Hey, everyone. This post is a little personal, which I don't typically do too much of here. I will be eliminating soy and gluten from my diet to reset my system, and here is why...
It's well into April, which means there are only a couple weeks until I'm jetting off to Cuba. Besides the sunshine and fun activities I'll enjoy with my boyfriend, I've also kept in mind we shall be taking many pictures... so I want to be in swim suit shape.
Swim suit shape? What does that even mean? As I've mentioned on my blog before, I used to think that meant weighing sub 120 lbs, fitting in a size 2, and eating strict 1200 calories a day, followed by excessive cardio exercise. Now I know this is known as disordered eating and negative body image. This is not a healthy way to live in the long term, emotionally or physically.
Now, thank goodness, I've learned a lot more about fitness and nutrition. I have started doing a lot more resistance training. I've also been more mindful of getting the right macronutrients and calories for my needs. I stopped relying on the scale and started eating and exercising to be healthy and just have an awesome quality of life.
After a long hiatus off of weighing myself, I was shocked that I had gained almost 20 pounds. I was so ashamed and just felt sickened with myself. The thoughts I have are sometimes so disturbing. I tried to lose weight, but I always broke down because it was so difficult. I eat only whole foods, I'm very active, I even began to manage my caloric intake... why am I such a failure?
None of my clothes fit right now. I am secretly freaking out about having so many pictures taken of me, because I know I will just judge myself like crazy, and maybe even enjoy my trip less because of it. These thoughts suck. I am trying my best to shut them up when they come around. I know that I am living a much healthier lifestyle than those extremely restrictive days when I thought I was so healthy. I am always learning, of course. It's a journey about finding your happy place balancing life, working out, eating well, and indulging at the right times and in the right ways.
Well, the purpose of this post is not exactly to just cry out my body image issues on my blog. I kinda did that a little bit, but there is a point...promise. Besides the fact that I know many of you reading this have probably (unfortunately) felt crappy about yourselves to some degree, I posted all this to explain part of a reason I want to do an elimination diet.
I did NOT decide to do it as a "get skinny quick" plan before my vacation. I have had symptoms such as bloating, brain fog, fatigue, and poor digestion for a long time. Sometimes it's worse than at other times. I know that food sensitivities can very well be a likely culprit of these symptoms. I thought an elimination diet for 2-3 weeks would be an excellent way to tell if it was either gluten or soy, two common allergens, which are causing the problem.
However, I also do know that my weight gain, or inability to lose weight, can very well be tied with my hormones being out of wack. Hopefully this elimination diet free of soy and gluten will keep some of my wonky hormones in check.
And of course I am looking beyond the weight gain. I have even felt much more well rested and had less brain fog since cutting out all gluten in the last week and about 90% soy (I finished off some tofu I had already opened recently). I am realizing that wellness is sooo not all about being slim. At. All. Having abundant energy, athletic performance, mood, and digestion are all much better indicators of health than fitting in a tiny size while starving your tired self, aren't they?
The gluten is very easy for me, because my diet is mostly all gluten free with the exception of occasional spelt, seitan or some sprouted grain bread once in a while. The soy is definitely tricky, because I rely on tofu and tempeh as protein sources frequently!
I will be eating a crap ton of beans lately. Vega is also my best friend to make sure I am getting my protein like a good little active vegan. But as we all know by now, plants are chock full of protein our bodies can use, and if you eat a whole foods diet, you can be rest assured you get enough.
You can follow my food posts on my Instagram - I've been excitedly coming up with lots of new stuff! @missveggievibes
I do want to mention that it is important to have knowledge and resources before going on any sort of elimination diet or new eating plan... please don't go out and stop eating everything in sight without consulting the help of a professional! I certainly don't have all the answers, and I don't even pretend I can prescribe an elimination diet for everyone. But if you do feel like you're having food sensitivities, it's always a good idea to see a naturopath!
I can say that if you can relate to some of these crappy body image issues, which I'm sure you can, please take this to heart: you are a beaut. Your body is capable of doing amazing things. Treat your body with respect, and it will reward you with energy, vitality, and amazing changes you never thought possible. You are so much more than someone ruled by dieting just to fit in some tiny pair of pants. If you are treating your body so nice by eating well and staying active, why the heck are you hating it so much?
Seriously, we all need to remember this. Myself included!
I am now focused on having a positive body image as I continue my healing journey. The mind and body are related - I can't keep being obsessed with changing my body, hating it, and then eating healthy and exercising and expecting it to listen to me. Self love must be there, no question.
Have a great night, guys. I'll keep you posted!