My Mom always said, “You teach people how to treat you.” I have learned that this is true of our own bodies also. How we eat teaches our bodies what it can expect for fuel, but also what it will have to eliminate or manage (for example, more sugar = more insulin).
During the period from Thanksgiving to the New Year, I taught my body that I will “feed” it with mostly healthy food… and a good dose of sugar, starchy carbs (like pasta, yum!), and alcohol on the side. So what’s happening now that I’m on day 5 of the elimination diet you may wonder? (Or you may not be wondering, but I’m going to tell you to keep it real about how hard it is to change the way you eat.)
- Day 1: Didn’t sleep at all that night
- Day 2: Tired (obviously!), very irritable, and had a dull headache pretty much all day; slept better, but had crazy dreams (which always seems to happen the night after I get my B12 injection)
- Day 3: Felt more rested, tried to focus on positive thoughts, had a dull headache only in the afternoon. However, I got confirmation from my doctor that I have two different antibodies against my thyroid. One is “only” low level (ie, “within normal range”, but still present), but the other one is higher than the “normal range”. So although I don’t have a thyroid autoimmune disease, I have the antibodies against my thyroid that could lead to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
- Day 4: Felt “punchy” and on edge most of the day which resulted in a meltdown after dinner when I tried to plan further meals and ended up feeling overwhelmed by the pressure to plan delicious, nutritious, and varied meals and snacks with no gluten/dairy/corn/soy/egg
But here’s the good news… My experience with past cleansing diets tells me that I am about to the end of the time when my body is really revolting against the lack of sugar. My metabolism is starting to shift toward using the fat in my food and body, since I’m not feeding it as much fuel in the form of carbohydrates. And I know that I will start to feel less bloated and less tired in the next day or two.
Perhaps more importantly, my amazing hubby has reminded me that I don’t have to be the perfect dietitian and chef during this time (but what about Instagram, I asked?!)… I just have to stick to no gluten/dairy/corn/soy/egg to be successful.
Since people want to read positive posts, here is the positive ending… If you are in the middle of a dietary change or are considering making one, know that it is not easy and there will be struggles along the way. Be compassionate with yourself and patient with your body. Your body (and mind!) will learn a new and better way of performing based on the “teaching” you give it through the food you eat. And congratulations for having the courage to start or take another step along the journey toward improving your own health!