It happened fast. We had been on GAPS for about 2.5 months, and then BAM! It hit us like a mack truck. The cravings, the inability to resist, the belief that it would be so worth it….
The last couple of weeks have been… guilt-inducing. A few weeks ago, we had tea with our landlady at our favorite place here in town. The Tea House offers a mouth-watering selection of homemade desserts, and we had been doing amazingly well until then – no cheating whatsoever (except for using baking powder once, which caused me painful stomach cramps). We sat down, placed our tea order, looked at each other… and ordered a piece of French lemon pie. We reasoned that we were curious to see if there would be any reaction, especially with Aliza, via my breastmilk. Up until that point she had always thrown up a ton when exposed to the many foods I had been tested as being sensitive to (cow dairy, wheat, corn, etc). Well, the good news is… no reaction from Aliza, and we felt mostly fine as well (we felt a little stiff and sore, and then came down with colds the next day, but we aren’t sure if that was coincidental. Sugar does weaken the immune system…).
To our great shame, that was the catalyst for a hard fall into cheating around every corner. We have continued to cheat and have eaten lots of non-GAPS foods, including some non-Real/Traditional foods. We have honestly been quite disappointed with ourselves. I do think that it’s possible that it would be ok for us to transition off of GAPS and onto a Traditional/Real Food diet at some point soon, but the way we did it was much too abrupt (and we should not be eating the processed/junk stuff at all). We were eating “mostly” GAPS still, especially at home, but cheating when we were out (we attempted to keep Isaac’s cheating very minimal because he struggled for so long with tummy issues).
It’s been a couple of weeks now (and I’ve been meaning to blog about this for a while now, but have not found time nor courage to admit my failure), and the cheating is really beginning to catch up with me, physically. I have really begun to feel run down, fatigued beyond reason, and achy all over. For the last couple of days I have felt nauseous, achy, exhausted, bloated and gassy, depressed, dizzy/woozy at times, and congested (but I don’t have a cold). I hadn’t realized just how crappy I had been feeling on a regular basis – because this is how I used to feel all the time, without really thinking anything of it. While I was on GAPS (after getting through die-off), I felt amazing. I had more energy than I remember having in a very long time, I felt no achiness whatsoever, and I felt happy and uplifted. While I was in university, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I do believe that my fibromyalgia was being healed, and that it is now “coming back” with all the cheating I’ve done. The difference in how I felt then, and how I feel now is astounding to me.
So. What to do?
We are swallowing our pride, and getting back into the game. We are back on the full GAPS diet (as of this morning), aiming to transition off to traditional whole foods in a month or two. That is where we are now. It’s not the GAPS update I would have liked to write, but that’s our reality right now. We’re not perfect, but we’re not giving up on ourselves, and our health!
I just learned about the GAPS diet yesterday. Little did I know that I’ve been slowly following this diet for the last 6 months. This makes it so much easier to buy into, that is for sure. I was feeling so wonderful! I was relatively pain free (fibromyalgia seemed to have all but disappeared, no migraines, etc. etc) no gastro intestinal complaints, etc. etc. That is, until Thanksgiving – I was feeling so full of myself, I cheated – the pumpkin pie was so wonderful – I just had a small piece. That led to a McDonald’s hamburger and fries, and… well, you are familiar with the rest of the story. Thank you for posting your story. You are leading the way for newbies like myself.. and helping me understand what I need to do. I’ve been bedridden for the last few days – and very sick since Thanksgiving. I’ve been trying to detox for about two weeks. (I read an article somewhere along the line between yesterday afternoon and right now about how detox baths fit into the GAPS diet so I know I’m on the right path) I haven’t read “the book” yet, but I am armed with many recipes and lists of foods I can have. I’m getting a game plan together so I can make this work. I like the idea that you got to the point that you could “cheat” a little on the weekends at some point – that is very motivating. Don’t wish to go down this path again, so won’t be doing that anytime soon. Too bad, we are gearing up for Christmas – I guess I’ll just have to take my own food with me wherever I go. Good thing my friends and family are use to my “weird” dietary needs. This will just be one more evolution. I don’t think they’ll bat an eyelash.
Good for you for getting back on the diet! I so admire what you are doing, I don’t think I’d have the willpower to do it. Yes, you messed up, but you are trying again! That’s the important part. 🙂
Good job Beth! On a positive note now you know what the effects of eating the way that you don’t want to really are. I admire you for picking up and continuing on, rather than just ignoring the signs.