Friday, April 3, 2015

Food





I have a long and tense history with food. As a teenager I never really watch what I ate, nor did I care.  As a result I have what has become a staple of the average American male. Man boobs, and a gut. Over five years ago I decided to make a change. I decided to start exercising more and to become and more and more aware of what I ate. 

All was going well. I started losing weight, but then I started losing a lot of weight quickly, and sleeping a lot, and nearly unable to walk as horrible pain shut up and down my back.
My attempt to get healthy coincided rather nicely with contracting cancer. But not just any cancer, I contracted multiple myeloma.  It is the second most common blood cancer among those who are over fifty. I was 27.

To cut what could be a rather long and sad story for another time short, The cancer paralyzed me. I went kind of nuts again with food after that, but the complications of being paralyzed did hinder me from doing what would be necessary to balloon up. I only gained back twenty five pounds I had lost. Though I am not sure how much of that weight loss was from diet and exercise or from the cancer slowly eating away at my body.

But after some time being sad, and angry, going through the many steps it takes to come to terms with being disabled I have decided to once more to try and get in shape. It is something I have always wanted, may never have the six pack but making my life a little easier is always a good thing.
And therein lays a disheartening truth. Becoming healthy is expensive.
It is nearly impossible to avoid processed foods when you have a very limited budget to shop with. The cheapest foods are inevitably the least healthy of odds. I could eat McDonald's three times a day and not spend more than four dollars total.

Then there is the near heroine like addiction I have developed for some of these bad foods. Not the shakes, but you dream about it, get irritable when you want it but try not to have it.

My biggest addiction is soda.  Hundreds if not thousands of calories, chock full of chemicals. The only natural ingredient in soda is water and that water is carbonated.

Looking at all these chemicals leaves me with that aching question, are all of these different chemicals the cause of my multiple myeloma?

While the  research I have seen has yet to pin down a single cause, could it be that all these chemicals that I have pumped myself full of over the years has activated the propensity for the disease hidden in my DNA?

I may never know. All I can do is do my best to earn a little more and try to eat a variety of foods even if it is canned fruit, and frozen meat and vegetables.  I think that is all anyone can do.  DO your best with the budget you have, and when you can afford to eat healthier, then eat healthier.