Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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Starting All Over Again…..

These sweets don’t tempt me…

Do you struggle to stick to a diet or restricted eating plan?

I’ve been up and down on different regimes over the past 8 years or so and have failed to make a permanent lifestyle change. Mind you, I am fairly healthy and my eating habits are very healthy….most of the time.

Yet here I am once again flapping on about food and my struggles but that fact is: I like to eat and drink!! I love FOOD!! But I am destined to live a life of deprivation and limitation.

It’s August 1 and for the next 31 days I am challenging myself to restrict the foods and drink that I know for sure interfere with my health (and waistline):

Wheat

Yeast

Dairy

Caffeine

Red Meat (I don’t eat it anyway)

ALCOHOL

Sugar needs to be on the list too and I will not add sugar to anything but I am not going so far as to totally ban it….life’s too short for that nonsense.

Right now, I’d say my biggest battle will be with the withdrawal of alcohol. I’m not an alcoholic by any stretch of the imagination but I do like a beer or two come 5pm most nights.

The thing about booze, especially beer is that it makes me fat. There is no doubt in my mind that a few beer everyday has contributed to the BBB (bloated belly blues) I have and the additional 3kgs I’ve been carrying around since mid-June. Like food, my alcohol intake has been inconsistent over the years.

I was 14 when I got drunk for the first time. My friends and I were on our way to a school dance (hey, it was 1986!) and I downed 3 bottles of beer not knowing the effect it would have. Well, I have no idea how I made it through the doors of the school because I couldn’t even walk!! Booty shaking was definitely out!

Over the next 18 years, I used the drink as a way to party and socialize. I was a classic binge drinker and usually only drank to get drunk.  It was never a loved pastime so when I began to reflect on my health and change some consumption habits, booze was easily off the intake list!! During the years of 2003-2009, I rarely drank but then something changed.

While living in tropical Australia, I realised how good it could be to enjoy a cold beer after a long, hot day at work. This easily became a habit and before long I was drinking 5 out of 7 days a week. For the first time in my life I was drinking to wind down and cool down, not for the purpose of getting wasted!!  But I knew it was going to catch up with me.

After my 2nd nasal surgery in 2008 and several allergy tests that all proved to be inconclusive and unsuccessful, I had to accept the fact that it was food and drink products that were playing havoc with my sinuses.

I’m trying to avoid this look ( I have no idea why this photo refused to stay upright)

August 15, 2012 will mark the 1 year anniversary of my 3rd nasal surgery to remove nasal polyps and the last 12 months have been my most consistent year of restriction so far, though my eating/drinking habits are constant peaks and valleys.  I know this is how I must live my life in order to stay out of the hospital and to just breathe easier.  I recently had the all clear from my Ear, Nose and Throat doctor so I’m doing something right.

That is why today marks the beginning of yet another stint of going without. This newest deadline is set at 1 month but I know I will have to keep it going well beyond September 1.

Along with the forgoing of alcohol and the danger foods, I am committing to:

  • 6:30am wake-up
  • Daily meditation
  • Daily yoga practice at home
  • Weekly Iyengar yoga class
  • Weekly Pilates at home
  • Daily practice of The 5 Healing Tibetans
  • Twice weekly kickboxing

My end goal is to just be healthy…..bahaha…………. and look damn good in my bikini by November 1!!!

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What are nasal polyps?

Nasal polyps are small grape-like sacks that grow in the sinus cavity. There is no confirmed cause and there is no cure.

Symptoms are similar to hay fever and the common cold. When the polyps multiply, breathing becomes laboured. Some people suffer from sleep apnea and even lose all sense of smell.

Because there is no cure, the symptoms are generally suppressed by steroidal nasal sprays and prescription medication. For severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

I developed nasal polyps in 1994 but was misdiagnosed for a year. More than a year after that, I had my first surgery.

From 1996-2007, I struggled with these pesty growths, and asthma, trying several different western and eastern medications and lifestyle changes but with little relief. By 2006, I lost my sense of smell and taste for good.

In 2008, I had my second surgery. Within two months, the polyps were re-growing and my ENT would remove them in his office. After ten months of bi-monthly visits, he gave me the all clear to yearly check-ups.

Yearly checks were a mistake because come my first one, I was full up with polyps again. Once again, surgery was recommended.

He also recommended that I try a restricted diet and that maybe candida was an issue. I must say, I never had a big problem with thrush or other common candida issues. But alas, I gave it a go.

My doctor’s version of this anti-candida diet was not very strict, although I did think so at the time. He did not even restrict fruit!! I have to restrain for all the other culprits: gluten, dairy, all fermented food and drink (esp. alcohol), SUGAR, caffeine, nuts, dried fruit…..the list seemingly goes on and on.

I did feel much better; no more bloat or constipation. I did sleep better but my polyps remained.

On & on it went, until I started to cheat. Then I went on holiday to Asia and damn the diet. All food was back on the menu and I started drinking beer again.  I was on again off again from July 2010 until August 2011.

Then on August 15, I had my third surgery.

After my third nasal surgery....attractive, eh?

A week after, I started a very strict anti-candida diet, this time add to the resticted list: all fruit, all starchy or sweet vegetables. I did well for two weeks and felt great. I was over the moon when my sense of smell returned four days into the regime. Then my life changed and kept changing throughout September.

When I reintroduced potatoes, the sweet vegetables and apples I felt ok. But within two weeks, I was stuffy and congested and miserable.

Misery loves to eat so I started having the occasional hot chocolate with rice milk, then I was craving lamington cake. I must report that I was going through a very tough emotional time: I had just had a major lifestyle change and a death in the family. I ate cake…..and I cried. And this went on for…..actually it’s still going on. A piece of mud cake is taunting me right now.

Sinful

On October 10, the local GP confirmed that indeed, the polyps are returning. So, true to my personality, I will go full force on all the naughties until I can convince myself to do another detox and restricted diet. At least I’m not drinking beer again. Too cold in NZ anyway!!!

Gotta go now. I have to murder a piece of cake.

Wanna read more about my journey? Check out my post on the I’m not fussy website :

http://www.imnotfussy.com.au/JenniferMorton.aspx