Day 18 GF Reflection: Losing and regaining weight is humiliating

I’ve decided that living gluten free will mean that I will be forced to stop weight cycling. You know, losing and gaining weight over and over again. Not only is it humiliating…its so unhealthy.

Thinking back to the time when I had such a high success rate in the gym and my health…I was not eating processed or gluten filled foods. I can look back and say now that the moment that wheat bread touched my lips…I was doomed to gain it all back.

Losing weight has always been a struggle for me.

There were two periods of my life when I lost a lot of weight on a strict diet and strenuous exercise regime. In 2009 I was in the best shape of my life. I was also practically  starving myself to look that way. It was not healthy either.

I have never been able to find that balance or zen weight. Trust me, I desperately tried to lose weight for our wedding last year, and it would not budge. Not even with a trainer.  It hurt my feelings that I had to be fat Shawna on my wedding day. My husband loves me, though. He has loved me through this whole process… and continues to be supportive and encouraging.  Our wedding day was the best day of my life!

I feel very lucky to have figured out that my body was rebelling gluten and not the gym. I love lifting weights. I love the rush of a morning workout. I feel fortunate that with the help of my doctor I can get back into my morning workout routine. My energy levels improve every day. It amazes me that I can wear high heels to work all day. There is hope even when I have set backs.


Day 12 Gluten free: Learning about cross-contamination the hard way…

Day 12: My husband bought me my first gluten free cupcake yesterday from Tu-Lu’s Gluten Free Bakery in Dallas. DELICIOUS. Feeling like a judge on cupcake wars, I took a bite and was won over by the moist chocolate cake and sugary chocolate ganache frosting. Yes, I am still on my diet blog world. It was worth every calorie! I have been under my calorie goal all week. It was worth the splurge!

I don’t want to feel deprived and isolated because of gluten. With all the gf choices in Dallas, I have a feeling my world will start to open up once I research and find more options. We went to a restaurant that is very conscience of gluten + allergens and the importance of not cross-contaiminating the food.

For instance, we had Chipolte for lunch. I watched them make my complete meal. I even asked them to change their gloves before touching my food. My glorious bowl of cilantro rice with chicken, cheese, lettuce, fresh tomato salsa, sour cream and corn chips…all gluten free. It’s the biggest meal I have eaten since giving up gluten and it felt good. We were able to have a normal day.

Cross contamination happened to me on Day 8 when I had a spinach salad at Le Madeline. I thought for sure I made good choices, but when you eat dinner in a restaurant that serves almost everything with gluten full ingredients…you risk the chances of getting burned. I did. After dinner, we went to Tom Thumb for groceries, and I barely made it through the produce section. After violent cramps and a dangerously close call to the bathroom, I vowed to never “take my chances” again.

Gluten is evil. My life for the last year has felt like the stomach flu every day.  No one should have to live in torture.

I love my husband so much for sticking with me through this time of transition. We are realizing that he can’t cross contaminate our food either. For example, we can no longer share our foods. He has to keep his gluten contaminated knife out of my jar of peanut butter. He can’t spill Raisin bran all over the counter without contaminating the entire counter surface. It has to be wiped down.  We have been married for seven months. I know that with my improving health…he will no longer have to see me at my sickest or weakest. I love this man.

No more tears, gluten. You get no more tears!

Day 5. Sparing you, dear reader, of my day-to-day play-by-play, I have stayed true to eating gluten-free since day one.

I’ve come to the realization that gluten and I have been fighting a war within me for at least half my life. Until five days ago, gluten was winning.

I have had so much more energy this weekend! I finished the laundry, made the bed, dusted the house, vacuumed, cleaned up the balcony…pain free. I swear I have felt like an eighty-year-old woman for the last six months and all this housework would have taken a week with lots of crochet breaks.

This made me realize that when I was successful at losing weight and going to the gym EVERY DAY (yes, I was a gym rat!) I was eating clean and gluten-free but not intentionally. My diet was very natural with very little processed foods. I didn’t have a carb free diet because I ate potatoes, sweet potatoes and milk. What was missing was the breads, pastas and pizza crusts.

My mistake in maintaining my weight loss was that I tried to eat like a normal person after hitting my goal. My cheat meals consisted of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on wheat bread or ordering a slice of thick crust pizza.

When I gain weight, it is fast and furious. It doesn’t take much for me blow up like a balloon.  Going to  the gym while eating lots of gluten is so painful. I even had a personal trainer for eight months before our wedding! I lift. I lift heavy. I’m not afraid of the gym. Seeing no results in my weight loss killed my motivation.  My joints hurt every day and it didn’t feel like it was worth the pain to continue with no weight loss results.

My condition makes so much more sense to me.  Gluten is not going to win anymore. Once my health is restored…I will be back in the gym! I will find balance again.

No more tears, gluten. You get not more tears.

Gluten-free me in 2014


My last day of 2013 involved a thorough visit to the doctor with my husband. Battling homesickness, hypothyroidism and weight gain (even though I’m active), I may have an allergy to gluten.

Instead of having a resolution to lose weight in 2014, I resolve to completely change my diet.

2013 was such a roller coaster for me. Losing my dad in January 2013 was a very sad time. I can’t believe it has been a year since he has passed, and I miss him very much.

I married my best friend in June and moved to Dallas, Texas. He was offered a job we could not pass up. It is the first time I have lived outside of Indiana, but not his. We had several major life changes in the span of six months. Then, I was unemployed and homesick.

It was a major blessing for Daniel and I when I got a job. Not just a job…I was offered my dream job using my background in social work and my education in journalism. Prayer answered!

Being away from my nephews has been very hard for me. I’ve compensated with a few cookies and movie marathons trying to fill the void. I’m not trying to take the cowards way out of blaming or excusing my behavior for putting on weight, but I had one heck of a year! The holidays are over, and I survived it without hugs and kisses from Barry and Sean.

I am ready for 2014. I am ready to move more, eat less junk food, inspire others again, and to love each day as the gift it is from God.