Gluten-free was the answer for me
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
I have been actively trying to lose weight for 3 yrs. I cut calories, measured servings, started a gym membership and worked out 4-5x a week, bought a treadmill and got on it everyday! I would lose 10 lbs and hover there until I would get tired of all the work and give up, gaining back the ten lbs in less than a month.
I hired a nutritionist, a wonderfully one that came right to my home. I changed certain habits and again lost 10lbs but stayed at ten, adding exercise did not change that number nor did I lose inches or even bring my energy levels up. I was ready to just give up. Honestly, 10lbs is barely a noticeable difference when you are over 250. But I felt so sick all the time. Thin was really my goal, I didn't want to feel gross anymore.
I started to explore different foods, and paying very close attention to my body, using mindful eating and extensive food journaling. "when I ate this... I felt like this an hour later" patterns began immerging. "pasta dinner night... Bed at 9pm" "chicken pot pie" Stomach cramping, interrupted sleep, migraine" "salad with chicken and vinegrette...2 mile walk with kids" . Going to a doctor with food data was not unfamiliar and usually ended in, well your doing something wrong, increase your exercise." THIS time was different, with a new doctor.
"try cutting out gluten for a month." puzzled I asked "my celiac test came back negative, though" Gluten intolerance is hard to diagnose and it causes several different symptoms that often are misdiagnosed... But if any of the doctors before looked at my whole medical history instead of just telling me to push harder on the treadmill, they would have seen it. Both my babies were born early and underweight and I was unable to keep weight on during pregnancy despite how much I ate. I lost 40 lbs with my daughter! I was reprimanded to eat, which infuriated me... Hadn't I been trying to lose weight for years do they think suddenly being pregnant would make me suddenly diet and exercise?! I wasn't trying to lose.
I am on day 18 gluten-free. Without changing anything else about my meal or routine I have lost 12 lbs. I feel AWAKE is the only way to describe it. I have had no stomach aches at all, no migraines. I have not had the desire to binge (though I have been binge free for 2.5 years the desire always was a battle), or even to have bread (the first couple of days were rough I will admit.) the change was not that hard as other than adding flour to sauces and eating whole wheat, whole grain, I mostly eat chicken and veggies, and salad ( I have had to be careful with dressings I use). I am happier, actually. I thought I may have been going through depression...could it all have been a chemical imbalance caused by gluten? All in all, I feel AMAZING!!! I have no desire to go back to a gluten inclusive diet! I can't even fully describe the difference in my health, my mood, and my energy! Knowing sooner would have saved me a hell of a lot of grief (and money!). But I am very happy to know now.
(note: I am not a celiac, I am considered non-celiac gluten intolerant (NCGI). My going gluten free was because of stomach issues, weight loss was an interesting bonus and the difficulty losing weight may be attributed to an under active thyroid caused by my gluten intolerance. I am not sure if I will continue to lose weight and I am not advocating people cut out gluten as a means to lose weight. However if you have many of the same symptoms, I highly recommend you talking to your doctor about trying a gluten free diet or exploring other possible food intolerances.)