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!
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.