Have you ever committed to a big change in your lifestyle and said to yourself, “This time will be different than the last time I tried to make this very same change.”? That is where I am tonight. It has taken me more than a year of denial and procrastination to get here, but I am ready – and I start tomorrow. So, tonight I celebrate my last bite of ice cream before I give it up for good, for life. AHHHHHHH!!!
Over the past 6 years, it is difficult to remember a time that I felt good. By good I mean, light, full of energy, enthusiastic about the day ahead or at least present in the moment. Instead, I have been tired – like dog tired. I yawn like it’s my job, I plod through the work day and can happily fall asleep before the evening news is over. My sleep patterns are erratic, my body is swollen and my attention span is about the same as a flea.
About a year ago, I was given a clue as to why I couldn’t remember much more than my name and address. I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and had to make a lifestyle change and become gluten-free I thought – this shouldn’t be so hard, just don’t eat any wheat, barley or rye? No problem. Well, being gluten free is not easy, gluten is in EVERYTHING and it is everywhere. It only takes a tiny amount to make me feel terrible – a few crumbs of someone else’s bread makes me feel like I drank a fifth of Jack Daniels all by myself. It is debilitating, migraine-inducing and my body swells up like a balloon.
So, over the past year I have been very careful that what I eat does not have gluten. In 2014, there are so many gluten free products on the market. I definitely feel some improvement, so, what’s the problem? The first problem is cross-contamination. The second problem is that I love sweets, I love cake, I love cookies and I love, love, love ice cream. I sought out and tried virtually every pre-packaged gluten free product I could find. I didn’t want to feel “deprived”, so I hit the cookies and ice cream pretty hard; so hard in fact that my pants are pretty tight these days.
Ice cream makes me feel horrible, but I love it. Cookies make me feel horrible, but I adore them. Cake is like crack to me – one slice makes me want to stick my face in the entire pan. Gluten is in everything and for me sugar is a serious problem. It has an opioid effect on me. And now, according to my allergist, I am allergic to dairy and shellfish. So the time has come to abstain, but like anyone addicted to a substance, I will give up sugar tomorrow – but tonight? Tonight, I eat ice cream one.last.time.
I hope this blog helps me to explore what it is like to make a major life change. Tomorrow, I embark on the Whole30. A 30 day clean eating plan that is gluten free, dairy free, soy free, alcohol free, bean free, sulfite free. So, I will eighty six it all and start a journey to health.
From The Whole30 program’s website, here is what finally convinced me:
It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime. – See more at: http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/#sthash.LEIp9rT7.dpuf
Everyday I work with kids who are fighting cancer, who are coping with the most difficult struggle of their life, watching their parents cope with things that no parent should ever have to go through. This is not hard will be my mantra. It will be challenging, it will be a struggle at times but it will never be cancer. It is time to take care of myself because my body needs it. Sugar, gluten, dairy are poison to my body and my body deserves better. The mantra is what is different about this time, it is what I pray will make this change a forever change.
So, follow along on this journey to health and see if I can learn a thing or two.