I had a food epiphany this weekend. The last month, I’ve been cooking for a friend and eating foods I don’t typically eat, like sandwiches, chips, granola bars, popcorn. While I wasn’t really overeating, I was eating heavier and greasier stuff (bread, meat, cheese) than I typically eat. Then I had a craving for Cantonese Lo Mein and two days later I had a bout of upset tummy and purging for a vigorous 18 hours. I kn0w the lo mein has a lot of oil in it. Since 2006, I keep my fat grams under 60 a day. I’m sure the one serving of lo mein had 80+ grams.
I keep a food journal, writing down what I eat every day and when I eat it. In 2004 I had digestive problems and I drastically changed my diet. The food journal helps me by giving me a history I can turn to when I get another tummy upset. I can’t always corelate it to what I’ve eaten in the last 12 hours, so I know there is a cumulative factor. I’d come to the conclusion that I shouldn’t eat lo mein, since I’ve gotten sick three times in three years after eating it. But that wasn’t my epiphany.
My epiphany had to do with taking the question deeper. What state of consciousness preceded the craving for lo mein? Reviewing my food journal for what I’d eaten the prior week, month, was illuminating. The answer seemed to be that after a certain point of slowly eating things that were too heavy for me, I’d get a craving for lo mein. That’s why it would send me over the edge. Every time. Three times in three years.
Being down for the count for just 18 hours gives me a whole new compassion for people who are limited in what their body is able to do. Yes, the tummy upset only happens to me for 18 hours at a time, but it’s a violent purging for 18 hours, leaving me weak as a kitten for a day or two after. I asked a friend with a key to come over and feed the cats, I could not even make it into the kitchen. I feel so blessed to get these reminders, because they encourage me to continue my healthy eating lifestyle.
Being unable to do much other than rest for a day afterward is also a good reminder for me. I tend to work each day until I drop into a few hours sleep, then up again — mind racing and body working — until I once again drop into a few hours sleep. It feels good to lie down for hours and hours in a row and even better to sleep for 3-4 or more hours at once stretch. I feel blessed to get this reminder to rest and sleep. At least to do it more efficiently.
And I can start with today. I’ve been up two hours at the computer and that’s about all the energy I have right now. But you know what? That’s all the energy I need to have to get me through whatever the day brings.
No matter what I may have thought yesterday or last week or last month, no matter what is or isn’t on the pre-planned schedule, I will have all the energy I need to have to get me through whatever the day brings. That’s always the way. All I need to do is let go of my idea of how it should go. I mean, I should be prepared, I should go through my life being productive and making meaningful contribution, but I should let go of the controls once in a while and go with the flow when it comes.