i have so much on my mind this morning, i can hardly type fast enough.
and i am a slow, poor typist on the best of days...
first up: the amazing book i read in it's entirety yesterday while my kiddos were sick and watched PBS all day, "The Paleo Solution" by Robb Wolf.
i think this book will change my life, no kidding.
as many of you know i have been on quite a medical journey for the past 3 years...but let me back it up a bit more for you...say about 35 years :-)
i have been obsessed with food ALL my life. for absolutely as long as i can recall, food has been my drug. my love. my friend, my foe. my livlihood. my main method of communication and connection. my nemesis, mostly, if the truth be told.
i learned early on, as a "pleaser-type" that i could make people happy with food, i could cook for them, win smiles and approval and love. i could count and be counted. it was, and still is, how i love people the best.
well, everyone except for me. food has never loved me. food hates me and in many ways, i hate food.
they say there is a fine line between love and hate, but i say it is the same line, especially when it comes to obsessive/compulsive eating disorders. disorders i have in abundance. i'd love to blame my parents, or mcdonald's, or maybe even God. but it would be a lie. sure, those things all inform who i am, but ultimately, i have to own this or i will never recover.
i can't remember not being on a diet. ever. even as a little kid, i obsessed about my weight and constantly compared myself to my childhood girlfriends...why is her tummy flatter than mine? why do her clothes fit like that and mine don't? it got worse in middle school and high school...to the point where it occupied my every waking thought. i always wanted to be anorexic or bulemic as those things seemed like freedom to me, freedom from food...but i could never quite pull it off for long. food had such a strong hold on me.
i was too hungry to stop eating or to throw up.
by the time i hit college and starting casting about for a career, cooking seemed the only sensible course (what? i should have run screaming in the opposite direction!) and i got my first restaurant job at 21. i cooked professionally for the next 9 years until i married...and i blunted and hid the eating disorders i had behind my chef coat, behind the cooking magazines and the cooking shows and the cookbooks and, well, the cooking. i hid it all.
i got fat and miserable. i got thin and miserable. i have been abysmally hungry my whole life...never, never, never feeling satiety. this is not hyperbole, my friends. i would eat constantly when not hungry and always felt i was eating emotionally, i must be eating emotionally, right? 'cause that's what fat, sick girls do, right?
but it never felt true to me.
so fast forward to now (oh i have left so, so much out so that we can still be friends) and this little gem of a book, "The Paleo Solution". i started reading it because a friend recommended it and i had read that a paleo-type lifestyle might help me with the 4 auto-immune diseases i struggle with (arthritis, IBS, allergies and Hasimoto's autoimmune thyroiditis) as well as the persistent headaches and migraines that have nearly ruined my life over the last three years. i had also read that paleo was a good solution for my son's skin rashes on his face, his constant reflux and his ever-increasing ADHD type behavior.
now, i am fully aware that i have tried every incarnation of an altered diet over the past 3 years in an effort to feel better...vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, you name it. none of them worked a stitch.
so, i've got the three things going...this disordered thinking about food which boils down almost in it's entirety to genuinely feeling hungry all the time, no matter how much i eat and then these auto-immune diseases and headaches which i am convinced have something to do with what i am eating. something. and finally my son's physical and mental health.
and maybe this book has all three answers. maybe.
this book seriously hurt my head and taxed my already low ability to process science-y stuff. but the gist of it is this: i have been eating food that is toxic to my gut for my whole life...not just gluten, but ALL grains as well as nightshade plants (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant), dairy and legumes. and its this really subtle, slow insidious thing that builds over time.
one of the many symptoms of grain and dairy sensitivity is an inability to feel satiety. another is terrrible gut issues. another is leaky gut syndrome which can lead to massive headaches and allergies. another is multiple auto-immune dysfunctions. welcome to my life. it was like reading an autobiography. an ugly, painful, crappy autobiography. it can lead to skin rashes, reflux and learning disabilities.
my son's autobiography at the ripe old age of 6.
so, totally unrelated to any of this and just wanting to drop some weight
i've been smoothie-fasting for 5 days now. totally off ANY sort of grain, sugar, legume, dairy or nightshade plant. none of the previous diets i tried eliminated all those things at once...even vegans eat tons of legumes and literally tons of grains. when i went gluten/dairy free i was eating legumes and every other grain i could get my hands on.
plus cheating all the time because i was always hungry.
with the smoothie fast? i feel unbelievably great. full of energy. hungry when i'm hungry and full when i'm full. for the first time in my life, people. but no one can live on veg and fruit alone...meat has essential fatty acids that we must have. we can get close to them by combining corn and beans, for instance (although these are far inferior sources) but, uh, apparently those things are toxic to me!
i am leaving out an incredible amount of detail and science and, well, just my gut feelings, i guess. if you want to know more, read Robb's book.
it just might change your life too.
so a new journey begins. many of you are so sick of hearing about my illnesses, my obsession about food. (none of you are more sick of it than me) i have changed my mind so many times that perhaps i no longer have credibility. i don't care, though. no one has to live my life or experience my misery. know this: i will do whatever it takes to get my life back, to potentially save my son from the same damage.
so here goes everything :-)