It’s Mighty Mommy Monday! Abbie of Farmer’s Daughter and I have decided to challenge you on a weekly basis. Claim the Mighty Mommy title for yourself — every day, not just Mondays. Every week, we’ll host a link up for you to tell us what you’re doing to take care of your health: workouts, menu plans, how to keep your family active, etc. I’ve set a few goals for 2014, but my biggest is to swim a total of 30 freestyle miles this year AND run a half marathon in October! Join us!
Last week, I had a follow up doctor appointment to check and see how I was faring after the thyroid diagnosis and to decide what the plan was from here forward. The doctor walked in, looked at me in greeting, looked down at her computer and then jerked her head back toward me in astonishment. My life has changed a lot in the last almost 3 months and she couldn’t get over what she could see. Apparently the fact that my gut is getting healthy is starting to show on the outside.
And in line with the healing gut, the healing soul is also happening. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before, but it really took me losing gluten to realize how dependent I’d become on food to soothe my wounds. Parenting has been tough lately and in the interest of authenticity, I’ll admit that days like these usually lead to me to the dessert shop just a short mile away. I’d say goodnight to the kiddos, jump in the car and walk into the shop to find that my favorite cheesecake wasn’t even halfway gone, so I’d get a slice for that night, the next day and a brownie for hubs. If leaving the house wasn’t an option, I’d bake something. And then eat a lot of it to smash those feelings of inadequacy, failure, disappointment or loneliness down.
The first two weeks of being gluten free were awful. Just awful. I felt that every time I’d open the cupboard looking for a snack, there was nothing. I’d open the fridge and cry because I just couldn’t eat another apple with almond butter on it. I just couldn’t!! Somewhere in the third week, I exercised and realized that I suddenly had stamina I’d never had before. And when I stopped, it was because I was done with the routine and not because my joints hurt. I signed up for the half marathon wondering how much pain I’d be in for the next few months.
In the time since then, I’ve actually begun running with the intent of finishing. My joint pain is gone. Eleven weeks ago, my doctor thought some horrible was wrong with me because of all my symptoms and now, I’m it’s a totally different life. Friday, I did all my regular chores, took care of the kids, ran errands, loaded 22 bags of mulch into the car, unloaded the mulch and still had the desire to go to the Y and run. Just a few short months ago, that desire wouldn’t have been there. I didn’t even get to the Y until almost 830 at night and I knew I only had half an hour to stretch, warm up and run before they’d kick me out. I got on a treadmill in the corner, put on my headphones and ran. When the odometer read 1.6 miles I started to cry because I realized such a huge difference in my life. Even when I was in shape in college, I would have had to stop running to stretch or walk because of pain. But not now. I sprinted as fast as I could to finish out my 2 miles, grinning like a fool and so grateful for the changes in my life. And Saturday morning, I was back to run some sprints with my friend while the kids had swim lessons.
Being gluten free has been such a challenge for me. There are days when I really just wish I could eat whatever I wanted… summer picnics are coming and there’s nothing like a hot dog IN a bun. I’m the odd one out at birthday parties and baby showers because I’m not eating. And I’ve worried about how this would affect my social life because women get together for their kids to play and we always snack! Preferably on baked goods. So yeah, huge inconvenience. BUT from this I’ve really been forced to find healthier ways to deal with my emotions and hard days. And when I’m nervous at a social event, I can no longer rely on food to be my security.
My body is healing and getting stronger, but so is my soul. I’ve always been told that the soul is comprised of your mind, will and emotions. My emotions haven’t been healthy. And as strong willed as I am, when my emotions are a mess, my will is out the window! My mind has been mean to me lately with all the failures and upsets. In short, my soul has been hurting for so long that only cream cheese danishes have been able to help. Now, I’ve learned to talk about what’s going on instead of covering it up. And at the risk of sounding cliche, I’ve discovered how great it feels to meet my goal and have that positive to focus on. I’ve been searching for joy in my life and working to embrace this life, but with the safety of food, I always had something to run back to when growth became too hard.
I’ve always known life was hard, but I didn’t know how to celebrate the hardships as a part of becoming a stronger person. I would have never guessed that the loss of gluten would have forced me to step out from my comfort zone and grow! But whatever it takes, right? 🙂 This week, I’m adding another half mile to my routine and I’m so excited! Yes, I know, I’m a weirdo. But I’m a healthy weirdo!