Archive for July, 2012

Four Hour Body – Mostly

If we are just counting straight time like a normal person would (or I think a normal person would – I am pretty sure I’m not normal), it has been nine weeks since I started eating a slow carb diet. The thing is, a visiting friend and a trip out to San Francisco means I’ve really only stayed strictly with the meal plan for five full weeks. I’d like to say that I don’t consider it “a diet,” like the South Beach Diet or Atkins or something like that. For me, it is a change in diet, a change in the way I eat.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you can see that I have, over the years, made a number of changes in the way I eat. I went to a strict vegetarian diet many years ago, which lasted until I moved to Italy. Living overseas, I was often confronted with meat in my food that I did not expect. So I loosened my strangle-hold on my vegetarian identity. I went back to being a bit more strict after coming back to the states, but by then I had learned to enjoy sushi (what? I said I loosened!). At that point I started calling myself a “mostly vegetarian.” I would eat sushi once or twice a year (not because of my ethics, just because I was too poor to afford it). And occasionally I’d eat fish and chips if I was out and the occasional salami from Italia.

From my fav place in Mpls

After being back in the states about a year I stopped taking in any dairy. I think I stayed off all dairy for about a year or maybe two. Then I became “mostly dairy free.” Do you see a pattern here? I found that I could manage to eat hard cheeses once in a while without ill effects. Even ice cream, if I was willing to suffer a bit after.

Around that time I got hitched and the family was not particularly interested in being vegetarian. I began buying turkey (from a happy turkey farm) and ate that once in a while with the family.

Ok, well, happier birds, anyway…

My sister got diagnosed with celiac and I went off gluten for about nine months. That was some trick. But I managed. And I didn’t really miss it – except for a nice, fresh loaf of Italian bread and cake. I did miss cake. The thing was, I did not really notice much difference in the way I felt the way I did when I changed my eating habits in the past. So I went back to some gluten, becoming, you guessed it, “mostly gluten free.” I don’t often eat bread, or wheat pasta. If I did eat a bunch, though, I would feel heavy and overly full. And the last time I ate some on a day off, my stomach got tight and I was all congested. So, yeah, I don’t eat much of that.

Oh, and then I heard that brown rice might be leaching iron from my blood! I’ve had anemia a couple of times in the last three years. Guess how long I’ve been eating a lot of brown rice? Yeah, about four years. So then I had to stop eating brown rice, which had become my staple carb.

So when I started reading the Four Hour Body, I was very interested in this diet change. I loved the idea of using beans for my carbs. And I already love beans. I also already knew that eating on a more regular schedule worked well for me. However, the big thing was how to get in enough protein. Given my many food rules (I now try to stick to just three from Michael Pollen – Eat food, Not too much, Mostly plants), I did not want to have to ingest lots of processed proteins, so I went with the whole foodiest option I could think of. I added meat back into my diet on a regular basis. My plan was to eat meat until I move from here, just to get my body going, then go back to my vegetarian diet.

I have four weeks left in Massachusetts. My current food goals are not to buy any new food (besides picking up my CSA shares) and to start to find ways to get the protein I need from other sources. And I’m ok with losing a few pounds, too. Nine weeks out of thirteen counts as mostly, don’t you think?


Bad break-up, anyone?

I don’t “get” the gut-wrenching break-up. I really, really don’t. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I have never suffered before, during and after a break-up. I’m not saying I haven’t been mad, or hurt or even bitter about a break-up. I have. All those things. And I have been mad about what some ex said or didn’t say, did or didn’t do. All that. Breaking up is sad, painful and difficult. I’m not talking about that at all. What I am talking about is the kind of break-up where your gut is actually wrenched (is that a word?) – where you feel your stomach tied in knots, where every contact is painful, where people feel the need to vilify their ex’s.

…or worse…

I have heard about this phenomenon many times. From family, friends and clients. I have heard stories of ex’s who fight over golf clubs and/or parenting schedules with equal ferocity. I have heard of ex’s purposely disagreeing with the other merely for the effect of watching them squirm (I mean I’ve heard it from the one’s doing it, not just the one squirming). I’ve heard of ex’s who make visitation schedules ridiculous to the point of making it almost impossible to keep up with.

I’ve heard from people in the throes of these situations about the effect it has on their physical and mental health. Stomachs tight with worry and anticipation of the next shoe (to drop), ulcers and compulsive nail biting. Deep depressions or high anxiety (sometimes both!), difficulty concentrating, sleeping, eating, even driving.

I think the toughest part that I’ve heard about is they way people feel when they are in the middle of this kind of break-up. I’ve heard that people start to question themselves in the middle of all this, they start to genuinely feel as if they are going crazy – as if one should somehow be able to handle all of this insanity. In sitting with my friends over the years, I offered a supportive shoulder. With clients, I listened and did my best to help them to manage their own out-of-control emotions.

But all along, I had never had one of my own. And let me tell you, I have had a good number of break-ups in my time. For lots of different reasons. I mean, I’ve been dating since I was 15 years old. And I’m single today. Lots of break-ups. But none that sounded remotely like the ones people tell me about.

I’ve heard it said before that you can’t take someone where you’ve never been (often in reference to therapy and addiction counseling). In some ways over the years, I have agreed with this idea, knowing that some of the time I am able to be helpful because I have “been there.” However, I also know that I have helped people (by their account) who’s experiences were radically different from my own.

Now that I’ve had my very own experience, I gotta tell you, I don’t know how this will help me help anyone at all. I don’t even think that my own experience of a deeply disturbing gut-wrenching break-up will make me more empathetic. In fact, it might just trigger some kind of horrible PTSD-type reaction! I certainly never want to experience anything like that ever again.

And it’s so useless! The first line of this post is still true, even though I’ve experienced it first hand. I still don’t get it. Because guess what? The whole gut-wrenching, name-calling, angry emails, texts and phone calls did not make anything better. The relationship was over, and it’s still over. Only now it’s over with lots of extra bad feelings, with no chance of friendship or trust. Now it’s over and there’s a hole, a piece missing from my life that I don’t even want to think about. Now it’s over and instead of being able to look back at the parts that were good, they’re all colored over by this horrible coating of ick.

When it’s over, it’s over. Cut your losses and go. Say goodbye and go gracefully. Or say fuck you if you feel like you need to, then drive away. That way when you look back you can really what’s back there, rather than just seeing that wall of ick. You can pick out the good things and put the not-so-great ones in perspective. Can we just make a pact to give up the gut wrenching break-up?

I’m all about no hate…

From the NOH8 Campaign

This…person from my school emailed saying we needed to fill out a form. I emailed back asking for clarification – for instance the form asks about my GRE scores. First, I took the GRE at least 10 years ago, I have no idea what my numbers were. But more importantly – I did not use those numbers to get in to this school – so what does that matter?

At any rate, she answered, then added, “You filled all this out on the form last year.” As if to say, “Duh, you should know all this.”


I checked my own files again. This school has the worst administrative garbage of any of the SIX universities I have ever taken classes at. I’ve taken classes there 7 years (not all in row, but still). I am a pro at saving forms. I pdf everything I get, everything I fill out, everything with a signature. I have no desire to try to graduate in 8 weeks only to have someone tell me, “Oh, you are missing x and won’t be allowed to graduate.” No way.

More NOH8

I respond to her email and remark that I was confused about the form, thank her for the info. I added apologetically that I didn’t think I filled this form out last year or else I would have known what to do about those items I asked about.

Her response? “You actually have done this ever year – it is an APA requirement. Let me know if I can help you in any other way.”

No, these have nothing to do with administrative assistants…

Now, no hate for the new administrative person, but I have to point out that she IS new. She hasn’t even been there a whole year yet. And I admit that some of my irritation may be because she has not actually been very helpful to me since she started. The last person was extremely competent and very quick to respond to questions. Even if she didn’t know the answer – she could direct you to someone who did.

The new person has sent me more emails that say “I don’t know” and little else than emails with actual helpful information.

Furthermore, just because there is an APA requirement for a form, that is in NO way evidence that I have, in fact, filled it out. I don’t think she was there when the APA came in to evaluate, but she was surely there by the time we got out 7 year accreditation. Maybe this is a new form because of that? Who knows?

And there is a chance I did fill this form out, an infinitesimal one, but there is a chance. Maybe I filled it out in a classroom, in which case I would not have been able to save it. I’d buy that. It could have been in some professionalization class or something. That’s possible.

My issue is not with the form at all. My issue is with her additional comment after answering my question which seems to suggest that I should not be asking the question at all. Followed by another snarky remark that seems to suggest that I truly a dolt to not remember a form I have filled out 5 years in a row.

Ok, so maybe there is some hating going on…but now that I’ve picked out the images to go with my post, I feel a little calmer.

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