Among other things, something’s gone weird with the way people talk about food in this country. The other morning I wrote an update about whole30 week four and ended up deleting it. Not that I’m wanting to make a habit of critiquing something I wrote and then fleshing it out more in a following post, but I didn’t like some of the things I said.
The things you do with your body are personal, and not necessarily meant to be shared with acquaintances, strangers, and people you don’t even know on the internet. On the other hand, there are a lot of people out there searching for answers, experiencing their own version of hoping for change, of wanting to solve whatever it is that isn’t right.
Whole30 was fine, but it wasn’t a dramatic life-changer for me. It did not cure my aversion and natural resistance to meal planning. The part of my body that I’ve been dissatisfied with since I was thirteen years old still looks the way it has always looked. My “relationship with food” is an element of adulthood that will always require work.
I have been able to significantly cut out my caffeine intake. I basically quit coffee cold turkey after Thanksgiving, and didn’t drink it again until Christmas morning, at which time I had about a three-hour long panic-attack reaction that had me outside on my hands and knees picking grass in the yard trying to calm my nerves with the increased use and sensation of the hands. Whole30 requires you to cut out dairy, and since I will only drink coffee with either half and half or heavy cream, it made it easy for me to leave the stuff alone for while. I did recently try decaf coffee with cream, and I did not experience any negative reactions. I feel like an occasional cup of hot coffee with cream is still nice to have around on occasion, but it isn’t something I drink everyday anymore.
The sister who also did Whole30 last month is the one recently diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. In the long term, she is hoping to get off her Lithium medication. In the short term, she is simply wanting to make changes that will help her feel better overall. She reports (and said I could share) noticing positive effects during the past month including looser fitting clothes and reduced social anxiety. She’s started seeing a counselor she feels comfortable with, and though they are tapering off now, she’s had regular appointments with her psychiatrist to monitor the medication. Those appointments have sometimes been frustrating for her, because the doctor is not always able to give an answer to her more specific questions like, “How long do I need to be on this med?”
All that to say, she is planning to continue Whole30 , with some additions, for the next two months. I originally said I was joining her in that, but I’m not wanting to say that anymore. I actually seem to feel the best and most normal when I’m not getting wrapped up in thinking about food. That doesn’t mean eating whatever I want, it just means going about my day-to-day life with my family. I do find that exercise is helpful in fulfilling some kind of bodily need that bending down to plug in my Christmas tree, carrying laundry up the stairs, and transferring forks, spoons, and knives can’t accomplish. I like walking and being outside the most, but other than you simply do the best you can.