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Published February 18, 2014, 04:03 PM

50/50: ‘Gluten’ for punishment

Numbers – blah. I probably shouldn’t have put so much emphasis on them, but then the column is named 50/50, so I guess it makes sense. Otherwise it would have been named something like “Feel Better in a Year,” but that just sounds silly.

By: Susie Ekberg Risher, INFORUM

Numbers – blah. I probably shouldn’t have put so much emphasis on them, but then the column is named 50/50, so I guess it makes sense. Otherwise it would have been named something like “Feel Better in a Year,” but that just sounds silly.

I could’ve taken measurements, but I think I was afraid to see them. I started out strong with that epic seven-pound weight loss in the first week and a half, and then – crickets chirping as morning after morning I jump on the scale, optimistic, enthusiastic, knowing those numbers will magically keep creeping lower and lower.

But after five weeks I was down just 10 pounds (most of that was water weight, I’m sure). I’ve heard it all:

“Muscle weighs more than fat.”

“Give it a month, or two or three.”

“You’ll start losing again.”

“You won’t start losing again – you’re 53. It’s hopeless.”

“Hormones.”

“Menopause.”

“Full moon.”

“Mercury just went retrograde.”

I want to feel good, make healthy choices AND see those numbers get smaller.

I haven’t “cheated” at all (except for that tiny sliver of warm homemade German chocolate cake I made Hubby for his birthday, but that was totally understandable). I’ve marked every single thing I’ve put into my mouth, even the Bach’s Rescue Gum I’ve started chewing because all of this health stuff has made me kind of anxious.

I’ve walked my 70,000 steps every week and have even added in weights, planking and extra dancing in the kitchen.

I’ve been told I should give up gluten, all animal products, dairy, soy, wine, and fast food, but I worry about the concept of giving things up. I think that’s where we can get into trouble, don’t you think?

If you keep denying yourself things, your body’s going to mutiny and say, “Nuh-uh – if you take away my (insert something yummy here), I’m going to puff out right here (insert chubby body part here).”

I’m trying to figure it out. I really am.

So last week, just for the fun of it, I decided to go without gluten for a while to see if that made a difference.

Day 1 was fine. I eat oatmeal or egg-white frittatas for breakfast most days anyway and just made sure to eat the organic wild rice instead of the spaghetti my son had made.

The next morning I had lost a pound!

Maybe it was just a coincidence, so I continued on to Day 2 of no gluten.

The next morning I was down another half-pound. It still could just be that my body had jump-started on its own.

Day 3: I swear I have done nothing different in my routine. When I weighed myself the morning of Day 4? Down another 2 pounds for a total of 3½ pounds lost in three days.

By Day 5, I am down a total of 5 pounds in five days. I’m a believer.

I don’t think this is a coincidence anymore. I’m feeling great, so I’m busily researching gluten sensitivity and watching many Dr. Oz episodes online. I’m still not wanting to go 100 percent gluten free permanently at this point because I like options, but if this clears up my migraines, brain fog, joint aches, irritable bowel syndrome and my “extra-luscious”-sized belly, I’m certainly more than excited to prance down the road to feeling better AND seeing those numbers march ever closer to their desired target.

Susie Ekberg Risher is a writer living in Fargo. Follow her on a yearlong journey to lose 50 pounds – half through emotional work and half through physical effort. Readers can reach her at tall_susie@yahoo.com.

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