I am pondering weighty matters.
In the last few days, between Intro and the tummy bug we all had, I have lost weight. Perhaps more weight than is good for me. In fact, the Captain noted "you look so skinny"--a statement of concern, not a compliment. Don't get me wrong, I am not at all emaciated. But a few pounds less on my curvy body makes me look and feel a bit odd. Too many more will make me look ill.
No-one really likes to talk about weight. And I know that talking about unplanned weight loss negatively, in some circles, will make enemies. Somehow, it's become culturally acceptable to bemoan weight gain (and I've been there, believe me), but not weight loss.
We need to come to a place where we can talk about weight as another physical sign, like stools, skin health and mood. Where we can figure out what is healthy for each of us, not from a table, not in a doctor's opinion, but in how we feel, how it affects our energy and overall well-being.
I struggled with this especially leading up to beginning my thyroid treatment. I have used weight as a measure of how my metabolism is functioning. It's not the only measure, but it's a useful one. I don't want to dwell on thinness as some sort of Holy Grail, the same as I don't want to demonize extra weight.
I have read some of the "Fat Positive" or "Health At Any Size" blogs and books, and while there are things that I find absolutely right on in their philosophy. I am concerned that they are throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Yes, we should stop discriminating against people because of their size. Yes, we need to love who we are, not what size we are. Yes, health, not size should be our goal. But no, I don't think being obese is healthy, just as I don't believe that being overly thin is healthy. These are signs that something is out of whack in our bodies.
The attitude that we should just accept obesity and concentrate on being healthy is just as jarring as those parents, who have kids on the autism spectrum, who just want to celebrate their kids and will not use the tools available to help them live healthier lives.
Yes. there are people who want us to ignore the tantrums, the illness, the inability to cope. They want the kids to be accepted as differently-abled, not disabled. OK, if the situation were irreversable, I would buy that. I hate labels, and I don't want any kid, any person, to feel they are lesser because of their health condition. But there are very effective things to be done, things that improve these kids' lives and health--why would anyone reject that? I am still trying to figure that one out.
The GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet is one of those tools. Most of you already know that, but I thought I'd state it clearly for any newcomers. I am not doing GAPS because I am on the spectrum, but for health. But you know what? It's all the same! We do it for our kids' health too--physical and mental. That's the beauty of GAPS.
And the weight? Well, I know GAPS to be very balancing. In the end, after I have reintroduced foods and am on full GAPS, I trust I will be at a healthy weight for me. Weight gain, for me is a sign that I am eating the wrong foods, just as this weight loss is a sign that I am in a restricted stage right now.
Today, Day 8 of the Intro diet, I am up to eating fermented fish (ooh, my gravlax and brine-cured salmon both came out so well) and stew-y/ casserole-y things. So I had a solid food lunch! That's progress: two boiled eggs with gravlax. How elegant. And did I ever love it!
For dinner, I made a more stew-like version of Dr. Natasha's recipe "liver in a clay pot", which is actually a liver and heart dish. I had to change a couple of ingredients (I used goose fat where she recommends butter, skipped the prunes, added some stock), but it came out well, if a bit bland. The meat was tender, and there was lots of yummy sauce to go over the cauliflower puree I made. Boy, I feel like a toddler who graduated out of mushy food (but don't worry, there are more soups in the offing and a huge pot of stock simmering on the stove.)
I have stopped measuring spoonsful of kvass (my probiotic liquid of choice) and started adding a tiny bit of very soft sauerkraut (you could say it's a "failed" batch, but it tastes great and is soft enough not to offend with too much fiber, so it works for me.) That's another great step, because I love my kraut!
If it seems I am moving swiftly, remember that I have done Intro twice before, and have been on full GAPS or SCD for over five years. I am doing this as a tune-up of sorts, because I had made enough exceptions that I had kind of lost the thread of what had been working. I had a few symptoms I wanted to clear up, but I do already have a pretty good idea of which things I am sensitive to (dairy, sadly) and which things my body loves (Kraut! Kombucha!) This program is to be totally individualized for each person, going at the pace that works for them and using supplements, baths, etc, that are personally effective--as it should be.
I am looking forward to adding more food to my diet over the next few weeks, and even, then, to adding a few pounds! Your ideal weight will be different from mine, as indeed mine is different at almost 50 from when I was younger (ideally, a menopausal woman will gain 10 pounds over 10 years, producing weak estrogen from the extra fat, which helps in the transition and protects the heart). My goals are my own, and my sense of what is healthy is my own, it's what works for me.
So here's what I propose: we talk about weight openly, but take away the stigma. No one looks at me cross-eyed if I mention that my skin is oily or dry. That's just me. The changes mean something to me, and me only. And that is the way I see it with weight. Let's use the ups and downs as one more piece of information, and get back to taking care of our health. Because that's a really weighty matter.