August Weigh-in: 350.8 (down 2.2 lb from Aug 10th).
August NSV: I was surprised how well I adjusted to the increased physical activity related to school. I feel like my self-image is improving... I'm liking the way I look in the mirror; I think my proportions look better and healthier than they were. One of my teachers (who I haven't seen since last fall) said I looked amazing, healthy, and happy, and that's pretty much the best compliment I've ever received :) Mentally, I have a better grip on things and my anxiety is much lower than it was at the beginning of the month.
August Struggles: School was a big stressor (mostly anxiety before it started). I ate several reactive foods that made me feel terrible and led to overeating. I'm fed up with my food intolerances, but the doctor at the school says the student health insurance doesn't cover the food intolerance testing, and I'd have to pay out of pocket if I want it done... like $500. I just can't afford this, but I just can't stand the symptoms I've been having, either.
So I did some internet research.
"ALLERGIC TENSION FATIGUE SYNDROME
Fatigue related to chronic food allergy.
More pronounced in the early morning, decreasing as the day progresses, and occurs despite a full night of sound sleep.
Unlike exercise-related fatigue, there is a permanent, pre-exertion fatigue or weakness which often requires a distinct effort or ‘push’ to get you started.
Although sensitivity to wheat, corn, milk and eggs is most common, any food eaten regularly may be an offender.
Cognitive difficulties, with memory impairment, mental sluggishness, and an inability to concentrate or maintain attention.
Various degrees of depression may exist as well as muscle aching and soreness.
Edema, especially puffiness of the eyelids."
I have ALL of these symptoms (the most annoying of which being terrible, debilitating muscle pain, the depression and crazy irritability/mood swings, fatigue, and "brain fog"). My bf is a massage therapist, and says he has never, ever seen anyone with muscles as tense and knotted as mine -- and even after a long massage, they go right back to being awful again in a matter of hours. I've noticed that this happens the most when I eat something cheesy (particularly with whey in it, like mexican queso, gluten-free pizza, or soft cheeses). Also, the more of the cheesy stuff I eat, the worse the reaction... hence my avoidance of whey over these past few months. However, I am unsure of whether dairy is the only culprit, whether casein is okay even if whey is not, etc. It's difficult to tell what exactly is bugging you when you are experiencing these symptoms, so most experts recommend an elimination diet.
Link to a great blog about Allergic Tension Fatigue Syndrome and food allergies: healthylivinghowto.com/1
UPDATE: I tried Lyn-genet's "The Plan," but had issues with it (specifically, I didn't do well with some of the foods on the menu like flaxseeds, and I could not focus on studying because of the awful headaches and other detox symptoms.... I just couldn't stick with it in the end because it was very restrictive and I needed mental clarity to study).
I believe I may just try eliminating dairy for now and see if that is enough before I try to stick to a super-restrictive plan that affects my ability to function. I am also going to be journaling how I feel after eating certain foods, the quantities, and combinations, and how my water fluctuates each day, and of course I will track my calories each day, looking for a weekly loss.
So I will see if dairy-free makes a difference, and then I can experiment with more from there... I've eliminated it before, but it's difficult to stick to for some reason. This time, however, I am determined. I need to figure out if it's my problem or not, so I'm vowing to not eat any dairy (even butter and cream) in ALL of september (this also means no mystery foods from restaurants... if I'm not 100% certain, I won't eat it). I will reevaluate at the end of Sept with my findings.