Keywords: meat protein, pork
I don’t know, just don’t.
Do I ever have a tale to tell you…
No I’m not really. I am way too undisciplined, too
unregimented, to actually be on a diet.
Ah, that’s a lot better. Confession is good for the soul.
I eat differently now than the way I ate prior to Mother’s
Day of this year (2014). There, that’s better.
Why? Why do you eat differently and what makes that little
fact significant enough to write about?
Well here’s the thing. My eating habits prior to that
fateful day were leading me down a path of destruction, of certain death.
Do not in any way confuse my words with the notion of “medical
advice”. Don’t even imagine doctors know about this. This narrative is entirely
personal. There are only three medical professionals involved in my tale, a
doctor, a physician’s assistant, and a nurse and the nurse doesn’t really count
because she was my wife, still is as of this writing although the experience I
am about to describe put the finishing touches on any hope I might have had of
salvaging my marriage. So don’t take my word for anything if you have to think
of it as “medical advice”. This is personal experience with food, period.
I can begin my tale at birth but I’ll take a shortcut. Let’s
just say I have long been a practicing glutton. My eating habits can easily be
described as overconsumption. It has been that way for me from the beginning.
It’s easy to fail to see the significance of this fact, though, because I have
spent nearly my entire life in the United States, a nation of overconsumption.
I’ve had health issues my whole life. Good health, bad
health, it all fits in the same basket for me. It’s not like one dominates over
the other. They coexist. I have my good times and my bad. In good times I am
strong and closer to healthy and not just capable of but practicing physical
exertion beyond what most folks would consider normal or even healthy. I put
the blame for that on my parents and my upbringing but it is engrained in my
head, bones, muscle, and sinew to tend to the land by hard labor. I am the son
of two farm-raised thrashers.
In bad times I struggle to overcome even simple health challenges
like the common cold or the flue. It takes me weeks to overcome a cold. I am
die-hard do-it-yourself anti doctor anti hospital anti pharmaceutical. When I
am ill my philosophy tends to be hey, you are sick because your body doesn’t
know something it should know. Using the medical approach is akin to skipping
school or cheating on a test. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. So when
illness comes, I cope with as open a mind as possible under the circumstances.
More often than not the circumstances include reduced brain power, probably even
brain damage but hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?
In other words, I tend to be strong and healthy but when I
get sick I get sick.
I also struggle with my weight. My healthy weight is
somewhere around 175 pounds, give or take. Anything under 170 is starvation in
my thinking. Anything from 180 to 185 is a few pounds over. Above 185 is
overweight. I have been overweight for as far back as my brain will allow me to
remember although I think I may not have been overweight on my wedding day 36
years ago. I have, however, been significantly overweight for the past decade.
My summer weight has usually been in the 195 to 205 pound range, some summers
less, some more. My winter weight for decades capped out around 210 pounds but
more recently climbed to 220 pounds and for the past several years climbed to
235 or even more. I work hard in summer. I tend to stay sheltered from Maine
winters. Shelter is where the food tends to be and I eat far too often in winter.
Confession is good for the soul.
I will pause here. More to come. But I do want to make one
point clear. I take full responsibility for my health and for my behavior. If I
eat poorly I have nobody but myself to blame. It is everybody’s fault, but it
is my own fault when that food passes my lips and enters my domain.