I have been gluten-free, or at least to my knowledge gluten-free, for almost two years. I’m 49 years old. I have been very thin all my life regardless of what I have eaten. In grammar school my nickname was ‘Oliveoil’ and I was teased because of my skinny legs which were out of proportion with my knobby knees and over-sized feet. Even during my pregnancy, I gained only the baby’s weight and the weight necessary to develop the baby. When I was eight months pregnant, a stranger once remarked that I looked like a rope with a knot tied in it. In my early and mid-forties I still maintained my maximum weight of 116 pounds with little effort. I am 5’5". I’ve always had a healthy appetite and enjoyed being able to eat all the typically fattening treats that my friends could not without gaining weight. I was immune to weight gain and enjoyed every minute of it, even flaunted my super-human ability to look cheesecake in the face, gobble it up and retain my thin figure. Over-weight women hated me, I was lucky, or so I thought. Of course, I had no idea that my gift of being naturally thin was the gift of Celiac Disease. I was unable to absorb food or its nutrients. My symptoms manifested themselves with acute anemia. So although I was thin, I periodically became exhausted, and not knowing the real cause, I attributed this to over-exercising or over-working. So that’s the past. Here’s the present:
I am not anemic anymore, I have more energy and am not concerned that I will have a heart attach because my heart is over-working with even minor activity, that’s the good news. The bad news is I am gaining weight. In the past, if I gained 2 or 3 pounds, I would eat a salad for lunch for a couple of days and I would be right back on track. I have always exercised, but was able to skip the gym for a couple of months with no negative affects. Not anymore. Now I have to work at it, just like everyone else. I have to be aware of my calorie and fat intake and make sure I get regular exercise. I have found that it now takes commitment and effort to maintain my weight. It’s not impossible, just more work. So, I consider my options:
Option 1: Eat the way I used to and let the rolls fall where they may.
Option 2: Omit all fats and sugars from my diet, or
Option 3: Eat sensibly and stick to a regular exercise program.
Reject Option 1 because I can’t afford a whole new wardrobe and my husband really hates this option. Reject Option 2 because I have already given up so many ‘forbidden’ foods on a gluten-free diet that I refuse to give up fat, which makes everything taste better and sugar which is good for my psyche. So, Option 3 it is. I acknowledge that I have become a mere mortal in the war against fat and cellulite. I must face my vulnerability and get on that treadmill and try to out-run gravity and the enemy, fat. To those of you who share this phat phenomenon, don’t despair. The key lies in what we’ve always known and have always been told. The best formula for a healthy body is to eat right and get regular exercise. I believe that no fad diet, or new magic formula will produce better results than that piece of advice. As we have all learned, living on a gluten-free diet requires adjustments in how we’ve always done things, adding regular exercise to that list of adjustments is the healthiest way to control your weight and enjoy gluten-free cooking.