It's been a while...The last few weeks have been SO busy. I've had classes 4 days a week and work in the lab 3 days a week. I feel like I've hardly had time to breathe. Our apartment is a mess, I haven't had a hot meal in weeks. I have been eating the basics- turkey, bell peppers, tomatoes, avocado, crackers, fruit. My exercise has been the basics as well- biking back and forth around town, workouts with Mike. I've been running on autopilot. I'm down to 209.4 pounds, which puts me at 52.2 pounds down. My Saturday and Wednesday classes are over now and my Tuesday class ends next week. So I'm finally going to be back to a regular schedule. I can finally get some hot meals again. And rest some. I finally tried on some clothes and got really upset because with all this weight loss I'm only down 1 waist size in pants and 1 size in shirts (and by some makers, not even 1 size). Apparently I am losing most slowly from my waist. I feel a bit like a Tim Burton character- little tiny legs, big belly. My body shape has definitely changed and I am definitely losing weight. No question about that. But the way I'm losing it is so disproportionate that I have no need to buy new clothes yet. I'm certainly not going to buy clothes for each waist size all the way down. I think this is why so many people I know have not really mentioned that I'm smaller because I'm still in the same clothes. They can't really see that I've lost that much. In that way it's a bit disheartening. So my therapist mentioned that maybe I have a wheat allergy. She said that food allergies can cause all sorts of things from anxiety to mood swings to depression to bloating and so on. She thought maybe I'm bloating around the midsection and that's why I'm only one size down. I looked up information on it online. I certainly don't have any serious allergy to wheat because that would be Celiac's disease, which is as dangerous as peanut allergies, lethal. But apparently there is a wheat intolerance, which I may have. And maybe I have some milder version of an allergy, or I may be allergic to other foods. I thought about it and my mother has many food allergies. I am tired all the time, no matter what. I'm just always tired. I have the dark circles around my eyes that come from allergies. I had always thought it was because I'm allergic to pet dander and dust, but I have no pets anymore and our place is not so dusty that I sneeze from dust anymore. My asthma doesn't react the way the doctors tell me asthma happens. A lot of the time I feel it in my throat, not my lungs. Maybe I'm allergic to something I eat. So I talked with Manuel about it and he said if I want to try 6 weeks gluten free (6 weeks is the amount of time a body needs to clear something out of the system) I could do that and see what happens. He gave me a list of things to avoid. He said that anytime someone eats something so consistently (like everyday) for years they can gain an intolerance to it and their system then doesn't want it anymore. I eat wheat several times a day every day. I can't think of a day before I made this decision where I didn't eat wheat. I just can't think of a single one. And I am a bread addict. I love bread. Especially yeasty, dense, hot bread with huge gobs of butter on it. I could eat that quite happily every day. I have now replaced the bread and crackers with sweet potatoes, lentils, rice crackers, quinoa. We'll see how it goes. But I can tell you that in the few days that I've been doing this (5 days so far) the dark circles under my eyes have lightened and I am not nearly anywhere close to as anxious about anything. I just haven't had the same physical reaction to stress. That's an interesting surprise to me. Mike, my trainer, is very excited about the idea of going non-wheat and non-dairy. He says that about 80% of the white population has a gluten intolerance and he has been gluten and dairy free for a while, but every once in a while has a bread product and doesn't feel too well afterward. He would also prefer that I go off any processed foods. At the moment I don't see myself ever completely getting all wheat out of my diet. I really love doughnuts, bread and cakes, and crackers and cereal. I can find cereals without gluten for sure. bread is harder to find. And I wouldn't trust a gluten free doughnut. So that's where I stand right now. I've passed the 50lbs mark. I'm trying to see if I have an allergy. I'm hoping that, if I do, I will lose some waist sizes to bloating, but I'm not counting on it. If I don't lose some to bloating, we'll have to look at if there is some other thing I'm doing that's keeping my waist so close to its original size or if this is just how I lose weight right now. I hope you all are well.

Author: Kelley Clements, Commit to Fit winner 2010