In March, my brain was not functioning well and my body hurt so badly that I was weeping about it in my doctor's office.
That's a label I'd been outrunning for about fourteen years. My doctor back then said it was likely the source of my fatigue, brain fog, body pain, etc. but that I was already doing all of the recommended things to help myself. They also said that I was really young (around 29 at the time) and that once it was written in my chart it could never be unwritten. I said no thank you and never really talked about it again but I was always reading, always looking for ways to fix what wasn't working inside of me.
Fourteen years is a damn fine run if you ask me but now it has ended.
I agreed to the label this time and also to take one, very small dose of a new medication (which is working really well). For weeks, The Beautiful One and I discussed what was happening in my body, comparing what I learned in the world to what she was learning in nursing school. My energy level and some of the pain began to improve.
And eventually, I told her that I heard (in my head) that my body needed meat. This was quite a shock after 10+ years eating only vegetarian food. (To be clear, it's not that one can't eat balanced and nutritionally complete foods as a vegetarian. I just sensed my food choices were not cutting it for me.) I received lots of signs from my body--constantly battling low iron, thinning hair and nails, low B12 to name just a few. A Facebook inquiry revealed that many, many others had resumed eating meat after long spells of eating only vegetarian food.
The Voices In My Head were screaming loudly and the only problem was... I couldn't imagine eating meat.
So I spent months whispering to my body, "if you need meat, you're going to have to give me a desire to eat meat. That's the only way I'll know." During the summer, I changed my meal plan again and started experiencing a clearing of the brain dysfunction that has haunted me for many years. I knew eating the new way was true for me because my body, energy, and brain responded excitedly. I felt better than I had in decades. And then I started craving meat. I still couldn't imagine eating it but cravings came.
One night about six weeks ago, I was prepping my vegetarian food while The Beautiful One prepped tacos for her and her mother. In that exact moment, my cravings shifted into loud and clear desire. So I ate the taco meat and a steak the next day, and more meat almost daily since then. I have no idea if it will always feel true for me to eat this way but I know that for today, for me, it feels undeniably true.
All of this affirms my long held belief that there is no single right choice for us to make about our bodies, or even as we move through the seasons of our lives. I suspect we'll be talking more about this in the future--how to listen to our bodies, how to have the courage to challenge our own beliefs, and how to release what we believed would always be true for us when it is time for a change.
Love Notes are a series of mostly gentle invitations that were first published on either social media or as an email to my community. Want the good ones in your inbox? Subscribe here.