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Just wanted to pop in and let everyone know I'm feeling better still. I picked up some acne and an eczema spot from the experience (I haven't had one of those in years), and I may have picked up the distinction of "least likely to be invited for dinner".
After feeling invalidated by the carelessness and thoughtlessness of a stranger, I've found time to reflect and reconsider my attitude. It is important to have a healing attitude about everything you do for your own health, and I'm trying to nurture mine. Some questions I have been mulling over in my mind are:
1. Do I deserve excellent health? And...Why do I deserve it more than others who don't consider themselves sick enough to try a drastic change to their diets.
2. Is it worth inconveniencing others to fight for my own health?
3. Do I deserve a long and full life?
4. Can life be fulfilling when it doesn't center around eating whatever I want?
5. How much of an occasional indulgence is worth its health costs?
6. Why does it have to be such a battle?
7. How badly do I want a long and full life?
Do I deserve excellent health? Well, yes, everyone deserves excellent health. If I had my way I'd make the choice for everyone, but I can only make the choice for myself and to some extent for my son.
Is it worth inconveniencing others to fight for my own health? This is a tough one, because I wish it weren't so inconvenient for others. I wish all food were safe though, and if that means inconveniencing everyone then that's what it takes. I do enjoy calling food manufacturers when their labelling is unclear, I like to nag and pester them. It's harder when it's closer to home though. Yet, I might as well give people the opportunity to help me in a unique way by learning what food is safe and good, and what is anything but.
Do I deserve a long and full life? I'm trying to take this beyond the realm of a rote affirmation into something that really means something to me personally. Maybe I deserve it simply because I'm willing to fight for it? Do others have to fight for it for me too, before I become deserving. Of course, we all deserve it, but what goes through your head when you doubt your own health-worthiness? You get a lot more affirmations of your health-worthiness when you're sick, but when your fighting the battle and winning, sometimes you lose track of it, you lose that affirmation from others. But, then, what good is the affirmation of health-worthiness do you if you're sick anyway. Better to be healthy and have doubt! I'd like it both ways, myself. My true affirmations sometimes are only what I get by putting beneficial foods in my mouth.
Can life be fulfilling when it doesn't center around eating whatever I want? Well, it certainly wasn't fulfilling when I did eat whatever. If the choice today is to be where I am now versus going back to 5 prescriptions and didn't really work plus various OTCs...I choose to be where I am now--in all my gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free, sugar-free glory. My dinner plate isn't so sad...fresh wholesome ingredients showing off their true flavors. It tastes as it was meant to taste, not how food manufacturers want to convince me real food should taste. Some of it is better than anything I tasted before, and I actually know what the spirit and essence of a leaf of endive really tastes like. My son actually asks for and enjoys vegetables. Treats are what you make them, so nourish yourself with real food.
How much of an occasional indulgence is worth its health costs? I often take this on a case-by-case basis. It's not too hard to avoid foods that will make me emotional and grumpy, because I don't have time for that. Other foods, I occasionally give in to, and sometimes I don't totally regret it, even though I always move on.
Why does it have to be such a battle? Well, there's a lot at stake, and there aren't enough people fighting on our side, on my side. We're all outnumbered, but we're brave and we'll stick to it. We are fighting against marketing propaganda, strong emotions, and the status quo. None of those are easy to beat. For instance, today my enemy was a scented candle. Of all my chemical sensitivities, those are one of the worst, yet it's like battling chocolate, they are seen as a way to improve our environment and standard of living. Yet they give me asthma, gummy throat and eyelids, and a racing heartbeat. But hey, at least I have no reason to battle chocolate! This is one diet that allows it.
How badly do I want a long and full life? Do I want to outlive everybody around me? The few deaths of friends and family I have experienced have made me want to say "no" to this question. Then I consider the births and future births...I consider my son and child-to-be, nieces and nephews, and following generations. I would like to be around for them, both in good health in the present and in the future as I age and get wrinkly, even if I get a bit more stiff and sore.
I'll continue to ponder these questions, and if I think of better answers, I'll share.
If the restaurant that gave me the gluten doesn't resolve it for me tomorrow, I'll flame them here. So stay tuned! I had a wonderful experience at a restaurant this weekend though, Stockman's in Vernal Utah. It was so lovely! I forgot the ask the waitress for no croutons, but she thought of it on her own and she explained to me how the meat is cooked on it's own dedicated grill, etc. etc. I had steak and lobster, and it was heaven. The lobster had never been frozen...how they get that in Vernal, I don't know, but it was absolutely wonderful. If you're within driving distance, it's worth a drive to get there.