© 2012 jen

Fit-tastic: Waking Up From The Matrix

Here’s a quick update on my health and then on to my g-free-ness:

I’ve lost another pound, which is shocking me, because I’ve been eating and drinking plenty and haven’t felt hungry even for a moment. The only change that could account for the weight loss is being g-free.

I’m at 210 lbs right now. I’m still running- not as regularly as I was, but I’m still committed.

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So you’ve probably heard by now that I’ve gone gluten-free and that it’s a wonderful change in my life, but I’m feeling like I need to address a question that has come up recently from a few friends.

How can you feel so free when you’re restricted from eating some foods?

It’s a great question and I agree from the outside it doesn’t make sense, but from the inside it makes perfect sense.

Here’s why, the biggest change of all with going g-free is that food is no longer my master. Since I was a child, food had this power over me. I would be preoccupied with the idea of food. I couldn’t leave food on my plate. I ate everything off of my plate and my sister’s as a child.

I would wake up some days dreading the day because I knew I’d have to eat and that the choices I’d make wouldn’t be all that great, which would lead to me feeling like crap- like normal. It would make me want to stay in bed some days. I felt like food was an enormous emotional problem that I couldn’t control.

I am a very capable person, with strong will power, self-control and tons of knowledge about food and health and yet making good choices and portion control were always soooo hard for me.

A carton of ice cream couldn’t last in my house. I’d find myself thinking of it all day long and would have to eat more than one bowl because there was something in my brain saying, “MORE!” and that feeling wouldn’t go away until I’d stuffed myself stupid.

And then the something in my head would say, “WHY CAN’T YOU CONTROL YOURSELF?”

My favorite way to eat sweets was to mix it with something salty and now I know that I was usually making choices involving gluten.

This has been the vicious, painful cycle I’ve experienced my whole life.

You know those people who buy a candy bar and eat one square of chocolate? Yeah, well, that’s not how I operated. I wouldn’t be satisfied until I ate the whole chocolate bar and I might want another after that and some chips, then spiral down would happen and I’d start to feeling icky- thinking, “Why did you eat the whole thing?” That’s when the bashing would begin- I’d start thinking about how fat I felt and hate myself for lacking willpower.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved food too, but it’s been one of those love hate relationships. One minute we’re in love the next we’re throwing plates at each other’s heads.

My relationship with food has been dysfunctional from birth, but now that has changed and I’m free.

Food doesn’t have it’s hooks in me in the same way anymore.

So why do I feel so different about food now that I’m not eating gluten? Well, it seems that some of the time we crave foods that aren’t good for us- that we’re even allergic to, because for a brief moment it’s creating a high inside our bodies, and so we are, in essence, chasing a high that is related to a food allergy. I’ve been reading about this here and here.

I don’t think about food in the same way.
I don’t obsess about it.
I stop eating when I feel full and I don’t eat more until I’m hungry again.

Also I can feel what food does to me in a totally new way. I didn’t used to have hunger symptoms- ever. I had more like periods when I felt panicky or light-headed and that was a sign that I was hungry. It could happen at a time that made sense- like meal time or it could happen minutes after I ate food, which would make me eat more food. Some of my snacks used to¬† start minutes after finishing the last.

That feeling is gone.

Now, I feel hunger, I feel caffeine more, I feel alcohol more, sugar more, everything is more. I don’t need as much of anything to be satisfied, because my body naturally feels more satisfied.

When I eat something that doesn’t agree with me I feel it almost right away. I’ve never felt food affect me so quickly or so much before.

Here’s another change, when I went to my appointment to confirm that I had celiac disease they took my heart rate again. This was 5 days after getting off of gluten and my heart rate went from between 40-50 beats per minute to 60 beats per minute, in a matter of days.

My doctors are viewing my pre-diabetes as a secondary problem that should be clearing itself up in no time now that I’m not eating gluten. Oh, and did I mention my chronic, life long asthma is gone too? I should probably have a breathing test done to make sure it’s really totally gone, but I can tell you there are no restrictions in my lungs anymore. My lungs are strong!

How about this- I love to sing and I feel like I just got the butter back in my voice. I’m not kidding you, the tone of my singing voice has gotten richer. I can hear it and feel it like never before.

This is why I feel like I’ve just woken up from The Matrix. If you’ve seen the movie then you know that Neo takes the red pill and wakes up to find that he’s been in a dream state for his whole life. His body is weak and atrophied, his eyes have never been used before, but with the help of members of the rebellion he learns to be strong and becomes “The One” to save everyone from The Matrix.

This is how I feel. I was in a dream state. Now I’m alive. I’m still trippin’ on the feeling of digesting. It feels amazing! I’ve never felt that before now. My metabolism was so weak and broken along with my entire body that I couldn’t feel normal functions of my own body.

I keep finding more and more things that I can do or that I didn’t think were possible for me and I’m looking forward to the next breakthrough. It’s been 12 days since I’ve eaten gluten I can’t wait until it’s been a year so I can feel the full affects of being gluten-free.

So here’s my running list of things that have changed since I’ve stopped eating gluten:

  1. My relationship with food is better than it’s ever been.
  2. I feel calmer and happier.
  3. My muscles and joints feel looser and more flexible.
  4. My heart rate is normal.
  5. I think my asthma is gone.
  6. My hands don’t itch.
  7. My skin is way less dry.
  8. My skin looks better in general. It’s glowier or something (yes, I made up a word here).
  9. I feel everything more.
  10. I’m losing weight for the first time in years with no changes other than my gluten intake.
  11. I feel dramatically stronger and what’s weird is I already felt strong, which has me feeling like I have super powers now.
  12. I have tons of energy!

“Welcome…to the real world.” – Morpheus (The Matrix)

So yesterday I made myself a Matrix costume for Halloween. I made this tank top I’m wearing in the photos above and the jacket in the photos below. This jacket will also double as my running jacket.

I just got back from my running class just a little bit ago- wearing the jacket, tank top and sunglasses and people in the class told me I looked like an assassin, which I thoroughly enjoyed and cracked me up.

So to answer your question, how can I feel so free with food restrictions?

I’m free to love food in a healthy way. I’m free to feel my food, myself and the whole world in a newer more vibrant way.

I’m not being deprived, I’m flourishing.

I need to correct myself on one thing, I am still sneezing. My last post I said I wasn’t sneezing, but that’s not true. I still am, but not nearly as much as I normally do at this time of year.

Comments

comments

8 Comments

  1. Posted October 6, 2012 at 7:10 pm | #

    You’re rocking it Jen! You sound and LOOK fabulous!

    • Posted October 6, 2012 at 7:29 pm | #

      Thanks, Jo!

  2. Posted October 6, 2012 at 7:40 pm | #

    It’s awesome that going g-free is helping you change so much. I think that’s you know you’re getting rid of something toxic. It’s not a specific change; it’s a systematic improvement. Congratulations, Trinity!

    • Posted October 6, 2012 at 7:52 pm | #

      Thank you, friend!

  3. Posted October 6, 2012 at 11:00 pm | #

    Oh wow. I relate so much to the first part of this post. You have described my long relationship with food so precisely. It’s a complex and sometimes painful one. Thanks for the post Jen and good to hear about the changes happening for you. You’re strong for going cold turkey.

    • Posted October 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm | #

      Thanks, Jo! Thanks for sharing a bit about yourself as well. It’s always nice to know that you are not alone in your struggles!

  4. Posted October 9, 2012 at 10:03 pm | #

    Love the costume!! Bet the Mt Tabor people were scared- too bad angry bike guy didn’t show up that day! So- have you noticed yourself sneezing other than around me?

    • Posted October 9, 2012 at 10:58 pm | #

      Ha! Yes, everyone was laughing and also slightly fearful of me. :)

      I have sneezed when I’m not with you, but I think I’ve sneezed the same number of times with you as I have away from you. I think I only sneezed 1 time on Monday though, when we saw each other. Did you do something different?