Wheat Intolerance, Pizza + Body Dysmorphia

March 26, 2010

I haven’t eaten wheat in four days. FOUR days. Yesterday, I forgot myself completely and almost dove head first into a pan of cinnamon rolls. The day before my legs hurt so badly it felt like someone was stabbing me. Today, about ten pounds of bloated awful has magically disappeared. This is what happens when you have a gluten intolerance.

You could feel any number of the wide ranging symptoms, but I’m fortunate enough to exhibit: fatigue, mood, swings, bloating, feeling of general disgust, and, ultimately, the complete inability to tell where my body ends and the atmosphere around it begins. If you’ve never felt this way, let me describe it to you with three words – Jabba the Hut. Or that guy from the Candyland game, the one named Gloppy who lives in the molasses swamp and whose body is gelatinous and dripping.

Now this is not to say that it makes me fat, or that I’m saying there is anything wrong with being fat, what I’m trying to depict to you is the out of control, uncontained, scarily disgusting feeling that eating wheat creates in my life.

And – YET – I just can’t get enough. It’s true, marzipanligs, lets just say that my behavior regarding wheat exists within the realm of *compulsive* eating. I CAN stop, but I frequently choose not to, as if I am temporarily brain washed or in some sort of coma of rampant food consuming haze. Once I stopped for a year – dairy, wheat, sugar, and booze. Cold turkey and completely. And I had never felt better; my skin was clear, I had tons and tons of energy, and I felt like my body moved in a singular unit, as opposed to a collection of many disjointed parts.

So you’d think that it would be a simple choice right? Wheat free and merrily skipping around with my youthful energy?? Wrong. It is harder for me than anything that I can possibly imagine, and something that I feel like I struggle with at every meal. And the more that I’ve been working with my compulsive eating, the more that I realize how important it is for me to make healthier food choices.

Eating wheat literally makes me sick, but as far as food allergies go, it’s on the low end of the totem pole. It’s not going to kill me, or close my throat, or make my eyes swell up, but it does affect my quality of life. This makes it different than the typical compulsive eating battle where my brain knows that eating seven cupcakes will add to my struggle with my body weight, but I do it anyway. If you are allergic to something, your body responds to it like poison.

Last month I challenged myself to do yoga everyday, a practice that I came to LOVE, and this month I’m challenging myself to give up wheat for a month in the hopes that – MAYBE – this time I can make it a habit that sticks.

Is there anything that you’re doing that you love but know it’s bad for you?