Since today is the first day of New Years, I want to write a theme post about health. Lately, I have not been taking acre of myself At. All. When I say lately, I mean probably for the last six years, but really only the last year counts. I’m slowly beginning to realize that I’m not 22 anymore. I’m not going to say how old I actually am, but I’m not 23 or 24 anymore either…
I have this problem where I get overwhelmed pretty easily, and while it makes me thrive and become insanely efficient at work, it completely ruins my personal life. If I’m stressed out, I avoid everyone, eat massive amounts of garbage, don’t exercise, and sleep and watch TV nonstop. I really wish I was one of those people who enjoys taking baths and using face masks to de-stress, instead of frantically cramming chips into my mouth while I binge watch Arrested Development.
This past October was particularly bad. Two or three times a week—let me reemphasize, two or three times a week—I would eat a family-size bag of Doritos as my dinner. It was a weird coping mechanism, but after an exhausting day at work, I could stop by the gas station near my house, pick up a bag from Bryant, the cashier who knew me way too well, and lay in my bed watching TV. It’s a disgusting habit, but it got me through some rough times.
Until it broke me. Come the beginning of November, I had lost a lot of weight (yayyyy!) but my face was breaking out like crazy—you could barely see my chin under all that mess. The reason for most of my stress was a conference I was presenting at in the beginning of November. As soon as I got back from the conference, it was like my body shut down. Within hours of walking in the door to my house, I was bedridden. My body was so sore and energy-deficient that I could barely find the strength to roll over. I spent that weekend in bed scrolling through possible causes for what was happening to me.
I had the epiphany to try eating food other than Doritos. I felt a little bit better throughout the week, but had almost no energy. The Friday of that week, I again felt my body falling apart. I had muscle pains, had a constant feeling that I was going to throw up, wished that I could through up, and couldn’t stay awake for more than 2 hours at a time.
After that, I realized I needed to fix myself somehow, like hit a reset button or something. I went on a “whole foods” detox diet, which just meant that I wasn’t eating anything processed, and I cut out dairy and starches. I also forced myself to exercise for an hour 3 times a week. It was incredibly difficult to do, but I quickly started to feel better. I kept with it for 2 weeks, but of course, I can’t keep with anything for very long, and so I started to slowly relapse. I didn’t get back to my low point of a whole bag of Doritos for dinner, but I had half a bag for dinner two nights in a row at one point. I tried to keep to whole foods most of the time, but I continued to frequently get bad stomach pains, had no energy, and just barely eeked my way through the end of the semester.
Now that I’m at my parents’ house, my healthy-eating habits lasted all of 2 days (if that…) and I quickly sunk into the habit of constantly snacking. I’ve been getting god-awful stomach pains, mostly at night. The pain has been so bad it’s been close to unbearable. You’d think the terrible pain would be enough to motivate me to continue to change my ways, but nah. Since the pain comes about 4 to 6 hours after I eat the bad stuff, it’s not enough of a deterrent, apparently.
Yesterday, I got very, very sick again, to where it was too painful to even pry myself out of bed. It was kind of sad because I completely missed New Years, but maybe it was a sort of rebirth. Last year, I drank way too much on New Years Eve and spent all of the New Years Day puking, which I interpreted as a symbolic “purging” of the past. This year, perhaps spending New Years Eve swaddled in a blanket, fast asleep, represented a re-emergence from the womb, and here I am, starting anew.
I’m laughing at myself as I write this because it is so ridiculous. I try to give my experiences meaning, but not actual meaning like to not eat chocolate truffles and barbeque potato chips late at night, but a deeper, spiritual meaning, so that I can feel enlightened without having to do anything. Whatever. I always knew I was lazy.
My point is that I need to start taking care of my body for real. I’m at the age where I can’t just destroy it on a daily basis and expect it to still function properly. So sad.
And I’m realizing that I should probably see a doctor.
Growing up sucks.