My journey up to this point.
Hot dogs were a staple in our house growing up. We often ate things out of a box or a bag and when my mom could afford it, we ate fast food. My mom worked several jobs so I don't blame her for going the easy route with food, but the easy route is never the healthy route. Just before starting high school I started developing allergies to fruits and vegetables. First it was bananas, then tomatoes and bell peppers, next came melons and by the time I was 16 I had so many fruits and vegetables on the CANNOT EAT list that I became very dependant on grains. Later this allergy would be diagnosed as Oral Allergy Syndrome. I became very lethargic in high school and wasn't able to make it through most classes without falling asleep. My mood changed from happy and alive to tired, sluggish, and grumpy. I had a major inability to focus on anything and started getting migraines almost weekly. Because the changes were so gradual I never realized something was wrong and just decided I was never going to be one of those people that had a lot of energy. I was steadily gaining weight despite my efforts to stay thin, I decided the best way to deal with this was to stop eating altogether. I spent about 6 months eating almost nothing and the end result of that was a weak, tired, shakey and sickly thin girl. I weighed 100 pounds and still felt like I was hugely fat and gross.
Fast forward to 2003, I married my best friend and immediately began birth control. I rapidly gained weight and being a petite 5'3, every pound I gained showed up in an exaggerated way. I looked bloated, unhealthy and unhappy. My weight went from 115 to 150, and despite hours spent at the gym and some crazy fad dieting I couldn't lose weight. My hormones were all over the place and by this time I had been tested for thyroid problems, diabetes and arthritis. I was only 19, diabetes and arthritis at 19?!?! My blood work showed I was healthy and within normal ranges, but I certainly didn't feel normal. I knew I wasn't healthy and I hated it. It was this point that I started to give up. I wasn't able to eat healthy because of my Oral Allergy Syndrome and no amount of exercise was lowering that number on the scale.
In 2007 my husband and I wanted to start our family so I went off the birth control. We spent months trying to conceive with no success at all. After talking to a fertility specialist it was decided I should go on a fertility med and just a few months after that I was pregnant. Pregnancy was crazy, I was so tired that most days I didn't get out of bed at all. I developed severe back and shoulder pain at about 4 months and wasn't able to exercise or do much more than sit up in bed. This being my first pregnancy I really had no idea what was going on. My hormones were crazy and I de-stressed with food. A LOT of food. I went from 148 pounds to 199 pounds on delivery day. I started exercising almost immediately and was able to lose 40 pounds. After my son was born I had a full blood panel drawn and was diagnosed with PCOS and insulin resistance and was put on a high dose of metformin. 5 months after my first son was born I found myself pregnant again. I wanted my kids to be close in age, but wasn't planning on having them THIS close. I spent the second pregnancy much like the first, in bed and in a lot of pain. My weight climbed back up and at delivery I was 180 lbs.
I managed to get my weight down to 167 pounds, but then I hit a wall. I did everything to get my weight down, but no matter what I did the # on the scale would only lower temporarily. I started running and doing aerobis everyday and I hated every minute of it. I wanted to spend time doing things I enjoyed! I started falling into a depression and decided to go to the doctor for help. Another blood panel was drawn and the results scared me. My cholesterol and tryglicerides were high and I need to go on yet another medication. That was it! I've had it with medications and feeling tired all the time. I was sick of being depressed over my weight. This time I was going to find out what was wrong with me. I knew I was doing something wrong with my diet so I spent the next week glued to the internet trying to find anything that could help me. I'm still not sure how I happened on a gluten free forum, but thats where this journey started. I immediately went off gluten and started getting my energy back, but I still felt a little sluggish and I knew there was something more I could do to feel even better. I came across a link to this site in someone's forum signature and the rest is history. I started dropping weight immediately and my body fat percent, which has been hovering at 36%, has started to lower also.
I'm finally excited about a "diet" and can't believe how amazing I feel! I have a long way to go before I hit my goal, but I know with this diet and proper exercise I can get there!