I haven’t written about how I love food. Not how I love eating but how I love the look of food as an art. I could cook and decorate a meal on the table lile i’m never going to eat it. Mornings at the Coast were never complete without mahamri na mbaazi ( pigeon peas).
Mahamri alone, the yeasted dough with cardamom is local for breakfast, supper and any other tea time in between.
The pigeon peas with coconut sauce can complete a couple for most dough stuff e.g chapati
I’m afraid I’ve started having a negative attitude towards food.
I stare at my plate, it no longer looks like food. It looks like carbs, fats, proteins; it looks like poison. I stare in my purse, it no longer looks like a black hole for my house keys. It looks like a safe haven for my Omeprazole. My stomach is no longer skin, it’s a grid split into quadrants; quadrants that are made to be pampered with tasteless food. What scares me is failure, deudonal gastration and chronic ulceration increasing instead of reducing. Exercising at the wrong time. Forgetting my alkaline water when I’m in desperate need. Not knowing how to respond to people saying “eat this,” when I know I can’t. Being confident enough to refuse certain foods in public.Failing at being a “good” stress controller. Failing at thinking too much and staying hungry for long hours.
I have more questions than I do answers. And that is what perhaps scares me the most.I have a new normal, except, it’s not normal yet.
“What is wrong with me? ” I cried as I lay in my bed enduring pain at four in the morning. I wanted to call someone, anyone. The tears rolled down my face as my legs stiffened.
This was night number 5.
I attempted to stand up to go for a glass of water but my legs couldn’t move. I laid on the ground for a few minutes, feeling defeated and helpless just like the night before. I reached for the water besides my bed in hopes of eliminating the pain. Maybe dehydration was the problem, I just needed to drink more water and the stomach cramps would go away. Yeah sure!
“You need to stretch more, and maybe take it easy on your phone, you are always on it”
Drink more water,
Get more sleep ”
I became hungry, always hungry. I assumed it was because I had to vomit every time I put something in my mouth. Since I had made an effort to eat more and make the Hunger go away. However, it never satisfied me. Eating, vomiting and resting became habitual, just like the stomach cramps.
I was eating right, perhaps even eating more than usual, but my weight was dropping at a rapid rate. At first, it felt good. “I’m more active now”, I told myself. Constantly walking, always on my feet. This is great.
The more weight I lost the weaker I felt. Spinning classes were no longer enjoyable, they were fight to push through. A 10pound weight was no longer something I lifted with ease, my arm would shake as I attempted to pick it up.
The legs that could once run half a marathon could hardly push through an 11 minute mile.
My body was telling me to do all these things, but I simply couldn’t. A gallon of water was hardly satisfying, neither was a giant slice of pizza. Walking was no longer enjoyable, it took too much energy out of me. I was growing increasingly irritable with people, anxiety became an integral part of my daily life.
For about a month, I accepted discomfort as a norm. “Eventually I would feel better. This was just a weird phase” I told myself.