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I was going to say that I was thinking today about how my life was before I started on GAPS, but it wasn't just today. I think quite a bit about what my life was like prior to GAPS.
For one thing, I had vowed to never diet again. Diets don't work. We all know they don't work. A very large percentage of people gain back the weight they managed to lose and then some. I had experience with one diet, when I was 29 years old. I needed to lose some baby fat – a small amount of weight – I remember thinking how FAT I was, and I was only about 20 to 25 pounds overweight at the time. I embarked on the low fat diet, and I wholeheartedly believed everything I read. I proselytized to my mother and sisters, and to this day I'm sorry I swayed them with my opinions. I thought low fat dieting was correct! Anyway, it set me up for some terrible cravings. I was successful for about one year and then the next three years I tried and failed and felt miserable with my failure. Then I found body acceptance and began to work on accepting my body as it was. I could no longer diet. Just the mere THOUGHT of restricting some kind of food I'd start overeating.
Another thing I think about is how grateful I am that my feet no longer ache. My feet used to hurt so badly. I remember at one point I couldn't even walk from my bed to the bathroom in the middle of the night without putting my thick cushion soled casual men's wear shoes on my feet. I couldn't wear slippers, none are thick enough! It was agony to stand in the shower and take a bath with my bare feet. I bought one of those foot soaking bubbling things, and that would help my feet to feel better but they just hurt so bad most of the time. I had to sit down every ten minutes when I worked in my garden. I remember that my husband found the men's casual wear shoes for me at Big 5 Sporting Goods. That is where we would buy our shoes. I remember the day we found them, I almost cried with relief when I put them on and stood in them. I didn't care they were men's shoes!! The brand is Nevados. They are so dorky looking. They are regularly $60 but they go on sale for $20 and I was having to replace them every two months. The soles still felt thick and cushion-y to my thumb when I'd press down, but my feet would ache once the cushion broke down just a little bit. So when they went on sale, I went around to several stores and bought three or four pairs, so I would have them on hand when they broke down a little.
I still wear those shoes, but now I can wear them for much longer than eight weeks – more like eight months! I continue to wear them because I wanted to use up the inventory I had bought for myself, lol. 🙂
One of the other prominent thoughts I have is being thankful that I can spend more than seven hours in bed. It used to be that I had to get up at seven hours because my back would be so stiff it would ache horribly. Then it would stay stiff and continue to hurt for an hour or more. I couldn't just get up for ten minutes and go back to bed and sleep another hour or two. I'd have to stay up at least an hour, and usually two hours, just so the stiffness would ease up.
Now my back starts to protest mildly if I'm in bed for nine hours! And the stiffness goes away quickly, within minutes of getting out of bed.
I don't know if it was the gluten, or what it was, but these things are so important to my well being and happiness that I don't know if I could ever go back to eating anything other than GAPS.
I just wish that more people would be receptive to GAPS.
I remember hearing about GAPS when I was on the Discussing Nourishing Traditions list. I never considered GAPS for myself. I didn't think I had any digestive issues. After all, I could eat just about anything. I never tied together my growing issues with constipation, the swelling of my ankles and fingers, the bloating, pregnant looking stomach.
And I certainly didn't have autism (for that was the context I heard GAPS most within, when someone mentioned a child with autism).
I am so grateful I decided to look into GAPS for my husband. I wanted to help him to heal from his ulcerative colitis. Little did I know, in trying to help him, I was opening the door for my own healing to come about.
I was so determined to accept my body for the size it was, and to be happy there. I did bodywork, and I journaled, and I told myself I was happy weighing over 200 pounds. But secretly I was disgusted, and so very sad that my body had failed me. I was thin “all my life” I used to say, but in fact I was only thin until I was 23, when I had my first son.
I always thought it was the pregnancy that changed my metabolism.
But guess what? Having examined that time of my life through my GAPS lens, I recalled that I had been on antibiotics FOUR times in the year prior to becoming pregnant with my first child. I was ALSO on the birth control pill that year – I was in fact on the pill when I missed a few days and ended up pregnant. Double whammy to my immune system.
Getting pregnant with my son changed my thinking quite a bit. I started to recognize that my mom hadn't “failed us” by not taking us to the doctor when we were children, but she had actually done me and my siblings a great service. See, that's why I went on the pill and took those antibiotics. I thought, “I'm going to take care of myself the right way.” Oh boy. I was pretty dumb when I was young.
And today, I was just responding to comments to my posts. I am so far behind, do you know why? Because I am having trouble spending time at my computer! I would rather be up getting something physical and concrete accomplished. I still don't think I have tons of energy, but I have enough energy that I'm washing my clothes without feeling like I have to force myself to get the clothes together and into the washer. My goodness, if I had to wash them in a river on a washing board I guess we would have been wearing dirty clothes all this time. It is so great to not feel like it's an insurmountable task to get my clothes into the washer and into the dryer and then folded and put into my dresser!! I just love having a dresser full of clothes to wear, instead of having to sift through a huge pile trying to find something to wear.
I was thinking about this one time I was at a friend's house and I was trying to solve a computer problem for her daughter. I was sitting there for more than two hours – with her teenage daughter and finally the daughter had to get up, she couldn't take sitting there any longer. I remember thinking how I had such wonderful stamina to stick with the problem. Heck, I could spend 10 hours a day in front of the computer! No problem!
But more and more, each weekend I'm starting to feel the COMPUTER is an imposition. It is taking time away from me and the things I need to get done!
What's so frustrating is I need to spend time at the computer, for example, doing my husband's accounting. It doesn't take a long time, but it needs to be done in a timely manner. And I manage a couple of blogs, so I have to spend time writing posts. No one will come read my blog if I don't post with updated information.
There are some bloggers who are famous and well known and make tons of money blogging. Many of them are men. I was just thinking today how can they sit at the computer for so many hours a day. I mean, realistically, how can anyone sit at a desk for hours a day? Is it a sign that people are just worn out? More and more people have desk jobs. Maybe that is because that is all they can manage, to just sit docilely at a desk.
This has gotten really long. I should bring my thoughts to a close. I am so thankful to God and to those people who mentioned GAPS on DNT every once in a while. I'm thankful I decided to help my husband. I'm so thankful and grateful for everyone on the GAPShelp list. I'm thankful to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and Baden for writing GAPS Guide. I'm really glad that I decided to give GAPS a chance, to break my vow to never diet again. I'm so glad.