Gluten for Punishment

I will admit:  No one is harder on themselves than I am.  But, I will also admit:  I've been having a tough summer.  

I've always been a hard worker.  I've prided myself on having my dad's work ethic.  I felt that the more that I worked, the more that I could achieve.  But over the last several months, it's come to a grinding halt.  

For one, starting your own business is grueling.  No one truly prepares you for how much work there really is behind the scenes.  Hell, when I created the website, I thought "Oh, it can't be too hard."  Well, that's a lie!  Then, there's the endless details.  Business cards to purchase, pictures to take, content to write, programs to study and materials to prepare.  I swear it takes a village!

But, in that same vein, I was so excited to take on this new challenge because I knew that it was what I wanted to do and I was so passionate about it!  

And in the few short months since Swift Running & Fitness was born, business has been booming!  I've had a great response to my online content and I've been able to establish myself in so many new realms. 

I wish I could say the same for my health.  I know that I had been firing on all cylinders, but I had been so incredibly exhausted for weeks on end.  I tried eating more (and eating less!), sleeping more, taking naps, endless cups of coffee, but nothing was helping me stay awake during the day.  

And, on top of it all, I just simply felt awful.  I didn't feel like myself.  I felt like I couldn't focus on anything, I felt depressed all the time, and had ZERO motivation.  I was noticing something interesting about my weight, too. On my 5'3" frame, my average weight was 123.  As recently as last week, I stepped on the scale as saw 131!  131! My inner me had a mini heart attack.  I have NEVER weighed that much in my life and I knew that my diet hadn't changed and I was running more than I had in quite some time. 

At this point, I was getting really upset.  I didn't know what was wrong and I didn't know how to change it. All I knew was that my motivation was at an all time low and even on the days that I felt like going for a run or lifting weights, I was too tired to get out of bed.  Napping > all things. Seriously, I would rather nap than eat. THAT'S when I knew that things were getting serious.

Enter The Mood Cure by Julia Ross. I was up late one night (go figure when I just talking about napping) researching exhaustion and what I could do to combat it.  I stumbled on the book on Amazon and I was reading through the comments and I just thought "That sounds like me!" Maybe THIS is my problem.

A little history on my family:  Thyroid problems run rampant.  Rampant might even be an understatement.  As far as I know, I don't have a relative without issues.  All the symptoms ticked off for me, even though my labs showed that I was "within normal limits" for TSH. Exhaustion, weight gain, fuzzy/foggy brain, even irritability.

One of the first things that the author recommends for those with a heavy family history of thyroid disease is taking gluten out of the diet.   Now, as a runner, this sounded like taking some of my favorite foods away.  How can I possibly run without pasta!  I could no longer have my favorite overnight oat breakfasts.  Oh god, NOT BEER!

But, after doing a lot of research (This link is great), I decided that this really sounded like an answer to me.  

So, I went through my pantry and handed off everything that contained gluten (and soy, as well, as the author suggests).  At first, I found it hard to not reach for toast with my eggs or pasta at dinner, but I can honestly say that after the first couple days, I barely even noticed it. (Okay, that's a lie.  I really want a beer.) 

Now, almost a week later, it's like a light bulb switched.  I know that the effects of gluten can last in the body for up to 6 months, but I feel SO MUCH different.  And of course, there is the presumption that it is all a placebo effect.  Everyone feels better off gluten! That crossed my mind.  But today, 5 days after I stepped on a scale that read 131, I weighed 124.  I haven't run more than usual -- I haven't decreased my calories.  That is not a placebo. AND MY ABS ARE BACK! 

Welcome back abs.  You were missed.

Welcome back abs.  You were missed.

Even though it's early, I suddenly feel like my energy has returned.  I am no longer looking at the clock and trying to justify to myself that it's ok to go to bed.  I have run the last two days.  And. I. Have. Wanted. To. Run. I can't tell you how good that feels.

I seriously feel SO MUCH better and I'm so happy that I found this book.  Even though I'm only a week in, I'm back to feeling like myself again.