Getting Past ‘No’

Diets don’t work.

But I know that I feel better physically when I cut out carbs, especially sugar. My skin is clearer, my digestion/elimination is better, my sugar crashes aren’t… aren’t, and I don’t get the wicked headaches I used to get all the time (maybe I destroyed my liver with all the ibuprofen?). I’ve learned that when I do eat too much sugar, like during the holidays, a piece of bacon will settle my stomach. Bacon!  I’m trying to eat this way, for my health, without the focus being on losing weight.

But it feels like a weight loss diet. It has the same texture and pattern, one that insists absolute fealty and obedience to the Diet God (it’s so not a goddess), or in this case maybe it’s the Health God. I feel deprived and bitter and put upon. I feel like I’m holding myself back on every level, weighting for some perfect state of health that’s not going to come. I feel trapped, torn between giving up dieting for weight loss, and eating in a way that works for my body, which is dieting!

Then I read something like this from gluten free girl:

When I found out it was celiac disease, and all I had to do was stop eating gluten to find my health again, I never thought of all the foods I had to live without. I thought only, yes. Yes to being alive. Yes to all the foods that do not contain gluten that I can eat. Yes to food and being awake and my body healing. Yes to all of this.

And I feel small, horribly, horribly small. In spirit, not size.

If I found out I had celiac disease would I be this happy? I doubt it seriously.  I would weep at the thought of never having bread again. I make awesome bread. I have a huge framed poster of bread in my kitchen. I doubt I could look forward to a life without bread and not feel I was being punished for something, I know not what. Because that’s what dieting for any reason feels like, like punishment for unknown and made-up crimes.  But not to gluten free girl. She’s just happy as a clam without bread. And not to anyone who sees a huge restriction as an opportunity to create something new.

I want to let this trapped feeling go but I’m so used to it, it’s all I know. I’m not sure what’s there without it. How do I make the switch from focusing on what I can have instead of what I can’t. How do I say YES to life, when NO has been shrieking at me constantly for so long? How do I drown NO and resuscitate YES?

If you have any ideas, let me know. Alright?

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August 15, 2009. Tags: , , , , . diet.

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