In the bad old days (many years ago now) I subsisted on tea, cigarettes and rum.
In slightly better days this changed to tea and wine.
Now it’s water, the occasional cup of tea and wine.
I’m still not eating enough and I always seem to be unwell.
Well for a start; my diet is awful. I survive mostly on fresh air and can go for days without eating or even wanting to eat. I miss out on the proteins and vitamins, carbs and calories that keep the human body in decent working order. I survive mostly on the empty calories that come from pink alcoholic stuff (white zinfandel) and that is Not Good Gemma! That is really not good at all. Breakfast and dinner mostly consist of my epilepsy meds, some multi vitamins and some fish oil; this has got to change.
So what is the solution? You can’t fix an eating disorder, but you can try your hardest to stay on top of the situation. I like fish and green leafy vegetables. I love salads, chicken and food from all around the world. I only eat breakfast when I’m away at Hope Orchard, whereas years ago my day began with BBC News 24, two cups of strong tea and as many slices of Marmite slathered toast as I could eat. In all fairness I would then cycle to work and then spend twelve hours hefting elderly people and heavy medical apparatus around, and would be starving again by eleven o’clock (dealt with by guzzling glass after glass of milk because I didn’t know I was lactose intolerant) and was known as “Hollow Legs” with good reason, and I’m not performing those activities now, but I know that this doesn’t excuse me not kick-starting my system in the mornings.
I am well aware that, when I had breakfast, I would always be ready for a midday snack even on a lazy day because my metabolism was working properly. I think I ought to return to tea and toast of a morning. I had some ginger soup this morning (I have chest flu and am not feeling well) and do actually feel as though I might manage some dinner tonight – even if it’s kiddy food such as fish fingers and mash. It’s a start – and proof that breakfast does indeed wake your body up.
There’s an easy answer to this: tea. I don’t mean chugging back ten mugs of Builder’s Breakfast every day, but real tea that you savour. I do begin the morning with Assam, English Breakfast or Earl Grey, but rarely do I have afternoon tea, if ever. Not even the Chinese teas that I love so much!
Solution? Find new and interesting teas to drink, Gemma! You have a Holland And Barrett points card – use it! Your sister has recommended a whole batch of lovely sounding herbals if you don’t want to become addicted to caffeine.
The reason that I am so unhealthy and often falling sick is this: I don’t do much. Breaking my arm in August means that this year has been a complete bust for me on the general scale of activity, but there’s nothing to stop me wandering across the road to the library to read and chat to some of the volunteers, is there? What can possibly happen to me in a library that is worse than catching a cold? I’ve decided that I really must build up my physical strength – and therefore my immune system – by doing more. Actually eating all of those lovely pickles I make would be a start in giving me more energy to do things!
This is a real sticky wicket for me, because of the epilepsy. I can be doing quite well (as I was doing early this year) and I will then be laid low by a seizure and so I lose all impetus and find myself afraid to leave the house again.
Jogging is completely out of the question for me – I never was able to run anyway and my balance is all wrong; I also suffer from tendinitis across the bridges of both feet. I also no longer own a bicycle, and am not certain I’d feel confident riding one now anyway.
I had to think about this one for quite a while, as I can even get myself into danger at home using my Wii Fit Plus… and then it occurred to me.
Bingo. I can limp around the neighbourhood until I’m fit enough to ditch the stick and walk without it over time. Thanks to my sister I now know that I feel so sick after a short walk because my body isn’t used to it, and that I just have to build it gradually so that the times between setting out and feeling sick become further and further apart. There’s actually a local walking club that I’d like to join in time, so that’s a goal to aim for. I can also do the yoga program on my Wii and eventually build up to more advanced techniques.
I put a few walking apps on my phone – including the one pictured (by Six To Start; it’s the sequel to Zombies! Run) to make things more pleasant as I potter along, but I’ll still be on the lookout for the Blackbirds, Robins and cheeky little Wrens that are all over our neighbourhood – also Lady Sparrowhawk in case I need to suddenly duck!
So basically Gemma, remember this to yourself: lay in some healthy cupboard supplies, and next time you want to flomp out on the sofa with a glass of wine and Doctor Who when it’s not even 2PM?
Put on your running gear, grab your phone, your inhaler, your water bottle and a healthy snack and get out of the house. By the time you get home you’ll be ready for a nice cup of delicious herbal tea.
Wishing everybody a wonderful new year, and I would love to know what your resolutions are!