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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

lessons learned

lessons learned
Sunday, March 14, 2010

Friday night, I failed. I had to work a 12 hour shift that included company provided dinner. I anticipated pizza being the main offering so I took an alternate option but did I eat it? No. I ate the pizza and 2 donuts :} The pizza was cut in squares so I probably ate the equivalent of a slice and a half; not much in the larger scope of things but I've been using a heating pad on my back all weekend. Last night was such a familiar feeling that I don't miss. Falling asleep, I noticed the pain in my toes, my back, my knees, my wrists.... Weather could be contributing to this unfavorable change but the proximity to one night of naught eating stands out in my mind and should shield me from blindly giving in at a future date. I think the return of the pain came Thursday. I remember thinking, “Umm. This is the second time I've had an adverse effect after eating soy ice cream. Could there be a link?” I've also had soy ice cream without a bad day two. shrug. Pondering it this time, however, did clearly illustrate to me that soy ice cream is a sugar based food and should not be so freely consumed by me. Thankfully, I bought 3 pints this week at Schnucks 'cause I was trying to get a gas discount, so I don't have to behave myself until I've consumed all three. My original pint was bought when I was going mad and the soy cream was my-- reward? Salvation? The thing that I needed to keep me sane and focused at that point. I don't feel bad for that choice. I've become quite comfortable with this diet and find that comfort to be dangerous. I find myself thinking, “I've done so well for so long. Surely I can have this one serving of ____ without too many consequences.” Ya'll, I ate an entire chocolate bunny that way. :( I'm eating a pile of breakfast meats purchased at Whole Foods during this writing; I'm tired of my limited breakfast choices. Really, I would be not whiny about breakfast right now if I still had pancake/waffle mix. Maybe I'll go to Whole Foods today to replenish my stock. Yum, yum. In the midst of food frustration, Whole Foods gives me hope. My sister has switched to goat milk butter. I think I'll do that too. Grits taste amazingly better with butter.

Tuesday, I have my first acupuncture appointment. I'm hopeful. I think it'll cleanse me of the madness caused either by the changing weather or my weakness and bad food choices. Also, I have tendonitis that makes me scream in pain a few times a day. I'm hoping a few needle sticks can take care of that.

Tomorrow, I step up my game. I haven't removed caffeine from my diet, despite the recommendation, because I saw a difference in my ability to wake up in the morning but not my overall energy level when I removed it before. Yesterday, it occurred to me that the effects of removing caffeine may have been masked by another agent (sugar?) continuing to pull down my energy. I stayed caffeine free for about 3 or 4 weeks, the minimum amount of time that it would take for it to leave my system and the change to begin to appear. I didn't know it took so long for substances to leave your body when I embarked on that experiment. I'll try again. Thank God for decaf coffee. At least I can have that illusion (but I'll keep thinking paint thinner. Eww.) I've also come to realize that this restricted diet must last for a year if I want to experience the maximum results. I can quit any day now and say “Something from those groups of food increases my pain” but I can't tell you what. To introduce each item or item pairing, eat that food for 2-3 weeks and then allow 2-3 weeks for it to get out of my system before I introduce another item/item pair will take a really long time. I'm looking at close to 2 months for each category. It's probably a good thing that I didn't think this through before bravely setting out on the course. I wonder if Jesus or God ever had that thought about the crucifixion. I can see Jesus saying, “Well, dad, I know that I agreed to go and die for all those people but now I'm having second thoughts.” Lent- a time for us to focus a little more on connecting to God. Understanding facilitates connection. Recently, I dreamed that knowledge (research and information) help me feel connected to God. That dream is half true. I seek information for faith. Head knowledge does nothing for my heart. I need something more. I admittedly find an excellent example of more from two Unitarian Universalists I know, Cindi B and Cynthia S. My latest belief-o-net test matched me 100% as UU. Liberal/Progressive Christian was maybe 5 down the list. Neo-paganism, Reformed Judaism, and Liberal Quakers all beat out what I call my faith. There is a reformed synagogue in town that I want to visit; their rabbi is an amazing preacher. I've never gone because I found my Friday night Bible fellowship group around the same time I was trying to schedule a time to visit the Jews. That would be an excellent way to get to understand Jesus, being among his people. Christians are more like a reflection of his faith. Judaism was His faith.

One thing I find interesting about this experience is my remarkably high compliance rate. I do not think of myself as one that has a great deal of control over her eating habits. I think that two weeks is the longest that I've been on a weight-loss focused diet and most of those attempts lasted less than one week. Perhaps that is why I am generally disinterested in weight-loss focused diets and strive instead for a program I feel I can maintain for life. Short-term “demands” don't work well for me but my health is important to me. Making lifestyle changes that benefit my health is so much more appealing than making changes in hopes of losing weight. I guess that's one reason I can stick to this for the most part. It's to improve my health and frankly I view it as my life or some food. I don't know that I can make it being in constant pain. I don't know that I can withstand 3 weeks of pain levels reaching 9s and 10s every day like some people with fibromyalgia do. I don't know that I'm strong enough to have this disease. If God really knows what She's doing and truly doesn't give us more than we can bear, I guess I can. I eat a lot of fruit now. I rarely ate fruit before. I still only have vegetables occasionally, probably because I have no other options, but my current eating is much healthier than before. Maybe pain of 8s, 9s, 10s, with frequent 6s and 7s is what I needed to stop abusing my body through food. I love cheese, biscuits, and ice cream. I do not view eating them as abuse but perhaps it was. I am surprised by how much weight I haven't lost with my current eating plan. The first 2 weeks, the scale stayed the same. Last Friday, it finally looked like I dropped 4lbs. I'm skeptical to believe that though. I have to see that number, or less, repeatedly. It makes sense though. No white flour, no while pasta, potatoes, cookies (I love!), donuts (mostly), or cake; I should be dropping a lb a week.

Did I ever tell you what fmwellness thinks about my triggers? It thinks I do better when I work 7.5 hrs or less-- maybe. Perhaps I can test that at some point. It also noted that I do better when driving is somewhat stressful as opposed to only mildly or not at all stressful. That's a joke! But correlations are just that-- correlation does not prove causation. Go research geeks!

Well, this has been an especially long blog entry so I'll end my thoughts with this paragraph. I would like to blog at least twice a week-- I'll remember more and probably not write as much in one sitting-- but I'm thankful that I'm at least able to do this. Thank you for joining me in my experiment to wholeness.


  1. I am sad that I didn't know about this before. I have been seeing a nutritionist a lot lately, for my issues, and she keeps giving these "what not to eat" lists. I am supposed to also keep a food diary and note what is correlated with pain, but I am way too lazy (and embarrassed by the lack of consistency in actually eating) to keep track. So, I just don't eat anything on the lists. The problem is that the lists just keep getting longer...and longer. Do you know how hard it is to find out if a prepared food has iodine in it?
    I love you though, and I am sorry that you are in pain. Fibro is tough...but you are stronger. You are one of the strongest people I know. Maybe we can talk (like on the phone) sometime soon?


  2. Sunday is probably the best day this week to reach me if you want to call.

    I wish I knew of a program that would correlate pain and food for you.

  3. Maybe there is a program that can correlate pain and food for you, M. I found mine by googling, I don't know, fibromyalgia support group. It was probably a banner or link on some page I found. Doing a search for online graves disease research studies might produce something useful for you. Good luck!