A Couple Of Bites

We have a close friend of the family who has known me for my entire life.

His name is Larry.

Larry was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and he was eligible for a surgery called the Whipple procedure to remove the area of the pancreas where the cancer was located.

While the side effects from the surgery have been not as positive as any of us had hoped, Larry remains cancer free but has been dealing with other issues which have affected his ability to eat and enjoy food like he used to.

These complications have led to a dramatic drop in weight and he’s now using the assistance of a feeding tube to help give his body the nutrients he needs to put weight back on his frame. The doctors are hopeful that if Larry can get back to a certain weight, they can remove the feeding tube.

He’s always been a tremendously positive person and to see him in this shape is difficult.

Nevertheless, he is a devout believer that with continued prayers, God will not give him more than he (and his family) can handle.

We were talking this past weekend and he made the comment that he often gets cravings for certain foods. By his admission, he can have anything he desires but there was a statement that he made that stuck with me:

I get these cravings for certain foods so I make sure that I have them but often, I just need a couple of bites and then I’m happy.

It’s a simple statement and one that, as a nutrition coach, I find myself sharing with clients a lot.

-If you want that treat, have it and share it with others.

-Have anything you like but be willing to leave some behind.

-No food is off limits but just ask yourself what amount will satisfy you.

I wouldn’t wish Larry’s scenario on anyone. Having lost my father to bone marrow cancer in 2011, it’s a horrible disease no matter how it manifests in the body.

But when he made the comment about those couple of bites, it just had a different effect on me than when I normally share the advice with others.

There are a myriad of ways to approach the way we eat. Food gives us life, it gives us energy, it gives us joy and it is a necessity. Certainly for Larry, he needs every bit of food that his body can tolerate.

You’ll hear a lot about mindfulness with nutrition and in this way, Larry’s sentiments count: Give your body what it needs because deprivation probably won’t serve you well.

As we were wrapping up the call, Larry shared another thought that I’ll leave you with:

I’ve learned through this whole ordeal that you basically have two choices, you can be bitter or you can be better and just because you’re bitter, doesn’t mean it’s better for you.

We love you Larry, keep fighting.

(Photo courtesy of Keila Hotzel)