Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day One of Eating Gluten-Free

Today is day one. Actually yesterday was day one. Today is day two. Clearly, going gluten-free hasn't helped my clarity much, but I feel super healthy today, and I haven't felt that way in a while. I also woke up in a really great mood and unfortunately I can't say that happens all the time. This could be a result of the placebo effect, because it's probably too soon to feel a big difference, but if so I'll take it. Now, I have to admit that I'm just starting and I'm sure I'll end up inadvertently eating lots of things that have gluten in them. For instance, yesterday I had sushi for dinner. I looked up the type of roll I had (with eel in it) today and learned it was a "definite no-no." Oops...well, I'm trying. It's a learning process and I'm going to keep working on it.

Now a little explanation on who I am and what I'm trying to do. Weight has always been an issue for me because I love food and I really love carbs. After packing on the freshman 15 in college (except for me it was 20), I struggled for years to get the weight off. I worked at a pizza place in college, which obviously didn't help, and found myself secretly bingeing on carbs, peanut butter, sugar...anything that felt like a guilty pleasure to me. For a few months I used laxatives daily. Luckily the inconvenience of that convinced me to stop sooner rather than later. I tried eating all raw foods (that lasted for barely three days), tried exercising like crazy (which doesn't really make a difference if you go home and eat everything in sight after), tried Overeaters Anonymous (definitely a great resource for food addicts), and of course tried cutting calories, but I always lost my resolve around 4pm and ended up overeating. I also attempted to just convince myself to be happy 25 pounds overweight and not to put so much emphasis on my appearance. After all, being skinny doesn't make you happy, right? And was I really so shallow that I let my weight make me feel bad about myself?

Well...here's the thing. Being skinny doesn't make you happy. But having more energy, liking how you look you look in clothes, feeling confident when you walk down the street...those things definitely make you feel a lot better. And here's something else I've learned...you really are what you eat. Eating white bagels and sugary peanut butter made me feel like a lump. Just standing made me tired. My healthy diet now makes me feel empowered. Maybe I'm a little obsessed with food, but the fact is I love food; always have always will. And now I'm learning how to love food without also hating it for making me feel fat and guilty. I don't want to spend any more energy on feeling guilty about food. From now on, my goal is to enjoy it and strike the word diet from my vocabulary.

So why am I trying to go gluten-free? It's an experiment. I've suffered from IBS since high school (self-diagnosed; the one time I talked to a doctor about it, he told me I was exaggerating...he was an idiot). I have chronic constipation, stomach cramps, bloating, gas, and a lingering pain under my left rib. I've recently realized that cutting out most dairy (I still eat fat-free yogurt daily) helps a lot with the gas and bloating. I guess I shouldn't be surprised by that. But after making gluten-free cupcakes for a friend with Celiac's recently (they were amazing by the way!), I decided to experiment with going gluten-free to see if that would alleviate some of my symptoms. So...day one has passed. The pain under my rib is still there, but I woke up with a flat stomach this morning and feel skinny for the first time in months. So maybe the wheat is responsible for the chronic bloating? I guess we'll see.

So this is my journey to be healthy, to be diet-free, and to get rid of that niggling pain under my rib that's telling me it doesn't like something I'm eating. I'm going to figure out what that something is...

Update: Since starting this blog, I've realized I'm gluten intolerant. Although my Celiac test came out negative, it is my intention to follow a gluten-free diet for life. I feel ten times better when I'm not eating gluten!

1 comment:

Zainab said...

It is amazing to see where it all started! You are very inspiring :)

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