Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Gluten & My Body or How I Don't Care to Care for Me
It is said that some dogs, given the opportunity, would eat themselves to death. Whether or not it's true, it reminds me of...Me.
A couple of months ago, I embarked on a gluten cleanse. I know from past experiences that I just feel better without gluten in my system, but I am also a believer that this woman COULD live on bread alone.
I am of German heritage and there was always bread on the table...even if there were already doughy dumplings and starchy potatoes.
So I blame my genes, in part, though I know that is excessively whiny and pretty much a pathetic cop out. Poor dead ancestors who cannot defend themselves!
My main symptoms besides some of the digestive sort and lots of joint pain are (yeah, besides those): an overall muscle fatigue that is deep and depressing in every sense of that word and what I call Brain Fog, which seems pretty self-explanatory.
After about a week without gluten, I feel myself to be more awake, more alert, processing information clearly and efficiently. After about two weeks, I have crazy energy. Marcy knows the gluten cleanse has really kicked in when I start cleaning above and beyond the call of duty. If I have the time and energy to clean like this, I am feeling Stupendous -- when you consider that normally, just standing at the sink to wash a few dishes causes severe lower back pain that turns me into Queen Grouch.
About a month into the gluten cleanse, I hit my Danger Zone -- otherwise known as the Land of Forgetting.
I forget how Crappy I felt. I forget the lack of motivation, the feeling of pushing through thick mud to do the simplest things, the feeling that I am somehow inherently flawed as a human being because I don't want to do the things that I say mean the most to me.
All of that is some vague, shadowy memory and I become Stupid about myself. I start saying things like this: "Oh, I could have pizza once a month! That would be fine!"
Once a month pizza is a JOKE! It is equivalent to once a week PLUS bread, heavenly bread, and BEER! Before you know it, in a matter of days, my entire cleanse is out the window.
I refuse to accept on some basic level that I need this special diet. Being raised by a person who saw even a common cold as a weakness, this makes sense. I must not be strong enough...I must not be good enough...I am a wimp, a wuss, some new-age nutritional hippie type who really only knows enough to be dangerous. That is what some voice says in the back of my head every time I get close to taking excellent care of myself. Care that was not taken of me as a little person.
It's why I use the term "gluten cleanse," as opposed to just saying that I am "gluten free." That would be admitting that I am worth taking care of, that I am in need of care, that my body is more than a freaking machine.
Even while writing this, I am having a major aversion to making any sort of declaration, like "I am a gluten free chick."
No, I am still thinking that I can have a little pizza, a little beer just once a month.
I am still acting like that Dog that I mention at the beginning.
This is most definitely my internal NeglectChick, who wields the Weapon of Ill Health to keep me stuck in feeling badly about myself...oh, the webs we weave...
I will defeat her. I have no choice in the matter, because now I know what my BlissChick needs, and in order to dance for a long time to come, I have to be healthy, inside and out.
I will move through and into this way of being one day, one week at a time. And I know that I have all sorts of help and cheerleader chicks on my side, right?