It’s January 1, 2020 and I’m back in my home country of Thailand with my whole family.
Am I excited about this new decade?
Am I happy to be by the ocean with coconut trees and warm sunshine?
Am I grateful to be with my whole family (including my parents and brother)?
But you know what I was actually most excited about when the clock turned to 2020?
The end of my gluten-free year!
A year ago I made a resolution to go gluten-free for a year.
I was in Japan, and holiday stollen bought at a 7/11 in Hiroshima was my last gluten-full bite before we said hello to 2019.
There was a bit of sadness, and grief, if I’m honest.
But I was keen on making and following this resolution as I had several reasons to “go gluten-free,” some were health related, but not all.
Here are some positive and negative takeaways from my 365 days of no-gluten.
First, the positives:
- I benefited from considerably less hay fever symptoms. In the Spring, I usually suffer from the usual itchy, water eyes and throat symptoms from trees/flowers/grass allergies for about 6 weeks. I generally suppress the symptoms with over the counter medicines. This past Spring, I had very minor symptoms during those 6 weeks, so I didn’t need to take any medications. A total revelation!
- I have Oral Allergy Syndrome to some raw fruits (it’s related to my hay fever). I found out that without gluten in my system, I could eat the fruits quite happily.
- I was proud of myself for sticking with my resolution all year long.
Now, for the negatives:
- I found myself falling on diet mentality thoughts occasionally. Even if I knew that it’s my decision to “go gluten free,” there were times when I still felt deprived, restricted, or limited. My brain reverted back to being a kid and wanted to throw tantrums which resulted in #2.
- I missed certain foods, like a really good loaf of bread, so I would compensate with overeating something else.
- I gained a few pounds a result of #1 and #2.
Over all, I’m glad I did this year experiment. It provided me a lot of learning opportunities, and it’s allowing me to move forward anew and wiser, hopefully!
Even though I seem to have some sensitivities to gluten, giving myself permission to have it if I choose proves to be the healthier way to approach my life.
Starting today, January 1, 2020, I declare myself a free-range eater.
I broke the gluten-free year today with a piece of mediocre holiday fruit cake!
Moving forward, I can attempt to call myself something: a flexitarian, an omnivore, a normal eater, etc… but really, what I will do or eat from now on will be uniquely what works for me.
A “free range eater” me will make decisions according to what makes me feel good.
I will eat foods that:
- serve my body.
- serve my mind.
- make me happy physically and emotionally.
Most of all, I will be intentional about what I do so that I feel in charge of my own life.
When we feel in charge, we are empowered to make decisions that serve us. When we feel in charge, we don’t require anything else to make us feel good because we get to make the decisions that make us feel good.
Will I always make good choices?
Will I aim to be 100% perfect?
Will I attempt to be better than before?
More than good enough, perfection 88% of the time, is what will work for me.
How will YOU live a life that is healthy, peaceful, and meaningful without the pressure to be perfect?