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Going Gluten Free Has Changed Everything

The magic word of the day is: transition. My mom recently got hired as a professor at a major Washington State university, meaning she will be leaving her elementary school job that she has had for over 15 years. My sister is graduating from Southern Methodist University, going onto pursue her career in theater. My parents are preparing my childhood house to put it up for sale within the next couple of years. In August, I’m leaving to live in Italy for 3.5 months then returning to complete my 3rd year of college.In light of all these changes, I feel that there is no better time to address that changes that I have gone through in the last few years.  I never really noticed how significant the change in myself has been until I take time to look back on myself and my life before going gluten free. Everything from my body shape, to my personality, to my brain functions, to my social life- it’s all changed for the better. And seeing as my transition from eating gluten to being gluten free occurred at the same time as being in high school in Bothell, Washington transitioned to being a college student in Denver, Colorado, the changes are almost alarming when I look back on who I am now as compared to who I used to be. To commemorate these changes, here is a before/after analysis:

BEFORE: 

{Physically} Strained smile, puffy face, thin form, hollowed and dead eyes, pale, slouched.

Unhealthy hair, dry skin, runny nose, itchy throat, bloating, poor breathing, weak muscles, brittle teeth.

{Mentally} Lost in instruction, forgetful, bad listener, awkward in conversation, weak personality.

Easily frustrated, emotional, unsatisfied, unmotivated.

{Socially} Meek, pessimistic, unsociable, lonely, uncharismatic, internalizing of everything

Shy, quiet, too tired to interact, moody.

{Memories} Stomach aches after every meal

Unable to breath after running

Constant hospitals

Hearing instructions and immediately forgetting what was said

Spending time alone because calling friends took too much effort

Trouble sleeping at night and woken up early with uncontrollable coughing

One word to describe how I always felt: discomfort

NOW: 

{Physically} Genuine smile, skin pigmentation, strong muscles, lively eyes, healthy hair and skin

  Strong, healthy, able to breath, energetic

{Mentally} Happy, motivated, driven. looking forward to the future

  Optimistic, at ease, emotionally stable, proud, confident

{Socially} Sociable, willing to meet new people, open to social events, strong communication skills

 Outgoing, welcoming, seeing humor in everyday life, saying yes more than no.

{Memories-so far!} Running longer and harder every week

                                           Exploring the mountains of Colorado

                                           Performing work that I’m proud of

                                           Spending more time outside

                                           Getting involved at school

                                           Appreciating friends and family more than ever before

                                           Embracing life and all that comes with it.

Here’s to many more years of positive change and healthy, happy living! 

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3 thoughts on “Going Gluten Free Has Changed Everything

  1. Kevin says:

    Julie this is Kevin from Halfpops, you may not remember me but I want you know that I really like this month’s post, I have enjoyed reading about your recovery for lack of a better word and you inspire me. After reading down the list of health issues you experienced before going gluten free I realized there were a few things on your list that struck a chord with me and my own health.

    Like…Unhealthy hair, dry skin, poor breathing, weak muscles. I am very fit or at least I think I am, I workout 4 times a week minimum and play soccer twice a week. How could I have weak muscles? I have trouble breathing mostly through my nose it acts like it’s stuffed up ALL the time.
    (Could just be getting old)

    {Mentally} Lost in instruction, forgetful, bad listener, awkward in conversation, weak personality. Easily frustrated, emotional, unsatisfied, unmotivated.
    (Could be just getting old)

    {Socially} Meek, pessimistic, unsociable, lonely, uncharismatic, internalizing of everything Unable to breath after running.

    Hearing instructions and immediately forgetting what was said.
    Spending time alone because calling friends took too much effort.
    (Could just be getting old)

    I know your not a doctor and I am not seeking medical advice, and I know I could have other issues but what they could be is beyond me. I don’t really know how to start going gluten free I have so many bad eating habits. If I start with gluten free bread let’s say, there are so many other food factors/dynamics that could sabatoge my efforts so I wonder if you could direct me to the best way to start and think about the things I eat, that would be helpful.

    Yeah I know it could all have nothing to do with being gluten free…but what if it does?

    Thanks Julie, keep up the great work and keep smiling!

    All the best,

    Kevin

    .

  2. I have noticed some of those same changes in myself since going gluten free. I haven’t been at it as long as you, but I’m hopeful that the changes will continue and that more things will change for the better. Thanks for sharing this!
    Cheers!! (:

  3. steve says:

    your story is similar to my own! i am 41 have always been ‘too tired’ to do any thing even though i have also been sporty, it always took more effort than everyone else to do what every else done. i couldn’t concentrate for long at school and the dark days of feeling low were always there coupled with some minor yet continuous illnesses my life dragged on! however after having a serious bout of anaphylactic shock (cause unknown) i was given every test know to man lol and i have something called cell mast fragility ??? which has caused me to be intolerant of wheat! now this diagnosis has only been since august 2012 and i have been on a strict no wheat diet and i can tell you i believe i have had wheat intolerance for many many years probably 30 at least because i feel 20 years old! i am fitter, stronger, my muscles have grown in places i didn’t know had muscles! i am still a bit up and down because its early days but the ‘down’ feeling are far shorter lived and less frequent and every day is better! so i say! sod the wheat get it banned !!! seriously i have read many horror stories of illness in people for many years only to find out they are allergic to this substance and once they are ‘OFF’ wheat they feel better and live healthier lives! good luck everyone!

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