Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Diet – Session One

Keywords: meat protein, pork

Don’t eat pork.

Why?

I don’t know, just don’t.

Well why??

Do I ever have a tale to tell you…

You see, I am on a diet.

No I’m not really. I am way too undisciplined, too unregimented, to actually be on a diet.

I am not 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.

Disclaimer

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.