May. 10th, 2013

pktechgirlbackup: (pktechgirl)
If you watch videos on youtube of soldiers greeting their kids after a deployment, you'll notice their first reaction is always crying.

This is pretty much me and food. I'll be happy to be eating eventually, but right now it's all realizing what I've been missing. For example, I always assumed it was normal to barely be able to hold back tears when food you expected to be there is not there. I am beginning to think that "counting on that yogurt" is not a thing for most people.

I've always regretted... well, not a lack of travel on my part, more the absence of desire to travel. All the cool kids want to go to these cool foreign places and my idea of a vacation is a weekend in a cabin with comfort food and no people. In retrospect, this is because vacation offered a million ways for me to potentially starve to death. Regimented meal times. Having to negotiate with other people over when and where to eat. Having nothing I can eat, or having only one thing, and everyone notices I eat the same thing every night. Far more planning required to reach optimal snacking. And that's American travelling. Going somewhere without a McDonalds on every corner might have caused an honest breakdown.

it's also had a pretty profound impact on my ability to socialize, given that so much is riding on where we choose to eat and I am pathologically incapable of participating in a restaurant discussion with >3 people when I'm hungry, which is always. I hated being That Girl Who Only Eats Kids' Food (and also Pad Thai), so I couldn't advocate for myself. Really innocuous comments about what I was eating came off as highly threatening.

it's weird, because what was scarce for me wasn't food per se, it was stomach time. My stomach had a much lower throughput than normal, so I had to optimize both timing and what food I put in. It left very little room for experimentation. And in a way, that hasn't changed, because while my throughput is much higher, there is so much nutritional debt to pay off that the old habits are still pretty plausible. So my diet has not expanded that much, it's just shifted to more of the old proteins I always ate, and more vegetables. My acceptance of new spices has gone up, but it is mostly the same vegetables.

I don't think I can convey how important *familiarity* was, and really still is. One day work didn't have any safe/familiar vegetables. I improvised with carrot ginger soup. It was pretty good. I then ate six meringues, and I didn't feel safe until the sixth. I've compromised on my junk food habit, in that I still eat it, but when I do I take some vitamin I feel I'm short on as well (accompanied with magic pills), which now that I'm typing it looks like another manifestation of stomach time as a scarce resource.

I feel safer being around food. I'd rather eat in the cafeteria than go outside no matter how nice it is. I grab extra food at breakfast and keep in on my desk. Sometimes I eat it, but I just feel safer having it on my desk.

About 4 seconds after I notice I'm hungry, I'm almost shaking with it.

On a physical level, I'm having astonishing amounts of muscle fatigue. My aerobic capacity is shit. Usually I'll walk even if I'm in a lot of pain, but I'm honestly contemplating elevators right now. It's deeply counter intuitive and I've asked my doctor about it. My crackpot hypotheses are that my temperature has gone up with my base metabolism, or the presence of vitamins has increased demand for protein beyond the amount my intake increased.

My acupuncturist brought up quitting wheat, he thinks the gluten is doing bad things for me. My reaction at the time was very defensive; that no matter what physical damage it was doing, the mental and emotional damage of giving it up would be worse. People have always been telling me to give up wheat, and until just now, that would have been devastating because I couldn't eat all those "better" food they wanted me to. I wanted me to. This makes wheat sort of like that friend who is really an asshole, but was there for you a few times when nobody else was, and their current behavior is seriously not okay but you feel like a jackass ditching them now that you have better options.

SMBC had a comic about using wishes to fix critical mistakes in your past, and I keep thinking about how my life would have been different if I could go back and time and tell my parents their daughter needed a single vitamin and everything would work out fine.


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