Health is one step at a time

There are three things I want to talk about– funny how it comes in spurts, nothing, nothing, nothing and suddenly ideas I could write whole essays on pour in. Writing– there’s another topic.


The other three, so I’ll remember when the next time comes, are family, obligation and health. And harvest. Four. Five.


But right now, health.


I don’t know how well you know me. I’m gonna guess you do, so forgive me for telling you things you might already know. Two things: one, that I was rather ill for a long time a couple of years ago. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and IBS, and TMJ and some other things that are sets of initials that don’t have a treatable cause. Stress, maybe, depression, or something unknown. There’s a whole host of things like that, things that can be crippling, real things that you can feel– that you can’t stop feeling– but of which there isn’t much sign– no elevated white cells, no strange things in your blood, and of which there is no cure. Some people think of them as twentieth century diseases and why not when there are so many things in the twentieth century that were never about before.


The second thing: I lived in a Macrobiotic Community for a year. We haven’t talked a whole bunch about macrobiotics on this blog, mostly because it’s a big thing, a very big thing and this blog isn’t about it. But at the same time it’s huge in our lives. Alex was raised macro and I have become (mostly) macro, and that’s like becoming Buddhist; you can’t just go to church every sunday and read the bible. It’s more of a philosophy than a religion or a diet.


So here’s a third thing: I no longer have fibromyalgia or IBS or TMJ and for that matter I don’t think I really show many symptoms of having ADD either (another of my initial issues). Maybe I’m not depressed any more (I don’t think I was to begin with, though) maybe I’m no longer stressed out (I’m totally stressed out.) Basically, I blame the diet (that’s not exactly a diet).


I’m not a macro teacher so I’m not going to tell you what macrobiotics is, but it does have some guidelines, things you should probably generally avoid, things which I try to generally avoid because when I don’t they make me feel kind of shitty. The thing is, I haven’t been doing very good of a job lately.


I can blame that on a lot of things; my proximity to all sorts of snacks at my work, the fact that my mother stockpiled everything I try not to eat in preparation for our ginormous family reunion (it wasn’t that big, but my family is very good at taking up more space than we really need to), and of which a great deal remains (especially cupcakes), the fact that every social situation I ever get into involves alcohol.


But the truth is, I’m the one who puts it in my mouth. It’s hard, not eating things you know you shouldn’t when you want to, even when you start examining ‘you know you shouldn’t’ and ‘you want to’. I know I shouldn’t eat sugar, or drink coffee, or eat too many baked flour products because they make me feel crappy. I want to because I want to be normal. I want to eat what people around me are eating. It sounds like a pathetic reason, but humans are herd animals. Doing what other people do is part of our learning experience, and mostly other people are making good choices. So every time I see a customer buying something, or a friend eating something or are reminded that every other person my age goes to bars more often than I do I want to do those things because I want to fit in– I want to be like them. I don’t think it’s pathetic at all, actually. I think it’s a pretty reasonable thing to want.


But it makes it hard. I know I need to eat differently. I know that because I know how I feel when I eat things. I haven’t been hungry for weeks. I should be hungry for my meals. I should be hungry so I can appreciate the meals that Alex and I spent so much effort cooking, and so I can make sure my digestive track stays healthy.


Intention is the biggest part of valor, I think. What I mean is that I can look at every wrong move I make as a failure or I can think of it as practice. No one plays perfectly whenever they practice; that’s why it’s called practice. So maybe if I set the intention every day to eat the way I want to eat that day, eventually the practice will pay off.


Now I have to go finish eating this cupcake.

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