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21 January 2009

The Coming Battle

It is 6.20 AM. I've not slept at all. Doesn't look good for the day. Fortunately for me it is a slow day, but i usually drive going home. Don't know how that will play out.

Because of my ongoing fatigue (Chronic Fatigue, & chronic and acute Epstein-Barr), i've really struggled with making meals for us.

First of all, my mother honestly taught her daughters nothing about being prepared for life. I did not learn how to cook or bake or manage money or a household. (At one point when i began doing my own laundry she told me that was "her job" until i went to college! She didn't seem to realize that if i didn't learn those skills, going to college would not make it magicaly happen.) It seems like i've spent most of my adult life trying to acquire these skills, & that is not easy! Maybe these things come naturally to some people, but not to me. I really struggle to try & do every day things, and that is before i'm talking about chronic illness.

As an adult, i ate whatever i had on hand, randomly as i felt hungry. As i spent much of my teens & 20s being mildly anorexic, i don't always recognize hunger signals until my body is screaming at me. As time went on, i had a tendency to eat mostly junk.

These days i'd say 95% of what i eat is healthy, but i've not overcome the randomness of my eating. It has occurred to (not always so bright) me recently that part of my fatigue is not giving my body nutrients on a regular basis. Planning meals has been quite an uphill battle.

Duane is really no better at this than i. He did live at home until we married (he was helping his mom with his disabled father who died a couple of years before we met). Sometimes his mom would cook & he'd eat what she made. Other times he just kept frozen stuff in the freezer & would nuke it. He also would eat randomly, often waiting until he was faint with hunger & needing something NOW before he would fix it.

I'm ashamed, but that pattern has continued. The only way i will be able to do this is if i really plan in advance. I've tried before, however & even that only lasts a while before i'm worn out. Thus, my husband often eats nuked, frozen items & snack foods, while i eat a can of (organic!) beans or peanut butter & banana (both organic!). It is hard on my self esteem, as well. I compare myself to my MIL, who is a bundle of energy, or the wife Solomon praises in Proverbs, & i just can't see where i have any value at all.

ANYWAY, this situation had been concerning me for some time, & i didn't know how to adjust it. Quite by accident i came across my first blog, listed below as Changed for Good. I don't agree with her politics or her views on religion, but it is a wonderful view of the changes she & her husband have made doing the South Beach Diet. And, with the exception of using artificial sweetners, it sounds very healthy. She's got good info on different food items, & some yummy recipes.

And i wondered if Duane & i could do something similar. (The wonderful part of working in OC when we live in BB is that i get 4 hours of time with Mr. Handsome every week.) We had a very serious discussion coming down the hill on Monday. Of course, the fact that i eat nearly vegetarian diet (still have occasional fish) AND gluten-free doesn't help matters. Nor does the fact that Duane doesn't like most veggies & often times doesn't even want to try them. I tried to reassure him that we can learn to make them so they've lots of flavor, but he doesn't seem reassured.

Rather than start with something too overwhelming like the South Beach Diet, i think our starting point will have to be simply having regular meal times. (Does this sound STUPID or what? Who has to learn to eat regularly? We do, i guess.) Neither of us like breakfast, so of course we have to start there. Our breakfast will probably be at 10.30 or 11, & will be something simple like oatmeal & maybe an egg, or fruit, yogurt, & granola.

So that is the goal, starting tomorrow we are going to try to eat regularly. This shouldn't be rocket science, but it may be a real struggle.


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