Clean Plates

Just a few years ago, I ate incredibly. Working at a health food co-op and having an unquenchable thirst for information on nutrition with a never ending supply of inspiration & knowledge from the customers and staff helped foster that habit. Sadly when it was time to move on employment wise I rebelled a bit from everything that was the former job (other than some great friends I had worked with). Due to poor & extremely negative management I got burned out & needed the break.  Then life happened. Dealing with the attack & the physical ramifications followed by Mom’s deterioration in health ended up being my focus. Eating was just a necessary evil. Anything quick, fast & cheap was the go to. I didn’t pay much attention to anything nutritionally other than “did it taste good?” & “could I afford it?”. In some ways I saw this as a side of being recovered. No more obsession on counting calories or guilt from eating “bad” foods. Occasionally ED would rear its ugly head & try to work its way back into my life, but never for long. I had learned to eat. Which was good. Watching Mom literally waste away was brutal and made me appreciate every pound that was on my body. I no longer was that underweight anemic girl who skipped periods & never had enough energy to get through the day. So when I found myself a bit heavier than I would like & still not having any energy, it just seemed strange.

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So know I know why & know that eating HEALTHILY nutrition not volume wise, is vital to taking care of myself. It is not enough to get the recommended calories, but they can’t be empty calories anymore. My body needs more than a multivitamin to get through this.

There is a happy medium. Weight wise & nutritionally. That is where I have to get back to. Time to relearn healthy eating & clearly it isn’t what the average person eats. What works for most doesn’t work for me (& I question whether it works long term for anyone). My basis on what to eat can’t be based on taste anymore but other factors have to be included. No more red wine & dark chocolate dinners! How can I expect my body to be the best unless I give it the best, which never seems to come with a side of fries or soft drink!

Past few days I have tried to refresh my mind on what is truly a good way to eat. Also trying to learn how someone with high blood sugar should eat. Honestly, I’m still really confused on how the glycemic index works and what the ratios of protein to carbs to fats really means, but I will get this.

One of the hardest things is reading about food, while trying to watch what you are eating! It gets me craving just from reading the recipes while trying to find the ones that will be best for me. So far, so good. Even made it through a birthday party where I was the only one who just sipped water the whole time. No dips, no drinks, no cake or ice cream cake. I was the weirdo. I am tracking every calorie and last night I already had my calories before heading to the party. Knowing that the sugar in the cakes would have jacked up my glucose levels made “just one bite” less appealing. Could have experimented to see how it really effects me, but building a habit is more important right now. So I survived & being the exciting chick I am found myself exhausted & in bed shortly after 10 pm on a Friday night.

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Drinking in general has been a huge challenge for me. I can deal without alcohol, but I have been caffeine’s bitch for a long time now. Adding the withdrawal headaches isn’t ideal at the moment. Sweet tea is going to be my biggest hurdle. I LOVE IT. I have to have it normally on a daily basis. Not cola, soda or pop, but sweet tea & lots of it. Which isn’t going to work anymore. The options are limited. Anytime you are out to eat you basically have the choice of water (usually tap, which scares me & isn’t always desirable in taste), soda (which I never have been big on anyway) or tea. Some places you may be able to get juice or milk, but the juice is too high in sugar to drink & I haven’t enjoyed milk in decades. Tend to do the soy/coconut/almond options when it is needed. So what’s left? Tea. Plain unsweet tea. Which it seems is going to be my new best friend through this. I’ve made the switch & hoping that soon I won’t remember how delicious sweetened tea actually is & trick myself into thinking this is the good stuff, because well it is good to me. Also going to get into a habit of carrying water with me more. I’m guzzling like a fish, something I always have done, but with the decrease in safe options it is more important to have.

I’m angry & scared about it all, but in a way I also am excited. I do have a chance to become as healthy as is possible. Thankfully I have witnessed others overcome less than ideal diagnoses. My Dad was diagnosed with high blood pressure and as a Type 2 diabetic & through diet and exercise is now significantly reduced the blood pressure medication and no longer at levels that are considered diabetic. I’ve watched a friend learn that she was diagnosed with celiac disease and struggled to learn how to avoid any & all gluten in a world where it is EVERYWHERE. Seriously she is an inspiration & although she says she may still feel like a rookie, she is a pro & now focuses on fitness because she finally is healthy and has energy! Check out her blog for more on her journey- Gluten Hates Me. I can do this. Just have to keep reminding myself & keep focus.

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As much as I don’t feel like it, I am lucky. We are figuring out what is going on with my body & hopefully this will arm me to fight to prevent any worse conditions.  In the grand scope of life, I am very lucky to have the health I do have. Just want to make sure I keep it that way & repair what I can. It will be awkward & it will be hard, but I am worth it. Deserve this. I will get back on track and back to me.

… just a me without sweet tea.

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