“What do you mean I have to fast?” – Me to My Doctor
I have been having severe stomach issues for about a year now, of which I will spare you the details (you’re welcome). Just know that they’ve been painful, disruptive and expensive as I’ve sought treatments that – of course – aren’t covered by my insurance.
So when I informed my doctor yesterday about my upcoming eight-day cruise, she took one look at my chart – then at my stomach – and then back at my chart, and said, “You’re going to have to fast for a few days.”
“You need to give your stomach a break,” she explained. “Nothing but bone broth and liquids for two days. You can’t go on your cruise all jacked up like this.” (Okay, she didn’t say it that way.)
And then this is the part where I promptly freak out.
What do you mean NO FOOD?
There’s a saying, “If it’s hysterical, it’s historical,” which means that when we overreact to situations, there’s usually something in our past being triggered.
I know exactly why I freaked out.
When I was four years old, I was put on my first diet by a well-meaning aunt. It was 1975 and she put me on the “Stewardess’s Diet,” a very stringent three-tiny-meals-a-day food plan that helped flight attendants meet the chauvinistic weight requirements of the airlines.
If it wasn’t enough food for a grown woman in hot pants, it certainly wasn’t enough for a four-year-old-girl.
I remember clearly sitting listlessly on the swings after my breakfast of cottage cheese and syrupy canned peaches too weak and hungry to actually swing.
I don’t know how those poor stewardesses handled the hunger (black coffee and smoking, probably, both of which I wasn’t allowed to do), but I started to sneak into the kitchen when nobody was looking, grab as much food as I could, and shove it into my mouth as fast as possible.
I learned how to binge.
Fast forward more than forty years later and now I’m in my doctor’s office freaking out over two days of bone broth. I had instantly turned into the little girl eating a handful of lemon-spritzed lettuce with a dry hamburger patty in my aunt’s avocado-green-and-golden-harvest kitchen.
So here’s the part where I get to be an adult.
I get to talk to myself down from the cliff (or in this case out of my aunt’s kitchen) and remind myself that I’m no longer the starving girl sitting on the swing set.
I’m a grown woman with a stomach that needs a break.
No, nobody is starving me. Yes, I will eat solid food again.
And who knows? I may even go get me some hot pants when all this is over.
# # #