7 Reasons I Wish I’d Been Willing to Change

I Heart GAPS

In the first two decades of my life I never worried about what I ate.  I was lucky enough to be able to eat what I wanted, while easily maintaining a healthy weight.   After I had my children I had a hard time getting down to my pre-pregnancy weight and I did eventually succeed by trying the low fat diet.  It was all the rage when I was 30.  But it was impossible to sustain and as with most diets I grew steadily more hungry and eventually gave up.  After that I embraced size acceptance and vowed to never diet or restrict any foods.  Forever.  I was determined.  Even as my clothes grew tighter and I began to develop health issues I was not willing to make any changes.

Fifteen years went by… I was determined to love the super-sized me.  Fast forward to December 2009… in an attempt to help my husband heal from Ulcerative Colitis, I began to research the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet.  I’d heard of it a few years earlier, but mostly in context to children and autism.  The “psychology” part did not impact me at all.  But in reading the book the psychology part began to make more sense… I was feeling depressed – that could definitely be psychological… and I was so tired all the time, plus I had all sorts of weird little aches and pains.  I decided to give it a chance, and now I wish I had not wasted fifteen years of my life.  Years I can never get back.

Too bad I wasn’t ready to make a change years ago.   But, since I don’t have a time machine, there’s not much I can do.  Regretting past choices serves no good purpose and is a waste of precious time.  All I can do is press forward and be glad for what I have learned today.

Let me share the reasons with you why I wish I had been willing to change much earlier. I hope you will share with me in the comments what you wish you would have been willing to change years ago.  Hindsight is a great thing, isn’t it?  🙂

  1. Less Eating, Less Hunger. In addition to being on GAPS, I am also doing Dr. Jack Kruse’s Leptin Reset.  One of the “rules” is to eat a big protein breakfast consisting of at least 50 grams of protein.  I love that this little trick leaves me satisfied and not hungry for four or five hours.  Before starting GAPS I had to bring food with me and eat every 2.5 to 3 hours.  After being on GAPS I was able to eat less often, but I still had to bring food with me.  Now since the leptin reset I have my breakfast at home within thirty minutes of waking, and lunch is more like a snack – some days I don’t eat lunch at all because I’m just not hungry.  I might bring an ounce of almonds or a tin of sardines with me.  I love this because I don’t have to spend a bunch of time heating my food and sitting down and eating.  I can take a ten minute break and get back to work and since I don’t take lunch I can leave half an hour earlier.
  2. No Desire for that Afternoon Siesta. I love that I’m not tired after I eat a meal.  Before GAPS I used to feel sleepy every afternoon after eating lunch (which often consisted of plenty of carbohydrates).  When I’d eat spaghetti for dinner I would feel lethargic the next day, for the entire day!  It is nice not to have to need to find a way to combat that tired feeling.
  3. No More Overeating. I love that I don’t overeat anymore. When I was doing body acceptance I battled myself for years, trying to get myself to eat smaller portions, trying to stop when I felt satisfied.  I tried and tried to not overeat!  I couldn’t seem to stop myself from eating too much. The food tasted so delicious and I felt like I ate obsessively and could not stop myself.  Especially if I got too hungry.  I could eat the house then!  I’ve since learned that foods that I love to that depth are probably foods to which I am allergic!  I used to say that I loved pasta than my own mother!  That is a truly addictive statement, wouldn’t you agree?
  4. Off My Asthma Medication. I love that I was able to stop taking asthma medication, which I was on for eight years.  It was such a hassle having to use it every day, getting the prescription filled, having to go to the doctor to get a new prescription every year or six months – for eight years!  It’s awesome being able to sleep at night with clear sinuses, and not being woke up because I can’t breathe through my nose.
  5. Not Tempted To Eat Fast Food. I love that I am no longer tempted by fast food establishments.  This is truly wonderful.  My biggest temptation used to come when I’d have a run an errand at my job.  For some reason I felt like I deserved a reward for having to leave the building so I would stop by Jack in the Box and get two tacos and a french fry, and sometimes a cheeseburger and chocolate shake.  And then I would feel sooooo guilty for eating junk food.  But the siren calls were more than I could bear, and I would find myself succumbing to the temptation.  That is completely a thing of the past.  One I stopped eating those foods that I am allergic to, I stopped having those wild desires for them.
  6. No More Aching Feet.  My feet used to hurt me so bad.  I’d been diagnosed with Plantar fasciitis and had been given some inserts to wear in my shoes.  Not much could be done for this condition, I’d been told.  I figured it was my lot in life because I can still remember my Grandpa hobbling around his restaurant and you could tell his feet were causing him great pain.  My feet hurt so bad that I could only wear this one brand of men’s casual wear shoes. They were black, and ugly and I felt like an old hag wearing them.  I felt embarrassed in them, but I couldn’t even stand to bear weight on my feet when they were bare.  I heard myself one night in the middle of the night, groaning and leaning on the bed, it was pretty awful.  Within two weeks of doing GAPS my feet stopped hurting and now I can even tolerate 3 inch heels!  I’ve become one of those women who love shoes.  Whoohoo!!  🙂
  7. Sustained Weight Loss. I love that I’ve lost weight, fairly effortlessly, and I’ve kept it off. I did not embark on GAPS to lose weight.  Diets don’t work, after all!  Remember, I’d sworn off diets for 15 years!   Although deep down inside I was scared to death that I would keep gaining weight every year.  Most people who go on diets gain the weight back, we hear that all the time. But when I read Gut and Psychology Syndromeby Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride I felt hope that maybe I could get past the depression and fatigue, and I admit, I also secretly hoped I’d lose weight, but I wasn’t counting on it.  I was SO determined to never diet again!!  I was a hard core body acceptance person, and I am extremely grateful that I finally became willing to make changes toward better health.

Your turn. Please leave a comment and let me know:

Do you pay attention to what you eat? 

Do you think it matters? 

Have you found success by changing your diet? 

What are the changes you’ve seen?  

What do YOU wish you had changed years ago?

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129 comments to 7 Reasons I Wish I’d Been Willing to Change

  • I’ve never heard of the GAPS diet but I’m going to look into it. I developed gastrointestinal problems about the time I turned 35 and I’ve just recently gone Gluten Free. I FINALLY have relief! It’s not yet 100% but I am getting a lot better.

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  • I do watch what I eat, with some success. I find myself tired a lot, which sometimes worries me. I don’t know if I’m not sleeping enough, or if I’m getting a low-grade quality of sleep.

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  • I have gained a lot of inspiration from reading comments. I love vegetables and they are a big part of our meals.
    I’m enjoying your blog and wont stop, I have come from Blogelinas 100 comment hop, and now continue to hop!! Now that we met come follow me…… on my….. GFC….Oh! My Heartsie
    @Oh! My Heartsie
    Karren

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  • I’ve been on the wrong track for years now, and am working on getting back on the better one. GAPS sounds interesting, I think I’ll look into it. Thanks for sharing!

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  • Hindsight is 20/20. We cannot take back the past, but we can choose our futures. Congratulations on your progress.

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  • Diet is SO huge! My daughter needs to eat Gluten free and casien free in order to maintain a stable mood!

    🙂
    Lisa

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  • Do you pay attention to what you eat? Sometimes, but not always.

    Do you think it matters? To a point, I think I am more of a portion control person. Eat what I like but only in portions that are right for me.

    Have you found success by changing your diet? I have never tried to change my diet, but I stand by anyone that has had to change theirs, and even helped a friend who had to switch to a low-carb diet find delicious fun recipes on Pinterest.

    What do YOU wish you had changed years ago? Mainly, I wished I had just worked out more. I am big on heart health, and I know I have been ignoring mine.

    This is a great post!!

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  • I’ve been very lucky and not really had to think of this much. I have started to, however. Even though I’m only 5 pounds heavier than I was before all four of my pregnancies and so many people tell me I look good, I don’t feel good. I have started watching what I eat, trying really hard not to eat anything for at least 2 hours before I go to bed and when I want something unhealthy, I think twice about it.

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  • Wow, you’ve really been able to see some changes! I’m struggling right now with weight gain….granted I’m pregnant, with my 4th, but I’ve never felt awful about my weight until now. After baby is born I think I’ll have a look into the Gut and Psychology you’re talking about. It sounds wonderful!

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  • After my 3 children, I’ve gained quite a bit of weight. I’ve tried and tried to lose it, but the most I could ever lose is 10 lbs, which is great, but not when you are 50 lbs over a healthy weight! I’m now trying to change the way we use food. The entire family is eating differently now, and i”m hoping that weight loss will come from it, but mostly I just want more energy and feel healthier! I think if it is a lifestyle change, it has a lot more impact and more results than a temporary diet.

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  • I’ve had problems with my weight all my life, but am slowly coming to terms with my struggles with food. I feel best when I’m eating as “clean” a diet as possible – emphasizing whole foods and limiting processed food. Thanks for the info on this program – I wish you all the best and a happy, healthy life! 🙂

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  • Natalia

    @Starlene, Hi Starlene,
    I think it is still showing up, maybe it is in archives or keywords or something?

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  • I know exactly what you mean! 🙂

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  • I do have trouble with weight, eating, and a food addiction. I have never heard of GAPS before but sounds interesting. I was in a food addiction group that cut out all flour and sugar and that worked really well for me but I relapsed from the stress around me and have not been able to get back on track since then. I know I need structure but am lacking the motivation right now.

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  • Do you pay attention to what you eat? Yes. Because we are at the least a gluten free family. But I am on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. And slowly transitioning my kids over to it too. At least the food on it but not doing the steps.

    Do you think it matters? Yes!!! Food affects everything.

    Have you found success by changing your diet? YES!!!!!!!!!!!

    What are the changes you’ve seen? Lost 30 lbs. If I follow strictly the diet then I don’t have to wear deodorant ever just a shower every now and then, not bloated, no gassiness, good bowel movements, energy, hair looks shiny, no dark circles under my eyes, periods shorter, and just feel better in general.

    What do YOU wish you had changed years ago? Yes I do. I started researching the diet in 2009 but didn’t start until Jan 2011. My body would be better healed and more foods already added to my diet.

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  • Ok, you definitely have my attention!! I have been struggling with my diet for over a year (after having “accepted” the plump me) and it’s so frustrating to eat right and exercise, but not lose and still feel like crap! I’m going to look into this and read more about your experience. Thank you!!

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  • i gave up sugar for lent and fried food and that helped me eat so much more healthier in general. my body craved sugar so i went for naturally sugary things like strawberries honey. etc. instead of refined sugar. helped me out a lot

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  • I plan on going on weight watchers right after i have my second baby. it is time to get this weight off and pay attention to what is going in my body, as well as set an example for my babies. thanks for this post!

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  • Starlene

    I hear that Weight Watchers is an easier program nowadays due to the point system. When I was growing up my stepfather was the janitor for the YMCA and they had Weight Watchers meetings once a week there. That was back in the 80s! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  • I have Plantar fasciitis and I am in pain most days. Every shoe I have has inserts or they are made special like clogs. I can’t jump and I have to be careful of my left foot always.

    How does the GAPS diet fix this?

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    Starlene Reply:

    Hi Allie, I have not been able to figure that out myself, but I can tell you I was in some kind of awful pain before I started on GAPS. It could have been a combined number of things. I suspect it had a lot to do with getting good healing broth, and I also think it may have had to do with removing gluten from my diet. I have recently learned that Plantar fasciitis can be a symptom of hypothyroid… now in combination with that, some people have Hashimoto’s Disease which are antibodies attacking the thyroid. Dr. Datis Kharrazian states that person’s with Hashimoto’s must avoid all gluten and this stops the attack on the thyroid tissue. I do have lowered antibodies for Hashimoto’s – so low that my doctor says I don’t have it, but again, Dr. Kharrazian says if you have ANY, you have this autoimmune disease (he in fact says he will have people eat gluten on purpose to see if the Hashimoto’s antibodiies will rise on testing). I think the broth also played a part. My foot pain stopped in two weeks but there was still some sensitivity and I think the broth helped to heal any damage. I can feel for you, I remember the pain, it is not any fun at all. Thanks for asking, and I hope you are able to fix your feet, too. Best, Starlene

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  • Hi Starlene,
    I have been reading your blog since last week, and it has been so inspiring. I know this is an old post here… I thought I’d post a reply anyway.
    I started GAPS last year and stuck to it for about six months. It was great! Silly me, though, I thought I was better and could start adding other foods. Not so. I backslid. I am back on GAPS since last week. I am feeling a lot better. My aches and pains are receding – I had joint pain, back pain, headaches… The swelling on my hands, ankles, and feet is also going down. I am regaining some of my energy back. So, I am a firm believer and into it again and for the long haul. I wasn’t healed by any means after six months of GAPS, and grains are just not good for us, much less white sugar in any amount. The only reason why I didn’t backslide completely was that I stayed on a gluten-free diet the last six months… I’m not doing that again! It is so difficult to be a part of this society and be on the GAPS diet. So many people – family and friends, refuse to accept it, much less listen to reason. My son, who has had asthma since he was a baby, does so much better on GAPS. THat is another very compelling reason for me. He is sixteen and has to learn to stick with it, just like me. My husband, a type 1 diabetic (insulin dependent) also does much, much better… So, thank you for the inspiration, and God bless!

    Mary
    Mary recently posted..Easy Mayo RecipeMy Profile

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    Starlene Reply:

    Hi Mary! Well, at least you are willing to get back on the horse and stay with it. 🙂 I’m glad you are feeling better and it sounds like your whole family is benefiting. That is great. I wish I had learned about GAPS just a few years earlier, and I hope someday my youngest son will listen to what I’ve learned about GAPS and the foods we eat. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Warm regards, Starlene

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  • Cheryl

    Dear Daily Citron,

    In answer to your question about making judgements about reliable programs: FOLLOW THE MONEY. Dr. McBride developed this program out of desire to heal her child of autism–just so happens that it heals a lot of things, too. After being on this program for over a year, I am sold–no need to look further and it really gets easy the longer you are on it. The sad truth is that we need a drastic change from our modern westernized diet.

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  • Cheryl

    When you went through additional phases of detox, did your feet hurt again?

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  • Cheryl

    Hi Starlene,
    When you went through additional phases of detox, did your feet hurt again?

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    Starlene Reply:

    Hi Cheryl, no my feet have never hurt again. My sister suggested it was because I’d lost weight, and maybe that is the case *now* but I really don’t think so, since only 14 days in I don’t think I’d lost enough weight to make any difference in how my feet felt. I can wear heels, flat shoes with no sole cushioning, go barefooted – things I could not do for a few years. I was never into shoes so much as I am now. 🙂 I used to wonder how in the world do people wear these shoes without any cushioning? Thanks for asking and I hope you have a great day! ~Starlene

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  • Tara

    Thank you so much for sharing your story & the recipes! I am 31 and never paid much attention to what I ate beyond the usual trying to incorporate some veggies & not eat “too” much sweets or fast food. I had a son 5yrs ago & he is blessed with a great immune system. Then 3yrs ago I had a daughter who, at 18 months, picked up RSV (from the doctor’s office). Ever since then it’s been a roller coaster ride of colds, ear infections, allergies, stomach viruses, antibiotics, etc. I then had a son who by 7 months had hopped on the allergies, ear infection, antibiotic, issues train.
    Over the past 7 months I have been learning so much about how our diet is fueling these issues. Change has been a challenge. It’s a challenge financially. It’s sometimes a challenge to retrain our taste buds. It’s a challenge culinarily-which having these recipes REALLY helps. It’s also a challenge for me to overcome what has become a real sugar addiction.
    But!!! In just the past 40 days we have seen a big difference from eliminating 90% of junk food, sugary treats, wheat products and dairy. My baby boy’s 4 month long ear infection has cleared & my two other children have been healthier. I finally don’t feel exhausted everyday all day long!! The responsibility of my children’s health and what goes into their bodies has been the catalyst for making a change in how we eat. Although the fear of giving myself diabetes helped too.
    We are learning and slowly incorporating what will be a lifetime dietary change. I’m so grateful my kids, my husband & I won’t have to suffer from an entire lifetime of poor eating habits.
    Thanks again for sharing!

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    Starlene Reply:

    Hi Tara – so wonderful to hear the changes that you are seeing with your family! It is definitely worth it and I’m so glad you are willing to put in the work to do this for your family. It is definitely a challenge but it does get easier as time goes by. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! ~Starlene

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