Going Gluten Free

As you may have read in an earlier update, I have been finding out some new stuff about myself medically. Pretty much all good news in that a lot of things I thought were just aging or my personality-- getting tired and weaker, for example-- were actually a very common and treatable disease. So it turns out, I've got to go gluten free for my health. I was incredibly upset when I found out because I love pastries and pasta. It's been a few weeks and I'm already seeing some positive results. But going gluten free has been pretty difficult.

Content Warning: I'm going to talk about my relationship with food and body so if anyone has a hard time with that, please read with care.

I've never been super connected to my body. There have been some genuine benefits to this! I don't have significant body image issues and while I'm not always comfortable in my body, it has never felt like a factor in how good I feel about my value as a person or my worthiness in the world. These are things I'm really grateful for, because it's really difficult to be a woman in the world without letting your value feel attached to what you look like. Especially if you're not a small woman, which I am not.

All that said, I'm a little too disconnected from my body. I tend to not worry about it, or care for it the way that I should. It's made my relationship with food one that is foremost about flavor and convenience, rather than nutrition or health. Food is comfort, rather than fuel. I think both of these things can happen in harmony but I'm a long way off from balance.

I don't have a disordered relationship with food, but I certainly don't have a good one. I love food, but I don't care about what it does to me, in large part. I need to change that about myself, because factually, food actually does things to people. Having to go gluten free is really forcing me to break out of my comfort routines about food-- many of which have been unhealthy. I have to do research now and be intentional and plan things.

I've always been more of a casual eater in every sense-- I eat what I want, when I want to. It's not a terrible way to be, but I've also been a huge emotional eater and stress eater, which means I wanted to eat the wrong things too often.

Due to my illness, gluten has likely been making me sad and tired... which has driven me to such gluten-filled delights such as donuts, pizza, and pasta. A vicious cycle of tasty treats.

Since I've stopped eating gluten, things have been tough-- I cried to my sister over the phone for an hour, mourning the loss of my ability to eat chicken nuggets, pastries, and pastas. She tough-loved me for an hour and didn't hang up (that's love) while I wailed. She cooked me gluten free things while I was home for Thanksgiving and told me all about how to be gluten free. I complained a lot. I still complain, but less now.

Since I've gone gluten free, my skin has started clearing up, I'm less lethargic, and my hair fall out a lot less. I'm still figuring things out, but things are looking up, despite now having to forgo croissants and muffins in most cases. Supposedly my skin will stop being as prone to dryness and my joint soreness will go away too-- y'all, I really thought I was just the worst and fastest at aging.

I'm really excited for what's to come. I am super sad about not being able to eat anything made with wheat or barley or soy sauce (although I can have tamari, which is gluten free soy sauce). But hopefully, I will be less sad in general.

Tell me if you have any gluten free recipes or resources you'd like to send my way, let me know! I need them.


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