In his book The Art of Happiness, the Dalai Lama explains that one of the ways to increase our happiness is to reduce tensions by not keeping things to ourselves. In his less than remarkable book, he says that he is not a person to be relied upon as far as keeping secrets is concerned, simply because it makes him happy to talk about the things on his mind.
Similarly, one of the lessons to be learnt from the film Kinsey is that society should not have issues that are considered a taboo, thus avoiding discussion. In Kinsey the example is sex, and the problem is that a lot of people’s lives have been made miserable through them keeping sex related issues to themselves and through society avoiding scientific discussions of these issues because of them being regarded as taboos. The taboo phenomenon allowed religion based superstitions fill the gap up.
What I take from both the Dalai Lama and Kinsey is that if there is something on my mind I should talk about it no matter how stupid or offending it may sound.
And all this introduction is basically there to tell you why this particular post is a post about shit. Yes, you got it right – shit.
Between financial limitations, leave day allowances, and crying babies we have not been able to go on a nice vacation for a year. When the recent holidays presented themselves with a chance to let go, even if it is for a short duration, we took the opportunity and went for a three nights’ stay at the RACV Resort in Inverloch (the photos from this vacation have been posted on Flickr for a while now – check them out here).
Given that we were on holiday mode I strayed from my regular eating habits on our first holidaying day and had myself an almost entire big pack of Doritos. I know it sounds very piggish, but it’s one of those things where once I start consuming them I cannot contain myself unless they’re made unavailable, either by someone taking them away from me, me having to go and do something else, or them finishing off. Sadly, only the third condition applied this time around.
As a child and as an adolescent I used to have relatively frequent headaches, but for many years now headaches have not been an issue. However, upon consuming that pack of Doritos I found myself the host of one very aching head! The effects didn’t end there: I also found myself shaking and sweating. I was obviously feeling really bad, and it was obvious that it was to do with the Doritos. I don’t know what it is that they put in there, but those chemicals definitely have loads of shit my body does not need nor want.
Throughout the night I’ve made repeated attempts to empty my body of the problematic Doritos chemicals, but success came along only on the following morning. That night was pretty bad.
During the holiday we were quite restricted with the meals. When you’re out in the middle of nowhere, as is usually the case in Australia when you leave the big city, choice becomes severely limited: there’s either the supermarket, the truly bad fast food, or the very badly executed pub food (where the edible stuff is usually restricted to chicken parma or fish and chips). Since we were on holiday we didn't want to go to the supermarket, and as we didn't want junk either we took an esky with us and filled it up with cold food. Thing is, there’s just that much cold food you can have before the yearning for a proper warm feed hits you.
That is why we ended up going to our resort’s built in restaurant. We already had breakfast included as a part of the deal, but we went for an extra lunch and another dinner.
The menu looked pretty flashy, with the more than its usual share of pompous descriptions that make a leaf of some underground vegetation sound like a pot of gold. Sadly, the food didn’t keep up to the menu’s standards: it was all very fried and very oily. Everything was served with chips, including stuff the menu described as served with potatoes. When I tried to go on the safe and lean side and ordered a chicken sandwich I received a deep fried schnitzel sandwich instead, and even that was covered with melted cheese that just oozed of fat and oil. Breakfast was better, but it still showed the prevailing attitude: wholemeal bread was hard to come by (white bread was abundant), and the deep fryer continued its domination. In short, for all the wrong reasons, this restaurant made me feel as if I was in England again.
Aside of the long term negative effects such fatty fried foods have on cholesterol levels and saturated fat levels, they also have an immediate effect on me. On a normal day, I would go to the toilet to have a bit of a read between two to three times per day, effectively once for each big meal. I actually enjoy it: It’s one of the few opportunities I have for some peaceful reading, and let’s not live in denial – having a good dump is one of the better feelings out there. Thing is, having frequent dumps – one per each meal – is a good thing, because it is an indicator that the bowels are working well and that the shit stuff is cleared out of your body.
The problem was that during our stay at the resort my dumping rate was reduced to once per day. I would still go to do my regular reading, but nothing would come out. Constipation means that the shit that doesn’t come out makes you feel like shit, and that is indeed the way I have felt for much of our holiday. Sure, it wasn’t serious, but it wasn’t great either.
Now, I’m not exactly the person that eats health food and only health food, but on the other hand I don’t eat straight junk either. We don’t eat McDonalds and that kind of rubbish; we hardly ever drink soft drink including Coke, a drink I used to like as a child which now makes me feel pretty bad when I drink it; and when we want something nice to chew in between proper meals we usually have natural stuff like nuts and seeds, or quality chocolate / ice cream, but we virtually never have chemical based stuff like Doritos of chips of sorts.
On the plus side, I drink massive amounts of water, and water is usually the only drink I have other than natural juices (usually natural orange juice with pulp included and no preservatives).
The difference these habits make on my daily life is nothing short of amazing. Despite being unfit and tired most of the time, I don’t think I have ever felt as well as I do now. I attribute a lot of that good feeling to the food I eat.