Saturday, December 24, 2011

My Romans 7 Life

....If you don't know Romans 7, this won't really make any sense at all...

What then shall I say? That the list of "allergy" food is intrinsically bad? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the list, I would not have known what was causing me to feel so bad.  For I would not have known what it was that was keeping me so swollen if the list had not said, “You shall not eat dairy (et al).”  But those foods, seizing an opportunity through the list, produced in me all kinds of cravings. For apart from the list, food is just food.  I was once as healthy as I could be apart from the list, but when the list came, cravings came alive and I realized how sick those foods were making me.  The very list that promised a healthy life proved to be death to me.  For those foods, seizing an opportunity through the list, enticed me and through it are killing me.  So food is good, and the list is helpful to me.

Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was those certain foods, producing sickness in me through what is good, in order that those foods might be shown to be bad foods, and through the list might become unhealthy beyond measure.  For we know that food is healthy, but I have raging antibodies, because my immune system has gone haywire.  For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not eat what I know is healthy, but I eat the very thing I know will make me sick.  Now if I eat what I know will make me sick, I agree with the list, that it is correct.  So now it is no longer I who eat those foods, but the cravings that dwell within me.   For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.  For I have the desire to eat what is healthy, but not the ability to carry it out.  For I do not eat the good food I want, but the unhealthy food I do not want is what I keep on eating.  Now if I eat what I do not want, it is no longer I who eat it, but cravings that dwell within me.

So I find it to be true that when I want to eat right, cravings lie close at hand.  For I delight in the list of allergy foods, in my inner being, but I see in my body another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of cravings that dwells in my stomach.  Wretched woman that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself believe the list with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of cravings.

Living a Romans 7 Life--the Backstory

I woke up this morning with a pounding ears were ringing out of my throat felt like I'd been swallowing whole body throbbed as if I'd been hit by a truck. 

I want to believe this is just a random illness.  I picked up some bug through no fault of my own.  It will run its course, or at worst I'll need to take some medicine to make this thing leave my body.  Either way, I didn't invite this virus in and had nothing to do with its invasion on my members.

However...there's the little matter of cookie and cake which I simply can not ignore, no matter how hard I want to try.

Two years ago I started trying to lose weight.  I started walk/running (in January) every other day and watched every bite of food I ate.  I tried various different ways of eating...low calorie, eating several small "meals" a day therefore spreading my calories out "responsibly", Zone diet, I even tried eating a little more calories than what I believed would allow me to lose weight (because a real nutritionist told me I wasn't eating enough and my body was in starvation mode).  Nothing was taking even ONE pound off, much less the 20ish I wanted to lose.  Okay, honestly, it was more than vanity, I was tested at 31% body fat, the 20 pounds NEEDED to be lost.  But nothing was working.

Through a series of events I finally went to see a doctor who ran a blood test to determine if I had any food allergies or sensitivities.  I don't remember now if it was a RAST or an ELISA test, but it came back positive for ALL dairy (both beef and goat), beef, avocado, peanut, egg, dill, barley and garlic.  (The doctor told me since barley was on the list, I might be sensitive to all gluten.)  I had a lot of discussions with Dr. Google whose knowledge is far and wide, sometimes reaching the outer planes of what most people would consider reasonable. 

I decided to allow experience to be my guide.  I went all in and eliminated every single item from my diet COMPLETELY (with still maintaining the same calorie intake).  The first week I lost about 5 pounds!!  After the second week I felt better than I could remember feeling in a very long time.  Every time I would eat something on that list of foods I would gain about 3 pounds and either feel sick to my stomach or would swell up or have a terrible headache, or a combination of maladies.  I became convinced "food hangovers" were indeed REAL, and the list of foods to avoid was a good thing, not a limit on my dietary freedoms.

So why is it, if I was "convinced", I have continued to test my dietary limits?  I'd love to blame it on my Prince, the fact he can't seem to be supportive in the changes in my meal plan.  (Do you want some eggs for breakfast?  Would you like some pizza?  YYYUUUMMMMMYYYY ice you want some?)  I think I know how Eve must have felt in the garden that fateful day.  Just saying.  But...I know the truth is I make the decision to eat "forbidden foods" more often than what he has any influence over.  

I used to view eating those foods as a treat.  I would set up a meal as a reward.  For instance, as I was getting ready to run the Mardi Gras Half Marathon, I decided I would be very careful about what I ate...until after the race, then Katie bar the door Momma was gonna EAT!!  I expected to feel bad, but convinced myself those beignets, po boys and buttery Aunt Sally's pralines were WORTH the inevitable "hangover".  I basically ate what ever I wanted, and then some for three days and was mildly sick (in comparison to the amount of food I ate) for about a week.  If you asked me at the end of the week if it was worth it I may still have said yes, but not with the same gusto I would have had given sitting at Cafe de Monde the Monday morning after the race!

It became a habit for me...after "big" races I would "treat" myself to a meal I had been missing.  After I ran the McKay Hollow course I had Mexican.  After the Long Course Training Camp I ate pizza.  After Rocket Man I ate steak.  After Rocket City I ate a hamburger.  The way I saw it, I was probably going to feel a little bad after racing, so I might as well eat "good" food (thinking the soreness from racing would mask the ill effects of the food...a little causation confusion if you will).

The problem is none of these foods cause SEVERE reactions.  I don't go into anaphylatic shock or anything like that.  Sometimes I don't even seem to get sick at all.  That is the very reason I ended up eating an America's Greatest Cookie Factory cookie and what ended up being a huge piece of cake yesterday.  See...night before last I had a little bite of cake and it didn't seem to do anything to, as is often the case, I decided the list was a bunch of hooey and stuffed my face with yum-ness.

And here I am, once again, wondering, could these symptoms I'm feeling be a random virus, a coincidence?  I just happened to get sick at the same time I ate cake.  Again.  Funny how in a year and a half I haven't gotten sick that I can remember at any other time...all the random virus attacks have coincided with eating food off that darned list.