It still seems weird to talk about anything else other than the marathon. But whether we all like it or not- the world doesn’t stop spinning for anything. Life continues to roll on. While like so many others I am still grieving and figuring out how to mentally handle the tragedy that struck Boston, I know I also need to pay mind to everything else going on in my life.
I was expecting my blog this week to be filled with complaints and tales of my struggles because of all of the digestive health precautions I am currently undergoing. But all of those issues seem ridiculously silly in light of the situation back home. Like I said, it seems weird to talk about anything else other than the marathon- let alone complain about any little problems going on in my life.
One of my ways to overcome dark times, however, is to regain and retain some sense of normalcy in my days. Thus, I’ve been still going to the gym and going to work and keeping my routine in check. It’s actually helped me to not think too long and hard about everything. Of course my Boston pride has been bursting out of my seams since Monday and it’s always in the background of my mind BUT I’ve also been able to focus on the other aspects of life to keep myself busy.
In all honesty, I have been experiencing a challenging week for reasons outside of the marathon. It is hard to find solace in routine when part of your routine is thrown by other causes. As readers know, on Friday I am having a colonoscopy. Long story short: after dealing with serious digestive problems for a series of months now, doctors and I want to rule out that there is nothing internally wrong with me. We all strongly believe that my issues are related to stress and the changes my body has gone through- but we want to be 100% of this diagnosis before moving forward. In order to check out my insides, yesterday I had an ultrasound. BUT the REAL fun procedure will be on Friday.
In order to prepare for my colonoscopy, I was asked to eat as little fiber as possible this week. My preparation paperwork literally says, “avoid salads.” I have been asked to refrain from whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. When the doctor told me this, all I could think was: Okayyyy so you just eliminated my entire diet. What DO I eat, then? Of course I’m being a tad dramatic. BUT my initial reaction to these orders was pretty intense. Looking back I laugh at myself, but in the moment I cried. In the moment I freaked out. In the moment I almost refused to have the procedure done all together because I didn’t want to sacrifice my healthy eating habits for a week. Come on, NO vegetables? NO fruit? What the hell am I supposed to do?!
This initial reaction is interesting because a little over a year ago, I barely ate those things. Cutting them out of my diet would have been easy peasy lemon squeezy. It’s amazing how my changes over time really have been permanent and lasting. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t eat those things.
I talked through all this with my registered dietitian and again, in hindsight I can say that I was a big baby. I cried as we set out a new meal plan for the week that ensured I got in everything I needed calories wise and health wise. I cried when she told me to buy white bread. My mouth dropped wide open when she told me to just eat regular pasta sans whole grains. Hi, my name is Allison and I have been known to blow things out of proportion. You would have thought all these doctors were telling me to eat dirt for seven days. Now that I’ve calmed down, I really need to apologize to the medical professionals that I characterized as demons for asking me to change my diet for a week.
I’ve since mentally digested these requests and am okay. I’m fine. And again, Monday’s horrific event only put my silly problems into perspective.
This isn’t to say that this week isn’t challenging though. This is mentally and emotionally a huge test for someone recovering from disordered eating. It’s also a test for someone so used to routine and the way that she eats. It’s also a big push on someone who is ridiculously stubborn. It’s also such a force for someone who does know a lot about nutrition and for someone who loves the foods she eats. How I’m eating this week is not enjoyable and because food is such a sensitive issue for me right now- I’m not a happy camper. Let’s just say that.
BUT I want to be able to have the procedure done. It won’t be possible if I don’t do all this. And once I have the procedure, I hopefully won’t have to do this ever again (or at least for a loooong time).
So what AM I eating this week? Foods that my body can easily digest. Chicken, white fishes, white bread, eggs, nut butters, vegetable juices, fruit juices, and pasta. It’s sort of like the diet of a picky seven year old. No, it’s not fun. But it’s necessary and that’s that.
I’ll be WISHING I could eat these foods come tomorrow when I have to start my 48-hour pre-colonoscopy fast. Don’t even get me started on how hard THAT process is going to be. Hello, jello, broth, gatorade, and lemon italian ice diet. I had to fast for my ultra sound yesterday and I saw that as the preliminary test for colonoscopy prep.
I think yesterday was the first time I didn’t eat breakfast in a year. It was so weird. How do people skip breakfast intentionally every single day? I just don’t get it. I was ready to eat the ultra sound technicians face off. Again, being dramatic. But you get the point.
I am totally dreading Thursday when I have to stop eating almost all solid foods, so I am doing my best to embrace the foods I can eat this week. I hate eating bad food and I refuse to eat flavorless crap so I am pulling out all the stops to make my limited diet interesting and yummy.
But I am sad without veggies and fruit. The whole grains is more of a health conscious thing that just bothers me. And while I miss nuts, they are replaceable too. Veggies and fruit though? I never realized how much I eat of both till now. Not adding vegetables to any and all meals is just crazy to me! They add so much flavor, texture, health benefits- they’ve become the spice of my life. C’mon. A sandwich on plain white bread with deli turkey and cheese? SO BORING. What is that? That’s just lame. I’ve been trying not to dwell too hard on my loss and pretend that these entire food groups just don’t even exist this week.
I’m reminding myself that this week is abnormal. Just because I have to make these changes and eat a certain way this week, doesn’t mean I’m “not healthy” and it doesn’t mean I’m back tracking on any “progress” I’ve made toward living a more balanced lifestyle with food.
An article published by the Washingtonian Well+Being blog reminded me of this. Yesterday they featured a post all about me and how I eat (when you know, I’m not prepping for any medical procedures). Check out- Food Diaries: How Fitness Blogger Allison Godfrey Eats for a Day. It will give you a good idea of a day’s worth of my usual chow and how I fuel my busy life.
A huge thanks to author Melissa Romero and the Washingtonian for featuring me yesterday. Not only did it brighten my gloomy day, it reminded me of the routine that I can dive right back into as soon as Friday is over.
On Saturday I have plans to make world’s LARGEST salad filled with every vegetable I can find. I’m going to eat strawberries handful by handful and chomp on almonds through the afternoon.
Like I said earlier, I thought this week my blog would be filled with my rambles about how hard my life is because I can’t eat how I want and how worried I am about weight and health and balance. It’s crazy how quickly things can change. I think I can suck up eating a few pieces of white bread and a couple medical procedures. I can handle that no problem. Bostonian’s are fighters. Whoever decided to attack my home should take note of that.
For more on this idea… I direct you to Stephen Colbert:
Anyways. Instead of stressing and over-analyzing, I’m just rolling with the punches and making the most out of every day. This gigantic mess and heart wrenching incident have motivated me to be more present- to be more present in every moment- to be grateful and thankful for what I have and the people in my life- to embrace and welcome every second I have in this world.
Keep it wicked healthy xoxo
and again, keep Boston with you today.