(And no, I'm not singling out ANY junk food chain--- this is just one of the ones I really loved to go to, whose combo of choice I can remember well. McDonald's with their apple pies and chicken nuggets, Burger King with its grilled burgers and chicken sandwiches, Taco Bell and its bean burritos, Carl's Jr and their steak sandwiches and onion rings, and Wendy's with ITS fries and shakes and burgers were ALL on that list as well. And then some. But I digress.)
Ever since I was born practically, up until my MOST recent years of life, I basically ate a lot of this kind of health-deteriorating food that was readily available to me.
And it wasn't just fast food.
Where I could, I would eat not one piece of pie, for instance, in celebrations or birthdays or when my parents felt like bringing some home, but three pieces. The entire pie wouldn't last beyond two days.
(Cherry pie being one of my favorites. And peach, and pumpkin, and chocolate, and eventually pecan and apple, and cookies of ALL kinds, and chocolate cake when we had it, and... )
Or combinations of cheesy nacho chips for snacks. TONS of pasta when my mom cooked it. Ice cream galore when my dad bought it. And oh God, if there was lasagna, you could bet I was having three slices of that in one go... four if I could get away with it.
And me and pizza... didn't stand a chance.
I WOULD EAT THE ENTIRE FAMILY SIZED PIZZA IF I COULD. Only reason I didn't is because my family got to it first. Truth is, I've had some embarrassing moments in my life through my addiction to this kind of food. Like going for that third piece of lasagna, and having others stare at me at the dinner table; or accidentally eating a cookie that was my classmate's, or asking schoolmates I didn't even know if I could have some of their marshmallows, because I just really wanted to try them.
It got to the point where by the time I was in high school, I was 212 lbs (96 kilograms) for my 5'5" frame. (165 cm) Clinically obese, with bad acne on my face, stretch marks, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
I had to work through my first years of college to lose the excess weight. I did this by cutting out everything I knew that contained sugar, i.e. "sucrose", "evaporated cane juice," and the word "sugar" as an ingredient. Watching the documentary by Morgan Spurlock "Supersize Me" really helped to spur this. As well, I coupled with greater exercise each day. I eventually got myself down to a size between 150 and 160 pounds (69-73 kilograms)--- still overweight, but no longer obese.
Why I ate like this, i.e. overeating PRIMARILY grainy, starchy, sweet stuff (I did not overeat salads, I can assure you) is perhaps a complex answer. But I think I can safely boil it down to the following:
That I connected these foods to connecting with family and friends.
When we wanted to go out, it was a given that we'd go to buffets or to get something "good" to eat. Celebrations always had food. Sad days had food. Meeting with friends meant food. And with my family, we bonded over food.
And of course they tasted good for some time: these foods are scientifically crafted to appeal to humans' taste buds with combinations of sugar, salt, and grease.
***Here's one of MANY articles out there on this subject: https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/02/26/172969363/how-the-food-industry-manipulates-taste-buds-with-salt-sugar-fat
As well, sugar in particular, both from carbohydrates and EXCESSIVELY so when refined, raises dopamine in the brain, i.e the feel good chemical. Here's another article on the matter--- I observe that different people have different levels of tolerance against this, but I am not one of those people. https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/experts-is-sugar-addictive-drug#3
So, flash forward to my late twenties, where I am now. By this time, while I had MOSTLY stopped eating the same things I used to eat, i.e. no more candy bars or foods I know contain added sugar in them, (and I also no longer eat dairy,) I would still eat, say, 3 large helpings of that whole wheat pasta for dinner.
Next thing I knew, I was getting sharp stings of pain in my toes. My hands, namely my pinky fingers, were getting tingling feelings after eating just a simple piece of bread. My brain itself would tingle and hurt after I ate a bite of a date and nut fruit bar. (And that's one of the supposedly healthy snacks, yo!)
In short, I have neuropathy: the disease or dysfunction of peripheral nerves.
And this has been increasing for me since right now. As well, my left kidney has been aching.
My mom already has type 2 diabetes, as do two of my aunts on her side. My great-grandmother got diabetes and had to have her leg amputated in her last years, and my grandfather died from kidney failure via alcoholism, i.e. a different kind of sugar intolerance. It runs in my family.
Should I keep this form of eating up, I could expect to lose a limb or two of my own, and a kidney of my own, and damage a few more brain cells. Straight-up not the kind of quality of life I want to have.
So, I've done some research--- AND I DO NOT RECOMMEND YOU DOING THIS WITHOUT RESEARCH YOURSELF--- and I've chosen to go on a water fast, consuming nothing but purified water for 5 days straight. Today marks my second day of water-fasting, and fourth day of fasting overall. (One of the things I did thanks to ample research was NOT just jump into this--- I prepared myself with the foods I ate for a good two weeks prior, gradually decreasing my caloric intake.)
Studies have shown that fasting of this type can reverse type II diabetes; Dr. Jason Fung speaks on this himself in this article: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/intermittent-fasting-and-type-2-diabetes
Where by not taking in any food at all, it forces the body to burn the excess of sugar that is already in the bloodstream, and allows the body's insulin to work properly again. This is my summary of this, by the way.
It's not been easy, physically speaking; one of the keenest difficulties I am having to endure is a great lack of energy, hence no Torus Link update today. (I'm making up for it with a double update next week.) Yesterday, I slept for 12 hours.
The good news is that despite my physical discomfort, one thing I amazingly don't feel is hungry! So it's safe to say my body is burning what's already in me. I think of food still, thought it's strangely purely cerebral for me. I think of the food, perhaps out of conditioning, but I feel no true hunger pang to eat it. My body just doesn't want to eat--- and indeed if I tried just now, I think I would throw up. Good news for me, as I still have 3 more days to go!
I also am maintaining this fast while my friends and family still eat dinner, cake, slices of pie, Taco Bell burritos, etc. The socializing aspect is hard, but necessary. For, I'd have to be able to say no to that piece of sugary-something my friend or family offers me whether I am on a fast or not, for my own health.
To me, this is strength training.
So anyhoo, that's all for right now, followers. And fyi, if you go back a few chapters, you may see where Hazel shares a similar weakness for food. You can bet I will be speaking more on this later!