Today, in a few short hours, I will be leaving home for the weekend. I am going alone – no husband, no kids. I made it through the birthdays of the week and the band concert without pulling out any hair. But now, I am getting ready to pack up the car and head on down the road.
Here is my conundrum: Strict diet vs. delicious Yarn School food. My strict diet is now 100% gluten free because I have found that it really does affect my Fibromyalgia and how I feel. I eat specific foods at specific times. The feeding schedule at YS is not really what anyone would call normal. Coffee is turned on by whomever is up first – usually around 6 am and is gone by 8:30. And there is no more. There is no formal breakfast – waffle batter and a waffle iron, yogurt in the fridge, bread for toast, maybe some whole fruit. Then lunch. Lunch may happen around 3. And it is usually a carb and fat laden choice of food – homemade mac-n-cheese, BLT sandwiches, etc. Delicious? Yes, but not timely or within the parameters of what I eat. And dinner? Fuggetaboutit! 9 or 10 pm if you’re lucky. BUT — the conversation and camaraderie is part of the experience.
So – am I strong enough to sit with the group of campers and watch them eat? Do I take a small plate and find food that isn’t TOO bad for me? Do I skip meals altogether and eat my own food at my own timing? Every party I have ever had at my house has been centered around the food. In fact, we almost never even leave the kitchen. In my poor little brain it seems that food and fun have been linked to one another. Part of my dieting is to sever that link and let food be food and fun be fun and ensure that I don’t have to have food in order to have a party be a party. I think this is the most difficult transition I am making in this diet. For Easter, we went to brunch and I ate too much. Next weekend, we will be heading to a family baptism and a friend’s graduation. Guaranteed eating events. It is so difficult. Even if I make ‘good eating choices’, I will probably be eating more than I normally would. And there will be desserts. I can’t be alone in this struggle. Obviously America has an obesity problem that I am trying to stop being a part of. My plan is to stay the course, eat on my schedule, and avoid the food that I should not eat. Thank goodness yogurt is on my list of things to eat, because this is the best homemade yogurt ever.
Anyone have any thoughts or advice on this? Have you been there? Let me know. I want to know there are others on the same life raft as me.
One of the things that I have neglected over the last several years due to the severity of my fibromyalgia is exercise. I am horribly out of shape. Which is probably why I resemble the Pillsbury Dough Boy. The last several years, my energy levels were so low, I could barely get off the sofa to make dinner or do some laundry. When I had a job, there were times when I had to go to my car and sleep for my lunch hour just to get through the rest of the day. And even if I did have energy, the pain would stop me from doing anything. The medications prescribed by the doctor would help sometimes, but other times there was no relief. I kept watching my weight go up and up and up. I was at a point where all I could wear were my yoga pants and I was facing having to get another size larger in those. The men’s XL t-shirts were starting to get too tight.
Around this time last year, I made a half-hearted effort to cut carbs from my diet by cutting out pasta, baked goods, and breads. I lost about 7 pounds but found that I was only following this regimen when I felt like it. On the weekends, waffles, coffee cake, pancakes, brownies, cookies – they called my name. I rationalized how well I was eating during the week to allow myself to eat what I wanted when I was home with the family. How did that work for me? Not at all. I bought new jeans when it started to get cold again. But I had no clothes to fit. For my husband’s work Christmas party and for family celebrations, I had to go out and buy new clothes. I wasn’t working, I had no energy and none of my clothes fit. No wonder I was horribly depressed!
But today I am a different person. In early January, I began the Yoli diet. Now, I am not trying to sell anything or encourage you to try this. What I am doing is telling you why this is a miracle for me. I am now down over 17 pounds since the beginning of this year. My joint pain is almost gone. I have more energy most days than I have had in years. I have a new job (today is my 9th work day). I work on the 11th floor of a building where I can see a panorama of downtown Kansas City. I fit back into my work clothes and I look nice every day going to work. I can make it through the day without a nap. I feel happy and satisfied with myself.
And today, for the third time since I have started this job, I walked down eleven flights of stairs. And then, for the second time since I started, I turned around and walked back up. Eleven Stories. Of Stairs. No elevator for me. It damn near killed me. That’s okay. It will get easier. And if I keep up my diet and walk up and down eleven stories a few times a week, maybe I will be able to buy new clothes. Smaller clothes. And maybe I will be able to put my wedding ring back on.
Something I have mentioned in passing in my recent posts has been Fibromyalgia. I haven’t done a lot of complaining or whining or explanation of the what’s, why’s and how’s of my Fibro journey. And I am not going to today. What I am going to do is celebrate some of the changes I have made and their effects on how I feel. But first a couple of song lyrics because of the title of this blog post.
It’s so nice to meet an old friend and pass the time of day
And talk about the home town a million miles away
Is the ice still on the river, are the old folks still the same
And by the way, did she mention my name
Did she mention my name just in passing
Gordon Lightfoot – Did She Mention My Name
Now I have this song stuck in my head. Great. Anyway… This is how I feel right now about Fibromyalgia. For the last 2 years, every day has centered around Fibro – the pain, the exhaustion, the brain fog. In the past 6 months or so, I had dabbled in going gluten free in my diet, having heard that it may have some effect. And just after the beginning of the year, I was encouraged by some friends to try their diet plan. It is called Yoli and is based on balancing the alkalinity in your body and then eating a high protein, low carb diet supplemented by their patented protein shakes, energy/metabolism boosting drinks, and dietary supplement capsules. It is gluten free and mostly sugar free (natural sugars). Now, I am not one for paying a lot of money for a diet, but this one was rumored to help with Fibro symptoms. And if it could help those symptoms then the results would be priceless.
So, two months in, the results are priceless. Absolutely and unbelievably priceless. I am almost completely pain free. I don’t sleep all day. I have energy to do things (in moderation). I can bend and move in ways I haven’t for years. I don’t need two cups of coffee every morning to wake up. And I have lost 15 pounds in 2 months. My face is slimmer, my double chin is gone, I have a waist again. My jeans are sagging and I can get them off without unbuttoning them if I want.
Today, I am celebrating this success. I am going to fill out paperwork to start a new job. I am going to go meet with friends from an old job to keep in touch. I am going to do things that healthy, normal people do. And I am going to celebrate feeling like a healthy/normal person. Maybe in a few months I will stop the daily Yoli plan and go into maintenance. I want to hit my target weight first. And then maybe, just maybe I will be a healthy/normal person. Every day. And I can then mention Fibro in passing… a memory of an old acquaintance that was once more than that.