It has been well over a year since I first conceived a plan to start trying to help fix my endometriosis with food. The way I eat has evolved and changed a lot over the past year, and I have been so far from perfect when it comes to following any sort of “rules.”
I’m going to start this post by being extremely honest. I cheat. Some months, I cheated a lot. Other months, I did better.
When I first started changing the way I eat, I eliminated red meat, soy, and dairy. Gluten was added to the mix halfway through my first IVF cycle. I also only ate organic veggies and animal protein as much as possible. After my miscarriage however, I just went back to eating whatever the heck I wanted. While this was maybe not the best plan, after months of elimination dieting, I would still argue that it was the right plan for me. I’m an emotional eater, and my miscarriage was really difficult on us both. Eating whatever I wanted helped bring me back to a place of normalcy, and I needed that as part of my coping and grieving process.
I’ve been back to eating a basically gluten free, dairy free diet for about five months now. I have cheat days, and some weeks it’s more frequent, but I have felt pretty good throughout it all, and that is what matters most.
I came across a picture recently from last April, before I started this lifestyle change, and it made me cringe.
The photo made me look 6 months pregnant, though I obviously was not. My post is no coincidence, as I’m trying to hide my belly.
It was taken after a family gathering in Pennsylvania where I had eaten way to much, so I will give you that. However, during this period of my life, I looked like this in a lot of photos. But I didn’t actually weigh anymore than I do now. I mean, maybe a pound or two…but I think the difference is entirety bloat. Bloat, caused by consumption of gluten and dairy.
I found another photo today. It was taken during our trip to New Orleans in March, for my 34th birthday. The bloat is so bad, because this was during the time that I had stopped following the anti-inflammatory diet, post miscarriage.
When I compare these photos, with current photos of myself, the difference in uncanny.
(This picture is a couple months old, but you get the idea)…
There is very little fluctuation in weight, but the differences in inches is pretty notable. My clothes fit again, and I know longer feel self-conscious going out in public. I used to live in terror that people would think my bloat was pregnancy. I don’t have those fears anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, I still get the endometriosis bloat, but it is so much better. It is at its worst during my period, but it’s almost not worth talking about when compared to how things used to be. It used to be so bad that I couldn’t button my jeans if I was sitting, and I lived in skirts and sundresses. It’s been so nice to get back to my old jean’s wearing self again, and not feel the need to unbutton them when I’m sitting down.
Most importantly I FEEL better. Being bloated is incredibly uncomfortable, and it’s so nice not to constantly feel that way. On the pain scale, some months are worse than others, but I think that has more to do with acupuncture. On months I go to a lot of acupuncture, my cramps are much milder. On months I have to skip more sessions, they are worse. That doesn’t mean the diet doesn’t make a difference. I’m sure it does, but acupuncture has always been amazing at easing pain. So, I’m not too surprised by that.
All in all, I would say my food experiment has been a success. I know I still have a long way to go, and I am not expecting perfection. I don’t need that kind of stress. But I no longer think of this as a temporary thing. This lifestyle change has become the new normal and the more I do it, the better I get.
I miss fresh bread and cheese, but it wasn’t worth the pain it caused me.