My husband decided last week that he has had it with feeling fat. After his terrible health struggles of the past year, he is finally feeling somewhat better. His neuropathy has improved to the point that he is able to digest food without pain, sleep through the night, and walk and stand and wear shoes for a couple of hours at a time without seering pain. He still has swollen feet every day, and though the doctor assures him his circulation is fine, his feet alternate between a dusky blue color and a reddish hue, with a spiderweb of bruised-looking little red veins. He hopes that his feet will continue to get better, and that he can resume some physical activity.
When he was ill, he lost a lot of weight, partly because his pancreas was unable to function properly and his cells were starved for nutrition, and partly because he could barely eat. At one point he was down to 140 lbs. (he is 5' 10"), a weight he had not seen since grade school. His weight has crept back up around 200 in the past year, a combination of insulin injections, improved digestion, lack of physical activity, and emotional eating.
One of the gifts that I have received from my husband's illness is that I found the low fat raw vegan path. But it is so sad to me to see how he suffers from a painful disease that is 100% preventable (and I believe, 100% curable). I know that there are so many more children now who will be facing the devastating effects of Type 2 diabetes in their 20s and 30s as he has done, and it breaks my heart.
And so I find it frustrating (infuriating?) and somewhat amusing that my husband's primary motivation to change his diet to improve his looks. Of course, I know that he has some very powerful and painful emotional issues surrounding eating, and in a way, feels overwhelmed at the thought of facing them. It's easier to just go on a little juice detox so his pants can fit again.
He feels overwhelmed by the chewing and the high water content of the LFRV diet, and prefers to drink cold beverages and have a salad with dinner. He has no idea of his hunger signals (he thinks that stomach growling is hunger, and since it almost never growls with a lowfat diet, he has no idea). He doesn't really want to believe in the whole premise of the raw foods idea, and is petrified that following this diet will alienate him from his family and friends. He resists tracking his food intake and massively undereats. In fact, he resists joining the LFRV community or educating himself about it (and for sure, resists my lecturing ;). Which is why I can get away with this very revealing post, since I know he won't read it. Sigh.
But, there is HOPE! He came up with this idea on his own, long after I had given up on any dream that he would change his eating habits. He has stuck to it now for several days in a row and has already had some good cleansing occuring. So I am giving myself a little empathy about my fears. I am realizing that I need to work my own program and not try to micromanage his. I am supporting him in the best way that I can. And I can only hope that as he experiences improved health (and increased hunger), he will gradually educate himself on his own terms and choose to continue on a path towards health.