elimination diet

What I Learned Doing an Elimination Diet

About nine months ago an unfamiliar rash showed up on my torso.  Long story short, I visited my dermatologist and general practitioner, tried various creams and even oral meds with no improvement.  

Eventually she said it was likely Grover’s Disease and it’ll go away at some point.  (Ok.  I guess it’s a good thing I don’t prance around in a bikini every day.  Lol!)  

Wanting to get some answers, I decided that I would try to eliminate some common foods that cause allergic responses in the body…things like gluten, eggs, dairy, and added sugars.  I found a simple elimination diet, nothing crazy. I simply wanted to become a bit more aware of what was going into my body to see if I noticed a difference when I eliminated some of those common culprits.  

Long story short, after following the elimination diet, I still have the rash and will wait it out.  

What I learned along the way was that too much attention on the food that I consume is a trigger to going back to old ways of thinking and acting in regards to food, weight loss, and body image. 

This elimination diet had me focusing, once again, on weight loss.  

Although my intentions were to determine if I had some sort of allergic response to a food, I became more interested in whether the elimination of certain foods might help me lose some weight.  

Now, I don’t have a scale, haven’t had one for years.  Still, I can pretty much look at my stomach to figure out if I’ve lost weight or not.  

Spending extra time assessing my stomach in the morning became a daily occurrence.  

The elimination diet also had me giving food too much focus. 

My thoughts were consumed with what to eat and the things I couldn’t eat.  I had feelings of missing out on certain foods and sometimes I would overeat others just to compensate.  

The elimination diet affected my choices before it even began. 

I chose to start the elimination diet right after Christmas.  So the weeks leading up to Christmas I knew this was the plan.  Because of that, I found myself eating foods and amounts of various foods that I wouldn’t eat otherwise simply because I wouldn’t have them for a while. 

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What I learned during the 30 days of eliminating certain foods

Restriction is a trigger for me. 

  • I was in elementary school when I went on my first diet because of excessive worry about my weight.  From that point, I spent most of my life on a quest to lose weight by following a variety of diets that included what to eat and calorie counting. 

I am more mindful and in tune with my body’s needs when I’m not being told what I can and can not eat

  • I had a sense that I was missing out the entire time I was following this diet. Therefore I made up by eating more of an “allowed” food when I didn’t really want it.  

I spent most of the 30 days frustrated. 

  • Why? I wasn’t seeing results anywhere! My rash wasn’t getting better.  My belly wasn’t getting flatter. I had expectations about how this elimination diet was supposed to go and it simply didn’t.  

A few things my dermatologist did advise me to do was take Vitamin A, eliminate tomatoes and tomato products, and limit added sugar and processed foods.  But in the end, there is no clear plan of treatment for this rash.  

So I’m back to listening to my body, observing how it responds to foods, and honoring it in the best way that I know how.  

Thus continues my journey of living fit and free.  

I’m reminded that we are all a work in progress.  Our body is constantly changing. Our lives are constantly changing.  We must learn to adapt to and honor this age and stage of life always living to feel good in the body we have right now, not yesterday or the one we can only imagine it to be tomorrow, not the body 5-10 pounds from now, this body, on this day.  

I do believe that there is a time and place for an elimination diet if you’re trying to get some answers about your health.  I simply advise you to proceed with caution if diets are a trigger for you.  

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