Goodbye Diets! Hello, Experiments!

It’s crazy to think that only a little over a year ago now, I was still stuck on the diet roller-coaster!

After 20+ years of dieting, in April of 2021, I became intrigued by the idea of “Intuitive Eating”.

It was at that moment, that I decided to not only stop dieting, but to say, “Sayonara!”, to the scale as well.

HUGE moment in my life.

There’s something very terrifying about deciding to “listen to your body” when all you’ve ever done is follow an eating plan, or binge.

What does that even mean…

“Listen to your body?!”

For the first few months, I basically ate whatever I wanted.

Fast food for lunch?

OK!

Marble Slab every day?

OK!

All the chocolate!?

OK!

This all seemed too good to be true, and honestly, it made me truly happy to be partaking in foods I actually ENJOYED eating.

After following meal plans forever, I honestly didn’t even know which foods I actually liked anymore.

Now, this little thing I had going was fine for a while, until I started to feel rather crappy.

Who knew that using fast food, ice cream, and chocolate as fuel could only get you so far?!

Now, this is typically how Intuitive Eating goes, especially if you’re a dieter.

When you’re finally able to freely eat all those “taboo” foods that have been restricted for so long, it feels glorious, and you want them all.

However, once you realize you’re not feeling so hot, you then adjust to “listening” to your body.

Well, what I did… was go back to what I call… “Restricted Intuitive Eating”.

Now, if you’re thinking…

“What?!  THAT doesn’t sound intuitive at all!”…

You’re correct.

It.is.not.

I found myself trying to CONTROL my “intuition”. 

This basically went on for the entire year, and was QUITE a journey.

Although difficult, frustrating, and emotional, I learned a ton from the process, and can honestly say I broke myself of 20+ years of dieting which let me tell you…

I never thought would happen.

I also learned how much easier it is to listen to my body when a scale is out of the equation.

There’s something so wonderfully satisfying about truly ENJOYING your food, and not wondering or worrying about how it will affect your weigh-in day… come Thursday.

Fast forward to the end of April 2022 where I decided to embark on a gluten-free experiment.

Now, YES…

Diets, no more!

“Experiments” however, I’m surprisingly OK with, and I actually encourage people to do them!

There is something comforting about an “experiment”.

When experimenting, you go at it as though you’re a scientist trying to find a solution to a problem. 

There’s a timeframe and an end date.

You’re not gluten-free FOREVER.  You’re gluten-free FOR NOW.

Once you have your results, you can decide where you’ll go from there, based on your findings.

My main reasons for deciding to give this a go was because I had been feeling SUPER bloated lately, my anxiety had been rather high, my brain fog was quite dense, and studies have shown gluten can have an effect on all of the above.

So I figured, WHAT THE HECK!?  I’m curious.  Let’s do this.

But remember, I hadn’t stepped on a scale since April of 2021!

And although YES, the way I felt was the biggest factor in going forward with the experiment, I also wanted number data.

Whatever would I do!?

Enter… brilliant husband.

HE had the idea to take down my weight and measurements, and I wouldn’t see them.

And yes…

As someone who likes to be in control of the situation..

This was difficult and terrifying!

But it was a solution to the problem, and a great one at that!

And talk about accountability!

Because I knew he knew my numbers, and would most definitely be checking again in a few weeks, it kept me extremely committed to my three-week long experiment.

From May 1st to May 21st, I tried my very best to be gluten-free.

Now, there were a few days where some gluten slipped in, but the majority of the time, I remained on point.

Here’s what I found…

For one, it’s not that hard to be gluten-free!

There are SO MANY OPTIONS including lots of natural ones, and we got to experiment with some super yummy, new recipes.

Ya know what, though?!

I didn’t feel great!

I almost felt MORE anxious, had tons of stomach issues, and felt more lethargic.

I can honestly say, I personally feel better with gluten in my diet.

Now, I had experimented with this in the past, but all I remembered was that I had less bloat, and this took place at a time where being skinny was of utmost importance.

As far as the number data goes…

I lost 6.1 pounds and 9.75 total inches in 21 days.

Now, although I know these differences, I still have no idea what my actual weight and measurements were, and I don’t want to know.

I do not believe however that restricting gluten was the cause of these number dips.

Here’s what I truly believe:

  1. We were eating out less, and cooking more at home.
  2. I was choosing healthier and more nutritious options; even when eating out.
  3. I was eating less processed foods.
  4. I was drinking less alcohol.
  5. I was back to my early morning workouts, and remained consistent with what I was doing.

Healthier choices all around and consistent movement, Monday-Friday, are what I believe were the true reasons for the decrease in weight and inches.

Now, these were MY findings, and they happened in just a few short weeks that were going to pass whether I experimented or not.

If you have a suspicion gluten is affecting you, or anything for that matter, I encourage you to try an experiment!

I find three weeks is plenty of time to get a good feel for how the foods are affecting me, but feel free to do less or more. Cater it to your own body and its needs.

I’d be curious to see what you find.

The truth is, it’s easy to blame dairy, gluten, or carbs for lack of weight loss or how we feel, but for many of us, it simply comes down to the choices we’re making.

I had to laugh while eating out one night and being in awe of how much less bloated I felt without gluten…

When I also had to face the fact that I ordered salmon and broccoli as opposed to my typical at this particular restaurant; a juicy loaded burger and fries.

If you DO decide to experiment, make sure you’re doing it because it’s something you want to do, and not because someone else is saying it’s the best.

Everyone has opinions, but they do not know YOUR body.  You do.

Also… make sure it’s because you want to feel great, and not solely to have that “summer bod” or to be “skinny”.

I have been “skinny” quite a few times throughout my life, and I have to tell you, I’ve never felt better in my body, mind or soul than when I’m eating what my body truly wants until I’m satisfied; even if that means I have some extra meat on my bones.

If you ever want guidance or are looking for a Health or Life Coach…

Never hesitate to reach out!

You have my word; I promise to never push you into anything!

So don’t be afraid to send me a message, and start a chat if coaching has ever interested you.

I’m more than happy to answer your questions.

You can also find, follow, and/or message me @pacifythechaos on Instagram.

Experiment with different foods, listen to your body, and learn to love the way you’re beautifully made.

Life is too short to feel anything but good.

Published by Laurel

I'm a mama of three, teacher by degree(s), and a dual-certified health & life coach. My passion lies in helping those with kids in their lives PRIORITIZE themselves and their overall health and well-being, so they can fully enjoy their lives and those kiddos! It is my belief that we cannot be everything our kids need us to be unless we’re taking care of ourselves! Here we connect, reflect, learn how to prioritize ourselves, become aware, and gain insight as to HOW we can “pacify” that “chaos” that is life! You are not alone, My Friends! We’re in this together! 💞 Follow me on Instagram @pacifythechaos

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