If ever there was a t-shirt that expressed my current mood, it would read: I’M ON A DIET, AND I’M UNHAPPY. So, if it sounds like I’m yelling in this post, suck it up, buttercup, cuz maybe I am.
Diets and Cleanses
According to Dr Jen Gunter, people can actually do damage with diets, cleanses, and supplements. I am certainly guilty of “doing too much” and “having no chill.”
The reason for my diet is to feel better, not to lose weight or cleanse. And because I was getting rashes and lesions on my leg. Let’s face it, if there wasn’t some outward presentation, I probably wouldn’t care so much about inward issues. I’ve had a stomach ache for 43 years. This just got my attention because my legs became unsightly. It’s called vanity, people. It propels my life.
I’m not going to dish out my usual advice because I think diets should be based on personal needs and conducted under medical guidance. I’m conventional on this one topic–maybe the only one ever–because I’ve messed myself up with my diets and dumbassery so many times before. And there’s just so much information out there that it’s hard to know what’s what.
A clinical nutritionist laid out my diet plan based on my reaction to certain foods, not based on any one particular diet plan. And, as far as I can tell, there’s no rhyme or reason to it. It’s not vegan, vegetarian, or paleo necessarily. It’s personal, so I won’t tell you what comprises it because it doesn’t matter. What I will tell you is that it’s NOT A LOT OF FOOD AND I’M FUCKING STARVING.
As much as I hate to admit it, the diet is actually helping me feel better. If nothing else, it has made me more conscious of how shitty I feel when I eat and drink certain things. And in that way, it has changed my relationship with fried food, dairy, and alcohol. We’re on a trial separation.
I was pre-diabetic during both of my pregnancies, so I’ve explored my relationship with sugar already. What I can say about sugar is that it is in E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. You think fruit is healthy? It is if you don’t have sugar issues because it’s high on the glycemic index. Just gonna have some plain toast? Not on bread, you’re not.
Alcohol isn’t good for anyone. There. I said it.
As much as you try to tell yourself it’s OK, it’s really not. And you may be able to get away with drinking and not feeling like total trash in your 20s, but trust me when I say that it will catch up to you.
It’s poisonous, and what you’re experiencing when drunk is actually your body hallucinating by fighting off the poison. People with alcohol use disorder die an average of 25 years sooner. That’s a quarter of a century sooner. (!!!)
Read Holly Whitaker’s Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol if you want to dive deeper into social factors behind alcohol consumption. Also, fuck the patriarchy.
If I’m being honest, I’m not 100% alcohol free. On weekends, I’ve been nursing tequila presses and Ashland hard seltzers–both watered down with soda water. Both drinks are clear, so they don’t count.
Because I’m drinking SO MUCH LESS, I can actually feel how bad my body reacts when I do drink. But there are also mental health repercussions to sobriety that I need to balance, like boredom. And shopping addiction.
So what to do?
Essentially, if you’re feeling like shit, you might need to see a doctor and have bloodwork done (to look for things like diabetes) and/or a nutritionist (backed my science, not backed by essential oils).
Sleep, drink water, exercise, don’t eat like shit, and–look away now if you don’t want the hard truth–avoid alcohol. And chill TF out cuz the Canadians have known since the ’20s that stress kills.
Don’t fall for gimmicks; put in the work, and know that retraining your body and mind to relate differently to healthy food is gonna suck for a while. There is no magic formula. (Or if there is, tell me about it because I’m mad AF and want to drop this diet like a hot potato.)
Potatoes. I can’t eat those either.