I got it, I got it bad. Don’t inhale around me .
Yes, it’s flu I’m talking about — I’m young and invincible, I don’t need a flu shot and besides it only accounts for 50 percent of the strain this year. I’m scared of needles so I passed. And then I must have unwittlinlgly consumed what can only be described as evil pixie dust. I was out, my body ached, my throat hurt and as one symptom went away and there was some light at the end of tunnel, boom another symptom swiftly took its place on center stage. And this carried on until I had experienced every symptom on the severe cold and flu medication box.
The difficulty swallowing hurt, and the congestion was supremely uncomfortable but the most irritating symptom by far was losing my sense of smell and taste for 10 days. Ten days!!
Here’s what I learned in that time.
1. Being sick is not an easy way out of losing weight. Various people in my life have told me to lose weight. “You’re almost perfect Shulie, if only you’d lost some weight you would be perfect.” or the “the guy who you’re going to want to marry is not going to want to be with someone who looks like you”.
I did make some life changes, but still not thin enough. I longed to lose weight, to be that universally acceptable person. And this is an ugly thought, one that’s challenging to come face to face with, but sometimes — in a dark moment — I would wish to get sick and lose the pounds as a result. So finally everyone would have what they wanted. Perfect Shulie. After feeling mostly miserable over the last three weeks, I never, ever would wish to be sick. I don’t want to use heroin to develop an eating disorder, I don’t want to excuse myself to the bathroom after every meal. I just want to be. Just happy and healthy me.
(As much as I would love to be someone who lost her appetite easily, I never do. No bad news ever made me want to refuse a meal. )
2. My body needs nourishment — even if I cannot taste it. It turns out my body still did require calories in order to function. It felt silly, even a waste to eat without being able to experience flavor, and this symptom definitely stripped eating of its enjoyment. Eating is not simply about entertaining taste buds; first and foremost it is about providing energy for my day.
3. Eating is a full sensory experience — enjoy it for all that it is.
I’m definitely guilty of eating to quickly or eating with my eyes. But when I avoid speed eating, take a moment to think about what I really want (without the looking voice that says carbs are the devil incarnate) pause between bites, notice flavor, put down utensils between bites I feel satisfied not stuffed.
I must be an active player in my health. Which includes sleeping well, being active, finding outlets for creativity,
This is an ongoing conversation I’m having with myself; it doesn’t end here.