Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Yo-yo weight game

The most frustrating part of this whole celiac thing, isn't even the food, or my favorite shampoo that I had to give is the weight fluctuations. It makes me want to scream and cry!

Before my annual physical last year, when my doctor felt she should test for celiac, because of recurring reflux and low iron, I had lost some weight, and was so happy about that. All the sudden my weight seemed to go down at a pretty fast rate and I was able to tighten my belt 2 notches! At that appointment, the doctor commented her surprise with the weight loss since the previous year, and I felt so proud.....silly me. I just assumed I had been doing well with eating less and exercising, it never occurred to me that it would mean something was not right. Other than the weight loss and pesky reflux, I felt great...same energy level, good moods, nothing seemed off.
Once, I received my celiac diagnosis, it made sense..that I lost the weight because my body was not absorbing nutrients and fats like it had before, and I had actually been eating and cooking significantly less in trying to avoid the reflux. . The irony of it all, once I started to eat properly, I gained the weight back and then some!!

I have never a big fan of bread (unless a proper fresh French baguette) and would usually end up taking the insides of my sandwiches out and tossing the bread to the side. Usually, my plate, after eating a sandwich, looked more full that it did before I started because of the bread carnage left behind. Once I knew I had to follow a gluten-free diet, I started eating bread...lots of bread!! So unlike me, but I was/am actually enjoying gluten-free bread more than I ever enjoyed regular bread. Regular sandwich bread always seemed like preserved tasteless styrofoam on a grocery store shelf, but I have come across some amazing gluten-free breads, and for the first time in my life, was starting to eat toast for breakfast.

On top of the constant bread eating, I was also baking more than my normal bake-heavy routine. I felt like it was a challenge to try and bake stuff that tasted the same and better than my previous gluten goodies. And I succeeded, and succeeded again, and again.... Baking is a total weakness of mine. A new Food & Wine comes in the mail, and I must make a dessert in there that night! My family is not starved of good food.

And now without being able to have the whole grains I was used to having, as previously, I would bake with whole wheat flour, and eat cereals or crackers with whole wheat, I am now eating more refined flours and sugars than ever. In addition to the bread, I was eating the new gluten-free Chex cereals like crazy, and testing out any and every gluten-free baked good I would come across. And this my friends, is not a good thing for the belt notches.

I went from being below my regular weight to being over it in a year. I have been worried, maybe it is my thyroid or pcos, but have repeatedly asked for tests that come out normal. I have asked for the more specific thyroid tests as well, that also come back normal. And then the doctor tells me it is how I am eating.

I have also noticed since going gluten-free, that I will get that shaky, horrible feeling when I get beyond hungry, especially if my previous meal was something like toast or some other refined carb. And being a non-meat eater, I am now trying to be extremely careful to pair protein with my meals. Currently, for breakfast I will have an apple with a cup of plain, Greek yogurt mixed with a tablespoon of peanut butter, and this will usually get me through to lunch. As long as I try to watch my protein intake, I can avoid that hungry, shaky feeling, but if I am out with nothing on me, I will go straight to a cafe/coffee shop and order a chai latte to curb that feeling. Not good for the calories. I try to keep a bag of almonds and bottled water on me at all times to avoid this scenario.

Since the holidays, I have really tried to cut down the baking, and portion sizes. When it is at least 20'F outside, I will go for a long walk along the lake, about 4-5 miles a day, as well as doing some exercises at home. I am also planning to start a Zumba class this week. I absolutely love dancing so I might as well do it to gain happy benefits.

Next month, at my annual physical, I will asked to be tested once again for thyroid issues, but in the meantime, I need to shed some of this flab. My little sister is getting married in October of this year, and I am a bridesmaid, and determined to look hot! I refuse to be the fluffy one next to a bunch of skinny-minnies.

Has anyone else experienced something similar? I sure wish I was one of the lucky ones who lost weight as soon as I went gluten-free!!

1 comment:

  1. I'm in the same boat Anne! Once going gluten-free I set out to find and taste every great gluten-free product out there. Soon enough, I had a fave fudgy, flaky top and chewy brownie. That is three different brownies and I rarely ate brownies when I could eat gluten! Now that my job involves reviewing gluten-free foods and dining options, it's getting tougher to maintain my best weight. We are going to the beach in May and I too must get back to my 'fighting' weight. This means limiting my carb intake - especially those yummy gluten-free treats that seem to pop up everywhere. I wish us both good luck!!!!