Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Confession

I have been driving hubs nutty.  I'm obsessed with food.  Thing is I like food.  Rather, I LOVE food.  I like the way it tastes.  I like the way it looks.   I like the smells.  I've been cooking since I was seven when I helped my Mum bake a pie and I got to make the crust.  However, normally, my thoughts only tend to revolve around food when I'm a) making a shopping list, b) planning out the menus for the week c) cooking or d) I'm hungry.

Trouble is, lately, I've noticed that I've gotten way worse.  I think about food almost ALL of the time.  I'm reading food blogs.  Following real foodies on Facebook.  I'm borrowing cookbooks from the library.  I'm reading about nutrition and nutrition studies.  I'm reading about the guts and CFS.  Every once in a while I step back and wonder why.  Why this obsession?

I haven't been this bad over the entire course of my illness but the illness didn't start off well either.  One of the main first symptoms of my CFS was almost constant nausea, food was immediately a problem.  I couldn't eat anything!  I was rapidly dropping weight.  My acupuncturist put me on congee (double boiled white rice) just to get food into me while he riddled me with needles to get my digestion working again.  Then he had me adding boiled meat and boiled vegetables.  Then a little fermented soy.  Then I moved onto chicken broth based soups.  Slowly I built up a repertoire of food that I could eat without wanting to throw up afterwards.  It was a slow process but it worked.

Once I got past most of the worst digestive issues, I ate a very clean diet.  Organic fruits, vegetables, meats and some tofu.  Gluten free breads, English muffins and crackers (GF stuff doesn't come organic unless made at home from scratch- like that was going to happen with CFS...).  I had made a private bargain with myself; if I ate a really clean diet I would be well by the fall and would be able to go back to work.  Of course, I still didn't know what I had.  I kept thinking this would just go away.  That I could fix it.  (If I'm being really honest with myself, I still think I can fix this.)

Once I hit the six month mark, the neuro symptoms hit (this is the normal progression of the disease BTW which I didn't know at the time), I got a diagnosis and I took a turn for the worse so I threw caution to the wind and started eating junk food.  I stuck with the GF because I'm not suicidal but I was purchasing muffins, cakes and brownies.  I ate chocolate and ice cream.  Desserts every night.  I just didn't care.  Slowly I noticed that I felt like crap after eating such things and I slowly but surely dropped them back out of my diet.

By spring when I did the Elimination Diet (The Diet from Hell), I was a mess.  I was so sick.  The diet made me bedbound and it took several months to recover from it.

Then fall came along and I found Paleo.  I figured what the heck.  It can't hurt any worse than the Elimination Diet.  Within a month I dropped several meds.  The nausea, terrible heartburn and intestinal pain all went away.  My period got back to normal, my mood lightened, I had more energy. I was a convert.  That is when the obsession started.  I made another secret pact with myself; try this diet for six months and you'll be cured.  After all, Dr. Wahls cured her MS in six months why not CFS?

I'm ten months into the diet and, no, I'm not cured.  But I'm still obsessed.  I did have a period of depression when a three month relapse happened.  I went from being able to walk around small stores with my walker to being bedbound, which is enough to put anyone out of sorts.

But the food obsession is still there.  I'm still reading blogs, papers, studies, articles.  I'm thinking about food all the time.  I keep thinking "if I only I had enough energy I would be making yogurt or ferments or kefir or sourdough bread or fill in the blank and then I would be able to heal faster".  I have wondered a few times if this was unhealthy mentally.  I've told myself a few times that I need to get a different hobby.  Other days I just say that I'm obsessed because I'm trying to heal myself.

Today, however, today I had an epiphany.  I was sitting out on the deck obsessing over a food war started by a real food blogger who decided to publish a post bashing Paleo.  I was pissed.  I stopped following her blog and un-liked her on Facebook.  I spent hours reading through the comments section on her blog and the rebuttal blogs.  Then I asked myself, why?  Why am I wasting so much energy over this?  Why am I obsessing over this?  Then it hit me...

Food is the ONLY thing I can control in my life right now.  I have NO control over: work, housework, finances, reading, health, friends, family, exercise, weather, etc.  NONE!  Food is it.

So I have a double edged sword in my hand: I'm trying to cure myself by eating the correct foods and food is the only thing I can control in my life.

I'm wondering if this will end well....

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