For decades now, I’ve had issues with food. I’ve discussed it here ad nauseam, but basically an unknown issue with gluten led me to thyroid disease. From there, I developed gallbladder disease before being diagnosed with a second autoimmune disease. I’m gluten free, mostly dairy free, and avoid soy, and hot peppers definitely wreak havoc. I have to balance my food and alcohol consumption too or I can overwhelm my digestive system with its missing gallbladder. I’m far more fortunate than those with Crohn’s, but having to watch my diet so closely is difficult and depressing sometimes. There aren’t words enough to express how much I wish I could still eat ice cream, manicotti, cheesecake, onion rings, and cheeseburgers on a real bun. But eating all the yummy foods isn’t worth risking my health and potentially ending up with a third autoimmune disease.
As I’ve been watching the Formula One Netflix show Drive to Survive, I’m learning all sorts of things about racing. I honestly had no idea how many factors a winning race is dependent upon: the driver’s health and mental state, the car and its requisite parts, the track and weather conditions, the other competitors, and sometimes even garden-variety luck. It’s crazy. The cars especially are a huge part of whether the racer does well. The driver could be having the race of his life, and the engine gives out and it’s game over.
I realized today my body is a Formula One car and my mind is its driver. My body is finicky. It’s an intricate machine that requires the utmost care, attention, and fine tuning. If I treat it well and give it the best fuel for it, I can keep going. If I don’t, well, it’s game over for me.
Who knew it, folks? All this time I’ve been bummed that I can’t feed my body Cheetos, milkshakes, and cheesecake. What was I thinking? I’m not a Ford Focus. I can’t take regular gasoline. I’m a Formula 1 Ferrari, goddammit! I need the good stuff. And wouldn’t you know I have no digestive issues with escargot or Kobe beef or truffles. That’s all the proof I need.
So the next time you go out to dinner with me and are frustrated by the ridiculous substitutions I have to make in my food order, just remember I am a Ferrari. I’m am a little high maintenance, but I was built that way.