Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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Discipline Master or Control Freak?

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My latest restriction was planned as 14 days with no sugar. To me, no sugar means NO SUGAR, including all sweeteners and fruit. I lasted 2 days then I had to have low-sugar fruits and honey. For those 2 days, I felt incredibly hungry and I didn’t sleep well. Since adding the fruit and honey, I’ve been fine.

In spite of this failure of mine,  a friend called me a Discipline Master. I thought this term was so much friendlier than Control Freak.

Now that I have had all my test results back and there is nothing physically wrong with me, I wonder, ‘Well, what the hell is wrong with me?’

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I do not have food allergies.

I do not have a bacterial infection.

I do not have a major hormone imbalance.

I do not have bowel polyps.

I do not have cancer.

I have read several times over the past few months about how restrictive diets are becoming a health trend but if there is no medical reason for the food restriction, you could be adding to your issues by eliminating certain food groups. I am so very guilty of this one.

Every time I restrict, I do it in the name of my health. And I do feel better, eventually. But now, I am beginning to think that all my restrictions are more about power over food, not about my good health.

So, I’m loosening up a little. I had pasta the other night and today I had one piece of chocolate.

All my restrictions started in 2005 when I was in search of relief for my chronic sinus problems (nasal polyps). I knew I had polyps but controlling them was difficult. My former boss had much success with Ayurveda, what Indians call the science of life, so I decided to give it a go.

Each week, I would drive myself from Te Anau to Queenstown (New Zealand) to see the practitioner. She would massage me to work out the toxins. I took many herbs in tablet form. I restricted my diet on her recommendation. I was Vata so I had to stick to a Vata reducing diet. I lost 4kgs (8lbs)  rapidly but I was not overweight at all. She said it was toxins. I was now underweight and extremely thin (which I loved). Within a month, I felt great. It didn’t do much for my polyps, if anything but I felt and looked like a million bucks.

I stuck to this new regime for about 5 months before I caved. Two months after starting the Ayurveda sessions, I moved to Fiji which would be great for an Ayurveda diet. Did you know that half the population of Fiji are of East Indian descent?

I was very unhappy there. I was living and working with my new husband and it was not going well. I started to eat bread. Not all the time but I did have some. I also had the odd cocktail,  those were the days when I rarely drank but alcohol was definitely not part of my Ayurvedic regime.

Not long after that, I got pregnant and once that was confirmed, I allowed myself to eat whatever my body wanted, including meat (I had been a vegetarian).

Eat-No-Meat

The first time I became  vegetarian, I was 12 years old. My family had moved from the city to the country and my stepdad started to kill dinner. I was certainly influenced by an older sister who refused to eat anything “off the farm”. I remained I veggo until the age of 16 when I was a runaway and McDonald’s hamburgers were the cheapest things to eat, but that’s another story.

My issues with food are long and varied. I was a very skinny kid and remember being scrutinised for not eating enough. I was so shy, I didn’t like to eat in front of people, not even my family. I’m sure that is another story as well.

When I was 18, I got a job at Dairy Queen and became the Queen herself. I ate so much ice cream and chicken burgers, I gained 20 pounds (9kgs) in a matter of a coupe months. I had never gained weight before and eventually it got me down. It was gone by the time I was 23 thanks to stress and a prescription of Fluoxetine.

The next 7 years were food obsession free. I ate whatever I wanted, I drank like a fish (some of the years),  I didn’t have a weight problem and besides my sinus and respiratory problems I  was healthy.

When I lived in Sydney in 2001, I fell back in to the obsessive food wars with the added title of exercise freak attached, just for fun. The crazy thing about that is when I look at the photos from that time, I was puffy and not thin or healthy looking at all. I used to binge eat because I couldn’t cope with the restrictions I put on myself. When I think of that time now I think, that was crazy.

But is what I’m doing now any more sane and stable?

Mr M has “suggested” more than once that I have disordered thinking when it comes to food. When it all comes down to the hardcore facts, the truth is this.

I don’t want to be fat. I don’t believe obesity is a disease. I believe it’s the result of gluttony and disrespect to your body. This is not a scientific fact, just my opinion.

I don’t need to go to see a “doctor” to look at my history and see the signs that I have body issues. I certainly don’t need to go on some BIG PHARMA lab concoction that will keep me down and dumb.

So what is it I do need to do? I saw this on Facebook today and I think it sums it up nicely.

Live it up

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Confessions, Obsessions and Regressions

The view from my confessional window.

Well, I’ve finally cracked. I’ve been eating gluten-free  bread…..for nearly every meal over the past 3 days.

We all know that as of January 1, 2012 I’ve been back on my restricted diet. I have toyed with these kinds of “diets” and eating regimes since 2003 and have never been able to  last more than 4 months. If I dug into the vault, I would find food horror stories dating back to my early childhood but I’ll save that for another post.

I’ve been struggling to stay on this thing for about 2 weeks now. Easter chocolate stares me down every time I enter the supermarket, cakes taunt me at the cafe and ice cream calls to me in my sleep.

So far, I’ve stood my ground with these mental cravings but the bread got me.

Vogel's Gluten-Free Bread.

I was shopping and I just picked it up and put it in my basket. There was no contemplating, no stressing over it and no feelings of guilt.

Until I had eaten half the loaf.

I’m now on my second loaf and just loving the extra food choices I have. Toast (with peanut butter and/or jam) and sandwiches (cucumber, tomato, tuna, egg salad, chicken salad…yum) have never tasted so good.

Toasted cucumber and mayo sandwich.

I know what many of you may be thinking….What is wrong with eating some bread?? And the answer is: Nothing…but…..

Yeast is on my list of restricted items and you just cannot find yeast-free bread in the world…not the world that I live in anyway!! So, I do feel like a failure.

I was so determined to make it until my goal day of May 1, 2012 that I cannot help but to feel like I’ve failed myself in some minor way.

I’m currently reading Portia de Rossi’s book, Unbearable Lightness, which is about her unhealthy obsession with weight loss and  body image. Of course, she had an eating disorder. I do not.

I’m happy(ish) with my body and do not do this for weight loss. I do like the fact that I do lose weight when on it but I NEVER EVER count calories!!Even so, my hubby thinks I have some sort of eating disorder…..in a joking kind of way.

Yes, I restrict certain foods in the hope that it will correct my sinus issues. So far, it has not proven to be greatly effective unless I’m all the full-on anti-candida diet (which is extremely hard and grueling).

Even so, I feel more healthy overall. But I would love to find a happy medium to my food dilemmas.

Honestly, I’m scared that if I allow myself to eat pasta, cake,  chocolate or have a beer, I won’t be able to stop myself until my health gets so deflated that I’ll have to start this regime all over again. I’m also scared of not being able to go back to those foods with a clear conscious.

I know I’m not alone here. We have so many food choices today, many of which are unhealthy and health depleting,  that it is causing mental, physical and emotional problems; something I am aware of in myself.

I’m going on  holiday on May 1 and this thing will end then (?). I’m looking forward to eating and blogging about food and travel. I already have a lunch date booked in West Vancouver where I plan to order whatever takes my fancy!!

Gotta go…..my toast in burning!