Some days it feels like there just isn't enough coffee in the world to make this Monday thing happen! This week, it's even more of a challenge because I'm still trying to get my act together from being on vacation the past three weeks. I graduated the Saturday before we left, drop and ditched all of my stuff in the garage Sunday night, packed my bags, and left for Europe at 4am Wednesday morning. I forgot about the fact that I had all that crap in the garage on top of unpacking and battling jet lag from the 9 hour time difference! Oh yeah, and that elephant in the room that is my competition prep.. Being back on lower calories (coach brought them up for Europe) has me back at square one while my body tries to adjust. Unfortunately, adjusting pretty much involves my energy levels plummeting. I was pretty easy going with things while I was on vacation, but now it's time to get back on the wagon and get things rolling again for my show in October.
For those of you who don't know, I have had stomach issues going on for almost a year now. I have been picked, prodded, scanned, and tested to death, only to be told that they don't really know what is wrong with me for sure. They have pretty much settled on IBS, which I understand as the answer when they don't know the answer.. It's pretty painful when it acts up and it's frustrating that I don't know exactly what causes it. Upon being recommended to get off gluten, soy, and dairy to start with, I swore off gluten and soy and cut back my dairy (never fully eliminating it). I have been off of the others about 9 months now. While I found some relief with the dietary changes, I still had pretty bad flare ups often, making me just want to give up on ever finding the answer.
When I went to Europe, I was nervous. I was nervous about describing my issues with gluten and soy to chefs that didn't speak my language. I had a lot of anxiety about how my stomach would feel and I didn't want to miss out on any piece of my trip, especially the yummy foods along the way! At first, I was so afraid that I didn't want to eat anything I couldn't control, but I had to let my guard down eventually. And I did. And you know what? I was okay. I am still okay. For the first time in 9 months, I had bread on more than one occasion. I tried a few bites of my mom's pasta, and I felt okay. I had my first sandwich in a year while I was there too. I said a prayer, and took a chance, and it somehow worked out. Yes, my stomach still had a few flare ups, like always, but I'm starting to think that the gluten may not be the culprit, or at least not the only culprit. While it's a relief that I might be able dance with the devil called gluten on occasion, it's almost more disappointing that I'm back in the sea of the unknown when it comes to what is causing my health problems.
So what do I do now? Well, I'm keeping gluten and soy out for the most part still because I really do think that most people feel better without them. When I do want a treat, though, I'm going to try it. I'm also playing with making homemade bread and pastas like I learned in Europe, so we'll see how things go. Sometimes, ya just gotta roll with it.
Today's agenda calls for patience and hope. Two things I'm not always so good at, so it's time to get to work!