If “fast food withdrawal” is real, I’m sure I’ve been going through it this past week…

Before work this past Saturday, I sat down to what I decided was gonna be my last incredibly unhealthy meal out: eggs, hash browns, sausage and bacon, yummy pancakes (I REALLY wanted pancakes all last week, dunno why), OJ and weak-ass coffee that needed a bunch of sugar to make it palatable. This was the morning after most of a week of the worst excesses in eating I’d had in some time.

The Saturday before was New Year’s Day, and I didn’t have to go to work, let alone plan where to go for food. I had four straight days of home recipes and good eating (because I hate going anywhere holiday weekends, also), and my sleep was better. I didn’t get to do much outside because of the ever-varying weather, but it worked out health-wise.

But my first Tuesday back at work ruined it all.

I had a moment of weakness partially due to tiredness and bad habits and pulled into the drive thru of a chicken place. And hell, I remembered why I was trying to avoid fast food–especially anything fried–a bit too late. That opened the Hellmouth to all my terrible bingeing habits that took over for the rest of the week. I lost count how much processed junk I ate, felt sick over, and all.

Why Does Your Stomach Growl When You're Hungry? » Science ABC

Too much salt. Too much sugar. Too much fat.

Just too much of everything, and too few nutrients.

And my body was miserable, though it took a few days for my mind to figure that out. Somehow I’d forgotten why I was trying so hard to do without all that grossness.

So after getting rid of all my crap food (eating and/or finally throwing it out) last Saturday and hitting the store, I started fresh Sunday with cleaner eating.

I decided I was gonna say no fast food. No fried food. No pre-packaged crap food. No sugary snacks. Limit sweets to a spoon of sugar or honey in coffee or tea.

And I gotta say, my stomach sure as hell thanks me for it… now.

It’s the rest of my body that still seems a bit pissed off about the whole deal.

Since mid-Monday, I’ve had some bouts of nausea, lethargy, and other not-fun-to-mention things as I tried to drink my water and get things under control. Nausea eventually left me behind as I stayed the course and tried to up my liquid intake. Other than the occasional headache the past few days, dizziness is the lingering symptom that’s driven me nuts. Hadn’t gone to work all week because of it, and I’ve spent the past 3 days trying to reach my doctors and get some advice.

I felt I had to quit cold turkey, which is why I’m seeing more and more articles about “withdrawal” symptoms pop up. There’s one that keeps showing up repeatedly that indicates trying to cut out bad foods that have been staples in your diet for so long is like cutting a drug addiction. And considering how much fat and sugar is in the fast, fried, or processed foods, it makes a lot of sense.

The only thing that I’m not cutting on purpose is caffeine. I still have my coffee, though with less sugar than usual. Funny enough, I’m having less of that, too, since I’m trying to drink other things, like herbal tea or water to get to that 8 glasses a day.

Maybe that’s where a smidge of my headache’s coming from (hee hee).

The dizziness is what’s keeping me at home.

I have a feeling, from what I’m reading and finding online (so far), that it’s the abrupt drop in sodium intake that’s probably part of some of these symptoms. Or all those awful calories and fat. Maybe all of it. I re-started a food journal for the past few days and realized I hadn’t had much meat or beans lately and that was probably killing my iron intake, so I am temporarily supplementing with iron tablets more than usual (because we’re trying to get me leveled out since my anemia was diagnosed, I’m down to 1 tablet every 3 days instead of daily). I had some Gatorade earlier to perhaps help with electrolytes and sodium intake and that seemed to take the edge off the dizziness earlier.

I know Gatorade’s not terribly healthy, but I get the powder so I can have a diluted drink of it just to bolster the minerals I need. I don’t like making it strong like freaking Kool-Aid, as the kids I see tend to (shudder).

Every Alcoholic Drink From The Simpsons

The brain fog, dizziness, and intermittent lethargy (when headaches aren’t happening) just make things annoying as hell. My sleep has suffered because my sleep schedule’s completely out of whack. I took 3 20-minute-ish naps the other day because I was that out of it (before I figured I’d better supplement with iron).

It’s tricky trying to do this, feeling awful and like I’m all there because my body’s trying to adjust, but I know I’ll feel 10x worse if I go back to eating that fast food again, even if just for one meal or one day. I can’t do fried food at all anymore and need to stop cold-turkey because my tongue and body don’t understand the concept of “in moderation” when it comes to fried stuff. Something about it makes my body turn into a nutritional black hole, and I’m not gonna let that happen anymore.

I can’t afford to. Physically, mentally, emotionally, financially… I literally cannot afford to fail. Not the way life is now, and hopefully what it could be in the future if I stay the course.

It will feel weird, being in better shape in my late 30s vs. my late teens, but I hope that’ll be the case. I get worried when I see how many damned fast food places are springing up like weeds, and that good tasting food is just hard to find unless I wanna spend a ton of money. I’ve enjoyed spending the time when I’m awake going through my low-cholesterol and healthier-eating cookbooks and picking out stuff I should try to make.

I also worry because of the sheer amount of folks around me that are my age going in for weight-loss surgeries. I wouldn’t be able to do such a thing myself–even if I wanted to–because of my addiction to those terrible foods. You can’t have anything like that when you’ve got a gastric, or overeat, or anything like that. And I definitely want to do it as close to naturally as possible.

I just with this “fast-food withdrawal” wasn’t so lousy, that my body would get a clue that I’m doing it a huge favor. But decades of bad habits can’t be undone with a flick of a switch, so this shouldn’t surprise me. I mean, I’ve tried to get away from it all before, but I hadn’t lasted this long. I figured the “three day hump” would be it, but nope, it’s going on 5 days now.

I’m just hoping my doctors get back to me (or let me come in) with some good advice or things to watch out for. Amazingly, the internet’s pretty vague on what I can do for all this, but then again, I’ve rarely been good at picking the right keywords to narrow things down.

So, back to the 30+ tabs open in my window to do some more research. I really hope I can get back to work tomorrow, and keep the good moves going.

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