Webster’s defines “allergy” as an “altered bodily reactivity (as hypersensitivity) to an antigen in response to afirst exposure.” My body most definitely has an altered response. When I eat flour or sugar, my body starts to crave more and more. In fact, no amount of flour and sugar was ever enough. This is why I failed at every diet I’ve ever tried. I couldn’t eat flour or sugar without having the cravings and the cravings always resulted in too much food. So the only option was to let go of the flour and sugar and find another way to eat.
With some help, I gained awareness about my food patterns, realizing that I ate all day long. I learned how to plan my food and started eating 3 meals and 2 snacks a day with nothing in between. At first I thought I might starve to death between breakfast and lunch. It hasn’t happened yet.
I also learned how to order food in restaurants, how to ask questions about how food is prepared, and how to participate in celebrations and get-togethers and taking care of myself.
I didn’t eliminate sugar and gluten from my diet to lose weight. I did it to try and get some peace in my life. But one day, I was getting ready for work and my clothes were loose. I smiled, grateful that I was fully aware of what had caused the change.
It took a lot of prayer, patience, and determination to live a better life. Some days it still does. People always ask how I “live like this” as if it’s a step down. The honest truth is that it’s a step up. For me, there is no bigger prison than living in a body I hated and not being able to get out.
My weight has been constant for almost 6 years, about 110 pounds give or take a 5 pounds or so. Food no longer rules my life. I have a freedom that brings joy and peace. I am healthy and happy with who I am and how I show up in the world today.
In the spring of 2009, I was diagnosed with a mild form of early-onset osteoarthritis. It affects mostly my right hand and my knees. Occasionally I have trouble with my feet and ankles. My doctor recommended some supplements which have, thankfully, eliminated nearly all the pain & stiffness. My hand gets a little achy when I do a lot of typing, but I’m not dropping things anymore. Aside from taking supplements, the other ways to manage this are keeping my weight as is to mimimize joint stress and regular, low-impact exercise. Thank goodness I can do that today.
I know that there are other people like me out there. I want them to know that there’s a better way to live.
It’s completely possible and within your grasp. Anyone can do it if I did.