I remember years ago the way some of my girlfriends, female relatives and colleagues would constantly count calories. Everywhere we went. Whenever we went out for lunch, coffee, dinner, even drinking, the girls would constantly be able to inform me of the number of calories or kilojoules in a drink, a snack and even a cup of coffee. It drove me insane. Always in hope of the perfect body and the perfect shape.
I am sure that even all these years later there are still women, and even some of my former friends, relatives and colleagues who are still counting calories and torturing themselves (and others) about how they can never seem to lose those last few kilo’s. It really is the obsession of our gender and so many other different factors come into play. I always had a difficult time with this topic and how it sat with some of my feminist views, but this is not about those views or those times, this is all about what parallels exist between the life of yesterday and the life of today; specifically life with an ongoing health condition.
You see everything I do now has an energy consumption (many call these ‘spoons’) but each weekend my hubby and I sit down and plan our diet together. If our week requires a trip, a visit, an appointment, a scan or even a phone call than I have to plan my diet very carefully… down to the single drop of energy. Factor in rest days, medication days, special events and so on. I should point out that I always get it wrong, and life will always happen which can make my diet plan go completely off the rails and out the window. Overdo it and the consequences are much worse than cellulite or even the worst hangover imaginable – Its system shut down!!
So a quick look at my diet and it may look like this….
* Normal, everyday, ordinary, HAVE to do it stuff = average allowance (probably just enough to get through the day with the minimal pain and fall out)
* Doctors appointments, blood tests, scans, tests, = more energy than I have ever had; ever.
* Pointless drama, nonsense = don’t even go there. No tolerance. No energy for that! NOT ON THE DIET PLAN.
* worrying about stuff I can’t change = No energy. Nah! Warning! Go back! Equivalent of jumping off a cliff with a rock and some sharp objects.
* Talking to / spending time / hanging out with friends = worth every bit of pain it brings. Hopefully not too much payback; I just hope for the best.
* Everything and anything else = energy requirements unknown – Again, hope for the best!
This week? I have probably overdone it already. Its been a hard year with lots of challenges, so I am not sure how this week is going to go but I don’t have the luxury of choice.
You see I could never do a diet plan years ago, because I never knew what was going to happen and keeping track of calorie intake and usage was more work than I had time or patience for back then. Today I face the same sort of limitations and challenges with my available energy and effort ratio with one noticeable difference, some days, without notice, the rules get changed. Sometimes nothing wants to work and I wont know why or when or for how long. The difference is back then I had a ‘normal’ working body and therefore I could have attempted a normal diet plan, but today I don’t, and today is a different game entirely.
So now my chronic diet looks like this. Do what I can, when I can, enjoy the chances when I have them, and deal with what happens when it happens. Not the best plan I know, but its the one I share with many other chronic fighters because somethings can’t be measured in kilojoules, calories, energy and effort. Some things you measure with your spirit, and if I look at what shape that’s in, I think it runs marathons everyday and gets lots of work outs.