Everyone who got where he is, began where he was

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Photo by Ryan Bruce from Burst
Before I started doing Weight Watchers in 2006, my eating habits were terrible. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. This included take out and restaurant food multiple times each week, baked goods and sweets, and eating whatever my father prepared for dinner (often meat and potatoes or pasta with few veggies) I never deprived myself of anything.

When I joined WW my eating habits eventually changed dramatically. It was a challenge, but they did. I started monitoring my portions, eating more fruits and veggies, packing my lunch, eating breakfast - among other things. If you had told me in early 2006 that I would be eating this way I would have laughed in your face. But my desire to be thinner and have a healthy BMI and feel good about my body outweighed the part of me that wanted to go back to my old ways. Have a relapsed from time to time and made not-so-great choices? Of course. But I've never gone back to the way I used to eat.

On Saturday one of my members sent me my title quote after the meeting. She saw it on a billboard for a real estate office as she was leaving the meeting. It really resonated with her and motivated her to begin a new week. Today I passed the same billboard on my way to dance class and it was a great reminder for me.

This afternoon I visited my naturopath and received the results of my food sensitivity testing. This is the list of foods that I am sensitive to:

Beans (green, kidney, Lima, pinto and yellow)
Egg (whites only)
Cow's Milk (Casein and one of the whey proteins)
Mung bean
Pepper (black & white)
Rape Seed (Canola)
Yeast (Baker's and Brewer's)

The test also showed that I have candida and a high sensitivity to gluten.

My blood did not react to the other 88 foods they tested for, which means there's an even longer list of foods that I can eat.

Seeing the list today was pretty overwhelming. It confirmed some of the suspicions that my naturopath and I had, but the list also presented a number of sensitivities that surprised me and made me a little bit sad.

I didn't do this test to be sad about it.

It was a big decision to have this test administered. Not only was it rather expensive but it also meant that I would have to do it. I did it because I want to help my body heal itself as much as I can. I did it because I want to avoid surgery as much as possible. I want to be in control of my disease, I don't want it to control me. By finding out the foods that my body is sensitive to, I don't need to follow a one-size-fits-all diet and eliminate foods that are okay for me.

I started WW eating terribly. I now eat healthy, balanced meals each week, which follow my weekly meal plan. Things have changed so much since August 2006, so I know I can do this. The quote on the real estate office reminded me that I have already come so far. This is only another challenge.

So now I prepare. I will be learning about where these foods hide and focus on what I can eat. Beginning this weekend, I will work to eliminate these foods for the next three months. I will keep a (more extensive) journal to monitor the foods I'm eating and how I'm feeling physically. After the three months I will be able to begin slowly bringing some of these foods back into my life. And if they still don't agree with me, I won't eat them. I am going to listen to my body and do what is best for it. It's going to be hard but I'm going to keep a positive attitude (rather than focus on the fact that I'm no longer allowed to eat cheese, Cherry Pie larabars, pineapple, quinoa or oatmeal)

Dearest readers - if any of you have any words of wisdom, advice, suggestions, resources, or food finds to share with me as I undergo this elimination diet please comment! I can use all the help I can get and I thank you in advance.
Everyone who got where he is, began where he was.

I'm ready to do this and give it my all.


Jenny said...

You are so inspiring!

I couldn't imagine excluding alot of those foods that you have listed.

There are many recipes out there that don't call for any of those ingredients. Grilled Salmon....mmm

Your starting fresh and experiencing new foods ideas.

Thanks for posting this :)

Ashley Gibson said...

Thanks Jenny!

I'm excited to start and I've been having last tastes of some of the foods that I will be saying goodbye to (like chocolate and cheese)

I did my meal plan for next week and I'm really excited about everything! I'm trying a bunch of new recipes (as usual) but also going to a few old favourites.

Anonymous said...

Girl. I have been there! I know exactly how you feel.
I have an autoimmune disorder as well. My list of food allergies-(I know you called yours sensitivities, but for me they are allergies because my insides attack the food as if it were a virus) is as long as yours! I have to eliminate my list forever (so I know you can do 3 months!) and have successfully been free of all of them since October. If you have questions or concerns or anything- please leave me a message!
It's tough but I know you will do great. Please keep in touch, good for you for focusing on the positive! That attitude that will get you through it!

Unknown said...

Hey Ashley,
I attend your Saturday meetings and have checked out your blog, but only just saw this post about your elimination diet. A few years ago I was having horrible digestive problems -- it got so bad that I was sent to get tested for Celiac disease, among other things. I wasn't able to eat dairy, gluten, a lot of fruit, legumes, etc, without feeling bloated, depressed, in pain, etc. I too have converted to eating more like you do. But I also so an amazing amazing naturopath who helped me realize the extent to which my digestive responses was due to my overworked stress response system. My adrenal glands were so out of whack (which affected my digestive enzyme, as well as a whole bunch of other stuff). She gave me a bunch of natural things to help me heal my bowels, and reset my stress response system (including something that acts as mild all-natural anxiety reducer). Are you and your naturopath doing a similar sort of thing? I just ask because, having repaired my system, and made some life changes, I can now eat all those foods again, without very much problem (except in very large amounts, or during periods of intense stress). If you want more info, or to chat about it, let me know - I'll email you!

Ashley Gibson said...

Please do email me about it! I would love to know more.

Krissy said...

A food sensitivities test? I've been old that only food allergies can be tested for and that intolerances and sensitivities are trial and error. I'm curious to hear how eliminating these things has worked for you. Over the past 2 years I've eliminated a list of food longer than that (which leaves me stuck between a rock and a hard place many days) but it has seemed to help (I have IBS along with a couple things the doctors havn't been able to figure out). I'm also curious how this has effected your weight loss (only because I'm working hard to loose weight but there's so little I can eat and most of those things are high in calories).

Sorry I'm being so nosey! Just looking for any answers I can find!


Sal said...

Hey Ashley,
What is the exact name of this food sensitivity test you got done?

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