Reflections from the Weekend: The Frustration of Trying to be “Normal”

It’s Sunday night as I write this…my shoulders ache, and I am bloated. Today at church, I had a sharp radiating pain shoot through my left arm and shoulder. I know it’s not the warnings of a heart attack…it’s the effects of food intolerances.

Saturday, to celebrate my husband’s birthday, he chose to go to a local pizza place that has gluten-free crust. Pizza is not something I normally eat. I ordered a chicken fajita pizza with Colby jack instead of mozzarella. It had chicken, peppers, salsa, and cheese. I added guacamole. I had 3 small pieces. It didn’t seem to bother me at the time, but the reactions came later. Or maybe it was the flavored coffee I had from The Fresh Market. Or maybe the popcorn I ate which I don’t normally eat. I’m not sure which of these are the culprit, but I know one of them are.

Today…we braved the snow and went to a birthday party. My cousin ordered a gluten-free cheese pizza and a gluten-free cupcake for me and her friend. By 2:30 and having not eaten lunch yet, I was starving. The pizza was thin crust, and I ate 3 small pieces. And, then I ate the cupcake which had more sugar in the frosting than I normally eat in a couple weeks. I never expect people to cater to my food issues. I am always more than happy to bring my own food. When someone does go out of their way to accommodate me, I am always touched. I’m not going to lie, it tasted good. I knew the sugar crash would come, though.

Sugar is so bad for our bodies for so many reasons…our teeth, energy levels, devoid of nutritional value, suppresses immunity. It aggravates my food intolerance issues. It causes acne for me within hours. My shoulders ache.

I also have issues with water retention and edema. This past week, I’ve been really focusing on reducing water retention in my body by drinking dandelion tea, green tea, lots of water, and not drinking coffee. I’ve been eating lots of veggies, fruits, chicken, and whole gluten-free grains. I’ve been reading the Waterfall Diet by Linda Lazarides and trying to implement ideas from the book. I’ve been using essential oils and walking daily. By Friday, I was feeling great, and my pants fit better. I lost some excess water weight.

Sunday night…how do I feel? Not so great. I’m really glad I don’t have a Super Bowl party to tempt me with more ‘normal’ food. No one forced me to eat gluten-free pizza or cupcakes. The former me loved veggie pizza and cake with thick frosting. I ate the typical American diet filled with processed carbs and sugar.

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Sometimes, I wish I was “normal”. I wish I could eat cupcakes at birthday parties. I wish I could eat out with friends. I wish I didn’t have coworkers question what I eat. Some days I just want to be normal..to enjoy a pizza with my family and a cupcake at a birthday party.

No, I don’t have any desire to eat like that every day, but once in a while in a social setting, it would be nice. I really do love all veggies, fruits, chicken, most fish, gluten-free grains, home cooked meals by me…this is how I eat normally.Wishing doesn’t change things. Wishing doesn’t heal my gut.

Monday is a new week. A new opportunity to heal my gut. Three steps forward, four step back, but I’m  ready for the challenge. Food intolerances are a challenge but God is by my side for strength in my weakness and struggles. I’m not “normal,” but I’m loved and accepted. And a little bit of wisdom from Proverbs is always helpful!

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