Weight Loss, Lupus, Food Restriction and Celiac

(Just a heads up for those not into lots of words – a lot of bloggers roll with wordLESS Wednesday but I’m going with wordY Wednesday today. This is wordy instead of my usual picture posts.) 🙂

My celiac diagnosis was tough for all the obvious reasons but it’s also been hard in another way.

At the end of 2006 I went into a major Lupus flare that lasted until October 2008. During that time I took 14 courses of high dose steriods / ate like a grazing cow with even less activity – and gained almost 120 pounds. 😦

As I started to come out of the flare my rheumy told me I should try to lose the weight to help with my joint pain. She actually recommended Medifast (gave me some coupons and everything). I tried that but couldn’t handle it because of the soy. So then I tried calorie counting using an online program. That worked OK for about 15 pounds but I was starving all.the.time and becoming more and more obsessed with making things as low cal as possible. Next, I did a websearch and found low carb. After researching and finding out that not only could it help with weight loss but inflammation as well I jumped in headfirst.

I actually kind of enjoyed it at first. I started losing weight instantly and was NEVER hungry. I missed all my beloved carbs but the results kept me going. My joints started feeling better and I worked up to walking 4 miles a days at a local walking path. The biggest problem for me was that because of my (undiagnosed at the time) digestion issues and inablilty to digest vegetables I was left with a diet of mostly meat / eggs / mayonnaise / cheese and nuts. Much like my childhood spent Country When Country Wasn’t Cool – I was freakin’ Paleo / Primal (whichever one allows dairy) before it was cool. 🙄   I would read online message boards daily. The ‘leaders’ everywhere preached all the time that you just could not mix carbs and fat and they had me scared to death of the tiniest amount of carbs. I was becoming a restrictive nutcase.

Durning the entire weightloss process I was also taking Methotrexate – a strong medication for joint pain / inflammation that you take once a week with a large meal. I had no problems with it until going low carb. I guess my stomach needed the starchy carbs to absorb / blunt some of the side effects. I ended up with a torn up stomach / extreme acid reflux and later an ulcer.

Up to this point I’d lost 90 something pounds but when the ulcer came along I had to give up on low carb. It took 7 month (and a ton of medication) to heal the ulcer. During that time I gained back about 40 pounds.

When the ulcer finally healed it was time to restart the weight loss but I knew I’d never do low carb again. I had no interest in low fat either as low carb had taught me to throw out processed margarine and oils in favor of real butter / coconut oil / nut oils / creams / etc and I was never going back to the fake crap again.

Before I could get started on any kind of weightloss ‘plan’ I got pneumonia and was pretty much stuck sitting / sleeping in a chair for 2 weeks. One sleepless night I was watching Oprah and she was interviewing Portia de Rossi about her book. She talked about her lifelong struggle with restrictive eating disorders and about how she healed them by stopping to demonize food. Now granted she’s a vegan and I have no interest in that at all – I mean I am from Texas after all. I’m pretty sure not eating meat is a jailable offense here. 😉 But the whole interview resonated so much with me and if I were ever going to contact a celebrity it would be her to say thanks for sharing her story. I decided right then and there that as soon as I was well I was going to just eat and live. I bought a bunch of measuring spoons / cups and a food scale and never looked back. I started eating / drinking whatever I wanted but only one serving. If the package said 1 oz or 1 / 2 cup or 10 pieces was a serving that’s what I ate. I never counted calories or carbs or fat or protein and I lost the 40 I’d regained during the ulcer plus about 25 more.

Prior to the celiac diagnosis I still wanted to lose maybe 20 – 30 more (I don’t actully have a scale in the house – just weigh at Dr / blood appointments) but I’d already decided that if this was as far I could go without resricting then this is where I’d happily stay. I just did not want to go back to being that obsessive nutcase worrying about (or crying) over restricting food.

But here I am – having to restrict and not even by choice (complete with the occassional tear).

It was really hard at first. I had worked so very hard at not demonizing food and now I have to demonize a whole class. On top of the diagnosis I was scared of regaining the weight but so far so good – I’m just holding steady. I’ve stuck with measuring out portions really well for everything except soft drinks. I gave myself some leeway with that since the diagnosis was such an emotional shock. Prior to the diagnosis I was having 1 – 3 soft drinks a week and now it’s pretty much a 1 a day thing. I do hope to rein that in someday soon but for now I can live with it.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

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One response to “Weight Loss, Lupus, Food Restriction and Celiac

  1. Pingback: Food. Body Issues. And Blog Content | Rural Route Lupiac

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