The other week the cashier at my local supermarket all of a sudden said to me ‘What do you do to stay so skinny? I guess you just don’t eat a lot, right?’
I shrugged, gave her a curt smile and rather annoyed muttered something along the lines of ‘I exercise a lot’. Which I do. But had this been someone I knew a bit better, and more importantly had I been in a better mood, I’d had given a more accurate explanation. Which would have included the terms Leaky Gut Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, FODMAP intolerance and Raynaud’s. Which then would have led to a stunned expression on this poor woman’s face and a lot of aggravation in the line of waiting customers behind me. And trust me, you don’t want that at 8.40 on a Monday morning.
But there you have it. Four medical terms that as easily roll of the tongue as they are to type onto this screen. It took me a full year and plenty of tests at the hospital however to figure out that A yes I was indeed ill, B it was nothing conventional medicine could cure and C I’d have to do my own research, trial and error included. So I did.
Lots of reading, experimenting, working myself through scientific papers and seeking advice from people who were going through the exact same thing. And it all came down to diet. Which today means I eat differently from the other members of my family: no sugars of any kind, alcohol, bread, pasta, rice or dairy. Fruits in very limited amounts, if any, and even then only berries. It also means good amounts of green vegetables, good quality meats, fatty fish and healthy oils. And sleep is of the utmost importance.
Sounds boring doesn’t it? It indeed feels boring sometimes to me too. So when over the past Christmas holidays I was confronted with a full two weeks at home with SOH and the kids and a diary filled with socializing both at home and elsewhere I let the diet slip a little too much. And fell ill again.
And bad enough as that was, when picking up on the diet again two weeks ago, I fell ill the other way round: dragging my body kicking and screaming like an angry toddler away from the things that are oh so nice but at the same time so very bad. Needless to say, I have not been feeling well these past two weeks and retreated to the safety of my home.
All that said, I am back now. As of yesterday I started to feel energetic and strong again. I even said it out loud just now ‘I am back.’ As if to remind myself never to fall into the trap of thinking that a little bit of this and just a tiny bit of that will not do me any harm. Because it does.
And not just to me, but also to my loved ones. Because I can be quite hard to deal with when ill. And apparently, curt to cashiers. So next time she asks me one of her rather abrupt questions, as she is so often prone to do, I will smile and be kind. Because maybe she is fighting a battle too.