I find myself in a situation of my own making. I created the beast and now I can’t control it. My son’s diet is one that has been created by me. I am his parent and I am responsible for the foodstuffs that he likes to this day.
Trying to convince a 12-year old child to eat healthily is a very difficult thing indeed. Do I take the hard line? Do I just insist that he is not to eat anything that I believe leads to his addictive state? Or is the best tact to incorporate a more balanced approach. I have chosen the latter and the only reason I have done so, is children would starve before they put a vegetable into their mouth.
This problem multiplies when his friends stay because they are not my responsibility. Who am I to tell them what they can or cannot eat? Now I have a different problem on my hands. If I don’t feed my guests then that is tantamount to something far more serious. I would hate it if I felt my son was not being fed whilst staying at someone else’s house.
The balanced approach means that I also get dragged along for the ride. By allowing myself to be exposed to risk I increase the likelihood that I will have a small relapse. This is what my brain generally says to me.
“Your lifestyle choices are healthy. If you want to eat a piece of cake then you should be allowed to. Taking one brick out of the wall does not mean that the whole thing is going to come crashing down.”
Last night I took my son and his friend to watch Fast and Furious Six. I bought them both sugared popcorn and myself a salted version. What a hypocrite. I also bought three small Tango Ice Blasts without even thinking. It was the first sugary drink that has passed my lips in six months. As I watched the movie I chomped through every kernel. Was I hungry…no, was it tasty…no. We finished off the evening with a sandwich from Subway. I never eat at Subway. I decided to have a Chicken Tikka sandwich with a raita sauce and salad. I chose the healthier breaded option than they had.
Later in the evening I had the most intense stomach pains followed by a night on the toilet. I realised that my body was communicating with me the only way it knew how. By spending the night on the toilet my body was telling me:
“Look sunshine. I’m not sure what type of game you are playing, but for the past year you have fed me nothing but healthy and nutritious food. I feel fantastic. So what on earth are you doing now? Don’t put that shit inside me because if you do, I will make sure that all you see for the rest of the night is shit. You got me sunshine?”
I love these little relapses because they help us learn and move forward. It’s been a long time since my body has had to speak to me, to warn me about the dangers that my lifestyle choices are bringing down on me. As I wrote about the incident in my journal I realised that my body had been playing this game with me all of my life, and that for the larger part of it I ignored it.
I believe you also ignore your body as it tries to help you.
A few years ago I would bleed when I went to the toilet after eating jalapeno peppers. It was so bad that I had to stop eating them or suffer the consequences. Guess what I did? I suffered the consequences. Then when I stopped drinking something miraculous happened. I was able to eat jalapeno peppers without bleeding. How was this possible? You don’t need to be Einstein to work it out. I was only eating jalapenos after drinking alcohol, and it was the alcohol that was causing me to bleed. My body was trying to show me that alcohol was not good for my system, and I ignored it.
There were other signs that my body would give me as well. I would have terrible skin when I drank. I would smell kind of funny. I would be extremely tired and irritable. But most obviously I would vomit profusely. I would vomit so bad that I would often bring up blood. The stage before the blood was the worst. That was the yellow bile stage. It always tasted of Vodka even when I hadn’t drunk it. I can only guess that it was pure alcohol.
What a sign! My body was ejecting the filth from my stomach and still I didn’t get it. I just carried on regardless. What an absolute class ‘A’ idiot. Here is my body throwing the alcohol out of my body and I repaid it by putting more back in.
I haven’t vomited in over four years.
I’m glad I over ate last night. It has provided me with a nice timely reminder to listen to my body.
I urge you to do the same.
What signs does your body give you that your lifestyles choices are causing you problems?
Photo courtesy of Mugley (cc @ flickr.com)