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Hi. I'm Michele. And sometimes…. sometimes I just want to give up this strict diet and lifestyle of mine and eat whatever I want.
I try to be a mainly positive person and even when I have negative thoughts I have made a conscious effort lately to not express them out loud. But you know what? Sometimes things just need to be said. And maybe a few of you reading this will identify with the feelings I've had and understand you aren't alone in this.
I just got back from a wonderful week-long trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Sun, sand, palm trees, warm temps, and all-inclusive everything. A gorgeous, relaxing tropical paradise. But let's back up to that all-inclusive everything…. I've already shared on the blog numerous times that when I go on vacation I tend to eat more gluten-free than Paleo. Especially when I go somewhere like Mexico where there is so much corn and dairy. Corn and dairy don't treat me well – I get bloated and gassy but I usually just overlook that for the duration of my trip. Though that's kind of hard sometimes when you've spent the prior few months trying to get bikini-ready, looking freakin fantastic when you leave for your trip, and you eat ONE meal of corn and dairy and look like you are suddenly 6 months pregnant. UGH!
Anyway, the all-inclusive resort we stay at usually does a pretty good job of letting us know what is gluten-free and last year we really had no issues. This year though there was a different main chef and from our first meal it was a bit unclear as to what was actually gluten-free in the breakfast/lunch restaurant as well as what you could get by the pool. I always bring a Celiac Card in Spanish with me so that I can show that to the chef, but we seemed to get 3 different stories from 3 different cooks on what had gluten in it and what didn't. I hate the feeling of panic I get when I don't know if what I'm eating is safe or not! We wound up eating the few things at that meal that everyone seemed to agree were gluten-free and left it at that.
But we had 6 more days there… Each day I got increasingly more bold with what I ate and there were not just one, but SEVERAL times I almost said F it and wanted to pile my plate high with churros, fried food, and pastries. I'm not sure if it was the vacation mentality that I wanted a break from everything or just because there was all this food just sitting in front of me, tempting me, but I haven't had strong temptation like this in a long time.
Being Celiac and staying away from all things wheat and gluten is not too terribly hard at home. We just simply don't buy things that have gluten in them, and I live in an area in Colorado where almost every restaurant has gluten-free options. Our routine of making the majority of our own food was difficult and time consuming at first but now that's all we know so we are used to it. Are there times I want to give up? Sure! But I don't just because I know how I feel when I do eat gluten and stray away from Paleo and it's not pleasant. And when you have an autoimmune disease like Celiac, combined with one that is most likely a direct result of the Celiac disease (Hashimoto's), we are talking months of recovery with all sorts of negative ramifications from even one cheat. Hence, why I don't cheat.
However, while on vacation I was having a REALLY hard time remembering all of that. Feeling somewhat sorry for myself that all these other people around me could eat whatever they wanted and I had to stick to my restrictions. Wondering what I had done wrong in my life to deserve this. Wishing I was one of those people who just didn't care about food and have memories about how good a freshly made churro is. Just wanting to go up to the buffet and take whatever I wanted, not worrying about what might be in the sauce or spice mixtures.
In the end though I didn't cheat. And now that I am back at home, I'm super glad I didn't. I would have had a tan plus a few months of unpleasant symptoms that I had spent the last few months getting back under control. The tan would have faded well before the symptoms did.
I share this with you to let you know that if you feel this way sometimes, you aren't alone. We all go through it, sometimes more frequently than others or with a stronger pull than others. If you do cheat you are not a failure (though if you are like me and get depression as one of your Celiac/Hashi's symptoms you might feel that way!). I don't think anyone chooses to eat a restrictive diet for no particular reason. We are all doing it for some reason or another – whether it is to lose weight or stop feeling so damn tired all the time or to get rid of a myriad of symptoms. So it's only human that we want to NOT do the restrictive diet every so often. This is definitely one reason I'm starting up the community aspect of my Thriving On Paleo Club – to be support for those of us who choose or have to live this way. Much easier to do this with others than feel like you are all alone and the only person ever to feel a certain way. Chances are, you aren't and having a supportive community around you can help you out so much when struggling.