As some of you may have read in my newsletter this morning, my family and I are going through a bit of an emotional time at the moment (more on that this week). I’m doing ok, but my stomach feels constantly knotted and I’m definitely not eating as much as I normally do.
This is one of my eating patterns- as soon as something emotional happens or I’m going through a period of stress, food is the first thing to go. For some people, there is no change in their patterns, while for others they find that eating helps them a little or they eat the wrong foods completely.
My Weight and Eating Patterns While I Was Ill
I’ve always been on the small side, even when I was little. I have a healthy appetite, but a fast metabolism to go with it. This proved quite a problem for me when I was sleeping for around 21 hours a day when I was at my worst. I barely ate anything and just slept the days away. I think my weight hovered at around 6 stone most of the time. My Mum would try to get me to eat, but I just wasn’t bothered. I was too tired to sit up in bed and definitely too tired to munch on anything.
Toast seemed to be a staple of my diet, as it was easy to eat and the taste wasn’t anything too exotic or offensive. Even when I was getting better, bread and toast seemed to feature quite highly, as doing anything with them took minimal preparation and it always felt instantly satisfying (aaah, carbohydrates and gluten!). Nutrition wasn’t particularly a priority. Even thinking about how to nourish myself was too much of an effort and to be honest, it was only since moving to Australia 3 years ago that nutrition has been at the forefront of how I nourish my body.
The Importance of Eating…just Eating….
I would love to tell you that when you’re incredibly sick or going through something that you should go raw vegan for a week or try eating paleo, but I just can’t bring myself to do that.
You have to do your best with what you have and know at the time.
At the time of writing, I have a ‘Boost’ bar in my bag- you know, the incredibly sugary, Cadbury’s variety. One of my students gave it to me last week and it’s been in my handbag since then. My healthy brain is telling me to bin it, while the other side of my brain is telling that binning it is wasteful, and that I’d actually really enjoy eating it. I still haven’t decided which side of my brain to listen to (maybe I should put my ‘Boost’ where my mouth is, so to speak?!)
All I’d love you to know is that eating, pure and simple, is better than not eating at all. Enjoying your food without the guilt of always feeling that it’s not healthy enough or it’ll make you worse, is a bonus. I truly believe that nutrition is one of the the rock-solid foundations of good health, but that your thoughts and emotional wellbeing are also vital. Choosing not to eat because what you have in front of you isn’t organic, dairy-free or sugar-free is fine, but you have to eat something, especially when you’re recovering. I sometimes think that if we believed everything we read on the internet about our food, we’d never eat anything at all.
Make healthy choices when you can. Don’t beat yourself up about it when you can’t. Don’t think so much about weight and nutrition in Chronic Fatigue. Fuel your body as best you can at the time and be happy with your choices.
Love and fuelling your body,
Click here for more on your thoughts, emotions and eating.
Click here for an article on the foods that helped in my recovery.