Monthly Archives: December 2013

Christmas is over. Now what??

The holiday has come and gone.  I must say I did fairly well.  No gluten ingested (that I know of) but I have to admit I did go a little overboard on my husband’s dark chocolate covered acai berries.  Couldn’t stay out of the bag.  Yum!  But way too much sugar and I could definitely feel it the next day.  I have been working out at least every other day as well.  Enjoying working out for the first time in a long while.  I continue to see changes in my body daily despite a weight loss slow down.  I know it’s to be expected, but now that I am working out I realize I am toning up and that’s a very good thing right now.  I need things firm up a bit.  :)

I ended my 21 day detox on Christmas Eve eve.  It wasn’t too terrible, but I was glad it was over.  I had really looked forward to eating some cheese and nuts other non gluten grains that I had to forgo for three weeks.  I didn’t feel the burst of energy that I should have and that may be because I had a lot of nasty stuff to get out of my liver.  I so looked forward to being able to eat some things on the ‘do not eat’ list when I was done with the detox.  My first restaurant of choice to celebrate was Chipotle.  Enjoyed it very much.

Now I am looking forward to New Year’s Eve.  No specific plans for going out.  We will probably just stay home and watch The Walking Dead marathon on AMC.   What are your plans???  How is being gluten free going to factor in to your celebration???  Or will you be more aware of gluten when you do go out if you haven’t started yet???

Whatever you decide to do, enjoy yourself and stay safe.

Happy New Year,

Gluten Free Gena

PS.  Once the holidays are over, some of my gluten free friends have promised to write a blurb about how they came to be GF, so watch out for that in the coming weeks.

Hitting a New Milestone

I’m in the middle of a 21 day detox.  This is a detox for the liver, but one of the side effects can be weight loss as well.  I went in to this thinking I was going to be able to drop another 10 pounds over the course of three weeks (I know.  Not realistic, but a girl can hope, right?) So over the last couple of weeks I have been stuck at pretty much the same weight.  The first 11 days of the program, I only lost a little over 1 pound.  Aggravating to say the least.  It is frustrating to get on the scale and not see progress.  I was still working out and eating what I should be and keeping away from the NO items on the list and drinking my shakes as I should and drinking copious amounts of water, also.  I got fed up and stopped getting on the scale for three days.  I decided to take a break from beating myself up and getting bent out of shape over it.

My first long term goal was getting below 200 pounds.  I have not been that weight since 2001 (over 12 years!).  I know I should have made smaller goals but I always had that one  on my mind as my first big goal to achieve so it was driving me crazy that I couldn’t get it done.  I didn’t get frustrated enough to go off the prescribed eating plan, but I did tinker with a few things here and there to try to find the answer.

Well, I decided to step on the scale Friday morning just to see where I was.  I frankly wasn’t expecting much.   And what do you know, I weighed in at 199.1.  I stared at the screen (I weigh in with the Wii Fit Plus program) literally dumbfounded and then I sat down and cried.   It was a very good cry.  It was what I needed to boost my resolve and keep me going.

Yesterday, hubby and I stopped at the Grand Opening for a new nation-wide fitness chain that opened in Springfield not long ago.  We got the tour and we decided to sign me up.  I had my evaluation today and first workout.  Even though it’s a little bit of a drive to get there, I think this is going to be really good for me and if I get to another plateau in my weight-loss journey, there are always personal trainers there who can help me figure out what I need to do to get past it.  I am looking very forward to working out there.  It’s a really nice facility.   So you all are going to hold me accountable, right???  :)

I wanted to tell you about my Friday and the rest of the weekend because I know that everyone has good days and bad.  I’m just glad the weekend gave me a boost and made me smile.  We all need that sometimes.  Thanks to my hubby for signing me up.  He said I deserved it because I have worked hard so far.   I do and I have been.  Thanks for recognizing that, sweets.

Just know that you will probably get frustrated and bummed out at points on your journey.  I have and I am sure it  won’t be the last time either.  Chin up, take a deep breath and dig in.  It may be a bumpy ride, but it will never be boring.  :)


Gluten Free Gena

How I came to be Gluten Free

Eugena and Todd Bahamas

Eugena and Todd in the Bahamas 2000.

Looking back on my childhood, I believe I always had a problem with gluten.  For one thing I craved gluten along with sugar.  It was nothing for me to come home from school and open up a 16 oz. Pepsi (or two) and devour a big bag of Doritos.   At 5 or 6, I could eat adult sized meals – no problem.  I slept a lot, but when I would wake up I wanted nothing to do with food.  I have later learned that this is a symptom of adrenal fatigue (more on that in another post).  I could go half the day without eating, but when I would start it would be continuous until I laid down for bed.  My family did not try to teach me healthy eating.  This is how I remember it anyway.  Maybe they did.  I only remember that I pretty much ate whatever I wanted.  In high school, I stayed on an even keel with my weight at around 166.

Fast forward to adulthood.  I have gained and lost 1,000 pounds.  I would get excited about some goal I had in mind (I am a very goal oriented kind of gal) to get me started.  I would stick with a diet here and there,  lose some weight but it would always come back, plus some.  Many of you have done the same thing.  Mostly, it was a diet that would deprive me of the things I really loved to eat and I would get to a point where I would hit the proverbial wall and I would swing back the other way.  I think my life’s purpose on earth is to learn moderation, but that’s another blog post entirely!  :)  I could never do anything middle of the road.  It was either all or nothing.

I met my best friend and husband, Todd,  in 1994.  We were married in 1996 and I decided to lose weight in early 1999.  My diet of choice was Atkins.  I LOVED it!  I could eat all the meat and cheese I wanted.  I was in diet heaven.  Along with working out, I dropped 75 pounds on Atkins in a little over a year.  I even got down to my lowest weight ever as an adult.  142 pounds.  1 – 4 – 2.  My main motivation this time was that we were going to attend a seminar in the Bahamas.  I had fun picking out the first bikinis I ever owned to wear them on that trip. That fat girl was still inside though.  She was waiting.  Biding her time.  My weight loss success couldn’t last.  And it didn’t.  You see, I wanted to be a Mom.  A friend made a casual comment one day that I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant because I didn’t have any fat on my body (which wasn’t true), but that comment stayed with me.  It hung around, subconsciously sabotaging my weight loss with great success.  I wanted to be a Mom more than I wanted to be thin at the time.  When I got pregnant with our oldest daughter who was born in 2002, I had gained back all of the weight I had worked so hard to lose plus added another 15 pounds to the total.   And had two more daughters in 2005 and 2007.

In January 2011, I entered a weight loss contest.   $100 buy-in.  6 of us entered.  It ran for 3 months.  I chose to follow Dr. Eric Berg’s “7 Principles of Fat Burning”.  The first thing is you go on a three week liver detox plan.  This plan eliminated grains, refined sugar and limited cheese.  No soda or caffeine.  It was at the end of this three week period that I had an Aha!  moment.  I realized that my migraines had lessened in frequency and muscle pain and flare-ups had done the same.  It felt better than I had in a long while.  Brain fog was lifting and I had a lot more patience with my kids and it seemed that my mood swings weren’t as bad.  Could it be the elimination of wheat and grains (and sugar) from my diet???  I started doing a lot of research on the gluten free (read “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis) and decided to use info in Wheat Belly and Dr. Berg’s plan and the pounds were coming off consistently and I was gonna win that contest, darnit!  Well, I did win.  I lost the most body fat percentage which which equaled 34 pounds.  I had every intention of sticking with it, really I did.  But then my Dad passed away.  Life overwhelmed me and I slid right back into my old habits, slowly at first.  It was easy enough to do because the weight didn’t come back fast.  I was able to maintain my weight loss for a year before it came back in the last year or so.  The symptoms I had experienced before came back with a vengeance.  Some of them worse than before.  And I realized I needed to do something.  This whole decision making process took a year for me to commit to it, though.  I was tired of being sick and tired all the time.  I didn’t want to hit my next milestone birthday (in less than two years now) feeling and looking like this.  I spent a lot of time thinking about my kids.  What was I showing them by not taking care of myself?  I was flat out not being a good role model for my girls.  Would I make it to holding my grandbabies and watching them grow up if I kept doing the same old thing and repeating the same old patterns?  I don’t think so.  I knew I couldn’t go on like this. I had to change for ME, first and for the people I love and want to be with for as long as possible, second.  Maybe I can live to 100 or beyond???

I knew gluten free worked for me and I believed it would work again.   So I started gluten free for the second time toward the end of August.  This time I eliminated sugar, too.  And high fructose corn syrup and trans fats and caffeine and trying to eliminate processed foods as well.  Some would ask,  “Well, is there anything you can eat?”  And my answer is A LOT!!!  There are things I am eating now that I never thought I would eat and it’s good and tasty and I am enjoying finding new recipes to try.  But I am open to trying new things.  That is the key to it, I think.  You have to be willing and open to try new things.  Eliminate the junk (because it is slowing killing you!) from your diet and you can have success as well.

I am always here to answer questions.  I am taking you step by step through my process.  And believe me, if I can do it, anyone can.  You have to make the commitment to yourself and take one step at a time and move forward.

It won’t always be easy, but it will be so worth it in the long run.

Until next time,

Gluten Free Gena