why archer eats the way she does during the most wonderful time of the year
After reading my last post, you may be wondering why my holiday feasting proposal included minimizing sweeteners for Thanksgiving, when it’s ummm, Thanksgiving! A time for feasting! Who holds back on Thanksgiving?
Eating archerfriendly has not come easy. It took me a long time to adapt to my diet changes. I felt forced to eat this way, so I resisted it. I also felt sad for all the foods I could no longer have. For months, I could never get past 13 days of eating archerfriendly. I just couldn’t do it. The day I made it past day 13, my roommate celebrated my accomplishment by giving me a birthday card for a 13 year old, edited of course, with the appropriate words, “Happy Thirteenth Day!”.
When I made it to day 14 of eating archerfriendly for the first time, my next goal was to make it to Thanksgiving, which was only 2 1/2 months away at the time. “Just eat this way until Thanksgiving”, I would constantly tell myself. I could do that. I could make it to Thanksgiving and then re-evaluate.
As a “reward” for 3 months of strictly eating archerfriendly, I had decided that I could eat whatever I wanted on Thanksgiving Day. So when Thanksgiving came, that’s exactly what I did. I went crazy. The first thing I went for was a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, and I still have a picture of the incident. I remember how my throat felt afterwards, that sickening sweet coating that hangs out on your throat as if liquid lollipop married itself to the epithelium of the pharynx. I’m not trying to make Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups evil here. I did not have one drop of any sweetener for 3 months, so eating a boat load of sugar like this was pretty shocking to my body.
This “reward” I had for myself was actually a lesson in how crappy I felt when I carelessly ate whatever I wanted. More deeply, I began to realize that this archerfriendly thing was not going to be temporary.
But this first lesson I had, it didn’t stop me. I continued to eat strictly archerfriendly afterwards, but then came Christmas and I wasn’t interested in sticking to my diet. And I felt like crap all over again. Perhaps I shouldn’t be referring to the consequences of eating non-a-f food as feeling like crap. Using that phrase is an understatement. It was more like severe bladder spasms that felt like my bladder was contracting on razor blades. Now that’s motivation. I needed to see this relationship between food and chronic pain a few more times before I realized that it wasn’t worth it anymore.
Then I got serious about getting better. I noticed huge changes in my health. I had more energy. I was feeling good. My interstitial cystitis symptoms were improving. I felt so much better that I no longer had the desire to eat normal. This health was worth it. My well being became a value to me, not just in my words but also in my actions. I started doing my own things for the holidays: bringing food everywhere I went, making food for parties, getting a separate archerfriendly dish made, lugging red garnet yams across the country in my suitcase so that I could make my own maple mashed yams, and making my own holiday a-f dishes.
Once my interstitial cystitis (IC) healed in 2008, I started getting real flexible with my diet. In a way, it was freeing. I don’t know if I could ever go back to being 100% archerfriendly 24-7. Right now, I just do my best. Even though the IC is gone, my food allergies are worsening. It’s just not normal to be allergic to, what, 10 foods and counting? So for me, I’m pulling in the reins a little bit, which includes Thanksgiving, in hopes to bring my body back into balance.
What you eat matters. What you put in your mouth affects your body (including your bladder). What you swallow affects your health. It affects everything.
What about you? Do you have food allergies? Do you follow your healthy diet and food allergies over the holidays? Or do you give yourself permission to eat “normal” for Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities?
Whatever you do, make sure you think through it, and have a plan.