When we left our heroine, she was being FORCED to look at herself in a mirror and finding it pure torture. (she admits here that she cried while writing that. Main reason to break this story up. Tears + writing = messy keyboard.) She was a bit happier, but still feeling a bit numb inside.
She hinting at a secret about some carbs, too.
Remember that while I never thought much about the connection between my body and ME (yes, part of this might have to do with some abuse… but that has nothing to do with this story), the real problem began when I started changing my diet to lower my cholesterol.
I cut out a lot of the protein I used to eat, and I increased a lot of carbs. Mainly wheat-based carbs. I also increased the cow’s milk until an allergy developed.
Now I have never been a big fan of wheat except for fresh-baked bread still warm from the oven. THAT, however, was always an excuse to slather pieces with butter that sank into the tender center.. and gave me a chewy crust to enjoy. I do not particularly like pastas. I can live without bread. I like cake, but I’d rather have fruit pies and puddings. I don’t like white potatoes, either, except as super skinny and crispy french fries or crispy-home fries.
Are we seeing some patterns here? YES, I eat simple carbs as a vehicle for consuming fat, and I don’t like the basis of much of the modern American diet. But eating more carbs (minus the fat) is the basis of cholesterol-lowering diets, and many of the weight-loss diets. Forget the proteins and forget the fats. They are bad.
As I made these changes to my diet, both my weight and my body disconnect increased. I became numb and numb-er. My joints were achy, my stamina low.
Enter changes every few months while trying to lose weight.
If you check through the archives for my Tales of the Scales stories, you’ll discover that I struggled all along the way with the diet. NOT with the calories, but with figuring out exactly what to eat that gave me energy and left me feeling good. And I always struggle with getting the fat down.
First I started cutting out the “white” foods: white flour, white potatoes, white sugar.. you know the drill. Lost the weight and began feeling better. Mood improved some, aches decreased some.
Last fall I moved to eating only whole grains: mainly brown rice and oatmeal, but occasionally polenta. Sometimes even bulgher wheat. I tried quinoa.. but it’s not my fave. I added back more protein and some healthy fats.
And WOW, it was like someone removed a giant cloud from my brain! My mood greatly improved, my energy level soared. And much of the weight I was holding onto fell off. I’m back down to the 120# weight I was before that cholesterol-lowering, “healthier” diet step began.
I have never tested positive for a food allergy, but I’m suspecting that there is something in many of these simpler carbs (especially wheat) that doesn’t agree with me. So I’m limiting my exposure to these.
Now dramatically reducing wheat from my diet has not turned me into a mirror-obsessed prima donna. But now I can look at myself in a mirror to comb my hair, to check throughout an exercise. To admire my necklace or my smile.
Where some people mentioned that we should not be judged by the appearance of our bodies, I believe that we should also acknowledge that we LIVE in our bodies. My body lets me feel a breeze and hear a laugh. It tells me when I’m strong, when I’m tired. Trying to separate ME from my BODY means I’m failing to acknowledge a whole part of WHO I AM.
It’s late at night as I’m finishing this, and I’m certain I’m forgetting some key point. But I worked out today and I need some rest. If there’s something you think I need to address, please hit me up in the comments. After some zzzs I’m sure I’ll be able to address it.