We all want the easy answers. The quick fixes. Black and white. I know I do. Like losing weight: you want to take a pill and watch the fat melt away while everything else in your life stays completely the same. Or finding your dream job: you submit one application and expect them to offer it to you with plenty of benefits and a high salary.
In trying to unravel my latest health issues (acid reflux? bacterial overgrowth? food intolerance?) I have been looking for the easy answers from the beginning. When my symptoms first started to bother me, I took the easy route by getting a prescription from my doctor. Then I continued on as normal expecting the problem to fix itself thanks to some “magic” pill. But symptoms persisted and my dedication to this particular strategy waivered and I read more and more about why I should NOT be taking pills for the rest of … who knows how long. So I looked for ways to fix the problem another way. I modified my diet according to someone else’s recommendation and found myself feeling on and off better, but I wanted so badly to find something that I could believe in, some easy formula to follow that I continued on this path for a little while longer. Then I fell off the wagon again, looking for the next solution. And eventually I came to this elimination diet, which I am gradually drawing to a close.
The problem with this approach: LIFE! Everything overlaps so that trying to untangle the reasons why you have symptoms after every single meal becomes impossible. There are so many confounding factors like stress and eating too much and eating too late and eating the wrong foods and wearing tight pants (no seriously) that you can’t possibly eliminate all of your problems with the touch of a button. Like everything, you must find the balance.
Breathe deeply. Relax. Eat a little less. Eat a little less of the bad things (like sugar – wow!). Make time to be with people and socialize. Food issues are sometimes more than food as I have discovered for myself. When I am happy and fulfilled I don’t stuff myself unnecessarily or I don’t pine for the next time I get to eat. When I’m lonely that is when I fill the void with un-fulfilling (and hardly even filling) food.
Balance is a game we must all play to find the right combination in our own lives. How much sleep does it take, how much down time, how much exercise, how much food, how much love, how much sunshine, how much time staring at your inbox, how much time putting yourself out there. What is the proper equation?
As my dad always used to say, “Moderation in all things.” Find that balance.