph on a 0-incline. Nice and slow and even. I’ll watch something on Netflix on my iPad while I walk. Or play solitare. Then I”ll have a nice shower and make my pre-calculated lunch.
And the next time I make Jim pancakes — I’ll make those first, then make my breakfast separately.
If there is an enemy in all this, it’s spontaneity — or chaos — or hubris. I had no idea how important it is to maintain that level flow of carb/protein/fat macro-nutrient balance. Since I had not wavered (at all) in the first 4 weeks of this — my system had resolved itself to something approaching normal. When I lost my balance — that normal evaporated within just a few hours.
We have a friend who can’t tolerate gluten. He was constantly slightly sick — and often really sick — for years before he figured out what was wrong. Once his body became adjusted to not having to deal with any gluten, it also became more sensitive to gluten, causing him severe pain at even the slightest slip-up. This makes eating out a real challenge for him.
Similarly, when I found out the triggers for so many of my migraines were things like MSG, aspartame, nitrates/nitrites, and smoked/cured/aged/fermented food — when I get a sudden onset migraine now, I know to look back at what I’ve eaten in the previous hour or two, and there will always turn out to be some food that slipped by with one of those ingredients.
And that seems to be what has happened in the last month. I got my numbers so balanced (at least by comparison to my previous life,) that losing the balance for almost a whole day just about knocked me out. It did take me out of commission for at least today. We’d been planning to drive into Portland… but no more. Maybe in a few days.
- Planning ahead.
- Having the right choices easily within reach.
Those are the things that make this easier.