My health, specifically my weight, has been an ongoing roller coaster. I grew up in a family where all the females on my mom’s side have had weight issues. Almost every female on my mom’s side has been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I lived my life waiting for the day I would gain so much weight I would have to go on medication just to stabilize it, while still being overweight.
The beginning of my diet journey started when I was a vegetarian, because I believed that would be the healthiest diet for me. I went on diets here and there and worked out when I felt motivated to do so. I used to come home from work on Fridays and be in bed and asleep by 7:00. Sometimes on Saturdays I would take a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon because I just felt so exhausted all the time. I thought I needed to try something new, so I went on Thyroid Boost supplements and tried being vegan for a month. Nothing seemed to change so I went back to being vegetarian.
A few years later I met my now husband. He was very intrigued by the book Eat Right for Your Type. I read through the information on my blood type and there was one major part that stuck out: gluten. The more I read, it all started to make sense. Gluten and the connection to thyroid problems. It talked about joint pain and feeling lethargic. I thought back to all the days when I could barely keep my eyes open and almost fell asleep driving in the middle of the day. I thought back to my high school days when I used to complain to my mom about having such pain in my ankles and I just thought they were late growing pains. Charlie and I decided to try eating for our blood type (luckily, we’re the same). This included eliminating gluten (except for beer). Charlie had been diagnosed before we met with Celiac disease, but we both weren’t ready to give up our beer yet. After a year together, we started realizing how gluten was really affecting our stomach health. However, living in Houston at the time, we didn’t have many options when we would go out to eat. We moved to Chicago and all of a sudden had so many gluten free options. That was when we gave up beer full of gluten 100%. We still cheated with buns on burgers or tortillas when we would go out. It wasn’t until I went to visit family in Jersey that it all clicked. I went back to eating a gluten-filled diet for 2 days and begged to have gluten free options, as I was back to being lethargic and my stomach pains were waking me up in the middle of the night. I checked in with Charlie, who had also decided to experiment with regular beer again and he too noticed big changes, but really drastic ones in his mood.
In March 2013 we both vowed to be strictly gluten free. We both hated how we felt in that short period of time. In the next few months, I felt better about my food choices and started working out regularly. During that time, I still felt something wasn’t quite right. I wasn’t eating gluten, I was working out, but my weight loss was barely moving. Charlie was also having severe back pains on almost a weekly basis. We just assumed it had to do with working at a desk and I just believed that was going to be our life forever- Charlie in pain and me overweight.
At the end of April, my friend posted a jaw dropping photo of herself on Facebook. It wasn’t just the weight loss that caught my eye, it was how healthy and happy she looked. I knew she had been Paleo for about a year (if not longer), but I didn’t really know what that entailed. I did some research, joined some pages on Facebook and I saw one was having a 30 day “challenge”. It was at that point I decided to change my life. I told Charlie I wanted to try Paleo for 30 days. If I hated it or didn’t notice any changes, I would go back to gluten free. I never told him he had to eat one way or the other; all I asked was that our dinners be Paleo so we didn’t have to make 2 different meals. Within the first week, changing nothing else except my diet, I lost 3 pounds and had so much energy! After 30 days, I had lost just over 7 pounds and woke up feeling refreshed, had energy all day, and slept so soundly every night. It’s now been 5 months, and I’m down about 13 pounds (20 pounds from my heaviest) and have all the other health benefits. Charlie has noticed that his weekly back pain is completely gone and he’s lost almost 25-30 pounds from his heaviest weight.
It’s not just about the weight loss for me; however the weight and what I thought I was going to become definitely had a tight grip on my mind. I finally feel free from something that was the cause of years of insecurity. It is by far the healthiest I have felt in my entire life. I finally felt like I had the secret to health and happiness and now I truly just want to help others get there.
I will plan meals for any diet you’re on; however I want to be a mentor to anyone who is considering trying something else to make themselves and their family healthier.