So anyhow, I started sparkpeople and was on my way to weight loss.
Within the first two weeks, I discovered a food allergy. Or rather, a sensitivity. I was having abdominal pains for years and years. Doctors could not figure out what was causing them. Or what was causing the damage to my small intestines.
But now that I was tracking everything I was eating, I was noticing that my stomach hurt more after specific meals. Especially pasta on Sunday nights.
I remembered about 10 years before it was suggested to me that I might try a gluten free diet to see if it would help with my abdominal pains. But things were different then. It was very very difficult to go gluten free. I had no resources. No way of knowing what all I had to avoid. And to be honest, I couldn’t afford it. I was a single mother raising my two small children while on social assistance. I tried, but caved after about 2 weeks. I have never been so hungry....
So I decided now would be a good time to try again. I did some online research, and found a list of ingredients I could not eat. It was a huge list, so I saved it in my phone. The next grocery shopping trip was a tough one. I spent 3 hours at the grocery store. I came home with some fresh freggies, chicken, and rice cakes. I couldn’t find anything else. I cried.
It took some time, but I was determined. I kept going back. And on March 24, 2009 I stopped eating all wheat products. I basically stared with things I knew were safe. Fresh non-processed meats. Freggies. Rice. Potatoes. Then I worked on adding to what I could eat.
It was hard. I had to check every ingredient of every item in whatever I wanted to eat. I quickly learned how to read labels. I discovered the light or diet version of most foods were a no no for me. No more margarine, but I could have butter. Basically, the less processing that went into the item, the more likely I could eat it.
I went through wicked withdrawls the first week. But I made it. And my pain stopped almost immediately. I have had a couple of attacks since, but they were mainly caused by contamination or stress.
I used to have a diet with a huge base of breads and cereals. I had to learn to replace that with freggies. And that was not all. I used to love to eat two eggs, sunny side up with 4 slices of toast. I had to re-learn to eat many of my favourites like eggs. It would amaze you how hard this can be to have to do. Yes, I could eat eggs, but I didn’t know how to enjoy them anymore. I wasn’t interested in eating them without the bread. But it didn’t take me long to discover that I liked 1 whole egg, 2 egg whites, scrambled with fresh mushrooms. Maybe even an ounce of cheese on top. Yummy.
Did you know that if you remove the yolk, you get almost the same amount of protein, but about 1/3 the calories? All the nutrition, so much fewer calories.
This was an amazing journey for me so far.
Right around this time, I decided to try the C25K program. I grew up with so much pain in my knees. I figured I’d start the program, then have to stop when the pain started to get too bad.
Well, I started running in Mid March 2009. On Sept 12, 2009, I ran my first half marathon. I didn’t run the whole way. But I did cross the finish line in under 3 hours.
Anyhow, by that summer, I had reachced 210lbs and was starting to loose steam on my weight loss. Was even considering stopping there. I was feeling good about how my body looked. I was getting into size 9 and 10. I had NEVER been a size 9 or 10.
But I didn't give up. I really pushed to get under 200lbs by New Years Eve that year. And I did it. I weighed in on the morning of Dec 31, 2009. I was at 199.8lbs. I was amazed.
I had a brand new dress to wear that evening. I felt like a million bucks, and looked it too.
Then life got in the way. I went to work on the oil rigs in Northern Alberta. Then ended up travelling for the next year plus. My weight was stable at about 205-210 until the fall of 2010.