April's CR Diary

A diary of a 30 year old woman following CRON, or Caloric Restriction with Optimal Nutrition, for health and life extension.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Conversation with Myself at 4:30 am

"Now self, you know you have to eat your eggwhites for breakfast before you leave for work."

"But I don't want to! It's 4:30 in the morning and you know I don't like to eat breakfast!"

"I know you don't like to eat breakfast, but you barely ate anything yesterday because you stupidly ordered the dead fish after saying you wouldn't, took three bites of it, and decided to feed the rest to the cat. And it made you feel sick for the rest of the day! No more dead fish, self. But now you're low on energy, very low in protein, and you have a busy day ahead. You have to eat your eggwhites."

"Can't I just skip breakfast and promise to eat something later, when I'm not feeling so, well, 4:30 am ish?"

"Have you not heard anything that you've read in the last three months? Breakfast is important, and protein is even more important. If you don't eat your eggwhites, which give you a 29 gram head start on your protein goal, you know you won't eat enough protein later to make up for it. Protein makes you strong! You want to live a long time and be healthy, not look like a waifish supermodel! If you don't eat your protein, you'll never be strong enough to live to 110, and you'll never get to be six feet tall!"

"What if I eat a Dunkin Donuts bagel instead? That's food. And I'm pretty sure that CRON won't make me six feet tall, even if I do get enough protein."

"That's a big waste of calories for almost no nutrition! Remember, the last time you did that you were distinctly underwhelmed by the taste. You've grown out of such silliness, little self. You're right about the height thing, though. CRON won't make you taller. I get confused. It's been a rough week."

"It has been a rough week. And yesterday was a bad eating day... CR with no ON, due to the unfortunate demise of our lunch. The cat sure liked the salmon, though."

"So are you going to eat those eggwhites?"

"Okay, I'll eat my eggwhites."

"How about a glass of skim milk with that? Remember, we're working on calcium..."

"Don't push your luck."

That was my 4:30 am conversation with myself. CRON is usually fun for me, but there are moments when it's definitely work. Changing long established patterns, giving your body what you know it needs, and keeping with the routine even when things get busy and crazy... it can be a challenge. But I'm glad I ate my eggwhites. I can't go back to bad habits now, when I'm under a lot of stress and need my health the most.

You get the idea about yesterday's food. Silly dead fish. I am not a fish person.

I thought I was going to get to go home last night at a slightly earlier hour than usual, but just as I was running one last errand on the way home, I got a call from a nurse reporting a whole new crisis at the hospital, so I ran out to Kinkos, made a flyer, ran to the hospital to get the flyer in, turned around and come back (the hospital is 45 minutes from my house, longer in traffic), got home just after nine pm, left the house again at 5:30 am to get back to the hospital just before 6:30 am. My job has a very strong on-call aspect to it, as I have to be available to nurses anytime, anyplace, especially during the tense parts of organizing campaigns. It's not a job for anyone who has a lot of family obligations or any particular need to stick to a routine. In fact, I don't think of it as a job at all. It's a movement, my own little contribution to changing the world, and my daily contribution to helping nurses stand up for themselves and their patients. Being a union organizer is a way of living that is different from the rest of the culture, in many ways opposed to the rest of the culture, but for those of us who do it, it's hard to imagine living any other way. Now what does that remind me of?

As I've said many times, one of the things I wanted to do with the blog was show how a very busy, very social person could do CRON. This morning was a good example of making different choices than the ones I would have made before CRON. My stress reaction has always been to eat less, not more, but not necessarily to eat healthy food. In the past, I would have skipped breakfast, been starving by lunch, overeaten at lunch, no doubt on comforting carbs and maybe even a french fry or two, and then not be hungry again until maybe late at night or the next day, so miss the opportunity to eat healthy protein and veggies. Now I'm making different choices. I don't always get it right, but I'm glad that as the work pressure goes up, I'm sticking with my resolve.

I feel so much better on a daily basis than I ever did before. It's unfortunate that most people throw their healthy habits (if they ever had any) out the window the second life becomes stressful. When you're stressed is exactly the moment when you most need your healthy habits! I don't do yoga or meditation or any explicit stress relief stuff like that, but I know I depend on my healthy food, my long walks with bad pop music blaring in my walkperson, and my relaxing cooking experiments (aka "playing with vegetables") to keep my perspective.

I have no idea what the schedule will be for today. I have a cottage cheese and a cute little kiwi... no time to cook much last night, so I'll have to rely on the salad bar at work, which luckily has beautiful tall green steamed broccoli on demand, as much as you want if you're willing to pay by the pound for it.


  • At 5:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Meow, Meow, Thanks for the dead fish. Maryrose, the cat.


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