These Things Happen: Musings from a Self-Proclaimed Food Addict

Coming down off the keto diet and eating fruit again is like having been sent to the gates of heaven and showered with ambrosia, the nectar of the Gods. I made a protein shake with frozen berries that have antioxidants. Why had I put a moratorium on all fruit? Because they contain Satan sugar and daemon carbohydrates.

I put a half a banana in the shake with spinach and coconut and chia seeds and coconut milk. OMG, you guys. The flavor is like sweet, sweet nirvana exploding in my parched and neglected mouth.

Oh, Keto, you steered me right. and then wrong, and now I am finished with you and feel like a new person. However, I am aware that looking at carbs seems to be all it takes for me to gain back some of the weight I’ve lost. I’m slightly terrified. I’ve always thought I could save myself the trouble of having to eat my food if I could simply apply it straight to my hips and butt like lotion. 

While on Keto (but not for certain because of Keto), I’d begun experiencing steep dizziness. It was probably from a medication I take—but I’ve been putting that in my mouth for over two years now. Maybe the dizziness sprung from a combination of low carb or yo-yo keto attempts and medication. Maybe my body is living in some kind of purgatory—loves the food, hates the food—and I’ll be released to heaven or hell when I discover just the right balance.

Either way, getting of Keto and reintroducing good, whole foods has brought a cloud of euphoria down over me. I’m looking forward to food again.

I must be careful not to return to my old, mindless eating ways. No bingeing on Doritos, no cookie after cookie after cookie because it tastes amazing with my coffee before 9 am. I must continue to think about my health goals and what I want for my body and mind—I want those things more than cake. Usually. So, another journey begins…

I am seeing a dietician in March. I hope she will help me outline a plan of diet and exercise that is sustainable. My doctor said that because of my medication (pregablin) and because I’m post-menopausal (had to have a hysterectomy in 2014 due to debilitating endometriosis), It is going to be very challenging for me to lose weight and that if I were able to lose 20 more pounds it would be a miracle (my words). But his facial expression told me he was doubtful. Come on, Doc! Where’s the encouragement? I can do this!

CBD and Me

I want to start smoking pot, but my husband won’t let me. Typical story, I know. Seriously, though, for legal reasons attached to my husband’s job, I can’t keep weed in the house. 

Enter CBD oil. I found it at Jimbo’s (San Diego’s version of Whole Foods). And I’m addicted but not an addict. On days I struggle with back, head, or neck pain, or when I suffer from fibromyalgia body aches and fatigue, I squeeze the dropper and release the peppermint-flavored liquid into my mouth like I’m a baby bird. 

There is no high. No immediate, discernible improvement occurs like a curtain of cure lowering over my woes. But within several hours of ingesting the potion, I feel better. I’ve wondered about a placebo effect. Am I merely tricking my brain into thinking CBD is working because, for almost $50 an ounce, it should work, by God? I don’t know. And I don’t care.

I’ve collected pamphlets and talked to others who swear by the stuff as a close second to THC. I’ve yet to understand in more detail exactly what I’m putting into my body.

This is how we do it, though. We take medication, eat food, and drink delicious sugary or alcoholic concoctions without fully understanding their effects on our bodies. And if my doctor tells me to gather hundreds of dollars in supplements, I do it. But shouldn’t I be more careful? After all, it was a doctor who prescribed Skelaxin (a muscle relaxer) while I was on Lyrica (Pregablin, a nerve blocker). I found out the hard way that the two have major contraindications. It wasn’t until I felt like I was literally dying that I checked sites online—sites I chose to trust without confirming whether I should actually trust them—and discovered that, no, nobody in their right mind should ever take those two medications together. Well. Lesson learned. Or maybe not. 

Every morning and night, I scoop a medicinal cocktail into my mouth, little colored pills of power, thinking I’m on the road to wellness or, at the very least, on a path further away from the pain I live with daily. But what if these drugs and vitamins are keeping me sick? The fear and lack of certainty about what to do regarding my own health is enough to make me give up and resort to bonbons and Netflix as a panacea for what ails me. I’d like to think I’m quite proactive when it comes to participating in my own wellness regimen. I ask questions, read websites and brochures, record migraine severity and frequency, practice yoga and meditation and breathing…But the more I read and live in this world of western medicine, the more I wonder whether there might be a more holistic approach that doesn’t require pharmaceuticals at all. I might be too afraid to enter that portal without armor and a proper arsenal. I need to survive, because that’s what all this is about: surviving.

And I’ve let acupuncturists flick needles into my face. I’ve drunk Chinese herbs that taste like oregano, bitter tea leaves, and dirt. I’ve exercised and rested and journaled and laughed. But are any of these the best medicine? And who has the time and energy it takes to become a paragon of health. Aren’t we all just fighting an uphill battle, knocking down invaders one by one as they multiply in number and severity? 

So, here we are, CBD and me, and until the day comes when I can level-up, I’m content to suck that glass dropper and believe doing so cozily affects the pain center in my brain. And if it’s a lie, so be it. The older I get, the more willing I am to think ignorance is bliss. Well, bliss may be a stretch. Let’s call it temporary relief, and let’s be grateful we at least have that.