I once heard that for the food addict, interacting with certain foods is like taking a wild cat out of its cage every day and then trying to get it back in again. Active addiction can be like that. In the past, the urge to eat foods that are not good for me has indeed felt like living with a wild animal under my skin. I was anxious, stressed, obsessed and held captive by food’s dangerous allure.
It is with this mental image of cat-wrangling that I approached the medical testing I had scheduled this week. In order to be ready for my procedure, I was asked to abstain from eating any roughage for five days. Spelled out in terrifying terms, that means no vegetables, no fruits, no nuts, seeds, or pods. No fiber whatsoever. One day prior to the procedure I was asked to refrain from eating any solid foods. Suggestions for what I could eat included the following: soda, clear broth of the chicken or beef variety (no veggie broth), popsicles, sherbet, jello, coffee, tea, juices without pulp of any kind, and water. I’ve fasted before, many times, but I have to say that I went into this fast with a whole lot of angst.
On this special diet I could eat lots of meat, gravies, white bread galore, puddings, cakes, eggs, cheese of all kinds–in essence all the things I have foregone in order to get healthy. Are you kidding me, I thought? How am I supposed to do this and not be tempted to revert back to old, harmful habits after this diet is done? Come on, how much can one girl take?
A few nights before the fast began I was pretty shaken. I was scared to begin this process–scared to leave the safe haven I had found in un-processed foods. I’d gotten to the point that I actually crave raw and al dente veggies and fruits. I’ve wanted to lose myself in a salad, or dine on ancient grains. I needed to feed my body with micronutrients and not boxed stuffing mixes or muffins. I didn’t know how I would do it, how I would get through it; the darkness that spawned my addiction so many years ago.
My blog is dedicated to three things: God as love, food as fuel, and the belief that change, long-lasting change, realistic and healthy change, and a once-for-all-change is possible. I would get through this trial the same way I had gotten through my diabetes diagnosis. I would pray. I would ask other to pray too. I would concentrate on a power greater then me, who knew how to handle addiction successfully. I would remember, every day, every meal, what it felt like to eat right and feel good.
I got through my crisis and my test results were good, once again. I know God helped me to let go of fear, to trust the process I had embarked upon, to eat the way others were advising I must eat for my continued health. I’m so glad this experience is no more than a bad memory at this point. A bad memory with a happy ending. Yay, another NSV achieved!
What do you do when life requires you to switch things up? Are you ever nervous about diet changes? How do you process unfounded food fears?