Sunday, January 2, 2011

Two-Faced Nutlover

one of the many realizations that anyone trying to take control over their food intake will learn is that although it may seem that over-eating is about the food, in reality, we’re really fighting ourselves.

i have no problem turning down something as blatantly pointy (high point value, in weight watchers terms) like disco fries or a chocolate croissant. i start having issues if i can find any basis of nutritional value in the food because then, i can justify eating it.

one constant struggle i have had throughout my WLJ (weight loss journey) was trying to keep my “nut fixation” in check. yes, i’m aware that sounds like a gay porn, but i’m actually talking about edible roasted and salted ones, usually pimped out by a classy guy in a top hat and monacle. ok- i’m not helping with the dirty references, but i had to get that out.

the reality of this trigger is that i can polish off a full jar and would only finish because my jaw was getting tired. hmm...ok...i’m now at a loss as to how to get this post back on the proper track...

aaanyway, back to my point: i would pick up a bag, jar or can of mixed nuts at least once a week for years. my great aunt helen used to make pistachio pudding for me on holidays and my neighbor growing up would make our family pistachio cake whenever my dad would macguyver something at their house. These were always my favorite treats.

then, in september 2002, i left work and picked up a bag of pistachios on my way home for a snack. i was sitting at my parents’ house and sharing them with our dog scooter while watching some bad daytime tv. all of a sudden, i started getting itchy all over my legs and arms. my mom (an rn) recognized that i was developing hives, but i was in denial..until i started throwing up! thankfully, my mom forced me to take some benedryl immediately because i was refusing to go to the hospital, since i didn’t have health insurance at the time.

i started getting dizzy a few minutes later and could no longer deny that this was bad. really bad. i went upstairs to get dressed and passed out, woke myself up and passed out again. i made it to the top of the stairs and said, “ call 911” and passed out again. she came up the stairs and found me. at this point, i was partially conscious and could hear her on the phone giving our address. it then hit me that if EMT’s try to walk into our house and take me out, the dogs would not be happy. i somehow (although i have no recollection how) got myself up and made my way out to the porch to wait for the ambulance.

while sitting on my dad’s rocking chair on the porch, my mom was talking to me and saying, “stay with me!” but my throat was closing and everything was going white, so all i could see was the blackness of the inside of her mouth and her teeth talking to me. i kept trying to tell her to get me one of these big thick plastic straws that my brother had brought home from work because i thought it would keep my throat open, but i couldn’t communicate it clearly and she was confused.

then, just as i was starting to completely black out, the benedryl kicked in! my throat opened up and i regained full consciousness, just as the ambulance showed up.

i ended up in the hospital and hooked up to an IV of some serious allergy meds and mikey and kellie came by to carry me home a few hours later. 

so after all that, i have no real explanation for why, after being warned by my allergist to avoid any and all nuts, i still eat them! i haven’t had any pistachios since that day, but i drink almond milk and enjoy peanut butter on a regular basis. seriously. what the hell is wrong with me? 

My latest battle: limiting my peanut butter intake to a “reasonable” level. Thankfully, mikey helps and made my dad’s peanut butter cookies recipe this week and he made itty bitty ones, so i can still enjoy them without going over board, but i still need to recognize this issue!

internal discourse:

“you are tempting fate with your allergies!”
“i have my epi-pen”
“there’s so much fat!”
“but there’s also protein! i’m active and i need protein!”

please tell me i’m not alone with my two-faced brain!