I’ve been sick.

I want to be clever and add some sort of adjective or modifier to the word “sick” to fully explain how sick I was, but then it just starts to sound melodramatic and self-pitying so facts will have to suffice.

I had a fever from Tuesday night until sometime around 4am on Saturday morning.

I basically didn’t eat anything other than a tablespoon or two of oat bran or a handful of peanuts (so I could take my medicine with something in my stomach) from Tuesday night until Friday night.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I basically only ate dinner because it would take the whole day for me to work up the desire to eat anything.

If I consumed 40 oz of liquid a day it was a miracle.

Once my kids had both seen the doctor on Wednesday, been diagnosed, put on medicine, and my husband came home I took to my bed and didn’t leave it until Sunday morning when 3 hours up necessitated a return to bed.

This one really knocked me out.

Today, my husband left at 5 am for a business trip and both of my kids are at school.

I called off work and I am sitting here at the kitchen table, hungry for the first time in nearly a week, and having to face the mess in my head that this bout of illness has triggered.

The first couple of days without eating (when I say without eating I mean I ate some peanuts and some oat bran but nothing else and my calories for the day didn’t top out over 400) didn’t really mess with my head too badly. In fact, when, on Friday night my husband joked that this had probably helped me lose a couple pounds I laughed but instantly said, “Eh, it doesn’t count. Once I can stomach food again it will balance out.”

But when Sunday rolled around and I still wasn’t really eating I started thinking that maybe I really have lost some weight and I started fantasizing about what the scale will say on Wednesday.

I am simultaneously experiencing all of these thoughts:

  • I bet the scale will be low on Wednesday!
  • But it will be artificially low so I will just be disappointed next Wednesday when it pops back up.
  • I shouldn’t have eaten any peanuts while I was sick, the fat in them may have wasted the opportunity to lose weight here.
  • I had to eat something to take the meds and I couldn’t stomach anything else.
  • Maybe I shouldn’t eat much of anything until Wednesday just to drag this out.
  • Wait, but I’ve barely eaten in almost a week, I could probably eat anything and get away with it.
  • Chocolate. Milk Chocolate.

The level of dysfunction in these thoughts is not lost on me and I am well aware of the amount of diseased thinking that went into them. But there they are none the less and I don’t really know how to combat them other than to just get them out of my head through writing about it.

So here is my immediate problem, which as insane as it sounds, is real: I don’t know what to eat. Normally my Mondays and Tuesdays are pure protein days each week, but I’m not feeling well enough yet to want to eat much meat or dairy. I think I could handle eggs, but that’s about it. I don’t think I’m up for eating any raw vegetables but I think I could handle some vegetable soup like tomato or butternut squash or something like that. Part of me just wants a cheeseburger and an apple.

I’m trying to sort through in my head how to get through the day food wise. I don’t want to fall off the wagon. But right now I’m not so sure I know what the wagon is. So, I’m starting with the basics: I know I can’t have any refined carbs. Period.

After that things start to get a little blurry around the edges. Do I switch to consolidation to give myself (and my stomach) some more options while I get healthy again? Is that just rationalizing to get to eat off plan? Do I stick with the pure protein days today and tomorrow because that’s how my weekly schedule is written and even though I couldn’t follow the previous days doesn’t mean that I get to mess with these? Or am I being too rigid and unforgiving of myself and the reality of my day today? Do I just give myself two days of easy protein and vegetables to ease myself back into eating normally? Or am I just using being sick as an opportunity to let myself slide?

I’m afraid if I try to leave it to one meal at a time I’m going to misbehave in some respect so I know I need to plan out some meals for the day. Having done that just now, I think I’m going to go with the most simple middle ground I can see: I’m going to focus on getting in my water for the day, have some scrambled eggs for lunch and then some butternut squash soup for dinner.

Tomorrow, I’ll deal with when and how it comes to me.