Through the years I, just like many of us, I feed my emotional voids with food. I will be tired from school and work and being alone at 16 in the US will just drown myself in Fruit Loops. Yes, the frosted ones. And when I say drown, I will eat so much that the roof of my mouth will hurt so bad that I will not be able to eat anythings else. I could munch on the family size bag within one night or to be exact an hour. And it did not help my feeling of loneliness and not being able to see my family who were in Russia, not a single bit. Rather leave me helpless, empty, and unfulfilled. But in spite of that I continued to do it – not just with fruit loops but with bread, pasta, sandwiches, chips, soda, and etc. – followed by purging and self loathing. I did it, about 2 years, until one day I could not eat anything. And I mean anything, I just could not hold any food down. The only thing that I managed to hold down was oatmeal. So I went to a doctor and he said that I had some kind bacteria, present in many eastern Europeans and is very common. He asked me about my diet and prescribed Prevacid. First generation at that time. It is now Privsec or something similar. Same idea. Well, I do not like taking medicine so instead I started watching my diet, of course with an obsessive streak. Nothing new here 🙂
Well, years forward and I am not taking any anti-acid or having any pain (sharp, stabbing pain in the pit of my stomach where I cannot move). Most of the time I managed to control my pain through more or less clean eating. But occasionally especially around holidays and during high-stress I will still get pans. That is until, I listened to my dad, who survived a bleeding ulcer (thank God he got back to Russia otherwise he would have never agreed to go the hospital here because he did not have insurance, when he got back home the doctor said one more day and that would have been it). In order to be ulcer free (well one is never is because it scars so rather for it not to open again) he started soaking a table spoon of flax seeds overnight and drinking it the first thing in the morning before drinking or eating anything else. The water soaks up the vitamins and healthy fat and helps coat the stomach and protect the lining. I am not officially 4 years pain free. So next time you pop that anti-acid pill before a particularly greasy meal or feel indigestion after, or eat until you cannot move; think about it – Is it really worth it? Is it worth it putting more chemicals into your body or making yourself suffer when it already has to fight of so much: stress at work and home, environmental stress, and etc. It will be hard for some of us then others. I do not know about you but I used to and even sometimes still feed the void rather then real hunger but I am so fortunate that I have the tools (family, friends, yoga, training, mediation, and etc.) to recognize it when it starts to happen and unlike before stop before I eat myself into the misery and continue the cycle of beating myself up for it.
Of course it did not happen overnight, it took time to first realize what happens, then re-train my taste buds, and then approach it with love and compassion vs. anger, denial, punishment, and frustration. However, I think I was totally worth it. I will not trade my health and well-being that I gained for anything else.
If you are not sure where to start here you can start by following a few simple guidance that helped me stay in shape and good health (Peak Optimal Performance Nutrition) as well as check out the recipes that are nutritious, delicious, full of vitamins, minerals and good fatty acids.
Coming soon – Combating cravings…
Esse Libere Fitness – Free To Be Fit