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Day 183 - My Six Month Anniversary on GAPS

The Digestion Sessions are in progress now!

I am amazed to be at six months on the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet.

I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate the occasion by sharing the healing I have seen by embarking on this journey thus far. I expect to see more good results as time goes by and it seems impossible to ever return to eating the way I used to eat.

  1. Foot Pain – My severe foot pain completely subsided.
  2. Stiff Back – My back used to stiffen once I’d been in bed seven hours at night and I would have to get up whether I’d had enough sleep or not.  The stiffness would take from half an hour to a couple hours to finally relax.  Now I can sleep comfortably for up to nine hours, and after that many hours my back does feel a little stiff, but that goes away within minutes of getting out of bed and into an upright position.
  3. Sleeping Better – I used to experience insomnia occasionally and I had connected it to hunger/blood sugar drop.  I am finding when I eat too many carbs (winter squashes/fruit) in the evening I will experience insomnia.  I am sleeping much better, I wake feeling more rested.
  4. Brain Fog – Prior to GAPS it was an every day thing to feel like I couldn’t think clearly.   I sometimes still experience this, but not every day all the time like before GAPS.  The world just seems brighter.
  5. Lost Words – Prior to GAPS I had noticed that I would have trouble speaking because the words would evade me. I’d have to think really hard to find the word I was trying to say.  I am experiencing this occasionally, usually when I haven’t gotten enough sleep.
  6. Concentration – I’m able to concentrate much better at work and am actually getting caught up. For a while there I was starting to think I must have ADD.
  7. Depression – The mild depression I was experiencing in the past few years has pretty much disappeared. I had a feeling much of the time (pre-GAPS) that life was lackluster, that I never felt like smiling.  I felt miserable a lot, I muttered under my breath this phrase quite often, “I hate my life, I hate my life.” I’m not doing that anymore! My mood in general is much more stable.
  8. Anxiety – Pre-GAPS I had started to take Kava-Kava regularly, sometimes one capsule daily. I bought three bottles from Amazon because it was the best price and I figured I’d be using it for the rest of my life, so why not stock up?  I’d gone through one bottle and most of another when I started GAPS.  I had had one anxiety attack, and most days I would be filled with fear, anxiety and stress.  My life is just as stressful as it ever was, but the feelings of anxiety have disappeared. I have only had to take Kava Kava 3 or 4 times since I started GAPS.
  9. Hurting Hands -  My hands used to hurt, like when I’d try to open a small lidded bottle. That is not happening at all.
  10. Wrists Hurting – my wrists used to ache when I was driving, like the weight of my arms hanging on my hands would make my wrists ache. That is no longer happening. I used to have a bit of carpal tunnel pain on occasion, but that has stopped as well.
  11. Dropping Things – Before starting on GAPS, sometimes – in the last few years – I would be really clumsy. I would reach for something and it would drop from my hands. That has stopped.
  12. Eye Matter – All my life I had strings of eye matter coming from my eyes.  I would always have to wash my face upon waking and then through the day my vision would sometimes get blurry because the eye matter would sometimes be in the way of my iris.  I rarely experience that excessive eye matter and there is much less dried matter on my eyes upon waking in the morning.
  13. Marital Relations – I was sad that this area of my life seemed to be dying. That has changed since GAPS.
  14. Strength and Stamina – I can work in my garden, shovel dirt, pull weeds, and I’m able to do what needs to be done!  Before GAPS I was having to sit down every few minutes to rest.
  15. Energy Levels – Before GAPS I was just worn out with no energy. I still don’t have tons of energy, but for example two days ago (Day 181) I cleaned my bedroom and spent seven straight hours working on decluttering, going through boxes, sorting, repacking, taking bags of stuff to donate outside.  This is a great improvement.
  16. Fatigue - Before GAPS I was tired almost all the time.  This resolved shortly after the back stiffening stopped because I was able to get more sleep at night.
  17. Constipation – In the last couple of years I was experiencing constipation and that has resolved on GAPS (once I re-learned my bathroom habits, many thanks to the Fiber Menace website and the book Fiber Menace: The Truth About the Leading Role of Fiber in Diet Failure, Constipation, Hemorrhoids, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, and Colon Cancer*.
  18. Allergies and Asthma – I have been much less affected by seasonal allergies this year, and I am using two puffs of my asthma medication every other day. I tried to go off my medication altogether after being on GAPS only a few weeks but failed and had to go back on.  I am hoping to continue cutting down slowly.
  19. Appetite Decreased – I am able to eat less food. I tried for over a decade to cut down on my portions, or at least stop going back for fourths.  I believe it was the carbohydrates that caused me to overeat.  I am finding when I eat fruit now it makes me more hungry, same thing when I eat vegetables high in carbs, like butternut squash or carrots.
  20. No Longer Overeating – I used to overeat at every dinner meal, prior to GAPS. I tried to stop eating as much food, but most of the time my stomach would ache from having eaten too much.  I would ask myself why was I punishing myself and overeating. I felt compelled – driven – to overeat. Not since I’ve been on GAPS.
  21. Skin Tags – These disgusting things seem to be disappearing.  I had several where my bra goes around my rib cage and they are gone. I had some on my neck and they seem to be shrinking.
  22. Road Rage – Okay, not specifically on the road, but in dealing with people in general.  I used to get really frustrated but I’m much more mellow.
  23. Blood Sugar Leveled Out – I used to have blood sugar spikes and drops. Although I have not been diagnosed with hypoglycemia, my mother has and I have many of the symptoms.  Before starting GAPS I would have low blood sugar drops and feel really tired, or I’d get cranky and irritable. It is really nice to be able to eat fruit and not have to worry about feeling drugged afterward (although I have found the fruit makes me hungrier and so I eat more and also makes me tired the next day).
  24. Hot Flashes – Before starting GAPS I’d started to have hot flashes. I have had none in six months.
  25. Weight Loss – I did not weigh myself prior to starting GAPS and when I did weigh myself a couple of weeks after getting started, I was at 232.  On June 1st I was at 200.  So I have lost a total of 32 pounds and four dress sizes (20 down to 16).
  26. Bloated Stomach – my stomach has really flattened since I’ve been on GAPS. I learned at Fiber Menace it was very likely the fiber which caused my bloating and protruding stomach.  I have always disliked how my stomach pooched out even when I was slender as a young woman. Now I have a layer of soft padding on my stomach, but I can feel underneath the padding that my stomach is pretty flat.
  27. Swollen Ankles and Fingers – at my last visit to a primary care physician, the woman doctor who was about my age asked me if I ankles were ever swollen. I said they did sometimes and asked her why. She said it was because “we’re” getting old and the blood can’t make it back up so it causes edema. Well, Lady Doctor, you were wrong. It was eating crappy food that did it, because since I started GAPS, my ankles have not been swollen even one time and my rings are loose on my fingers and used to occasionally be very tight.
  28. Lower Back Pain – my lower back used to hurt whenever I had to be on my feet too long. Like while standing at the sink washing dishes, or working in the garden.  Not anymore!

Okay, I guess that’s all I can think of for now.

I am looking forward to seeing continued healing in the next six months.

If you don’t want to miss any of my updates, please consider subscribing to my RSS feed or by email to get updates directly to your inbox.

Until we meet again,

Starlene

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Related posts:

The Digestion Sessions!

30 comments to Day 183 – My Six Month Anniversary on GAPS

  • Tara Marie

    Congratulations on 6 months, Starlene! It’s so encouraging to see how much your symptoms have improved. Keep up the fabulous work!!! :o)

    [Reply]

    Starlene Reply:

    Hi Tara Marie, thank you, thank you! I appreciate the kudos and thank you for commenting! :-)

    [Reply]

  • Christin

    Wow!! You are doing way better! I really do love the little things you remembered that Gaps helped..they add up to a big picture too.
    You just can’t believe the stuff you used to put up with until they start to resolve and you never want to go there again. Great Job and big Hugs to you!

    [Reply]

    Starlene Reply:

    Hi Christin! You are so right, there were all these little nagging things that I thought was inevitable because I’m 47 years old. I thought it was just normal. I am sooooo thankful for GAPS! It is really sad because my sisters who are younger than me are having the same complaints but they think it’s just old age, too. I wish they would check into GAPS! Thank you for visiting and commenting! :-)

    [Reply]

  • churyl

    Yabadabadoooo!!! What a rock star you are… 6 months. It has been amazing to see your whole journey, and how slowly, but surely, you’re getting so much healthier and happier. There are so many diets that promise this, but don’t ever pan out. I’m *so* glad this one is really working for you. (And so glad you take the time to tell us about it).

    [Reply]

    Starlene Reply:

    Hi Churyl!! Thank you, I am so happy to see these changes, too. How are you doing on intro?

    [Reply]

  • kc

    Hey Starlene, I can’t believe how many of your symptoms match up to mine. Some of them I had even forgotten about since it has been so long since they resolved. I need to look for that sheet of paper with the list of symptoms at the beginning and compare. This was such a great post, it made my day.

    [Reply]

    Starlene Reply:

    Hi KC, I have been surprised by all the changes, too. I was only hoping to be less tired and stop feeling like life was not worth living. I gained a whole lot more! Thank you for your encouragement along the way, and I have appreciated your insight to the corn issue so much. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

    [Reply]

  • Marijke

    Hi Starlene,

    Impressive, to see such a long list. As things heal so gradually, one does not notice how much healing is taking place. Ahead to the next six months!

    Marijke

    [Reply]

    Starlene Reply:

    Hi Marijke, thank you, you are right our bodies do heal gradually. It’s funny I’ve been noticing all these things that I’m not experiencing any longer and so cool! I just wish I could persuade other people to try GAPS! It’s so frustrating because it’s so difficult to interact socially when eating this way, but on the other hand everyone is so pleased in a social regard that I’m getting with the “program” and losing weight. I suppose if only one person listens to me eventually I will be happy.

    [Reply]

  • Hi Starlene,

    Wow, what an encouraging story, thank you for sharing it.

    We have much in common, although I am one year older… I have also been on the diet 6 months and have actually forgotten about all my problems I had in the past. While reading your post I was remembering that I had much of the same things and they are gone too.

    Now I just need more progress for my youngest.

    God bless you and keep up the good work!

    Maryjo

    [Reply]

    Starlene Reply:

    Hi Maryjo, I hope you see improvements with your sweet boy soon! Thank you for visiting and commenting!

    [Reply]

  • Malena

    Hey Starlene, this is AWESOME!!! What great news and inspiring to the rest of us to hang in there.

    Regarding the asthma, we got my son off meds using diet and regular chiropractic visits. A friend of mine was successful using Chinese herbs. Just FYI in case it might be helpful.

    Malena

    [Reply]

    Starlene Reply:

    Malena, I will definitely keep this in mind. I get overwhelmed by the thought of trying new things but I will remember you mentioned these ideas. Thank you for visiting and commenting!

    [Reply]

  • Heidi

    Hi Starlene,

    I’ve enjoyed your posts on the GAPS sight and learned a lot from them. It’s great to read about all your progress! Thanks for sharing, it gives all us other folks inspiration to keep going. 3 1/2 months for me.

    Best, Heidi J.

    [Reply]

    Starlene Reply:

    Heidi, you are welcome, thank you for the kind words. Congratulations on getting to 3 1/2 months! Hang in there, you’ll be at six months before you know it!

    [Reply]

  • Kelley

    Yay Starlene!! So exciting to see all the changes over the past 6 months. It’s such an encouragement to see it all! It’s funny to read through the list and realize, “Oh, I had that problem before, too, and it seems to be gone!” Sometimes the changes happen so gradually that we don’t really see/appreciate them.

    [Reply]

    Starlene Reply:

    Hi Kelley, yeah, that’s what my husband was saying too that even though he’s not totally on GAPS he is noticing changes that he is thankful for, and hadn’t noticed they weren’t happening any longer. Like he used to have really bad acid reflux in the middle of the night and would wake up choking and it would go up into his nose. He says that hasn’t happened in months. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

    [Reply]

  • Mary

    Starlene,
    What a fantastic report! I remember before you started, how worried and nervous you were about the whole thing. And…. look at you now! It’s wonderful for all the rest of us to see how much progress is possible in half a year.

    Keep up the good work!
    Mary

    [Reply]

    Starlene Reply:

    Hi Mary! LOL, I remember how worried I was too, and especially when I read over some of my earliest posts! Thank you for the encouragement!

    [Reply]

  • Jennifer

    Hi Starlene,

    I just wanted to say what an inspiration and encouragement you are to me! I have just finished reading the gaps books and am planning on starting intro soon. I also just found your blog and started from the beginning. I can hardly wait to see where you are at now on this journey! I have so many of the same problems starting out. It is also very encouraging to me to see that you have accomplished all this without using all organic and grass fed and natural meats. I have been trying to locate as many sources as possible. I hope you and your family continue doing well.

    [Reply]

    Starlene Reply:

    Hi Jennifer! Wow, thank for you for the lovely compliment! We are doing good, I’m pretty much over my head cold that began last Friday with a nasty sore throat. I hope you find your sources and can get started soon! I can’t believe it’s almost been an entire year!

    [Reply]

  • I no longer suffer heartburn or OCD symptoms. I used to have a very black and white way of viewing the world and now my brain is better able to put things into proper perspective. I still await some relief from my restless legs syndrome but for now I take my pharmaGABA. I used to have severe hunger issues when I started the diet, as did Nito but now we do not feel so hungry we only eat a big meal twice a day really. Nito often refuses to eat a huge lunch and then he is hungry again in the evening.

    [Reply]

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