Tuesday, February 28, 2012
We finally found the time to get rid of any wheat, wheat products and other gluten-containing grains. It's not that anyone was tempted to eat them. My family has had a very easy time finding non-gluten grains to eat since I am so far the only one who does not eat any grains any more (and also the only one who still wants to lose some belly fat).
It reminded me how recent my decision to give up wheat has been, it will be exactly a month tomorrow. If you had told me that I would completely stop eating wheat 6 weeks ago I would have laughed, considering this very unlikely. If I walk through a supermarket I'm still not fully aware of the fact that wheat is EVERYWHERE and I still forget that I should consider it to be at least as harmful as sugar, if not more so. As we were packing up quite a few packages (our winter supply, bought on sale) of whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat bread crumbs, whole wheat crackers and cracker bread, planning to drop it off at the local food bank, the thought crossed my mind that if these were cigarette packs and I just stopped smoking I would throw these packages in the trash, not give them to somebody else. So at some level I guess I don't quite believe that wheat is just as harmful as cigarettes. Not that most of the other foods that are at the typical food bank are much healthier. For some people any food is good food in this economy and it has been deeply ingrained in me not to throw food away. Even so, if it had been white flour or sugar it would have been easier to throw it out.
The other interesting thing I've noticed over the last two days is that since I've had this cold and not much of an appetite I still feel the need to eat. I'm not hungry, food does not taste good, I have no cravings and I know my body does not need any calories. The only thing that makes sense is that there are some tendencies towards emotional eating, comforting habits that are coming to mind from previous occasions when I felt sick and tried to make myself feel better by eating. Again, this is not about food cravings. I picked up a bar of dark chocolate and had one piece, feeling a little disappointed that it tasted just OK. I tried another piece (just in case I missed something, as if I had ever been too distracted to notice the flavor of chocolate before). After the third piece I realized there was no point to this. My throat still hurt and my eyes were still watering and I still didn't feel like exercising.
That was the other surprise: I realized that since I now know that exercise does not help me to lose weight that there is absolutely no reason to move more than what my body feels comfortable doing. I took a couple of the dogs for a slow walk in the sunshine for about 40 minutes and then decided to go back in the house where it's warm. There is no reason to worry that I will gain weight while not exercising, because my weight is regulated by my hormone levels and my appetite and desire to exercise will adjust to keep my weight stable (apart from some minor fluctuations due to changing hydration and sodium levels). Exercise is a stressor to our body in a good way but when there are other stressors, like illness, emotional stress or a diet change, there is just no reason to push things. Indeed, if I tried, I could easily get some other hormones out of balance via my adrenal glands.
My best way to prepare for my half-marathon this Saturday (assuming I feel better by then) is to rest, have fun, eat when I feel like it and then see how far and fast I feel like going on Saturday. If I'm a little tired I can always walk part-way and do some people watching.
Time for bed to get some well-earned rest. I know if I look back at this in a month I will have reached another different point in my journey. I can't wait to see where this is all going. Life is an adventure.