I want a Whataburger and fries
On June 9th, I accepted something that I knew was very important to my health but simply didn’t want to face. I accepted that I have both Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, two autoimmune diseases that have insulin resistance and weight gain as symptoms. I also accepted the fact that having these diseases means I simply can’t eat the same amount of carbohydrates as normal people can. A normal woman can eat between 175g and 200g of carbs a day and burn them as she goes. I eat 175g of carbs, and my body says, “What the heck are these things? How weird. Well, let’s just turn them into fat and store them somewhere tidy.”
So I made some significant changes to the way I eat. I consulted a nutritionist who recommended a Hashimoto’s eating plan to me, cut out 95% of the grains I ate, completely cut out all nightshades and soy, and bumped up my intake of lean meat, fowl, vegetables, some fruits (berries, mostly), nuts, and good fats like olive oil, with homemade protein shakes. At the moment my daily carb intake is 120g max, and usually a bit less. Almost three weeks later I’ve lost 10 pounds, I’m sleeping better, joint pain has gone down significantly and it’s a lot easier to walk. As far as I can tell, my body is finally functioning normally after 49 years of limping along with a skewed metabolic system, which is mostly nice.
The part that I can’t honestly describe as nice is how my new eating plan has also apparently joined with my reproductive system to gift me with things I’ve never experienced before, such as exhaustion during ovulation, as well as other things I’m not going to discuss here because, while normal, they’re a little gross.
Oh, what the hell, you’re all adults (and one of you is a nurse). So yeah, I just finished ovulating and I’m experiencing noticeable amounts of egg white cervical mucus. Or as I like to put it, vajayjay snot. Seriously, it looks like I blew my nose after a really bad cold and it came out my hoo-hoo. Apparently this is perfectly normal and indeed indicates that my ovaries have decided to release eggs instead of letting them cyst up on the surface, but I shall be discussing this with my gynecologist, you betcha. Because ew.
Another delightful side effect of my hormones going wacky (although I dunno if this is ovulation-related or perimenopause-related) is that I would cheerfully shank someone for a double Whataburger, a large side of fries, and something chocolate, gooey, and cakey for dessert. No, I am not hungry or depriving myself — I’ve have a metric buttload of food today, I’m finishing up a protein shake as I type this, and I could still eat another 400 calories’ worth of food if I wanted to. But dear Jesus, I want bread and potatoes. Hell, I’d give up the cakey stuff if I could eat some soft pretzels instead.
I miss peanut butter sandwiches. I miss bagels with cream cheese. I miss hamburgers on buns, and french fries, and the awesome sourdough bread you get as a starter at the Cheesecake Factory, and pad thai, and chips and salsa, and chicken verde enchiladas. I miss that stupid KIND vanilla and blueberry cereal that Ramón loves. I miss BBQ ribs and Hawaiian sweet rolls and potato salad. I miss naan bread and rice and edamame and sushi. God, I miss pizza so badly.
But I feel better. I don’t bloat up like a tick for no reason at all. My lower legs aren’t constantly swollen anymore. I still have the issue with the Achilles bursitis which makes walking a bit limpy, but it’s still so much easier to walk. I go to bed, and I sleep instead of staring at the ceiling because all my joints hurt. My brain is on-line all the time and I have more energy. And yeah, I’m starting to fit into some clothes that I haven’t been able to wear for quite a while. I’m seeing muscle definition in my arms and legs. My face is thinner. And the next time I go to the doctor for a renewal on my Synthroid scrip, I want a full blood workup done so that I can see how all my numbers look.
So yeah, I miss a lot of stuff. But the tradeoff is more than worth it. And cauliflower makes an awesome low-carb substitute for rice and mashed potatoes. And pretty much any vegetable becomes delicious if you oven-roast it with olive oil, garlic, and salt (and if you oven-roast finely chopped carrots with butter from grass-fed cows? OMG, so good). And I’m going to keep eating like this for the rest of my life, because I know it’s the right thing to do for my body.
But I’m going to have a Whataburger and fries on my birthday. Because birthday carbs don’t count. It’s a medical fact.