Beating Hypothyroidism

I Need My Head Examined

It seems like every time I can see a light at the end of the tunnel…as far as starting to feel better…I do something to sabotage it. Maybe somewhere in the back of my mind, I think I’ve ‘fixed it’ so I can do whatever I want again.

And every time, it’s proven in a miserable way that nothing is fixed.

So it goes with my nearly month back on gluten. I hate eating gluten-free. I resent it. It makes me angry.

Is this a normal place to be?

I lived for years believing I had fibromyalgia. Now I don’t know if it was that, or if it’s because hypothyroidism and gluten-sensitivity symptoms are similar. Regardless of where the pain and fatigue originate, any way I look at it, I’ve had these problems for a long time.

Part of what’s going on is that I have a few tough ‘anniversaries’ in July and August, and I will have them again in December and January. I guess I feel the need for comfort foods…and gluten-free substitutes are so far removed comfort that it’s not even funny. Add that to my natural inclination to be angry and feel sorry for myself this time of year, and it’s not easy to handle this other stuff.

But handle it I will. Now that I know what to look for, I can see that it doesn’t take more than two or three weeks back on gluten for me to start feeling more exhausted again.

So I’m going to start acting like a grownup again and be completely back off gluten again by Tuesday morning. I first have to get through my family reunion tomorrow. And I really feel the need for some chicken stew and real dumplings, which will have to wait until Monday. I’m sorry, but for as decent as GF Bisquick dumplings are, they’re NOT real dumplings.

Hopefully with the juicing, smoothies, coconut oil, and powdered greens (along with everything else I’m taking), I’ll be back on track a little quicker than I was this spring.

I’ve learned my lesson. I can’t have a controlled break from going gluten-free. Apparently I lack the discipline to do that. So in the future, if I start craving something really bad, I’m just going to give in and have it. Most of the time I have no problem eating right, it’s just when the cravings come, and don’t go away, that I wind up where I’m at today.

No, it’s not a perfect plan, but it’s the best I have right now.

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6 thoughts on “I Need My Head Examined

  1. I have given up all grains. period. i was eating too many of them and suffering from exhaustion – I could sleep anywhere anytime. deeply. that’s ok at night but not driivng to work, or home. as soon as I gave up grains that bone weary exhaustion lifted. and my symptoms of burn out also started to abate. I think i was poisoning myself with that stuff.

    gluten is addictive Kristy. I know that. I had a hard time getting off of it and still struggle with other grains (I’ll eat corn meal or rice flour or whatever….) bread, buns etc. ridiculous. so now i’m off. just like an alky who needs to stop drinking all the time, i have to stop grains. i still want them. often. but i have to stay clean so i can function.

    why do we want the stuff that hurts us so bad? weird.

    • I’m impressed, Louise. Maybe I’ll be able to get to the place where you are, but I guess I’m still at the place where I need the gluten-free grains. Hi, I’m Kristy, and I’m addicted to carbs. 🙂

      I may start following a sort of diabetic diet, limiting even the gluten free carbs to 30-40 per meal (that worked nicely for me even with gluten-containing foods a couple of years ago)…and then see if I can eliminate more of them. For now, though, just sticking with the GF diet is going to be a challenge. Hopefully not so much now that I’ve had it proven to me twice that they’re bad for me. 🙂

  2. I already know I can’t handle them well. Anything over those 30-40 grams per meal, and I wind up with a carb crash within the hour. But I haven’t tried limiting it with the GF carbs. Yet. But I’ll be working toward that as I start feeling a little better again. Hopefully since I’ve only screwed up for about 5 weeks this time (as opposed to almost 6 months the last time), it won’t take so long to bounce back. 🙂

    Have you tried limiting them, Louise? I was really stunned when I realized that if I was diligent about serving sizes, I could enjoy them without needing a nap. I think it also helped, while I was doing that diet, I’d also cut my sugars to 15 grams or fewer per day (total sugar…including whatever might be hiding in pastas, bread, sauces, etc…). I counted all of them. Didn’t lose an ounce, but then I had hypo symptoms by that time (and for several years prior to that…just didn’t recognize them as such…I thought it was fibromyalgia).

  3. Hey, Kristy. Everyone goes through this sort of phase, I think. It’s not just missing the foods you like (if you’re like me). It’s also that you SO DON’T want to be sick that it makes you resent the things you can do to try to feel better. (Yep, I’m projecting here, but I think you’ll recognize some of this for yourself, too.) When I’m stuck in this resentful mindset, instead of feeling like a triumphant hero every time I take another step in the right direction (or avoid a step in the wrong direction), I feel angry and frustrated that I’m having to fight this fight at all. So instead of focusing on my ability to control my diet and impact how I feel, which is so empowering(!), I focus on how awful it is to have to change my diet and swallow pills and all the many other things I do to try to feel better…which makes me feel terrible about the whole thing. I hated to admit it, but it’s an angry version of the victim mindset.

    The truth is, no one will make you stick to a diet. You are absolutely free to go on a gluten binge or alcohol or chocolate or sunbathing or antisocial binge, or any other binge you like that doesn’t directly endanger other people. I’m not being sarcastic here. I find it very helpful to remind myself that I get to choose. And if I choose to do something crummy for my health and I end up feeling crummy, then I’ll remember those consequences next time – but I reserve the right to bend the rules on any diet, supplement, exercise or other health regimen. Because in the end I have to live my life.

    With practice, it does get easier to walk the walk. You find what really makes a difference in how you feel and what you can ignore completely. Managing your morale is at least as important as managing your regimen! But finding a regimen / tool set that works for you and that you can stick with is a good way to build your morale.

    One other trick I use is to ask this question:
    If someone tried to force me to do something bad for my health, how would I react to that? If someone tried to make me (eat the wrong foods, go without sleep, not exercise, suck up car fumes, or whatever fills in your blank), would I respond to protect myself?

    If I’d want to deck someone else for forcing it on me, or at least think they were a bad person – that gut reaction is usually enough to make me feel better about avoiding that thing that’s bad for me.

    There’s no substitute but finding your own way and forging your own story where you are the hero!

  4. Oh yeah. I recognize that whole angry victim thing. The sad thing is, she wouldn’t have gotten so much control over the past six weeks if KRISTY had a little more self-control (i.e….the weekend eating gluten turning into six weeks). The worse I feel (as in exhaustion), the more I’ll feel sorry for myself when I hit the ‘poor me, I’m a victim, it’s not fair’ place.

    And you are SO right. I DO make the choices. I choose to do what I have to do in order to feel good…and I choose to do the stupid stuff that makes me feel tired. So I’m back to being mostly good. And I think more things are actually coming together here in the next few weeks than ever before.

    Thanks so much for being a really good cheerleader. 🙂

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