I’ve been suspecting this day would come soon. The day when, once again, I bid farewell to wheat forever.
I’ve been here before. Years ago I went completely “gluten free” after discovering that eating wheat made me go into these awful, can’t-breathe, going-to-die, coughing fits. After moving to Europe and doing a good deal of wheat cheating cough free, I realized my problem wasn’t with wheat but with the bleaching agents they add to wheat (America likes to add all manner of nasties to their wheat products. Europe got wise and realized that was foolish and just said ‘no’). Bleached wheat meant I would be pretty miserable for about five to ten minutes. Unbleached wheat meant uninhibited carb binging.
Halloooo German pastries!
After also cutting out diary, things started to really heal in my gut and I was able to eat bleached wheat no problem.
Several weeks ago I started to notice some weird itchy skin on my back, face, and arms. Strange splotches started cropping up and my psoriasis was worse than it had ever been. I chalked this up to being stressed and didn’t really worry about it. Then I noticed inflammation in my joints whenever I woke up in the morning. My thinking was foggy which I blamed on poor sleep. Every time I ate wheat my skin would start itching. Then in the middle of church I got the old knock-down, drag-out coughing fits I used to have. I had to run out last week mid-sermon, tears streaming down my face from the coughing, gasping for air.
That’s when I knew: I have to quit wheat. I’ve got leaky gut and possibly an allergy to wheat. It didn’t matter if it was bleached or not, the itchy patches and coughing came up regardless of how “healthy” the source was.
There was no fanfare, no “just one last Chick-Fil-A biscuit” (my habit of cheating on my super-healthy life with CFA is honestly a huge reason why I’m in this mess), no last piece of sprouted grain toast. Just done. Tonight I had a wonton in some wonton soup. Just that one single wonton has been enough to make the skin all around my face and back itchy.
I’ve been down this road before. I know how hard it is. I know how frustrating eating out is going to be from now on. I know how hard it can be to explain to people when you’re at their house that you can’t eat their food. People look at you and think you’re just being picky. What you’re doing is watching your back.
Choosing health often means saying “no!” to something you really don’t want to say “no” to. But you know what? That’s what facing your demons looks like. That’s what discipline looks like. Choosing health can look like saying “Yes” to beautiful, healthful food, but also means giving up things that are literally making you sick. That’s where it’s hardest. I have NO problem stuffing down a forkful of kale or guzzling a glass of powdered greens
(something a lot of people on a Standard American Diet would shudder at!). The hardest part now is going to be saying “NO!” when I need it most.
What are you needing to say “No!” to? What is getting in the way of you and a healthy body? What do you need to say “Yes!” to?