Yesterday I woke up with that leaden feeling in my limbs. My brain was fuzzy too.
“Are you okay?” Mr. December wanted to know. “This has been happening a lot lately.”
He was right—I have been feeling fatigued a lot lately. Thinking back over the last few weeks, two major things stood out for me:
- We’ve been going to sleep later than we used to.
- We’ve had a lot of sweet treats in the last little while.
There’s no good reason for number one; we haven’t prioritized sleep enough, although we talk about it all the time. We just need to accept that none of the things that we do late at night are so urgent that they can’t wait ’til morning. We also have to stop being the kind of people who say things like, “Just as soon as I’m done this chapter, sweetheart, you can turn out the light,” and then surreptitiously flip into the next chapter and keep reading. “Yes, it is a really long chapter. Sorry about that… but I really want to get to the end of it!”
With all the Jewish holidays, N’s very-belated birthday party, and R’s upcoming birthday, there have been plenty of sugary treats around here. It seems like every day involves a “special” treat, and because I’m currently in diet recovery, I’m deliberately not restricting my eating. I don’t know for sure that the sugar is making me feel icky, but if true it would certainly explain all those times I crashed on a Saturday (i.e. the day after Shabbat dinner with all its sweet challah, kugel, and dessert.)
By the time I was upright and dressed yesterday, I’d decided to avoid sugar for a while and see how I feel. That lasted until about 2:00 p.m., when K made a lemon cake for no particular reason and we all sat down to have some. One small piece of cake in an otherwise no-added-sugar day isn’t a big deal, I suppose, but it underscored just how impossible it is to turn around in this house without confronting another delicious source of added sugar.
I’ve often been resistant to elimination diets because I like food and can’t stand the thought of eating nothing but salmon, rice, and almonds (or, as a friend recently quipped to me, “I don’t want to live in a world without bread.”) Once or twice I’ve been desperate enough to try eliminating certain foods, though; Seven years ago, I gave up dairy in hopes that my asthma would improve as a result. My asthma was the same as ever, but one thing did change—I got pregnant (with E.) I’m not jumping to any conclusions, but the only thing that differentiated that month from the eighteen that preceded it was the lack of dairy. It kinda makes me wonder… but I digress (surprise, surprise.)
I explained to the kids that I’ve been feeling groggy and I think sugar might be the culprit. I hope I chose the right words to use: it’s very important to me that we not make any foods “bad” or “forbidden.” At the same time, I want them to learn to be mindful of the fact that food does affect their bodies, for better or worse, and to adapt their eating accordingly. I’m ignoring all the various studies (some of which contradict each other) about healthy eating; from now on, in this house, healthy food is whatever food makes you feel healthy.
With that said, let’s see how I feel this week before jumping to any conclusions.