Friday, March 7, 2014

Lent with a Limited Diet

I can't fast during Lent. I couldn't fast before because of this hypoglycemic-type illness that I inherited from my mom, but I really can't fast these days because I need the calories. I am medically excused from fasting... and I'm actually also excused from abstaining from meat (as I was last year) because chicken is one of the few things I can eat without problems. Trust me, I asked a priest last year (I've had the same problem for a year and a half now) because of how limited my diet was/is and I was told that I can eat chicken if it's the only way that I can get my calories in. I need at least 1860 calories per day to gain weight, which is not easy if you can't eat all foods.

Before anyone starts listing what I "can" eat, saying that I have other options, please don't. I appreciate it but you guys don't know just how much I struggle with foods right now. I've tried high calorie every food I can think of and I've have problems with a number of them, mostly sensitivities to the foods that aren't quite allergies but bad enough for me to feel sick.

I can't eat fish because my tongue got a bit swollen the last time I tried it. I can't eat quinoa because it wrecks my stomach. I have some sensitivities to avocado so I can't eat 'em. Soy bloats me. Basically, I can't eat a number of things because of how bad my stomach currently is, most fruits included. I can't eat or drink any dairy or eggs because I have allergies to them. Trust me, I struggle to get my calories in on a daily basis so it's even more difficult during Lent so I am trying to stay away from chicken on Fridays.

Since I cannot fast, I have to find another form of penance... which has been not sleeping these days because of my PTSD. I actually did sort of do a form of penance yesterday for eating on Wednesday. I won't be able to do the same penance on Good Friday but I'll ask my spiritual director for some help. It's hard though. I don't like that I'm sort of excluded from participating in the fasting because of my stomach problems. Prior to my stomach problems, it was easier. I could eat pasta and other good foods. Now? I can't because of how acidic most of them are. It's a pain but it's what I have to go through.

I'm sharing this because of the comments about "not trying hard enough" or not wanting to "suffer" during Lent. It's off but, you know, some people who don't know will assume and I wanted to set the record straight. To recap: I am medically excused from fasting because of limited my diet is but I still try to stay away from meat unless it's the only way I can get my calories in. At the moment, I can get my calories in on Fridays without meat but if there's ever a chance that I can't, I know I'm good.

And, if you're wondering, yes, I will confess any meat consumed during Lent (such as on Ash Wednesday because I didn't have anything to eat... and I still came under my calorie count). I know I'm excused but I still feel guilty... in a good way. I say in a good way because I hope it means that I care.

Anyway, this is today's blog post. I was kind of stumped about what to write so I sort of wrote this on a quick whim. I'll try to think of better topics. ;)

I'll be back tomorrow... even if all I do is post some of my favorite Catholic themed memes found on tumblr. lol. ;)

As always, thanks for reading and God bless. :D


Sophie Miriam said...

I hear you...I am not medically excused from fasting or abstaining, as my food intolerances are less severe, but I didn't dare give up any "real" food for Lent since I keep slipping back below the appropriate weight.

Don't feel guilty for not fasting. You are medically excused! You can feel sad if you want to, but guilt suggests you did something didn't! You don't need to feel guilty, or go to Confession, for taking proper care of yourself.

Cristina T said...

I would dream of offering any suggestions or helps. I will offer my prayers. I can't imagine the stress your under. What others see as a comfort and a joy you think of how it will affect your intestines or tongue.

Thank God for God and Spiritual Directors.


Lindsay said...

I agree with Sophie. If you have a medical excuse to eat on a fast day and to eat meat on Fridays, then you shouldn't be taking that to Confession. You're not doing anything wrong. You're just living the non-pregnant version of pregnant fasting/abstinence (under which you can eat whatever because you have another person depending on your nutrition).