Wednesday, July 22, 2009

92 days

Many of you will know that I have struggled greatly with my health in this last year and a half.

Some of you will know that those struggles were at least in part stress related, and were closely tied to my ability to eat. I felt nauseous most of the time, and it was not uncommon for me to skip one or two meals a day several times a week, or to eat very minimally to avoid the seemingly inevitable nausea and stomach pain that eating brought. At least once a month this would progress to stomach flu like symptoms, involving vomiting, or the complete inability to keep food down for several days in a row. All of this in combination with a number of periods of time where I felt God calling me to fast from various foods or to fast totally for short periods of time, resulted in a significant degree of weight loss and contributed at least in part to the ongoing challenges I've been facing with my energy levels as well. It could probably safely be said that I'd developed a mild eating disorder.

Just over three months ago I flew across the country to visit a dear friend. I knew I wasn't doing okay, and warned her of that in advance. She spoke a great deal of very blunt (and much needed) truth to me, and sent me home with instructions to "choose life" and directions to eat three meals a day even if I felt sick (a revolutionary concept for someone who hadn't regularly eaten breakfast since elementary school, never mind the other food challenges) to take lots of vitamins (I think the count is currently at around 17 pills a day) and a number of other things.

I'll be honest and say that if anyone but her had given me those directions, I'd have probably ignored them. And that I was less than motivated to comply, especially with the eating thing. In fact, I used stickers on a calendar as a stab at motivation to eat three times a day (eat three times a day - get a sticker!).

Eating remains a challenge. Stress still affects my stomach in odd ways. But, I reached a milestone a few days back that I'm rather proud of.

Monday marked 90 straight days of eating three full meals a day, whether or not I was feeling ill. (That, for those of you who are counting, makes today day 92).