Apparently, This Healthy Eating Thing is Bullshit

Yesterday on my lunch break I went to give blood, as I’ve been doing on a regular basis again for the past year or so. It’s a small thing, but it’s a good deed and it always leaves me feeling good about myself afterwards.

Except yesterday I ended up slinking out the door without having made that donation, like a drug addict or someone who admitted to handling monkey’s bodily fluids.

Just as an aside, every time I donate and the nurse asks that list of embarrassing questions, whenever we get to the one where she asks if I’ve ever paid money or drugs for sex I always want to ask if giving CBG gas money counts. But I would hate to get kicked out for being a smartass.

That’s right, kids – I got rejected. Rejected! Me! The picture of health. The woman who has been working especially hard for the last year to do everything right, health-wise.

The reason for rejection? Low iron. And not just a regular kind of low — but, in the words of the nurse who shuffled me off into the little room away from the “healthy” donors — anemic.

The good news is that the mystery as to why I’ve been so freakin’ tired and bitchy and dizzy lately has been solved. That and the fact that I can’t drag my ass out of bed for my regular morning runs and I’ve been craving spinach like Popeye. The bad news is — damn! haven’t you been paying attention, people?? I’m anemic.

At least now I’ll get CBG off my back about me feeling tired. I’ve been complaining for the last couple of months about feeling like ass and he’s been telling me how worried he is and that he wished I would get checked out by my doctor. I’ve been putting him off, chalking it up to “the winter blues” and the lack of sunlight. So I’ll say it here, for all the world to see – you were right, baby. There! Happy now? :-p

I’ll be honest and admit that the fact that my body isn’t working the way it should kind of pisses me off. The fact that I’ve been working so damn hard at being healthy and it appears to be working even less well is just completely disheartening. One particular person in my life, after being told about my health woes laughed and commented, “Well, that’s what you get for all that healthy eating you’ve been doing! You might as well have been eating junk all this time!!”

Gee…thanks for the support.


I’ve had low iron before, when I was around 20 or so. I remember two things about it – the fainting episode that lead to having my iron checked to begin with, and the dreaded iron supplements. Anyone who has ever had the misfortune of requiring iron supplements feels my pain. You know what I’m talking about here, people. And well…just not looking forward to it. At all.

The first step in all of this is a visit with my doctor. Then will come blood work. I’m hoping that she, along with some help from my naturopath, will get to the bottom of why my iron is so low to begin with, and treat the issue. Not to mention coming up with a plan for preventing this from being a problem again in the future once we do fix it.

At this point, my head is spinning. Then again, maybe it’s just from the lack of iron...

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23 Responses

  1. “Well, that’s what you get for all that healthy eating you’ve been doing! You might as well have been eating junk all this time!!”

    We all know that’s not true. Just think how much worse it might be had you not been taking care of yourself. But you already know this. Take care.


    • Thanks, Tammy. I know you’re right…it’s just frustrating right now. Eventually I’ll get this problem treated and be feeling back to normal again – can’t wait for it!

  2. Ugh … sometimes I wonder about the healthy eating and the exercise … is it worth it? My husband’s parents are in their upper 70s and the mom smokes like a damn chimney.

    • Well honestly, up until the last couple of months (when I suspect my iron took a nosedive) I’ve been feeling absolutely fantastic. When I take care of myself, I do feel SO much better…so it really is worth it, in my opinion. As frustrating as it is to be experiencing this, I have no regrets when it comes to being healthy. 🙂

  3. SO frustrating! BUT at least now you have a real reason for why you’ve not felt your best lately – low iron means low energy! As my husband would say – let me make you a steak! 🙂 Hang in there ok?

    • It really is a good piece of news to find out why I’ve been feeling so rotten. Guess I can have less guilt now for not getting out for those runs as much as I’d like to! 😉

  4. i started drinking a variety of herbal teas when i was pregnant to help with my iron levels, which were always really high. nettle and alfalfa are both really good for building blood supply, and i still drink them regularly, often at night with a bit of chamomile before bed. i am able to find them both in bulk from a local natural food store, and i’m a hippie like that, so. 🙂
    i also always use cast iron pans for all my cooking. i don’t really know how much iron leaches into my food from that, although i do know that acidic foods, like tomato sauce, pull more iron.
    i’m sure you’ll get great advice from your naturopath, but i just thought i’d offer some of what has worked for me, since those iron pills can have really unpleasant side effects.

    • Thanks for the suggestions, Christine. I’m really interested in doing this naturally as much as I can. I’ve been on iron supplements before and it’s truly unpleasant….

  5. ugh!! well at least it explains the lethargy etc right?? I hope you start feeling better…but it is BS that you are anemic despite being healthy. I think I am borderline anemic sometimes, because I don’t get enough iron, I don’t think. good reminder to me too!

    • I’m glad to have an explanation for why I’m feeling like this, yes. But now my concern is what made my iron dip so low to begin with? Doesn’t seem to make sense. Ah well, hopefully I’ll get things back on track and be feeling better soon.

  6. I was anemic while pregnant with my second child and diabetic while pregnant with my first. And yes, it does piss you off when you’re trying to be healthy and your body isn’t participating!

    I’m with you: I have to watch my sugar intake and my iron levels for the same reason. I’m happy to hear you’re handling it as naturally as possible. That’s what I’d do too.

    Plus, my man makes me eat more red meat.

    And… heh… that’s wasn’t MEANT to be a euphemism. 😉

    • I’m getting my official bloodwork results on Friday with my doctor and then going to see my naturopath early next week. I’m determined to do this as naturally as possible. But damn, feeling like death warmed over every single day isn’t fun!

  7. Low iron sucks! I’ve been there, and I never want to go back. Often it’s caused by heavy periods, that’s why about 1 in 5 women have low iron.

    I’m taking an iron supplement that is really gentle on my stomach and I don’t experience any side effects. (It seems to depend on the brand.) Keep trying until you find one that works for you.

    I hope you feel better soon!

  8. […] chosen to ignore it — chalking it up to “the winter blues”. Turns out I have anemia – with some of the lowest iron levels my naturopath has seen in her […]

  9. […] winter has been tough on me, health-wise. This whole anemia thing has really thrown me for a loop. Since being diagnosed with anemia, I have been doing my best to […]

  10. […] week ago I had another appointment with my naturopath. She’s been treating me for my anemia and I have to say that I’ve been feeling a lot better in the past six weeks or so. I’ve […]

  11. […] I’ve really been feeling like I finally have this anemia thing conquered. I am waking up early in the mornings again, and when the girls are with their dad, […]

  12. […] And I didn’t run it. I toyed briefly with the idea of running the half a while back, but with still recovering from anemia and not having had that much time to train, I wasn’t feeling ready for it. I’ve been […]

  13. Eat red meat.

    • That’s the frustrating part – I DO eat red meat! But as a female who is also a runner, that’s just not enough for me to keep my iron supply where it needs to be.

  14. Healthy eating is of course very necessary specially if you want to live longer and avoid future ailments. “`..*

    Most current article produced by our personal internet page

  15. […] blogging about it a whole lot but I haven’t been well this winter. What I thought was another bout with anemia turned out not to be.  Long story short, ever since the marathon last fall, I’ve been […]

  16. I think healthy eating is total crap too, moderation and activety is key. I was also vegan for years and it ruined my health….now ive been taking multies and extra iron for month, many of the physical and mental issues are SLOWLY going away now. For YEARS i was eating nothing but JUNK food and processed stuff, and all the sudden i try to eat healthy and also go vegan…and get brainfog almost from the get go…and i cant focus, and cant remember what weve been talking about 4 minutes into a conversation. EXPLAIN to me why IVE never had these issues in all my life of eating processed crap….in 20 years, ( never took multies ever) but NOW i do….becuase eating heathly and veganism riuned me. Anyways i am eating normal NOW..and in moderation, im starting to feel so much better, brain fog has lessened and i can focus better..

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