Digital Diary – On Grief & Other Things
I have tried to write about it more than once.
Maybe I’ll need more than what I have allowed for self-care, months of quiet retreat and tears and watercolor paintings, to process the several family tragedies so far this year.
I am still not ready. I’ve tried. It’s…I’m not ready.
But I wanted to at least follow up on the keto vegan experiment and post on this blog again with some regularity. I have decided to reduce the blog posting to once a week. This allows me to focus on editing The Waterclock Wars and some other projects I have underway—and still share with you quality updates on my journey. And so:
I was successfully losing weight on it.
However, I suffered regular dizziness—one spell led to an actual blackout and collapse—lethargy, and moodiness.
When my aunt was hospitalized, I packed a cooler full of beets, kimchi, tofu, kelp and sunflower seeds for the trip to Morgantown. Despite everything going on, I maintained my discipline…and felt increasingly ill. I had agonizing stomach spasms, cramps, and headaches. I didn’t feel better until I finally relented, after days of these symptoms, and added a square of cornbread to my spinach/avocado salad. I felt even better the next day when I indulged in corn chips at a restaurant.
I believe fervently in listening to your body. My grief was demanding things of my body that my diet was not providing. Losing weight was not worth my painfully worsening condition. I decided to end the experiment.
This was a weighted decision. I had lost a significant amount of weight on keto but had begun to notice problems with energy and heart health. I wrestled with it, and decided, if I had to decide between the two, health was more important than being thin.
This is not to say I indulged in cakes and candy and other nonsense.
Instead, I conducted more research, read more books, listened to A TON of podcasts, and I am currently nestled in the Whole Food Plant Based diet, avoiding oil and salt. I consumed a lot of vegan-activism media, like Vegan Warrior Princesses Attack, Cowspiracy, and Forks over Knives, but I wasn’t completely sold until reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma and The China Study.
I am back to the weight that I started with. I think stricter portion control and a workout regimen will help see improvements there. I’ve been training 5K again and begun the T25 and CIZE programs. I saw my doctor when I made the switch, got some bloodwork done. I was alarmed by some of the results, especially concerning heart health. I believe, based on the research I have been doing, that the alarming scores are the result of the high fat, heavy meat keto diet I had been on for two years before switching to WFPB. I will be getting more bloodwork done in ten weeks to see if there is improvement. I am also taking a vegan Vitamin D and B12 vitamin.
I am happy to report that, although my weight has plateaued for now, my energy has vastly improved, I am more productive, AND I GET TO EAT FRUIT.
It does feel strange to eat black beans and brown rice regularly after having avoided high-carb foods for so many years. But there is such a vast and varied array of new cooking experiences ahead of me! I am excited to explore plant foods at greater length. Lancaster VegFest, for example, is on my agenda for this weekend.
On what I can say about grief
One day, I’ll be able to write about my personal grief in some legible way. Right now…maybe I’m hoarding it. As if I am afraid that writing about it will expel the last of the experience of those who are gone. It has crystallized for me that grief is what is left when you’ve run out time.
Drip, drip goes the waterclock, I’ve written in my book as an expression for this. Drip, drip…
Maybe it should have been, drip, silence.
Posted in: Blog
I don’t know all the grief you’re dealing with but just wanted to offer hugs!
Also: be careful with salt avoidance! Too much is bad, but it’s necessary, especially when working out.
When my sister started dating her now-husband, she started getting faint trying to take hot showers. It took a year or two before she realized the issue was lack of sodium in her diet! He doesn’t add salt when he’s cooking and he’s the primary cook in their household.
Thanks, Morgan! I’m generally pro-salt, so I’m not stringent on that particular rule. I cook all my meal prep dishes without oil or salt–but I also eat out a lot and never fuss about the seasoning. Plus, I’m still addicted to kimchi and pickled jalapeno, so I’m likely getting more than enough sodium from those foods too. Great point! Thanks for taking the time 🙂
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*whew* Just wanted to be sure you weren’t going cold-turkey.