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I truly believe that GAPS Intro is an incredibly healing diet that calls for lots of fat and possibly more calories than you used to eating to ensure that you are nourishing your body and not depriving it. I entered this diet with that mindset and for 5 weeks ate as much as I wanted. But as 5 weeks turned into 6, it was time to confront the fact that I was using butter as a crutch. I was eating it when I wanted a snack because I was bored or craving, not because I was actually hungry. When I looked in the mirror, I saw the waist that had been appearing fill out to almost nothing. I saw the large stomach that had been receding begin to grow and stick out considerably. Not only was I gaining weight, but I was gaining weight in an incredibly unhealthy way: right on my abdomen.
Just because you are on a healing diet doesn’t mean that your food hang ups from before can’t still creep up and affect your health. Overeating butter or almonds is still overeating. And with butter, this is particularly easy to do, because it is the most calorie dense food by weight.
I decided to visit My Fitness Pal, and sure enough, I was eating hundreds and hundreds of calories more that my very small and not very active body needed. I was worried that if I cut back my butter intake, I wouldn’t be getting enough healing fats. It turns out, if I continue eating exactly as I have been, but cut back on my butter enough to put me where I need to be calorically (assuming no weight loss desired), I am still getting 60-70% of my calories from fat. I think I’ll be fine.
I’m not trying to lose weight, and I’m not going to let the calorie number control me. I am simply using it as a tool to help me get a reasonable amount of food in my body and learn what hunger really feels like to me and what I need to do to take care of myself. It sounds so simple, but mindful eating is not something that I am emotionally, or even physically at this point, capable of. Roughly tracking my calories and macros (I don’t do precise measurements) will help me feel confident that I am nourishing my body properly without feeling the need to over eat.
By the end of the week, but waist was starting to reappear, my bloating had completely disappeared, and I hadn’t been hungry at all, except for right before a meal. I’m on the right track.
This week however (and this started days before I started cutting back on my butter), I have been much more tired that usual. I still have more energy that I used to. In fact, I even have a bit of a new job! My husband’s work, with maybe about 10 employees, had two people quit this week. They have enough part-time workers willing to take more hours that they are fine, but there are also times when it would be helpful just to have an extra body. So I’ll be working there 4-8 hours a week. It doesn’t sound like much, but just the fact that I feel like I can handle taking on work on top of keeping this blog going is a big deal for me. So I know that I am still improving. I just may have to tweak things a bit or make some lifestyle changes to help get that last bit of energy back.
My other symptoms are doing well. My moods are more stable. I’ve been struggling with acne for a few weeks after it had cleaned up so well. I think it is finally clearing now, but it is hard to be sure. I am worried that I may need to cut dairy out for a bit to see if that is why. But we’ll see. I need to finish off the yogurt in the fridge first.
This is the struggle with being a woman AND being on a healing diet. How do I know if this week was harder because of something I’m eating, where I am in my cycle (which, by the way, is currently MIA), or because my body is healing and needs to do this for a bit?
This week continued to hang out in Stage 4 of GAPS Intro and worked on reducing the cooking times of my food. I also added in fresh pressed carrot juice. Carrot juice is suppose to be detoxifying and help with constipation. Let’s just say, that’s something I have been dealing with a little bit. And let’s just say…the carrot juice helped. I’m right where I should be. It is so interesting, though. I was talking with some GAPS friends on Instagram, and we all have found completely different things to be helpful for our constipation (oh, God, I’m one of those people now that talks about poop on social media).
I love how different all of our bodies our. It can make it so frustrating to try to learn what is best, but it’s wonderful that we have so many options to try. And that is why I am doing GAPS, and doing it slowly: so that I can learn as much as I can about my body and what it needs. Maybe then I can not only find the physical health I was seeking, but also mental health, self-love, and the ability to treat my body well.
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