More Than a Number

My dad is trying to get us to go on a diet. Frankly, I’m not thrilled.

I’m not going to name the company that we’re using, but it’s one that delivers food as part of its plan. It wasn’t the first time he’s brought up this plan, but I honestly only agreed to it this time because if I didn’t, he would have just brought it up again later. And he also brought this up the day after my stomach bug, and I was feeling tired and still a bit out of it.

Don’t get me wrong, I know I need to lose some weight. But for as long as I’ve been dealing with weight issues (since my teens), it’s always been a really sensitive subject for me. I first put on the weight because of a combination of binge eating and boredom. The summer heat is so ridiculous around here that even thinking of trying to go outside to get some exercise makes me feel like I’m gonna suffer from heat exhaustion. My mom and I did try afternoon walks for a while with Roxy, usually taking a bottle of ice water with us to try and combat the heat. That went by the wayside as Mom’s condition gradually worsened, but I’ve thought of trying to bring that up with Dad, but maybe in the mornings instead.

I just have a feeling that this diet is gonna be more trouble than it’s worth. It’s calorie-counting and they claim eating small portions throughout the day is supposed to combat feeling hungry all the time…but I fear I’ll still end up feeling hungry all the time. And when I feel hungry all the time, the more I’m tempted to binge eat. I feel like I’m setting myself up for sabotage. I feel miserable right now, and we haven’t even started.

Why are we attaching ourselves so much to numbers? Dress sizes, numbers on a scale, body mass index…you know, it’s been years since I’ve weighed myself on a scale. I stopped weighing myself because seeing the number go further and further up just made me feel worse about myself.

Sure, I could lose weight. But I feel like the way we’re about to go about it isn’t gonna be the right way. I’ll try this “diet” for two weeks. But I honestly think we need an overhaul of what we’re eating, but not in a way that will make us feel like we’re starving ourselves. I think we’re better off just making better choices at the grocery store rather than having it delivered to us. I don’t quite know how to tell him what I’m feeling. He’s so hell-bent on this. I’m feeling anxious and miserable. Is there something wrong with me, or is my anxiety justified?

Jambalaya, Set My Stomach on Fire…

Last week was…interesting.

So, last Tuesday I decided to make some homemade jambalaya, which ended up being pretty delicious. I used this recipe from Tastes Better From Scratch, if you’re interested. It wasn’t the making of it that caused problems…it was the eating of it.

You see, I ended up eating way too much of it in too short of a time period. I won’t tell you the exact amount I ate because I’m kind of embarrassed, but…let’s just say I had a lot of spicy stuff going through my stomach over a span of about six hours. Big mistake.

Cue me waking up around 6:30 the next morning with a terrible stomachache and a backache. I take some Tums for the stomachache and a hot shower to try and relieve the back pain. Doesn’t really work. My dad gets home from work around 8 am and I let him know what’s going on. He tries to get me to eat a little bread and it ends up making the stomach pain worse. In fact, the only things I was able to ingest last Wednesday without worsening stomach pain and a triggering of my gag reflex were applesauce and water. I try everything from more Tums and alternating between Advil and aspirin to relieve the pain, and…nothing. At this point, I am now feeling pain in my stomach, back, and approximately where my gallbladder is and I am worried about whether or not I’m gonna have to see a doctor, which gets me more worried because I have no health insurance. (My dad does, through his employer, but I’m too old to be on his policy.) At this point I am feeling miserable and anxious (and through all this my dad is sleeping).

I spent most of Wednesday lying in my bed, because lying down is the only position at this point where I can feel any sort of comfort. I had taken two more showers to try and relieve the pain…with not much improvement. At least I could sleep through the pain. I end up waking my dad up about 20 minutes earlier than usual (which has been 6:30 for the last few weeks because my dad’s employer moved everyone’s shifts up an hour earlier), mostly because I didn’t want to be by myself any longer. I make his coffee and lay back down for a little while longer.

By this point I had fashioned myself a “puke bucket”, a wastebasket lined with a garbage bag, because I’m now convinced I am feeling severely nauseous and I realize the only way that I’m gonna be feeling relief from this is by having stuff come up. My dad gets ready for work and leaves right around 7:30 pm. Not 10 minutes after he leaves, I can feel my gag reflex starting to kick in. I grab the bucket, hold it right in front of me, and within seconds the contents of my stomach are in the bucket. The pain is still there at this point, but I decide to call my dad (who was in his Jeep and can take hands-free phone calls) to quickly let him know what was going on, and he reminded me to keep drinking water and stay hydrated. I keep the call brief and told him I’d text him later in the night to let him know how I was doing. I ended up lying down in his bed (because his room has the window unit and I honestly felt like I needed the cool air). I wake up for a bit around 11:30 and I realize my stomach and back pain are finally starting to go away. I drink some more water and lie back down. I wake up again around 3:30 the next morning and the pain is pretty much gone by this point. I text my dad and then I go back to bed.

I decided to take it easy on my stomach for the next couple of days, because my stomach was still feeling a little sensitive. But I did tackle that jambalaya again a few days later…with restraint. I heated up one bowl of the stuff (and told myself I was going to stick to just one bowl) and ate it with gusto. Thankfully, I did not make myself sick again. I was victorious.

In case you’re wondering, I didn’t get sick because the jambalaya was improperly cooked; I got sick because it was a perfect storm of spicy, greasy, and my overeating it. My dad ate some and was perfectly fine.

And I must mention that the title makes more sense if you sing it. My dad loves classic country music, and one of his favorite singers from that genre is the late, great Hank Williams. One of his best known songs is a song called “Jambalaya (On the Bayou)”. So, if you sing the title of this post to the tune of the chorus of this song, it makes sense.

It’s almost a week later, and I am feeling much better now. I hope to write again soon.