Twenty-one Weeks On

I realized the other day that I haven’t posted about my elimination diet much lately. It’s been twenty one weeks now and it’s become a way of life for me, something that I don’t really think about anymore. It has been a little harder this month due to Junk Free June, chocolate was my only treat! But I have found ways around this too that mean I can still have a treat, without chocolate and still no sugars, such as these sugar free salted caramel bliss balls.

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I’m still no closer to finding out what foods disagree with me. I’ve reintroduced eggs, cheese, gluten free oats, berries, nightshades, beef, nuts, chocolate (except for June), and pork. This means bacon! This was the most exciting reintroduction for sure!

My eczema, while not completely gone but drastically improved to the point that I consider it a non issue now, has only flared up during times of stress, which I am better at handling than I used to be. I’m starting to wonder if the main cause of my eczema was one of the myriad of strange ingredients in processed foods, maybe ‘flavour enhancer (621)’. I’m never going to be eating processed foods on a huge scale again like I used to though so I’m hoping that that’s the end of it.

My energy levels are insane! I am so much more productive than I used to be and I’m noticing that these levels just keep going up. I sometimes get more done in a day than I used to in a week! Maybe that’s not saying much, at the height of my depression sometimes showering might be the only thing I managed in a week, but it makes me feel so much more alive achieving so many things on a regular basis.

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I am fitter and stronger than I’ve ever been and I’m at a stage in my life where I want to exercise, a lot. I hate rest days and I never imagined I would be that person. I understand the importance of them, I just don’t want to have them. Even six months ago I had to force myself to exercise but those days are gone.

I now sleep like a baby. Sleeping was something I had struggled with all my life. I was constantly tired, yawning, struggling to stay awake, but as soon as bedtime hit I would lie awake for hours. I never slept through the night and sometimes would manage 2-3 hours of broken sleep  a night for days in a row. Now I’m alert all day from the moment I wake up until bedtime. I fall asleep very quickly and stay asleep. I wake up refreshed and raring to go every day. I still yawn occasionally and have the odd motivation issue but I no longer spend my days wanting to sleep.

I am in control of my mental health. As far back as I can remember, my depression and constant anxiety controlled my life and daily decisions. Anxiety made me scared to do anything and depression made me think it was hopeless anyway. I spent my days thinking negative thoughts and then berating myself for it. It was a vicious cycle. Today is a completely different story. I am happy the majority of the time, I stress and worry less and I have a very positive outlook. I am not cured, I will always have depression and anxiety, but it no longer controls me and that is a damn good feeling.

I’m no longer doubling over in pain on a daily basis. Back in the day my stomach was constantly sore and cramping, sometimes to the point where I had to stop what I was doing and wait it out. Bathroom breaks were a horrible experience, far too regular and often painful and I often felt nauseated while I was experiencing cramps. In the twenty-one weeks I’ve been on the elimination diet I’ve had stomach pains 5 times, 3 of which were cycle related. This is a huge win in my books as I had accepted these pains as the norm, but no more.

Headaches are few and far between. I was guaranteed to get a headache at least 3 times a week as far back as I can remember and I practically lived on Panadol, even though it didn’t always help. I still have the occasional headache and I did have a really bad one a couple of weeks ago, but it’s no longer the norm and I’m ok with that.

My hair is softer and more manageable and seems to need washing less. My nails are stronger, no longer breaking on me left right and center. My skin is softer and I’m not having any annoying breakouts anymore. The dark circles under my eyes are the lightest they have ever been.

My attitude towards food has changed. I no longer sneak eat and I don’t feel guilty about how much I eat, which is a lot. I can quite happily turn down food that was irresistible to me in the past, such as potato chips and savouries. I eat three healthy square meals a day with lots of different meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains, no longer the same thing over and over again. I’m more adventurous, eating foods I used to turn my nose up at and I’ve started enjoying most of them!

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I am happier, friendlier and overall more positive. I laugh more and can actually take a joke now instead of inwardly stressing that it was at my expense or that it was nasty. I am excited about the future and I have lots of plans that I can actually visualize happening and I have a plan to make them happen. I set myself goals and stick to them. I have self control, something I always struggled with. My temperament has improved greatly and I no longer look at other peoples success with jealousy. I am so much more confident than I was last year.

While I don’t yet have the answers I want, going on the elimination diet has been the best thing I have ever done. I appreciate my life and everything in it so much more. I am a completely different person, but in the best possible way and it can only go up from here.

I’m not suggesting that everyone goes out and trys an elimination diet. It’s a lot of work, can be very frustrating and it does take a lot of the fun out of life during the first stages, but I have absolutely no regrets for doing this for myself. Actually, my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.

Smiles and Sunshine
Katie

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