The “gluten free” life.
It’s all the fad, right? Everybody’s doing it.
Finally, after so long, my dietitian has helped me figure out that I have gluten intolerance! This has become such a relief to my entire digestive track!!
So, finding out about this intolerance has helped me accept many things. Eating gluten free is a huge adjustment. There are many foods that are naturally gluten free, but also many common foods that aren’t.
I could sit here and explain how I feel better eating gluten free, how it has helped my digestion and pooping (yep, I went there), how I figured out that I needed to change… blah, blah, blah… but that doesn’t help anyone…. Google it if you want to know how it changes/helps people. My experience with being gluten intolerant is very different from the next person (yet still very similar…. Oh, and that was deep).
Truthfully, reading blogs help when you can relate it back to yourself somehow….
So, with that being said, what has being gluten free taught me?
To welcome change.
With a new diet, comes new foods…. and changes. Like a diabetic, change has to happen in my diet. I have found that it’s easy to make changes when you’re forced to do so. It’s easier for people to make changes when it’s forced by a doctor, medically necessary etc. We may not like it, but we do it because we “have” to.
It’s a life lesson to learn to make changes on your own, and that is something I’m learning. I will say, it’s much more pleasant in your life when you choose the change, and make it happen. When you make the adjustment by choice, it becomes easier to accept over time because you can’t be bitter toward yourself for doing something. Change is the only constant in this world, and until we accept it, we will keep fighting the inevitable. If you want to read more about my deep thoughts on change, feel free to do so here.
To eat for health.
I’m learning to eat for fun and for health – and have a balance of both. Sometimes people lean to extremes (all healthy or all unhealthy), but a balance is what is really needed for a happy and healthy life. All food groups are important – including lipids! (yep… I drank that kool-aid) I’m also learning, (as I accept balance), to have everything in moderation. Apparently, it’s not acceptable to eat Chocolate Chex for dinner each night as it does not hit the proper food groups 🙂 I believe this is still up for debate, but many others (my treatment team…ahem) will disagree.
To add variety.
As humans, we are creatures of habit! I’m not just speaking of recovery, but in life. We have routines and when they are altered it can affect us and throw us off. I’m learning that routines are great/helpful/necessary, but when they are rigid, problems arise. We all need consistency, but it doesn’t have to rule our life.
I’m learning variety in my meal plan, daily schedule and exercise. Truthfully, it spices up life. In all honesty, my body has been responding to variety – in what final way?? not sure…. but I have to trust that it is appropriate.
To go out of my safety zone.
This new life has made me completely adjust how I eat. I can’t stick to the regular foods I always ate (turkey sandwiches with cheese). I have to get creative! Going out of my safety zone means trying new things and cooking!!! If you are unaware of my most recent terrible experiences with cooking, you can read about them here.
I’ve had to push myself to get out of my safety zone. I’ve had to explore different types of foods to meet the needs of my meal plan. I’ve had to try different foods and prepare foods, I’ve never attempted before.
Is it scary? Yes.
Is it worth it? YES!
I’ve been lucky enough to find foods and recipes that I enjoy. I won’t lie, when I prepare food it looks like a bomb has gone off in my kitchen, but I’m still taking baby steps 🙂
To stand my ground.
Let’s be honest, it’s not easy being gluten free. I have to be creative at restaurants and I have to use my voice as well. I have to ask for what I need and be able to see BS when it hits me in the face when people are trying to act like they know what they are talking about when it comes to food (when they clearly don’t). I have to be sure I don’t eat gluten and see it as a health issue. I have to come to my own defense in all food situations. This type of defense transfers over into other areas of life as well.
To accept my body.
We have very complex bodies and that is something that is amazing. It’s amazing because even at my sickest, my body worked its little butt off to make sure I survived the hell I put it through. My body wanted to live and thrive. It slowed my metabolism to save energy, put all nutrition into my vital organs because they had to continue working, and it caused unpleasant issues and red flags to say that what I was doing wasn’t okay. In fact, now…. Because I had restricted for so long…. I couldn’t lose a pound to save my life!!!! It will literally shut down my metabolism because it knows what I did in the past. That is amazing if you actually think about it!
My body is screaming that it can’t handle gluten. I have to listen to that and trust it. I don’t have a choice. For so long, I tried to control what I thought my body needed, and it is taking back control. I can ignore it and spend hours in misery, or I can accept what it needs and do it.
I can either work to love myself, or hate myself…. I choose to work to love myself. It’s a choice I have to make every day. Some days it’s easier than others.
There are many other ways a gluten free life has helped me, but nobody wants to read posts that are too long. These reasons highlight the majority.
Recovery from anything is a new life style and it comes with many benefits. Think about it…. What are the benefits for you?