Excitement anxiety. What is it exactly? Other than my unique experience with low levels of anxiety, it's best described as a combination of Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and butterflies in your stomach. It's the feeling I get when there are too many good things going on. Yes, you read that right. I know it doesn't make sense, but I often feel anxious in the summer when making weekend plans because I so badly want to squeeze every last activity onto the calendar. I love the summer; I'm happiest in the summer, but sometimes I need to take a step back and remind myself I can't do everything, and that's okay.
In my last post, I detailed the digestive ups and downs I've experienced over the last few months, and the regimen I've been following to try to solve these issues. It hasn't been easy, and to say that I've been living a perfectly low-FODMAP diet would be a lie. Although, I would say it's been pretty close to perfect on most days. However, I'm still not symptom free, and feeling frustrated. My suspicion is the four nutritional supplements I was taking twice a day were causing some counterproductive side effects, and the low-FODMAP protocol has real promise of helping. So I took a few days to re-evaluate, and decided to stop the supplements (I was almost done anyways), and give the FODMAP diet one more real try.
This is how I feel right now. This is how I've felt for a few days. But before jumping into the feelings, because that's what we're all about here, let me first apologize for the very long, and overdue post. Although, an advice column once told me never to apologize for overdue correspondence. It's been chaotic over the last few months; working 1 1/2 jobs, and generally saying Yes too often. I have so much to talk about and tell you, but in an attempt not to hurl word vomit in your direction, I'm going to attempt to keep things (somewhat) organized.
You read that right. I'm not cooking this week, and I'm already feeling some freedom and relief in an otherwise chaotic schedule. No, I'm not going on a kitchen strike, but I am using this week of Passover to try something new. If you are not familiar with the dietary rules of Passover, here's a helpful guide, but in short, for one week those who celebrate follow rules that pretty much resemble a Paleo/Primal diet (except the Matzah part).
Repost/Update: I originally wrote this post in July 2017, and enough has changed in the DC coffee world that it's already time for an update. New establishments have quickly become favorites, and one or two favorites have shut their doors. Plus, I'm hoping 2018's warm weather is just around the corner, which means iced coffee/cold brew sipping season is almost here!
Let's be honest, coffee makes the world go 'round. Well, it at least makes my world go 'round. I am far from a coffee snob, but I love nothing more than sipping on a cold brew in the summer or wrapping my hands around a warm mug in the winter. I don't need anything fancy; basic coffee with a splash of skim, whole, or almond milk hits the spot.
A few years ago, DC got its act together in the coffee department. This city saw a boom of new and independent coffee shops, cafes, bakeries, and roasteries open their doors. Suddenly, we all awakened to the greatness of better quality beans. Don't get me wrong, I will happily gulp down my Dunkin' Donuts, and sometimes pop into 7-Eleven even with other options in the neighborhood, but the increased variety in coffee date spots is welcomed.
I'm tired. I'm mentally done for the day. I don't feel like I have the energy to write, yet I'm sitting here typing away anyways. Why? Because I had a rough 45 minutes this afternoon that has left me with burdensome guilt. I need to move on; wake up on a brighter note. What was so terrible? I'm embarrassed to say because my brain knows this guilt is silly; I did nothing wrong. Yet, my gut screams something else.
I was starving at 4:30, a perfectly normal time to get hungry considering I ate lunch at noon. I had spent the day turning down free food in the office, and just couldn't anymore. I started with some delicious Persian rice left over from a lunch meeting, then I moved on to a chocolate biscuit that had been calling my name, and ended with a scoop of java ice cream.
I'm frantically typing because I want my realistic body to win this fight. I want to go to bed knowing it's okay, and I want to show kindness toward myself. Maybe my afternoon meal wasn't the healthiest, but I'm probably the only person who cares. Why do I care so much? There's no good answer. I'm still afraid of gaining weight, although that fear is gone most days. I hold myself to unrealistic standards, which most likely stem from my own thoughts, and the thoughts of diet culture around me.
But I promise, I'm in a much better place than I was years ago. I should be proud of this. I rarely have these binge moments any more. I haven't tracked my food in years. Two years ago I threw my scale away, and now only weigh myself on occasion at the gym. Every day I get better at letting my stomach dictate when, what, and how much I eat. But no one is perfect, although, let's be honest, the desire to reach perfection is what causes food anxiety in the first place.
Where does your brain float to when left alone? Mine is always thinking about food: how much I enjoyed breakfast, contemplating snack choices, deciding what new recipe I want to try next. Most of this thinking is fun, but for once, I would just like to turn this part of my brain off. It's exhausting. I just want to think about something else. I'm so jealous of people who "forget to eat" because they are focused on other things. Don't get me wrong, I want to eat, I just want to know what it's like to not always be thinking about food.
I'm tired. I think I'll go read my book now.
Have I ever explained how obsessed I am with the Olympics? Like the kind of obsession that makes the world stop turning for two weeks while I spend every night engrossing myself in figure skating, skeleton, and yes, even curling. There's just something about world wide sports camaraderie that makes me feel all warm inside.
Anyhow, as promised, I'm finally getting back into a "new normal" meal planning routine, one which focuses on dusting off the cookbooks on my shelf, and revisiting old favorites on my Pinterest board.
Walking enthusiast, kitchen experimenter, sports lover (watching, not playing), and future world traveler.
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