there might be something else for you tomorrow, something better
Three weeks ago I stopped at Freddies after a late evening radiology class at a local hospital. I was in the middle of summer quarter, which was also my first quarter back full-time since I had my second baby. I had been out of ready-made food for a few days because my baby had been teething for the entire past week. I was sleep deprived and very low on time. By the third day of living in food scarcity mode, I was hungrier than I wanted to be. I was desperate for food that was ready to eat or brainless to make.
I stopped in front of the vegan Go Raw display in Fred Meyer, which was amusingly located in front of the carnivorous meat section. I saw their Ginger Snaps Super Cookies, and remembered how good they tasted two months ago when sesame seeds were still my friend. I was tempted to dig through the display, ravaging for a Go Raw product that might be free of sunflower or sesame seeds. Instead, I tore myself away, in an attempt to protect myself from the sin of covetousness.
The Go Raw display redeemed itself by leading me straight to the meat. I have never coveted a piece of meat because it has never been taken away and I’m really a veg-head at heart. I ended up finding a hunk of buffalo meat, but I was still begrudged. It needed to be cooked, and I wasn’t willing to do that once I got home at 10pm at night. I still wanted something to pop in my mouth, something to munch, something ready to eat!
“I can still eat pumpkin seeds,” I thought to myself. A spur of food-joy led me to the bulk bin aisle, as I anticipated buying out the raw pumpkin seed bin, even though the little a-f warning facts were streaming through my mind at the same time: the pumpkin seeds were not organic and they were probably imported from China.
I reached above my head to open the raw pumpkin seed bulk bin dispenser chute, anticipating a fast rush of earthy green seeds filling the plastic bulk bin bag. About 1.5 tablespoons worth of pumpkin seeds tumbled into my bag. What? They’re all out? This was the only seed I could eat besides flax seeds, and plain flax seeds from a bulk bin were not a munchable snack option.
I couldn’t keep this tease of seeds. It was laughter in my face, a sort of mocking for my depravity. I tossed the bag in a messy nook above another row of bulk bins, and left it with the rest of the bulk bin trash that others left behind — where it belonged. I swallowed hard to suppress the tears that wanted to pour out my eyes right there in the disheveled bulk bin aisle of Fred Meyer.
Then I felt an overwhelming urgency to leave the store ASAP. I couldn’t stand that I was in there and I didn’t want to look at anything. I hated that to get to the check-out aisle, I had to pass by the peaches, the nectarines, the bananas, and then the carrot juice on the little Odwalla juice stand.
I was tortured in the check-out line while I investigated the woman’s grocery basket in front of me. She was purchasing the typical “healthy” food that’s marketed especially to woman: Luna bars, some Special K variation, and flavored Chobani Greek yogurt. I noticed jealousy rising inside of me, not at her “health” foods, but at the freedom she had to stop at the store after a trip to the gym and re-stock up on whatever she wanted.
Once I got in my car, I couldn’t wait to get out of the lit parking lot so that I could anonymously sob in my car on the way home. When I hit the road, I let myself have at it. Emotion came from within my belly, and expressed itself with tears and trembling.
I cried because this diet isn’t easy. I wish that I could enjoy a summer’s ripe peach without a hypoglycemic event. I wish I could eat a banana with my kids. I wish I could eat cold cow milk with homemade granola for breakfast without triggering an army of insulin to mutilate my blood sugar. I wish I could eat basil pesto brown rice pasta for dinner.
But I can’t eat those things right now.
Maybe things won’t always be like this. Maybe I will be able to eat those things in the future.
Just because my health is like this right now, doesn’t mean it will be like this forever. The science I know so well, it marries the pain of the now, and it fools me into thinking that my health will be like this forever.
But it’s not true. Right now does not mean forever. It just means today. Tomorrow may be different because healing is possible.
What health practice is hard for you right now, but may not be a part of your tomorrow?