Confessions by Katie

For the past month or two I’ve really been thinking about adding meat, eggs, dairy and seafood back to my diet. I started with dairy in the form of yogurt and then finally added cheese last week (but in very limited quantities.)

Last Sunday, I ate chicken. It was in my burrito bol from Chipotle. It felt strange, but it tasted pretty good. “Okay,” I thought, “I can do this. I can eat chicken sometimes.”

However, today when I tried to eat chicken on my salad it was not the same. I had about 2 bites and I didn’t like the taste and I didn’t know why I was even trying to eat it. I still don’t like the idea of an animal dying to feed me. I don’t need help increasing bad cholesterol, I don’t like the idea of animals living in captivity or factory farming and blah blah blah everything most vegetarians and vegans will spout and everyone will tune out (including the spouter.)

What was really unsettling to me was why after over a year of no meat I was suddenly thinking about adding it back in when none of my core beliefs or feelings had changed.

Today with fork to mouth it clicked in my brain. I’ve been depressed. My mood has been out of control up and down, but for the most part, I’ve been pretty down all the time. That leads to feelings of indifference. Which can lead to no longer caring about things you once cared about — like say, animals dying to feed you.

Secondly, I’m tired of feeling different. Maybe no one cares. But it gets tiring to be the special diet restriction person. “Grabbing a quick bite” doesn’t really exist for me. Part of that is my choice, but a big part isn’t. LORD, I’d LOVE to be able to just go eat without caring. Or eat without getting sick. Grab a sandwich or a taco or a burger. But food is more than just tasty stuff I put in my mouth. It’s ethics and feeling shitty and nutrition. I can’t eat without thinking about nutrition any more. Sometimes that leads to over-indulgence because it gets so tiring to try to be so perfect all the time. I try to thnk about all the things I CAN eat. And there are tons and plenty. But add in social dynamics or lack of money or time and it just spirals into a web of indecision.

My problem with eating for nutrition is that I also eat for pleasure. Food has always been something I could enjoy. My escape. Comfort.

We recently had an ice cream sundae bar at work and instead of my usual non-participation, I had a scoop of ice cream with half a banana and some Hershey’s syrup. And someone of course commented. “Hey, Katie is eating what we’re eating!” I do usually have something in those settings, it’s just not usually what is being provided.[ Generally, that’s due to the whole no-gluten thing. Lately, I’d even been thinking about testing the gluten thing again. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe it was all in my head. I mean, that’s what the media wants. And then I accidentally ate carrot cake with whole wheat flour and DEAR LORD did I feel like hell. I didn’t know what it was at first, but once I realized what it was, it matched up perfectly based on timing of consumption and symptoms. Dumb.]

The other part of the equation is weight loss. I am FREAKING out on some level about my body and my weight loss. Even though I see messages every day about loving your body and accepting yourself and I know I’ve lost 90 lbs, I am still unhappy. I still only see a fat blob. I have freaking acne that won’t go away and a protruding belly that I fear will always be there. After losing 90 lbs and running 4 half marathons — I’M STILL FAT.  Not only am I still fat, but acne covered and homely. I haven’t worn makeup in ages (partly because my skin is so sensitive and partly because I’m lazy.) I just don’t feel attractive on any level. Yay depression?

With the depression has come a real struggle to avoid emotional eating and make good food choices. I thought if I could make myself eat things like chicken, I could help my weight and fat loss. People always talk about lean protein. Maybe I could do a week or two of lower carb and high protein and drop some weight fast! Yes! That’s the ticket.

Any how, I’ve been trying to deal with the emotional roller coaster and I’m lucky because I have good friends who have been there for me when I’ve vacillated between wanting to lash out in anger at people and when I’ve wanted to put my head down and cry. I’ve honestly just kept expecting to wake up and suddenly feel okay again. That hasn’t happened. It doesn’t work like that. Not really. I’ve added on to this taking “THE pill” for the first time in 16 years to help with some issues and so far it’s just exacerbated most of the demons. I’m still holding out hope that I’ll normalize in less than 3 months. There are other factors that are large contributors to my stress, anxiety and depression but I have word-vomited long enough for now. Just please know, I’m not being a nancy-pants. There are real things, valid things, to be causing my feelings. And even if there weren’t; even if I just felt this way with no reason to which to point (and part of it probably is that) that would be okay. (I have to tell myself that. I still have trouble believing it.) So, thanks for reading if you did.

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3 thoughts on “Confessions by Katie

  1. Katie, of course everyone wants to make suggestions for why, why, why you’re feeling like this, but as I read this, I kept wondering if you’re malnourished. I know you’re really focusing on proper nutrition, but as a meat eater I discovered I was “severely malnourished” about seven years ago and was told to always eat meat first at every meal. I pretty much never deny myself meat (since I’m largely unbothered by the ethics of it) and to this day I’m “mildly malnourished”. To add to my anecdotal evidence, a friend of mine had been a happy, long-term vegetarian and he started obsessing over meat. Didn’t actually want to eat it, but couldn’t stop thinking about it. Long story, but blood work revealed that while he was not protein deficient, he had become severely deficient in. . . enzymes?, vitamins? Something that could be traced back into his meatless diet. He ended up incorporating small amounts of meat back into his life and had almost immediate benefits from it.

    Also, you need to teach yourself to be an optimist. Adult acne? You’ll reap the rewards in smoother skin in your 50s. Small pooch? You can run half-marathons and people half your age can’t do that. Homely? WTFever. You’re far too cute to be homely, but you are a non-traditional beauty. I truly stop and star at a lot of the pictures you post. Maybe you’re cherry picking the best ones, but regardless, your face in fascinating.

  2. Katie,
    Losing weight, dealing with allergies, dealing with major life events and the changes they bring all add up and take a toll on our minds and bodies. News breaking statement right? There is no magic pill, no magic wand, no magic drink or person for that matter. It has to begin with you. You know this I think. You have to come to a point of knowing what you can change and what you cannot. You are doing a tremendous job of changing you. Your weight loss, your physical goals of running 1/2 and full marathons; your switch in careers and being a success in both the old and new job! Your writing and blogging are a big way of opening up and sharing. Definitely not the introvert you once were! You are an inspiration for so many people especially your family. We love you so much!

    You should love yourself too! We can all look in the mirror and see things we want to change. I do that all the time, inside and outside. But you know, the outside stuff does not matter. It is what is inside. It is how you treat others. It’s the golden rule.

    So how do you get to that promised land, that pinnacle of self esteem? One day at a time, one breath at a time. The thing is too that you don’t have to do it alone.

    Love you!
    Mike

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