As I’ve mentioned a few times already, I’ve been sick a lot lately. Along with all this being sick, I’ve had a diminished appetite, weight loss, lack of energy, and a general I-don’t-care attitude about my bloodsugar levels (which I’m not proud of). Between all of these factors and the fact that carbs are my comfort food, I temporarily abandoned my low(ish) carb diet.
To be fair, I didn’t completely abandon it. I definitely wasn’t eating a normal high-carb diet. I wasn’t eating loaves of bread or entire pots of pasta or anything. But I did add in the occasional piece of bread (or two), the occasional bowl of chicken noodle soup, the occasional serving of rice (or two), and the occasional cookie (or two…or *ahem* three….).
(By “occasional”, I do mean at least once a day.)
I told myself it was to get my energy back up. Calories = energy, right? Well, maybe, buuut….
…the problem with this approach was that my body just isn’t used to this way of eating anymore. Surprisingly I actually had very few major bloodsugar spikes, but that is likely due to my bloodsugar’s tendency to hang out on the low end of the scale when I’m sick. The issue wasn’t with the diabetes, it was with my stomach! After about two days of eating like this, my stomach started to feel bloaty and crampy. After 4 days of eating like this, it was considerably worse. I was sporting a little round belly (sadly, it was kind of reminiscent of this), and a big round bellyache.
I realize that diabetes and celiac disease often go together. I’ve been tested for celiac in the past and never was found to have it. Earlier this year when I cut out most grains (and pretty much totally cut out wheat) I figured I’d learn if I had celiac the next time I tried to eat gluten. Well, since then I’ve had cheat meals and cheat days which included wheat/gluten and never really had much trouble with it. It seems that I can handle a few servings of it. So I tend to think I’m not one of those diabetics who also has celiac.
Still, it became clear last week that there is something about my old diet that my body just does not like. I don’t know if it’s the wheat or maybe the refined sugar (because I was eating a fair bit of that too).
So after Day 4 of this discomfort (but oh-so-tasty eating), I took a large step back towards my new “normal” – I cut out wheat and anything “sugary” (my definition of “sugary” is loose, so I’m not going to be more specific on that). I am planning to cut out most other grains again, but not just yet. I’m still focused on keeping my calories reasonably high while I”m trying to get better, so I’m allowing myself some leniency on the grain/carb front. Arguably this may not be the best way to go about getting better, but it’s what I’m doing. So. There. 😉
Anyway, on Day 5, lo and behold, my stomach looked normal and felt normal. Plus, I had lost 2.5 lbs virtually overnight. Water weight. Bloat. Ugh. Something about that old diet clearly made me retain water and balloon up! This also explains why I lost so much weight so quickly when I first started eating low(ish) carb back in January.
On one hand, it’s really interesting and comforting to know that my “new normal” really does seem to be the right way for me to eat! My body is happy when I eat this way! On the other hand, as a self-professed carb-lover it does make me a little bit sad to see the impact my beloved foods have on my body. I guess until now I never really knew how long this “diet” would last for me. It has been working so well, but I’ve still sort of been taking it day by day, week by week, month by month. But after this experience I think the permanence of my new way of eating is kind of setting in. I definitely have mixed feelings about it.
At least I know that I can still handle the occasional meal or treat that’s outside of my normal diet. Hey, there’s always Cheat Day! 🙂