A Year of GDSYWP-Free Living!

What a difference a year can make.

Today, I have lived one year of my life Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Yeast, Walnut and Pork free. Happy Anniversary to me!

I can not even begin to explain to you all the ways my life has changed in a year. I feel like a completely new and different person. I have gone through a metamorphosis. All the things that I thought were "normal" for my body, I am now realizing were all signals from my body. My body was trying to tell me something was wrong all along, but I just didn't know how to read the signs. This journey hasn't been easy. I won't lie or sugar coat it for you. There have been times when I wanted to give up. There were times that I thought I was the crazy one. I've cried. I've yelled. I've been frustrated. I've been angry. But, I've also felt happy, calm, joyous, renewed, educated and proud. In one single year I have learned so much more about food, about my body and about myself.

I have learned:
That I'm stronger than I think
That my Husband is the most supportive, caring and loving man I've ever known
That I know my body better than anyone else - including doctors
That I need to listen to my body more closely
To trust myself
That 99% of food manufacturing companies are all about money - they could care less about their consumers health and they prove it by all the junk that they put into their products
That Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Yeast, Walnuts and Pork are all POISON to my body
That our country needs to be more aware and educated about food allergies, food in general and how food affects the body.

In one year, I feel the best I've ever felt. I have a whole laundry list of symptoms that are GONE! I was nervous about sharing this as it is a bit personal, detailed and graphic, but I think it's important to note so you'll understand just how far I've come. Here they are:

Alternating diarrhea and constipation - I've had this as long as I can remember
Mucous in my stool - I had this for the past 10 years in varying degrees
Floating stools - I've had this as long as I can remember
Eye twitching (mostly the left eye) - I had this on/off for about 10 years
Constant sinus problems - This had plagued me for the last 8 years, resulting in 1-2 sinus infections per year!
Abdominal pain ranging from uncomfortable to excruciating - I've had this as long as I can remember
Joint pain in my knees, mostly the left - This started about 8 years ago
An itchy rash on my elbows and buttocks (which I now think was dermatitis herpetiformis) - This was my most recent reaction, beginning about 3 years ago
Itchy bumps on my legs that cause scarring (maybe also dermatitis herpetiformis?) - I've had this as long as I can remember

Bouts of extreme fatigue, sometimes "napping" for 4-5 hours - This started about 5 years ago
Severe mood swings/irritability - I've had this since puberty, but it has only gotten worse and worse through the years
Brain Fog - Forgetting details of an event, confusing one event with another, forgetting things easily

These are symptoms that I had that were fixed in other ways so I can't gauge if the food change helped, but I would bet that they would have:
Menstrual irregularities - I had this so badly as a teenager that I was put on birth control to regulate my body and I have been on them ever since
Nosebleeds - I had these as a kid - I would sneeze or blow my nose and my nose would start bleeding or I wake up in the middle of the night with blood flowing from my nose. It only stopped when my parents had a vein in my nose cauterized

So, when people tell me that they can't believe that changing my diet can make me feel better, I laugh on the inside. ALL of these symptoms were gone within 6-8 months of changing my diet. And they haven't returned. If it's not the food, what is it? A miracle? That happened at the same time that I started this new lifestyle? Come on.

This journey has really allowed some people in my life to shine and has brought me to some new, amazing people and I'd like to say a few "thank yous."

First and foremost, my husband. He has supported me in ways that I can't begin to describe. I will never be able to thank him enough.

Darlene Betsill, the Naturopath from Georgia who discovered these ailments and told me that I could do it.

Dr. Mayer Green, my Chiropractor who heals my spine, generally cares about me (and all his patients!), gives me advice and has fixed shoulder problems that have plagued me since my teenage years!

My friend, Kristen M., who has some food intolerances herself and was one of the first people I called when I found out. She lets me vent and encourages me.

My Vegan friend, Kristen W. who understands my on-going search for safe foods and the hardships of restaurant eating!

My new online friends and supporters, all the bloggers and fellow Yahoo Group Members that provide me with recipes, advice and support, especially my dear friend, Carrie.

Lastly, my family. For trying to understand and for loving me regardless.

This is only the beginning! I can't wait to see what year two has in store for me! Stay tuned ...



Maureen "Hold The Gluten" said...

Happy Anniversary!!! You should be SO proud of yourself and how much you've accomplished in the past year! Celebrate with a big ol' GDSYWP-free meal :)

Carrie said...

CONGRATULATIONS CLARA!!! What a beautiful post! Extremely well written and I think sharing all those things is very important!! You GO GIRL!! I can't wait to see what happens in year #2!! I'm so proud of you gal!! You are such a dear sweet friend! Thank you for including me in your email! Love ya tons!

Heather said...

Oh, man it is almost my anniversary too! Thank you so much for your encouraging emails. I enjoy reading your blog so much!


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