Saturday, May 24, 2008

I Didn't Mean to be Gone So Long

Sorry about the big gap between posts. Warning: This post is a little more personal than I normally get.

The Personal Stuff
Something I've discovered over the last year or so is that having a good support system for dealing with chronic illness and big dietary and health changes is important. This can come from family, friends, spouse, etc. But you also have to be ready to stick to your guns when you feel like you're not getting the support you need in order to do what you need to do to get and stay healthy.

I've learned a lot about just how important it is to keep eating good food and exercising when the shit hits the fan. I think the reason I've survived the last two weeks is because I take care of my body now. Which controls the depression. Which enables me to get out of bed in the morning and face another day. In the past, emotional trauma would have put me face down in a gallon of ice cream or worse. But eating whole, healthy foods is so part of my life now that it never occurred to me to go there.

I've also discovered how truly lucky I am to have such great friends and family (and I already knew they were pretty cool). I'm so thankful and grateful for the thoughtfulness, caring and time they've shown me over the last couple of weeks.

Eating Out
One of the big challenges in following the new eating plan is eating at restaurants. I like going out for dinner once in a while, but it's a learning process. The first couple of times I went out, I would order a steak, but I was uncomfortable asking for substitutions, so I'd end up leaving all the potatoes, rice, etc. on the plate. I don't like waste and this made me as uncomfortable as asking for substitutions did. But as I've gotten more confident about what I can eat and what I absolutely won't eat, it's gotten a lot easier to ask them to leave the carbs off the plate and double-up on the veggies instead.

I can even find stuff to eat at the local Mexican restaurant where I'm a regular. I got a few funny looks at first, since these guys were used to seeing me eat a lot of food. First thing, push the basket of chips as far away from you as you can. (Eventually, you don't see it anymore.) The trick is to just order the fajita filling, or carne asada, etc. without the tortillas, rice, beans, etc. And frankly, it's plenty of food--just meat and vegetables.

I've only had one incident where my eating plan was a problem. I went to a business function at a small restaurant where the owner was involved in the meeting and had provided free food for everyone. He got very offended when I wouldn't eat anything even after I had explained why. So I've decided that when these meetings are held at the restaurant, I'll decline to participate.

Overall, you can eat out and eat well. Most of the larger chain restaurants post their nutritional information online and it's pretty easy to find. And if you stick to basic fare that doesn't have a lot of sauces and hidden ingredients it's usually pretty easy to gauge what you're eating. Just be aware that the nutritional information that the restaurants provide can be off by quite a bit. There was a just an article about this somewhere this week. I don't remember where I saw it. If I find it, I'll post the link here.

17 comments:

willowcaroline said...

Aww... I am a fan of Mossy Cottage, and was saddened to hear the news. I have enjoyed reading about you both. This has got to be so tough. Sending you thoughts of strength as you continue to deal with this healthily.. I know all too well how easy it is to turn to food for comfort. And also sending up thoughts of peace for you.

Kristen said...

I'm also very sad to find out about the end of your and Ryan's relationship. Obviously, all I can do is wish you both healing.

Sara said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your sudden single status. I think I found you via a link from Mossy Cottage a month or two ago, and I stuck around because I enjoy your food insights. I'm separating from my long-term partner at the moment - and it pretty much sucks no matter how you look at it. Best of wishes to you -

Marianne said...

TMK, I'm so sorry, and nearly speechless. I can only imagine how that must have felt... WTF just happened, indeed. I'm really glad to hear you didn't end up face down in the ice cream. Seriously, that would've been disastrous. Keeping you in my thoughts and sending out my best.
Hugs.

Duranee said...

You're in my thoughts, and bravo for sticking to your goals and keepin' on through the WTF moments. I'm truly glad you're sharing with us here, and hope you continue blogging as you've made me very, very thoughtful about what I am eating, when and why. I hope you'll continue to allow us to support you, either in person or via your blog, as what you are doing is amazing and I'm truly inspired by the changes you're making for yourself. I'm sorry they've come at such a high price, and please let me know if I can help in any way.

Diane T said...

I'm sorry to hear your news. Breakups always suck and I hope things get better for you soon.

Norma said...

I am not even diabetic, but as you know, I try to watch very closely what I eat, and what I eat is a lot like what you eat and don't eat. I've recently had the same ugly work scenario that you've described arise -- TWICE in one week. And one being the university, and one being for an agency run by and for the handicapped, it's all the more upsetting that they don't take my concerns seriously. In both instances, they said, "We'll get you lunch. What would you like?" I say that I avoid wheat and bread, and so the best thing for me would be a salad with meat. (how hard is that???) They both say that's not available -- could I just take a wrap (that's really all that was on offer) and just eat the insides? Cripes. And the odd thing is that people are under the misconception that there is "less bread" in a wrap, but there is more than in a standard two slices of bread.

You've found THE KEY -- to just about everything in life -- if you can, under the most stressful situations -- stick to the eating plan. Kudos to you!

On the other topic, HUGS.

Ginger said...

I'm so sorry, I just don't know what else to say.

I hope you won't disappear on us, we all would miss you on Saturdays. I meant to give you my e-mail last time I saw you, but I don't think I did, you can reach me at: (no spaces)little bit of crazy at gmail dot com

Linda 'K' said...

TMK - very sorry that things have turned out the way they have. As someone who's always struggled with food issues, it's always a mind-boggling event when you can get through it without resorting to food. I went through a divorce once without "falling off the plate" but then lost it another time when things were overtly fine. Keep doing what's best for yourself!

Linda 'K' said...

Sorry for the 2nd post, but forgot to say Albondigas soup in Mexican restaurants is wonderful, and any decent Italian restaurant I've found will make you any sauce on a bed of spinach instead of over pasta. If they don't have spinach? What the HECK kind of restaurant do they call themselves?

Crafty Coug said...

Hi TMK! I hope you can come visit us on the other side sometime soon! WTF happens and doesn't go away for a long time. The good news is that we have some pretty sweet Mexican places here! Let me know if you *need* to have a taste :)

Anonymous said...

Delurking to send you my best wishes. Linked to you via MCK and sending good thoughts to you both. Being a very highly emotional eater, I can so relate about the tub of ice cream. :-)
Will continue to visit your blog as I wrestle with healthy changes, too.

MaryB said...

Hang in there! One day at a time. Best, Mary B

Naomi said...

I'm glad you are blogging! You amaze me, really. In more ways than one.

Care for yourself and the rest will follow.

As you know I am sad for both you and Ryan. You are both such dear people to me.

As always - you are in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

A lurker here, just know that even when there isn't a comment, people (like me) are thinking good thoughts for you.

Take care.

Jus' me...

Peggy said...

Shoot darn. Best intentions don't always work out, so I am so sad for you both. Will look for you at VYT spinning next month. Or any time you want a work-out moving tree-rounds around.

Rabbitch said...
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