I go on food jags. When I find something that both tastes good, and doesn’t upset my guts, I become obsessed. I eat it until I get burnt out, then move on to the next thing. This is bad, yeah? Variety is important. I could blame this on the simple fact that I have a small collection of gastrointestinal diseases, but this habit has been with me my entire life. Before kindergarten, the only thing I’d eat without a fight was carrots (props to you if you can guess my nickname) and sweet potatoes. Orange foods. I ate so many orange foods, my nose literally turned orange. Then it was green foods (I didn’t turn green, but I fell in love with Oscar the Grouch).
When I decided to become vegetarian it was for ethical reasons. I was mostly a junkatarian and didn’t really pay attention to the foods I was eating. As I got older, I could tell my body wasn’t happy with me (enter IBD). I started adding more variety to my plate, and eating fewer processed foods and eventually went full-on vegan. The results were amazing. I had so much energy, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I started running and strength training. It was the best I have ever felt in my life.
As IBD started to take hold, I fought my body until it wouldn’t take it anymore. In case you didn’t know, when you don’t listen as your bits and pieces are screaming for mercy, it doesn’t end well. It was last spring that I finally decided that being vegetarian was not a sustainable diet for me anymore. It was one of the more difficult decisions I’ve had to make during this process of coping with chronic illness. The psychological impact hit me the worst. Much worse than the physical discomfort as I started to introduce animal proteins back into my diet. In order to prevent food associated guilt, I had to disconnect from my food. I had to put less thought into where it came from.
Less thought about my food choices, means I pretty much subsist on garbage. I eat what I want, and don’t care if it isn’t healthy. I really stink at finding balance. Even if my diet is crap, I believe it’s better than the alternative; being afraid to eat. Food fear was part of the reason I lost so much weight before and after my Crohn’s diagnosis, and now I’m so afraid of losing all of the weight I worked so hard to gain that I eat constantly when I’m not barfing, which only makes matters worse. My eating habits are fucked up. I admit it. It took some time to accept it, but there you have it. It also makes me wonder how many people with GI illnesses also have a coexisting eating disorder. I’m sure it’s a lot higher than reported.
So, I’m in dietary limbo and I’ve eaten nothing but fried pickles and sweet potato fries for 3 days. It’s better than nothing. Way better. Delicious!