Another year has come and gone. It sure has been a crazy one. At this time last year I was quite pregnant and trying to prepare to be a mom of two. Now I have an almost 4 year old and a 10 month old. Life sure is busy! But I wouldn’t change a thing.
Over the last year I have gone through a lot of physical and mental changes. I’ve had my share of ups and downs. Even my weight has fluctuated by about 60 pounds (pregnancy will do that :P)! I started last year not feeling that great. I went on GAPS to heal my gut. I did experience a lot of healing. But I also unintentionally did some damage to my health. By November of last year I was gradually feeling worse. By Christmas I was not doing well at all. My weight was down below 100 pounds! I was confused and frustrated. Shortly after Christmas for some reason I just felt like things needed to change. I was moody all the time. I had no energy. Something just didn’t feel right. I knew I could not stay on GAPS. Before if I had tried to eat a “forbidden” food I would have felt so anxious and guilty about it. But I started to eat foods that weren’t “allowed.” And I didn’t care. My mentality was changing for some reason. I just couldn’t explain it. Then I started hearing more info about low carb “dieting” and the dangers. Without realizing it I had put myself on a low carb diet. And it was taking its toll on my body. It caused weight loss, digestive problems, adrenal fatigue, anxiety, increased OCD, all sorts of stuff.
In January I started slowly trying a few grains and starches in my diet. Maybe one piece of bread a day. Or a few bites of potato. Gradually I started adding a little more. And I was loving it! By February I was done with GAPS. I stopped taking my probiotic. I stopped obsessing over broth and fermented foods. I stopped eating huge piles of meat. I started experimenting with all sorts of soaked baked goods.
I was eating more. My digestion really improved. I put on a few pounds. My mood and energy improved. It has been pretty amazing to see the changes.
I do still think GAPS is a very valuable diet for healing. But you do have to be careful not to eat too low carb. You also have to remember that it is not a life long diet. It is a temporary diet meant for healing. Some people need to stick to it for a couple years. But some could benefit from even just a few weeks. I think 10 months was plenty (maybe even too long) for me.
I do think our bodies need a good balance of protein, fat and carbs. If you exclude any one for an extended period of time it will have a serious impact on your health.
I also think every person’s body is unique. You have to figure out what works for you. I am learning new things every day. I find that I can actually tolerate wheat quite well. I don’t believe I am sensitive to gluten at all. I do digest it better if it is properly prepared. I don’t, however, do well with starchy foods like rice, bananas, corn, potatoes and carrots. Maybe someday I’ll tolerate them better. But not right now. GAPS was very helpful for me to figure out what does and doesn’t work. It was like an elimination diet. I cut out all grains and dairy for a while. Now I tolerate both wheat and dairy very well. And I’ve pinpointed the things that really do bother me.
I’ve also learned that our bodies change all the time. What works right now may not work in 5 years. I have to be open to adjusting as time goes on. I can’t get set on one “diet” and assume it will work forever. I’m learning what works for now. And I continually reassess.
I do try to eat a whole foods diet. But I also know it is important to be relaxed about food. If I obsess and stress over every little thing it won’t be good for me. Then I’ll feel sick no matter what I eat. So if I eat the “wrong” food once in a while or something refined or processed it’s not the end of the world.
Now on to the main reason I wrote this post. I have gone through a lot of changing and healing in the last year. And now that another birthday has come and gone I’ve been reflecting on it a little. I want this next year to be different. I want to truly live. I want to put some of my past issues behind me. I want to move forward. I want to be a good wife and mother. I want to truly embrace and love myself where I’m at. I want to accept myself. I want to extend grace to myself. I want to be a good example to my children and a blessing and joy to my husband.
As I have started this journey of change in the last couple months quite a few things have happened. One being that I have gained (so far) about 8 pounds. I was underweight to begin, so some weight is good. But I still struggle with it daily from a mental standpoint. After years of eating disorders it’s still hard for me to gain weight…and be happy about it. I don’t like when my jeans start to get tight…even if they are size 0! I don’t like to step on the scale and see the number go up yet again. That being said, I’m trying to truly embrace myself where I’m at. Why does a number on the scale bother me? I’m not really sure. Am I trying to please someone or meet some ideal? Not really. I even asked Justin about it and he said I look a lot healthier/a lot better now. If I feel better, look better, am healthier and am enjoying food again why should I worry about a few pairs of tight pants? I really don’t know. I’m a 32 year old wife and mother of two. I want to love myself and teach my children to love themselves. I don’t want to obsess over body image. I want to embrace the new me…and the person I’m becoming, the person God is teaching me to be.
One other big thing is that I had major colon surgery 6 1/2 years ago. Ever since then I have been on prescription miralax. For years I didn’t think much of it. But after a while I didn’t want to take it anymore. But I had to. My body was dependant on it. I didn’t like the idea of putting chemicals in my body every single day. But I couldn’t function without it. I’ve tried numerous times to cut back only to feel so awful that I had to bring my dose back up. Sometimes even higher than I started. Over the last year I have slowly been making progress with decreasing my dose. There were times I thought maybe I’d just have to accept the fact that my body needed it and I’d have to take it forever. Well, I am happy to say that today is day 4 WITH NO MIRALAX! None at all! Do I feel great? No, not really. But that’s ok. My body is adjusting. And I know I made some poor food choices this week…choices that I know don’t work for my body at this time. I’ll get through it and get things back on track. I hope that my life with miralax is over for good now.
I’m sure I could continue with all the little things that have changed in the last couple months. All the little things I’m learning that help my body and all the things I’m learning that don’t. The mental clarity that I have some days. The improvement in my OCD. The unexplained calmness I feel some days. The excitement I have about life. The hopefulness for what’s to come. The peace I have about where I’m headed. The boldness I feel many days about pushing myself and stepping out of my comfort zone. But I’ll stop here…since I have a stinky little boy that needs me 🙂
Life is good. God is good. And now I know that food is good 🙂 I’m learning every day. I’m striving for balance in my diet, in my work and in my play. I’m seeking God’s will for my life. And trying each day to love and accept myself and be a good wife and mother. I’m excited to see what God has in store for me in the next year.