September surrender: day four

What i’m letting go

I have a love-hate relationship with food. On one hand, I love eating. I love a good meal. I love stuffing my face. Pizza is one of the greatest things in the entire world. But none of my eating choices have been good. Not for my whole life, some could say. As a kid, I ate whatever I wanted. There were no ‘checks’ on my diet. When Burger King came out with Pokemon balls in the Kid’s Meal, my mom took me for chicken nuggets every day after school for a month. I was so thin that it didn’t matter. I never gained any weight, and I was still an athletic and active kid. Things really changed after freshman year of college, when I came home thirty pounds heavier than I was in high school. Since then, I’ve just had the weight on me, seeing drops and gains here and there, but always remaining overweight. Thankfully, I’m proportional, so people don’t always believe me when I tell them my weight, which is currently unknown, but definitely too much.

Lately, I’ve been having far more bad encounters with food than good. Next month marks a year since losing my sense of smell, and there isn’t much hope that it’s ever coming back. I always would tell people that I never lost taste when I contracted the virus, which is true. There was one day after my nose shut off that I couldn’t taste anything, but the more I got used to living with anosmia, the more I could taste what was really going in my mouth.

There are certain things I eat that have been tasting more and more like chemicals. It’s a disgusting, sewage-y taste that comes largely from things I didn’t cook myself. The processed snacks and treats they give us at work are no longer giving me the thrill they once did. Even pizza is just making me sick. So why would I think the ‘next time’ I order something, it’ll be good again?

As I prepare to begin the carnivore diet this month, I can’t help but feel a reset of my palate is on the way. If I stick to this diet, which I believe I will, then maybe when it’s done I’ll want to keep going. Maybe I’ll find it’s the best thing for me to do to keep the weight off for good this time. And as long as I get to a healthy weight, I can balance out whatever nutrients I may be lacking. I can let go of these foods I once loved because they’re no longer satisfying me. It doesn’t seem to be a problem to turn down a food I once craved, especially when you taste what I’ve been tasting for a year. It’s in the water, too. I open my tap and something different hits my nose. I can’t exactly smell it, but I know something isn’t right about it. It’s a very strange thing to lose one of your five senses. One could say it really bites.

What i’ve discovered

“What do you mean I have to stay home for five days?” I yelled into the phone. The woman from HR had just delivered the news that I was a “close contact” with someone who tested positive. Therefore, “It’s policy.”

I then began wailing, feeling so done and defeated by these ridiculous rules. But throughout my tears, I knew I was being overdramatic. Her saying I had to stay home “because of my status” was what set me off in the first place.

When I composed myself enough to hear more rules, like having to take an at-home test in front of a nurse practitioner on Zoom, I still wasn’t done being angry. She told me I’d have to wear a mask when I get back in the office, to which I blew up again.

“Do you know what it’s like not being able to smell anything? Do you? Do you understand what is wrong here?”

“Gina, if you don’t stop yelling at me, I will terminate this call.”

I shut up real quick. The word “terminate” scared the hell out of me. But that anger was real. It’s was vicious. It’s something I never ever want anyone to see ever again.

Today’s theme largely entails what I’m consuming, but I really had to step back and think about what’s been consuming me. And I know I’m still very much angry at a lot of things that have gone on in my life. I suspect everyone is to some extent, but I don’t feel like there’s a cap on my anger. Something could set me off and I’ll blow at any moment. I feel like I only really figured out that it’s as big a problem today, even though nothing caused me to lose my temper. I need to stay chill and really think about it when I feel that sizzle travel all the way up into my head. Anger may be a natural trait, but I can’t keep using it to nourish me. It almost got me terminated after all.

what i hope to find

I once went on a ridiculous diet where I only ate eggs, meat and one green vegetable twice a day. It was restrictive and I was constantly hungry. I lost about fifteen pounds in thirty days, and gained it all back and more the moment I was done. I’m not entirely sure what I was thinking, but I managed to get through it without cheating. I completed my thirty days even as I couldn’t wait to get back to pizza right when I was done. It was just a challenge, not a lifestyle choice. But I had enough in me to keep my mind focused on completing it.

It’s like when I set my mind on something, a switch gets flipped that prevents me from going back on my word. But it doesn’t happen all the time, as I’ll explain at the end of the month. I’d like to find what it is that keeps me on the right track; that laser focus that almost becomes an obsession to achieving what I’ve set for myself. Going forward, I hope I can healthily satiate that hunger that will help me reach my goal, one that’s not just about seeing less on the scale. Circumstances have changed for me this time around, so perhaps a new way of eating will become my new norm. It doesn’t hurt to try new things. Unless we’re talking about trying new food. Even that thrill has become less palatable these days.

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