Ever wonder why we as humans do the things we do? Children at least have an excuse for sticking a bobby pin in an electric socket or playing with dog poo. After all they’re children! We, or I in this case, have no such excuse!
You see I am the idiot referred to in the article title.
Let me explain…
That old saying ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ has come to fruition in my life as of late. In addition to owning and running my Age Management and Functional medicine practice in Edmond, I have served as Medical Director of a walk-in Family Medicine and Urgent Care Center for the past 5 years.
I recently have found myself in the position of having a shortage of physician coverage for the clinic. Consequently, I am having to devote more time to personally handle the physician coverage at the center.
Now I know this is a temporary dilemma, but after 26 consecutive days of work without a break, I began to feel sorry for myself. One day I decided to go against my nutrition principles of eating a diet low in sugars, starches, saturated fats, and high in good fats, lean sources of protein, and fresh organic fruits and vegetables.
I’ll sum it up with two words…Taco and Bell
I gave $20 bucks to my nurse and said “load me up”. She had strict instructions to avoid the Taco Bell diet portion of the menu and ‘go straight for the good stuff’.
The first few minutes were almost nostalgic as I engulfed several choice items and a large Mountain Dew. I suddenly felt like I was back in high school… comfortably ignorant of the ills that unhealthy choices would bring. I was all ‘Jacked up on Mountain Dew’ to paraphrase the movie Talladega Nights and felt like I could wrestle a grizzly bear to the ground and force it into submission.
That lasted about 3 minutes and 22 seconds…then reality hit. The ensuing three to four hours seemed like two days. The clock decided to click one second for every 5 that passed or at least that was my perception of time. I began to become sleepy as if I had been slipped a ‘Mickey’… whatever that is.
My energy dropped like a guillotine.
The abdominal bloating that followed left me with mental images of the BP oil rig explosion videos that I had recently viewed on the internet and news.
Needless to say, my transit time was not exactly regular that day! We’ll just say I spent a little more quality time with Uncle John.
I heard noises come from my stomach I’ve never heard before. The only way I know to describe it is as if I were to put a long piece of PVC pipe up to my ear with a small child at the other end who had just received a new set of drums for Christmas. But in reality, it was my duodenum mounting a revolution against the rest of my gastrointestinal tract.
After all this, I began to reprimand myself. I thought, after 20 years of studying biochemistry, microbiology, nutrition and medicine, why would I put myself through the physical and emotional ups and downs that almost always occur after what I refer to as a ‘Mardi Gras’ meal?
Well, I realize that I’m human as we all are and maybe shouldn’t be as hard on myself as I was that day. I guess the moral of the story is not to go off the deep end (as I did) when you decide to have that ‘Mardi Gras’ Meal.
The consequence of having the energy drops, abdominal cramping and bloating, and brain fog, among others, that typically occurs after a highly processed, high fat, starch, or sugar filled meal does serve as a great reminder that these foods are bad for us.
But there are better reminders all around us that our health is important. Our family and friends, our children and grandchildren all want to see us maintain our health and vitality as we age. We owe it to them and ourselves to do better.
So next time your stress is high or maybe you’re a little down after a bad day and you feel like cheating on your diet or simply having a pre-scheduled ‘Marti Gras’ meal, remember my ‘idiot’ experience and ‘pull back the reins’ a little bit.
It’s alright to just have a little extra pasta with your meal, some pudding after dinner, or scoop of ice cream once in a while without completely derailing your good efforts.