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.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Writing Will Save Your Life

[If you're just tuning in, go back and read "The Finer Points of Ark Engineering" from Friday, Oct. 15. It's the best in awhile, and would go on my Best of The Blog list.]

Now for a brief philosophical tangent:

Last November, almost a year ago, my step-grandmother passed away. She was a very kind, sweet woman who always thought of others first and never failed to send a cute little card with money to me on all holidays, even though I was a step-grandaughter and she had many real grandchildren of her own. My step-mother is an absolute angel, and it was so sad when she lost her mom.

The funeral service in Tennessee was beautiful, and my father did the eulogy. We all cried a lot, and the one bright spot was that my sister in law had recently found out she was expecting my step-mother's first grandchild.

I had to stay overnight before catching a flight back to Philly, and I drove back from the small town where my step-grandmother had lived to Nashville so I could be close to the airport in the morning. I stayed the night in a Holiday Inn Express that had a rather active country western karaoke bar just off the lobby.

I went downstairs to have a drink and brought a book with me... I don't remember what I was reading. The bartender came up to me and asked what I was reading, and I told her. Then she said, "You write, don't you?"

"No, not really," I said. "I used to, but I don't anymore."

"You will again."

I thought that was kinda funny... but when you grow up in the South, you come to expect bartenders in country western bars to utter enegmatic prophesies.

That night I woke up at 3 am with my regularly scheduled insomnia attack and a very clear sentence in my head that had no doubt jumped out of my latest dream:

"Writing will save your life."

When I got home, while doing some research on another topic, I came across the CR Society web page. It was then that I first began thinking of doing CR, though I didn't really start until that magic March 26.

Now that I've been blogging for months, I've come to think that my dream of last November could be interpreted literally. Writing this blog, CR'ing, and the way they reinforce each other, is literally saving my life. Not in a dramatic rescue from a burning building way, but in an everyday, every minute process that I barely understand but that I can feel working.

It's almost impossible to describe to anyone who hasn't done it what it feels like to CR. People tend to think we must be hungry all the time, or obsessed with self-denial, or desperately craving creme brulee. My experience has been nothing like that. I don't feel like I engage in much self-denial, and my occasional adventure with ju-ju bees illustrates that I sometimes lack reason and self-discipline, especially when confronted with cute little chewy fruit flavored candies. I am definitely in the early stages of my CR journey, and the older, more experienced practitioners might find my insistence that CR can do everything from file your taxes to mow your lawn a bit silly at times.

All I can say is that I can feel this process working. CR has made me a much happier person, and not just because being thin is our society's ideal for women. There's something chemical at work here that makes me more resilliant, both physically and mentally. I am amazed at how I bounce back from any kind of environmental insult, from cold germs and lack of sleep to stress at work.

And yes, I want to tell the world about it. I am an evangelical person about everything except for religion... when I know something works, and I know that something can alleviate some of the suffering that people have in their lives, I want to tell them about it. If my mistakes and silliness and working CR into a crazy busy work and social schedule can convince others to give it a try in spite of whatever limitations they may have in their lives, then I'm happy to recount every close encounter of the ju-ju bee kind.

Even if veteran CR practitioners out there may be laughing at/with/near me everytime I substitute ju-ju bees for yogurt.


  • At 6:26 PM, Blogger Mary Robinson said…

    The wonder is still there for me after 4+ years - so don't assume it will go away. While the memory of your "before" self fades a little - you escaped that horrible fate, didn't you - people around you are still in "before". So you are always aware of what CRON is doing for you. Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone was CRON!

    My son and husband are sort of CRON too, maybe 10% or more - enough that they also feel it. They too are grateful for this gift. Even if I don't live to 100+, it's worth it every day.


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