We have one final post in December for the Gluten Free Health Challenge (I had the flu over the holidays and couldn't post this). Amy is sharing one final reflection post today, after being a part of the challenge for six months. Please stop and leave a comment for her, or join us in our Gluten Free Facebook Group. -Iris-
I can't believe that six months have passed and that the challenge is over. It seems like forever ago when Iris contacted me about taking part in this challenge. I wasn't sure that I wanted to take part in the challenge when she first asked, but I thought, "There are really no negatives to taking part in this, so why not?"
When I first started the challenge, I actually found it really easy to stick to being gluten-free. I was feeling better, had more energy, was more focused, and had fewer stomach issues. As time went on, I realized that this really was going to be a challenge. In the past, if I fell off the bandwagon, I would completely let go and just give up. While there were days that I did completely give up and give in, for the most part, I was about to rein things back in and get control and get back on track. The biggest realization from this was that just because I ate something I shouldn't didn't mean I needed to let it ruin the rest of the day or week. While I continue to have those days where I eat things I know are not good for my body, I am now able to feel like it isn't all or nothing.
I have learned to think outside the bod. I look forward to trying new recipes; Sometimes they are flops and sometimes they work great. I have also tried to make up my own recipes...which is where most of the flops happen. I found a pancake mix at one of the large stores here, and attempted to use it to make dumplings for chicken soup. While they worked out okay, they were a little too sweet for chicken soup. I am really glad that I tried it though, and that it would work in a pinch. I am also planning on using broken gluten-free spaghetti for small macaroni that I want in soup. Before, I would have just made rice for the soup (which isn't bad but sometimes I just want pasta), or been disappointed that it wasn't what I wanted. Then I would end up eating the gluteny pasta.
Along with food, Mia and I talked about clutter and organizing. I have been working hard at getting rid of clutter and trying to get more organized in my life. While it is still very much a work in progress, I have made some progress. Along with getting my house more organized, my meal planning is getting better. I've started using a calendar and still have a few more changes to make, but I am better at staying on track when I plan what I want to eat instead of waiting until the last minute. I can make sure that I have the right foods in the house to make something delicious using foods that are good for my body.
The biggest change that has happened is that I am so much more self-aware. I am trying to think about why I choose poorly. Am I bored? Am I stressed? Is it a family history thing that I have never really been aware of? Maybe I just really want it in that moment. Is it because of my monthly cycle and where I'm at at that moment? There are so many other things that I am thinking about now in general related to my health and my body image too.
I still have a lot to work on, and this challenge has given me the courage to keep going, and some new tools to utilize. Thank you, Iris and Mia, as well as the other challengers and coaches. Being a part of this group has really been great!