While glancing at my day planner to get a handle on the week ahead, I noticed that I have gone one year without eating gluten. Months ago I jotted down a reminder note at the beginning of this week to mark the accomplishment. This is kind of a coincidence, because just yesterday I mentioned to my husband that I was thinking of going off my diet, “just because”. He gently encouraged me to stick with it. This is why.
Since giving up gluten, I no longer have crippling abdominal cramps. I feel more energetic in the afternoons (most days) and I sleep better during the nights. I don’t wake up feeling nauseated in the morning; I have an appetite and actually want to eat breakfast right away. Then I want to go to work instead of lie back down like in the bad old days. My skin doesn’t break out anymore and I don’t get bloated for no good reason. My husband loves that I am feeling better and more energetic, and regardless of his opinion about gluten, he wants me to be healthy and happy.
“I think you should wait.” his words surprised me at first but I understood his concern. Sometimes it’s easy to give up on something we’ve been doing for a long time when we forget why we’re doing it. I had to remind myself what it was that put me on the diet in the first place. I’d lost sight of my reason for even being on the diet, and after watching other people enjoy their cake, I wanted mine!
So I remembered the many night school Accounting classes when I had to excuse myself and run to the bathroom because my stomach cramps were excruciating. I remembered dropping my kids off at school morning after morning and then coming home to curl up on the couch with dry toast and tea because I felt too sick to eat anything else. I remembered a life of not feeling well enough to do anything before 1:00 P.M. and never having enough energy to really get enough accomplished. This went on for years. I asked myself if I was ready to risk going back to that.
This afternoon we had a celebration of sorts. Close friends came over for a feast and we celebrated friendship. We celebrated my husband’s prowess making homemade foods. He had made much of the meal himself: sourdough hotdog buns, sauerkraut, pickled eggs, and five different kinds of smoked and barbecued sausages! We celebrated the Army life — where we are now and where we may go. And we celebrated dedication: a concept that improves quality of life in ways that we didn’t expect but fully appreciate. I could see how this had worked with my diet over the last year.
I know my husband is right. Now is not the time to give up. Not yet. There is still much to learn, and more celebrations ahead.