I’m not sure if this is day 38 or day 2 or just another day. I finally got my daughter back to school after a week-long virus that made her miserable and me stir-crazy. I was looking forward to a day of normality when I realized my son had fallen ill as well. I canceled yet another day of appointments, both personal and work-related (but kept my hair appointment – I’m not completely crazy and Henry assured me he wouldn’t die if he tagged along.)
After my haircut Henry asked if I’d get him lunch at Dick’s Kitchen, just down the block from my salon. I took his sudden burst in appetite as a good sign and let him order a Miss Piggy Bacon Burger, a side of not-fries (they’re baked), and a vanilla milkshake (a REAL milkshake, with real milk and real ice cream). I hadn’t had anything to eat for lunch besides a handful of macadamia nuts, but there really isn’t anything I can eat on the menu, even though it’s one of the healthier places in town and one of my personal favorites.
This got me thinking. How long can I sustain a highly restrictive diet? What or where is it getting me? Do I feel any better? (No, not yet.) Is it worth it? With summer just around the corner, do I want to miss out on all the bountiful fruits and vegetables of the season just because they’re not low-FODMAP? Can I go all summer without a mojito or other refreshing beverage? Maybe fall or winter would be a better time to heal my gut.
I was pissed off that I couldn’t have anything on the menu. I’m sick of being that person who has so many food issues that I basically have no options when I go out. I’m embarrassed that a restaurant owner and her chef have to rub heads together to figure out if there’s anything they can possibly feed me. I’m exhausted worrying about what I’ll have at my dad’s 80th birthday dinner and my family thinking I’m a total freak. I’m totally uninspired in the grocery store and I’m getting damn tired of eggs, bacon, and sauteed greens.
I realize this is a change of heart from my last post a couple of days ago. I’m sure my perspective would be different if I hadn’t been cooped up in the house for days on end with one sick kid or another. But when my husband came home from an exhausting day of work, I had to admit that I had no dinner plan.
So, we went to Chipotle! They are GMO-free, so there’s that! I ordered a salad with chicken, a wee bit of white cilantro rice (first grain in 38 days!), and sides of pico de gallo (with red onion!) and guacamole (with avocados!) and I didn’t give a shit. Actually, I do give a shit, but not enough to sit there and watch everyone around me eat like normal people do. We took our order home and enjoyed it on a balmy May evening on our deck. I ate very slowly, chewing each bite until liquified, included all my supplements, and of course filtered water. I ate slowly, ready for the impending doom that would surely take hold of my overgrown-with-God-knows-what small intestine. I savored each bite of chicken that was most certainly seasoned with garlic, relished each grain of white rice, and literally licked clean the little plastic container that my side of guacamole came in.
And then? Nothing happened. No aliens popped out of my belly. I wasn’t doubled over in pain. I didn’t implode from the inside out. What I did do was take a long family walk (without poor Henry who stayed behind with a worsening sore throat) and enjoyed spring’s colorful blooms, the constant chatter of my daughter a pace or two behind me, and my husband’s company.
Does this mean I’m giving up? No, absolutely not. It just means I needed to lighten up for once, to enjoy a sense of normality, and to know I’d be okay in doing so. I can see how people create unhealthy relationships with food. I don’t want to be one of them.
Tomorrow is a new day.