Health: Thanks for boredom

I am 41 years old. And, although I almost hate to write it for fear that it will go away, I am the most well that I have been in perhaps as many as seven years.

Not only can I clean a closet in a day (a feat that was monumental enough to be worth the effort it took for me to write an email about it 20 months ago), I can now clean my kitchen in five minutes or less, do three loads of laundry at least, cook, make my bed, pick up the upstairs, and help my boys with school. In fact, last week, I cleaned and reorganized the two largest closets in my house in less than half an hour. Sixteen months ago I was afraid to meet any new people, because my brain was functioning so poorly that I could not remember if I had met them before. Even if I talked with them for hours, even if they were in my home for a meal.

My illness/illnesses have not been all my life.

Until I was 13 I was in excellent health, never sick but with chicken pox and mumps. Then something happened and my health deteriorated. I was always in pain, but rarely anything anyone was able to identify. I had a severe case of TMJ which was relieved by extensive surgery when I was 19. When the surgery was over, because of complications, they were unable to administer pain medicine. The pain was less after the surgery than it had been before and I had lived with that for six years.

I still had pain. Quite a lot of it, actually. Debilitating leg pains that caused me to limp quite often, but were not arthritis. Shoulder pain. Back pain where I could not walk or sit. For years, though, those pains came and went and I was unable to identify any particular cause or symptom. But it was not so bad that I could not live my life and having had so much pain, I was used to living with it.

Then about seven years ago, I got up, took my boys to preschool, came home and laid on the couch to read a book and could not get through an entire page without going to sleep. For a woman who reads 185 pages of a light novel in 45 minutes, that was terrifying. Medical practitioners had not helped me so I went to an applied kinesiologist. He said I was allergic to potatoes and tomatoes. The two main foods of my life since the year before when my family had become vegetarian. I was angry. I was furious. Didn't he know I could not deal with any more stress in my life? I gave up those two things for four months or so. When I accidentally ate them in a dish at a restaurant, I was in bed with debilitating pain within two hours. It took two days to go away.

I did not give up the foods forever. As an old West Texas girl, my choices of food were fairly simple. You couldn't make most of them without tomatoes or potatoes. But I did eat less of them.

And I got better. Not completely well, but better. Whenever it got too bad, I would cut back on those foods again.

Then, two and one half years ago, we moved and my husband and I quit being vegetarian. The applied kinesiologist had recommended that, said I wasn't getting enough protein, but I just hadn't been able to deal with that. When we quit being vegetarian, we only ate meat out of the house, when we went to restaurants, because my sons are still vegetarian.

Then, last March, we went on Body for Life, Bill Phillips' lifestyle plan for eating and exercising. I did a modified BFL, because I counted calories, but I began to get better. MUCH better. After a few months, it was clear that eating protein several times a day was something my body had needed and was lacking. By May I was well enough to apply for a job teaching on Friday mornings starting in the fall.

I stayed on BFL until the beginning of February, when I began to go downhill and started losing muscle rather than fat. I was having to take naps again. So I was sleeping 10 or 11 hours. (Since at the worst of it, I had been sleeping 20 that was still good, but I didn't want to go bad.) I started looking for another weight loss program. I did ten weeks of Physique Transformation. I began to get better. I gained eight pounds of muscle and lost four pounds of fat. Then the last week of conditioning, I gained fat. Then I went into fat burning. First week, lost five pounds. Second week, gained three pounds. Third week, gained a pound. I couldn't stand that, so I quit. But I was also feeling worse again, starting to have to take naps again. NO!

I've been off all diets for a week and my body is much better. I am staying awake longer and, though I am taking the odd nap, I am also not sleeping as much at night, so I probably need that. I am still dreaming once a night, though, so my severe sleep apnea hasn't taken over my nighttimes again.

Tomorrow I start BFL again. But this time I am starting at a higher calorie rate. I am going for a higher protein percentage. I am going back to working out. (Not something I could do on PT.) I do think that I won't do cardio ten times a week, which I was doing by the end. And I will keep taking multivitamins. My nails have never been so nice in all my life.

I hope that I can find a meal plan/lifestyle that will work for weight loss and later weight maintenance, without hurting my health. I will find it.

Right now, today, I am well. I am so well, both physically and mentally, that I am bored. I have done 20 or 30 times as much today as I could do two years ago and I still have so much energy, that I am bored. God, thank you for boredom!!!

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