Tuesday, June 1, 2010

In sickness ... and in sickness

I've got some catching up to do here. Being sick just saps my creative energy, not to mention every other type of energy~. Other than posting here, I am attempting to preserve some plums, and I hung some laundry out to dry, and that's about all I'm good for today. The laundry part, in the heat, almost did me in!

By the way, read the posting below this one (Saving Private Ryan) if you only have time for one. It's far more important.

This odyssey through sickness started out as a sore throat, which was chronicled in a recent posting ... then progressed to a bad cold, the "cold from hell" as I affectionately call it. Then to bronchitis. Now I'm on the downward slope of an antibiotic course plus steroids now kicked in to try to get rid of the inflammation (translation: too much exhausting coughing, along with an excess of grotesque bodily fluids seeping from various places in supernatural quantities). I haven't quite perfected that hocking up a wad of phlegm the way my hubby can, and regularly does, with noisy abandon. It's so un-ladylike. And yet, my mother's advice haunts me still -- don't snuff it in! Blow it out!

Of course, steroids are scary things. I read all the warnings and wonder why I'm taking them, anyhow. Will the cure be worse than the disease?

I'm a bad patient, because I'm not used to feeling bad. I whine and complain about feeling yucky. I get something like this, oh, less than once a year. Thankfully. I really look to people with chronic debilitating illnesses for inspiration on how to live with pain and fatigue, which are so hard for me to handle for even a few days. Olga comes to mind -- she is just a saint. She always has a positive word and a smile, even on her worst days when you can see how much she's dragging. I feel so fortunate to know her.

I know I'm not well yet, and I am so sick and tired of being sick! I haven't run, I haven't lifted weights, and I really don't know when I will feel strong enough to start back up. (whine, gripe) I still have no energy, and very little interest in food. I'm trying to keep from losing weight, because I've apparently racked up my metabolism with my normally health-nut ways and it is going a bit faster than I can keep it fed. I really shouldn't worry about just lopping off five pounds. It is ridiculously easy to gain weight, I know!

I don't have an answer for why I have never had to struggle with weight issues. Both my parents were overweight. Lord knows, I love food. But I have trained myself over years to eat healthier. I still eat way too much junky sweet stuff, though. I have a love affair with sugar that is hard to break.

It's deeply unfair to the majority of American women that I have never shared their struggle, I know. I know! I'm sorry. Not sorry enough to voluntarily pack on pounds, if I can help it, but I am sympathetic to those who are trying to lose them.

Perhaps the magical answer is because ... I've never had to struggle with weight issues. That really sucks for those who have. I hear that the body is amazingly adept at keeping the excess weight on, once it's there. It fights mightily to go back to that new-normal high weight.

When someone overweight diets, it triggers a starvation response and hoarding of the body's calories, as well as extreme urges to eat. This has been shown by a number of scientific studies (several are quoted in the article I refer to below). It's due to our history as underfed hunter-gatherer types, where those who could hoard calories most effectively tended to survive. Survival of the fittest: That would be part of the great theory of evolution, which becomes more and more robust as time passes.

My favorite health-nut reader, Nutrition Action Healthletter, talks about this phenomenon in its May 2010 cover story, "In your face: how the food industry drives us to eat." This article talks about the toxic food environment we Americans have created for ourselves, that is being exported to the world, with an overabundance of garbage-food, priced cheap, in portions that are not just lavish, they're deadly! Not coincidentally, a record-high number of people of all ages are overweight. Read some other sample articles, courtesy of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, here.

Now that I know how to do that cool imbedded-link thing, look out! Anyhow, to anyone who wants a monthly motivation to eat healthier, and to be more knowledgeable about good and bad food choices, I highly recommend Nutrition Action Healthletter. It's really hard to enjoy junk food in its presence. I recommend keeping one issue in every room of the house, especially the dining room and kitchen, to kind of look over your shoulder, and remind you of who you want to be.

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