I’ve come to the realisation that learning to love what’s good for me is an important lesson. I spend a lot of time wanting, and confusing this wanting with needing. My days are spent wanting a piece of olive bread slightly toasted, to be planning my next extended overseas trip, or to be curled up in bed internalising all the crazy shit that goes on in my head. But really, what I need is the exact opposite.
A few months ago my doctor told me that I needed to go on a reduced carb diet because my body can’t process insulin properly.
It wasn’t really a shock.
I knew something was wrong, as most days after meals I find myself with a belly that looks like I’m three months pregnant – bloated and painful. I was glad to have an answer- even a cure- but I also found myself feeling down about it. I love beer and pizza and now I wouldn’t be able to enjoy these. Those of you with a food allergy or intolerance know how hard it is to eat out or grab a meal on the go.
It can be difficult to find meals with no carbs unless I have a salad. Admittedly, I haven’t really tried to make the change (although I now drink carb free beer). I keep wanting bread, eating it, then feeling like shit.
I do this despite knowing its bad for me even after having an awesome carb-free few days, where my stomach has been flat and I’ve felt happy and energetic. I know I can enjoy meals minus the bread… I just have trouble accepting this is what’s best for me.
I’m also one of those people who always want to be active– planning, organising and thinking of the future. I never stop or slow down. When I’m not at work I’m writing an essay for my Masters. And once I’m done doing that I’m planning my next holiday or reading multiple books and magazines. In between this I’m seeing friends, going to the gym and doing the usual chores.
I never just sit and relax.
I know I need to do nothing, put my feet up and watch a movie but when I try I get restless and anxious. There’s so much I could be doing! The only time I do stop is when I’m sick, hung-over or completely exhausted. Yeah, I’m achieving a lot- but I know it’s at a cost. My dad said I need to learn to be bored graciously, and he’s right. I need to love living in the moment and not always have my eyes on the future.
When things go wrong or I feel down I have trouble speaking to friends and family about it. I’m afraid if I ask for help I’ll be rejected or look vulnerable. I’d rather lie in bed and internalise my emotions. In the past I’ve had no one else to depend on but myself and even though I now have the most supportive network I still want to work shit out on my own. Slowly I’m opening up to people and trusting them with my most random of thoughts and it feels good. It’s nice to know people support me and understand what I’m going through. But I won’t lie- it’s a massive struggle.
Learning that I can depend on others has been one of my greatest challenges.
These are just some of the aspects in my life that I know I need to accept and change to be a happier and healthier person. I used to tease my high school friend by telling her “we don’t always get what we want.” And it’s true. I spend so much time trying to get what I want (or think I want) that I don’t spend a moment to think about what I need. The two are very different things. One gives us a moment of happiness. The other gives us fulfillment.
Featured image by Rachel Kurzyp.