"Eat more food?" I asked with my heart sinking into my poor, distended gut. "Eat more food," said the nutritionist who sat across from me.
Eat more food. Isn't that the kind of advice that everyone wants to hear? Eat more food. That sounds easy. Hell, I bet you most of America would agree it even sounds fun! But I almost cried.
I've been overweight for as long as I can remember. I was teased constantly growing up, and I had always thought that with proper diet and exercise, one day I could control my weight. What I didn't know is that my body wasn't, isn't, and may never be normal, so the normal principles of weight loss don't necessarily apply to me. As many of you know, I've been getting into fights with my body. I was hoping that it would cooperate after all the allergies, the gluten, and the vices were cut out of my lifestyle. My body decided it had other plans. Different plans. What I suspected to be thyroid related plans. And after several doctors over several years told me its not your thyroid, I tested positive for thyroid antibodies, which assures me that I'm not crazy after all. The presence of these antibody suckers does indicate that I am in fact experiencing some sort of autoimmune disfunction. Perhaps signs of early hypothyroid. The first thing I thought of, admittedly selfish mind you, was maybe my metabolism will finally kick into gear.
Because of me having been overweight for most of my life, I always thought my metabolism was extremely slow. I had one pediatrician tell me I had no metabolism, and that was that. Through sources such as articles, journals, and medical professionals, metabolism is another one of those things medical science doesn't know enough about. Which is why I was shocked to find out there was a metabolism test that I was going to take with a nutritionist, in order to see how many calories I was burning a day.
The metabolism test I took consisted of being at rest and breathing into a tube for 10 minutes. The breath goes through the tube into a small machine that looks like it came from the late 1980s, which then estimates about how many calories you're burning in a day. I expected a slow metabolism. After all, I can't lose weight so it only seemed to make sense. Why haven't I learned that my body doesn't make sense? My metabolism was a lot higher than I expected. So high that the nutritionist said I need to eat 800 more calories a day, which brings me to the eat more food above.
Lately, eating has been more difficult than usual. I think it's this weird new no appetite feeling my body's been showing up with. I tried to eat enough, at the right times of day, despite the fact I haven't really been into it. I guess I wasn't doing a very good job, because I wasn't eating enough according to the woman who was a size 0 telling me to eat more food. And so now I'm here, the opposite place I'd ever imagined myself to be as a mysteriously overweight woman: eating more food.
It's not the fun foods that you would want to add to your diet like chocolate or butter, or more chocolate (hey I like chocolate!) It's more like, eat more protein, more dairy, and more caloric vegetables and fruits without adding a lot more fat. This is super hard with my food restrictions as everything I happen to eat is naturally low in calories. I like chicken and turkey, peas, apples, bananas, and romaine lettuce. I like baking with agave and applesauce, and eating pudding or yogurt for dessert. So sue me! But eating them in what I always thought were appropriate quantities is not helping my crazy-ass metabolism (aka C.A.M) so now I have to just eat more of them.
At this point, I'm willing to try just about anything to see if it works. This is week 2 of my eating more food. I'm not going to lie, I feel miserable about it. It's not my favorite thing in the world to force myself to eat, especially when I'm not hungry. But like everything else, this will take time to get used to. I just hope it really works eventually, because I'm running out of other ideas.
I hope you don't mind me sharing these things with you reader. To me, coping with these problems seems to go hand in hand with pre-Celiac, Celiac, or hyper-allergic individuals who still experience further symptoms despite altering their diets. All of these things relate back to our autoimmune systems, an all encompassing storm of crazy that seems to rain down if one tiny thing gets of kilter.
I also hope this will explain why I may not post recipes for a few weeks, as I'm eating a lot of baked chicken, chicken/turkey/beef burgers, fruits, veggies, tinkyada pasta, and yogurt. I'll find other upbeat things to write about though, don't you fear! I'm actually going back to the UK for a couple weeks of work and hope to try out some awesome gluten-free foods while I'm in town. I promise to tell you all about it!
21 hours ago