My Thoughts with Obesity, Diet, and Their Impact on MS
I love to eat. The older I get, the deeper my love grows. Veggies, pasta, poultry, and pork. Big Macs, French fries, chips and dip, and Di Giorno pizza. Sourdough bread and olive oil, hummus dipped with a pita or raw veggies. Lebanese, Vietnamese, Mexican, sushi, Chinese, popcorn popped in oil and lightly salted.
Heck, I’ll eat the tablecloth if you marinate it in Cindy’s Kitchen brand scallion and ginger ultimate sauce. Old McDonald had a farm, and on that farm is everything I love and could easily consume in vast quantities until I feel as if I’m going to give birth to a Xenomorph.
Farm to table, table to gullet, it’s delicious fun. But how is it impacting my MS?
Why are we so hard on ourselves?
I feel fine. A vague accounting, I know, but more on that later. My BMI is 32 and I am sixty-something. I gained weight after quitting smoking six years ago, and I was already overweight. Yet my blood tests are normal across the board. Blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, thyroid, everything is within normal range.
This tells me that I am healthy at the weight I am at. I keep reading that at my age, losing weight should be about health rather than appearance. It might be true, but it grates on my one big vanity nerve. Through experience, I discovered that weight loss does not restore my youthful figure and proportions.
Big bummer at the time, but I have to admit that it’s easier to accept whenever my lovers tell me how sexy I look. We women are so hard on ourselves.
Does it really matter what we eat?
Anyone who has MS can go to that self-critical place too, for any number of reasons. We don’t exercise enough, stretch enough, challenge our brain cells enough, sleep enough, and yes, eat healthy enough. We have digestion problems, bowel, and bladder problems, swallowing problems. We choke, cough, vomit.
Sometimes we gag on our own saliva. Some days it’s a challenge just to get food past our lips, down the gullet, and into the stomach without something effing it up. Fun times.
But when the cosmic mystery gives us a pass, we can freely choose, savor, enjoy, and digest our favorites. How do we choose? Does it really matter what we eat?
Not for the reasons you might think
I think it does matter, but not for the reasons you might think. To date, there is no official MS diet that has been put through trials and found to create a remission in symptoms, repair damaged myelin, or prevent immune cells from attacking myelin.
But eating a diet rich in protein, complex carbohydrates and fat feeds muscle, protects organ function, and provides fuel for energy, things that can be a real challenge to maintain for people with MS.
So in that sense, it matters very much that we eat whole foods in addition to whatever else might be considered garbage, aka empty calories that we love.
Feeling better, stronger, and safer
So what did I mean when I said I feel fine as far as diet impacting my MS? Despite the discomfort of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), I know I’ve checked all the boxes for good nutrition and overall, I feel pretty healthy.
Couple that with the right amount of activity — and that is a far bigger challenge for me than getting it right foodwise — and I think I’m on the right track to feel even better, stronger, and safer.
As far as obesity goes, though, will I be stuffing fewer edibles into my pie hole anytime soon and get that BMI number down? Fat chance.
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