A thing has happened

This thing, this enormous thing. I feel it in the back of my mind. I’m afraid.

My health now must improve. There are demands of me approaching, and I must be strong enough for them. I keep telling myself that I went into this with my eyes open, with the expectation that this could happen, and still I am frightened.

I need steel in my veins, and thunder in my heart.

Mostly, though, I need to stop any kind of fad diet and stick to what I know is good enough. Vegetables, lean protein, that sort of thing. Light exercise. More water.

There are changes coming, and I must prepare.

//shay

Change isn’t always good

I didn’t post yesterday. I feel so guilty. I had been doing so well too!

But change isn’t always better, my friends. A change in my diet has proven to be a disaster. I made the mistake of trying a low carb diet, and although it could probably help me lose weight, it has side-effects, in my case, that make it impossible.

I don’t mind cutting out carbohydrates. There was a lot I didn’t eat anyway. If there were going to be side-effects, there was no way to know how my body would react unless I tried it. And it reacted with three days of crippling insomnia.

There is a biochemical reaction where carbohydrates are used to convert the amino-acid tryptophan into serotonin (if I understand it correctly).  A low carb diet that you don’t ease into, like I did, obviously caused this to slow down, and I could not feel drowsy or fall asleep.

This is not to say that this happens to everyone on a low carb diet. Apparently you can slowly adjust… in a couple of weeks.

I feel so sick today. My hands shake, my balance is shot, and I’m ravenously hungry and nauseous at the same time. I should not have done this to myself.

//shay

Exercise and injury

I missed another day. A friend came over and we talked through the night. I’m tired.

We spoke about exercise, mostly because I’ve committed to doing more of it and she wants to do the same. We’re in the same situation, battling against injury and sickness to get closer to good health, and it’s not like either of us has enough time or money to get better.

That’s something that the Instagram fitness chicks won’t tell you. Everyone assumes that we’re all starting from a similar baseline of sedentary behavior, easily rectified by cardio and crunches. The truth is that there are far more people out there who, through age, genetics or just plain bad luck, can’t do many simple exercises without hurting themselves further. The people who are so quickly judged for being fat, as if fatness is a moral failing and not the result of complex biological interactions between DNA, environment, mental health, physical health, and other factors, likely don’t start at that baseline, but somewhere far beneath it.

My friend has injured her back and knees, and she has kidney problems that means she will be on medication for the rest of her life. She used to be very slim, but having a child (and nearly dying in the process) has ruined her metabolism. She is still somewhat thinner than me, but that’s not unexpected seeing as my frame is much bigger than hers.

I have joint problems. One of my elbows is very weak, and my knees and ankles are so-so. I’m just unlucky; I’ve had a lot of bad sprains, and possibly dislocated my elbow. I’ve lost flexibility. But I’m trying, because I have to, and I have a few people I trust who show me how to do exercises that won’t hurt me further. I must work out to build strength, and to make sure I don’t lose whatever flexibility I have left.

Not much consolation when my elbow pops and hurts again, but it’s better than it was. When I sprained it, I started to lose feeling in two of my fingers.

Apart from the muscle soreness the next day, I’m doing alright. I write, I exercise, I stretch (because you need to stretch so you won’t be too sore), and hopefully I blog. It’s an ongoing process.

If you’re like me, then don’t lose hope, and don’t blame yourself for things outside your control. Don’t beat yourself up for not being capable of doing exercise, or of attaining perfect health. Don’t fall into the trap of self-hating fatness, and think more about doing what you know to be good for your body.

‘Tis better to be fat, content, and as healthy as you can be, rather than destroy your own mind and body in pursuit of thin-ness and health outside of your reach.

//shay

In sickness

One thing that stops me from writing, more than anything else, is being sick. Lately it feels like I’ve been sick a lot.

I’m trying to improve that. I’ve been working on my health – exercise, good eating, that kind of thing – and sometimes I almost feel completely normal for a while. But it doesn’t last.

These days, I regret not taking care of myself when I was younger. Such is the way of things, I suppose.

Today, my stomach is sore. I’ve eaten something that doesn’t agree with me, and it hurts. Maybe it’s gas. Maybe it’s something else. It’s probably gas though.

I’m debating whether I should just try eating vegan for a while, to see if that helps me. I don’t know how my body will react to that. I’ve managed to stop caffeine for almost a week, and the net result is that I’m sleeping so much better it’s amazing. But going vegan? That would be difficult. Perhaps being a vegetarian would work instead. I’m afraid of the inevitable vitamin B12 issues.

More on that later.

//shay