Is Gluten-Free For Me?

I have to admit, when I started hearing all the buzz about everyone going gluten-free a few years ago, I wrote it off as another fad.  I thought gluten was getting a bad rap.  Now I'm starting to wonder if maybe I should try this whole gluten-free lifestyle.  So why the change of heart?

A couple of weeks ago, I decided I was spending way too much money on food.  I had a ton of meat and veggies in the freezer, plus lots of whole grains, beans, etc., in the pantry.  I figured I would save myself some money and try to eat whatever I already had in the house for that week instead of going to the store and buying more groceries.  Well, I just happened to not have any bread at the moment.  I went the whole week without touching any bread.  I ate brown rice, quinoa, tons of veggies, lots of apples I had hanging around in the fridge, chicken, beef, pork tenderloin, but no wheat.  I actually was worried that I was going to gain weight that week because I felt like I was eating a ton of food just to use it up.

But a crazy thing happened.  That was the week I actually broke my plateau in the 270s and got to 269.  Another even more crazy thing happened.  I felt incredible.  I'm talking I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E.  Now, I feel like I have to take one more step back and tell  you a little more about how I was feeling leading up to this.

For the past six years, I have had horrible heartburn.  It started one night a few years ago and never went away.  Every time I lay down for more than a minute, I can feel the fire lighting in my chest...and it SUCKS!  I have been taking acid-reducing medicine every single day for six years.  While the medicine helps a ton, I HATE being dependent on medicine.  Lately I've been noticing other health problems popping up that I am afraid are related to taking these pills for such a long time.  My nails have always been strong, and now they are breaking and chipping.  My hair was super thick when I was younger, but now it is thin, brittle, and worst of all, falling out in large amounts.  I have been really freaked out about my hair loss lately so I started reading about long-term use of acid-reducing pills on Google the other night and discovered that stomach acid is necessary for several vitamins to be absorbed properly.  If you take heartburn medicine for any length of time, you can actually become very deficient in certain vitamins.  That would explain my hair and nail problems.

After reading that, I am determined to get off the heartburn pills once and for all.

So what does all this have to do with going gluten-free?  Well, like I said, I accidentally went gluten-free for a week a couple of weeks ago and felt great.  Not only did I feel great, my heartburn completely vanished.  For the first time in six years, I slept through the night without waking up from acid reflux.  It was amazing!  Now I'm wondering, am I sensitive to gluten?  Is that why I've been having heartburn all these years?

I'm not sure if going gluten-free is going to be the answer to my problems or not, but I felt so great that week that I am willing to give it another go.  For the next month, I'm going to be gluten-free.  It's going to be hard at first to find things I can substitute, but if I really do continue to feel this good, it will definitely be worth it.

Have you given up gluten?  Do you think it's just a fad?  

Any easy gluten-free recipes or websites with recipes would be MUCH appreciated!


A Quick Weigh-In

Do you guys weigh yourselves every day or only once a week?  

I've been weighing myself every day for the past couple of weeks.  I know they (whoever "they" are) say you should only weigh yourself once a week to keep from letting the scale rule how your day is going to go, but for me, I stay a lot more motivated day to day if I weigh in every morning. 

If I only weigh in once a week, it is just too easy for me to eat badly the day after my official weigh-in day.  I always tell myself, "I have a whole week to lose weight before the next weigh-in.  I can take today off."  Then one day turns into two days and two days turns into three, and before I know it, it's time for my next weigh-in and I've gained.

I think the last time I posted my weight here I was at 273.8.  For some reason I got stuck there for a while, but last week the scale finally started moving down.  It's a great feeling to look down every morning and see a lower number.  Well, today was the best number yet because I am FINALLY back in the 260s!! 

Today's Weight: 269.8
Total Weight Loss To Date: 24.2 pounds

Over the past year and a half that I've had this blog, I've gotten into the 260s before.  Right before my trip to Orlando last year I got down to 264.4.  Once I get below that number, I'll be entering new territory that I haven't seen in at least 5 or 6 years.

My goal for July is to get into the 250s, so I need to lose about 10 pounds.  I know with the work I've been putting in, that goal is very doable.  I also have some clothes that are SO close to fitting.  I am looking forward to trying them on again on August 1st and having them fit!

Speaking of clothes, I decided to sort through the mess in my closet and sort everything this past weekend.  I have TONS of clothes.  I realized I have everything from Size 12 to Size 24.  I boxed up everything that was currently too small and donated everything that was too big (not going back there, so I don't need them).  Right now I'm mainly wearing Size 22, but now I basically have a new wardrobe waiting for me each time I lose a size.  I am going to go through my stash of clothes and try on everything once a month and continue to donate the stuff that gets too big.

I have to say, one of the best feelings is pulling on a pair of jeans and having them fit perfectly when you could barely get them over your hips in the past.

Happy 4th of July!  Stay safe and make healthy choices!  :)