Lessons Learned

Yesterday, I came to a very serious realization. My food doesn’t love me. A little over a year ago in April of 2011, I started a gluten-free journey. It all began when a gfree friend shared an article on signs and symptoms of the sensitivity. After reading it, I felt like I had finally found the answer! I had long struggled with digestion and other issues — often felt uncomfortable after meals, lots of pain, and several other discomforts — so hearing about gluten sensitivity was like music to my ears.

I quickly began researching and becoming more knowledgeable about this new lifestyle. I was determined to feel better and was excited to get started. The journey has been rough. In the beginning, it was really hard to assert myself at restaurants, was hard spending the extra money on the much more expensive gluten free options, and I often felt extremely hungry because I didn’t prepare myself (and my pantry) for the difficulty it was to be gluten free.

Why did I stick with it if it was so hard? Because I felt great! I couldn’t believe the difference — more energy, no more headaches, tummy aches, felt comfortably full, no more unbuttoning my pants in the car after a dinner out — it was WONDERFUL!

Fast forward to about six months into living gluten free. Family started visiting us in Texas and we were eating out more often. I got pregnant in July 2011 which vamped up my cravings and longings for things I couldn’t have. By October of 2011, I had completely fallen off the train. I tried to convince myself that some gluten-containing items didn’t bother me. And some didn’t. Like whole grain — if it didn’t have enriched, bleached, etc. in it, I was “fine.” All the while I was building up a lie in myself that I wasn’t really gluten sensitive, I was just sensitive to white flour.

Wrong.

Fast forward again now to the present. We are now 12 weeks postpartum, I am “detoxing” from a medication I was taking since 6 weeks postpartum, and my body is finally balancing out. Enter gluten sensitivity symptoms again. Now I have no scientific evidence for this whatsoever — a Google search for it did not return much information — but I believe that the chemical balance of my body during pregnancy affected my ability/inability to consume gluten. The idea that I could eat whole grain foods was, I believe, a product of the changes that my body experienced during pregnancy. Since I’m not a doctor, this idea could be completely inaccurate. Regardless, I still believed that I wasn’t as sensitive during pregnancy as I had originally thought I was before pregnancy. I continued to consume gluten containing products and now am suffering severe consequences.

All of my symptoms I had said goodbye to with my gluten-free diet have now returned. In full force, I might add! I have been uncomfortable for the past week and have felt really silly. How could I have ever thought that I could eat gluten again? I guess I was in denial and was craving those yummy treats that always give me a belly ache.

SO. Lesson learned. I am now back on a completely gluten-free diet. I am excited to feel better again. again. ;) I feel silly about it because after all the research I had done on Celiac and gluten sensitivity, you’d think this would be a no-brainer for me. But I guess the irrational mind of a pregnant woman can reason any which way. I had convinced myself that I could eat whatever I wanted. Blech. I was wrong.

So thank you for allowing me to voice my mistakes and share with you the ever-challenging journey of living gluten-free. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below! I’d love to help clarify things for you, help you in your journey, and just open a conversation about it! ;) Happy Thursday!

♥erin