At half term, we took the three children camping in France. It was a seven hour drive from Calais to the campsite (although with stops it took us ten), and we stayed in the Dordogne region for 7 warm and wonderful nights.
I’ve been gluten free fairly consistently since I was diagnosed as coeliac in 2014. I relaxed things a bit after having baby F, and then in France, I relaxed things a lot. An awful lot. You know how it is in France – lovely croissants, lovely baguettes, lovely madeleines, lovely everything glutenful and lovely… mmmm.
So we had a very laid back holiday and I ate lots. And I felt fine! Which was great. But then when we got home, two weeks ago, I found myself buying croissants and eating bread again, simply because I had been eating it in France.
And then I started to notice some digestive problems. I don’t know if the bread in France, being mostly freshly made, is just better tolerated by me, or if there is a bit of delay between starting to eat gluten and actually feeling the effects in my body, but about 12 days after getting back I was really uncomfortable, bloated, miserable and in pain. The symptoms kind of crept up on me slowly, getting worse until I felt pretty diabolical. I started to get horrible stomach cramps on top of a sore, bloated stomach and it was only then that it occurred to me that it might be the daily consumption of bread/pastries that was the problem.
I feel like a bit of an idiot for being so dismissive of what was a massive problem for me in the past. It was especially noticeable when I went running, because although I am carrying a bit of extra weight around my stomach, it started to feel like I had a bag of water strapped to my waist with the way everything was wobbling and sloshing around.
So, I’ve learnt an interesting lesson. Gluten really is absolutely awful for me. It really does make me feel horrible. Obviously I knew all of this, but I had kind of forgotten it. When you watch other people eating it all the time with no obvious problem it becomes easy to convince yourself that it can’t be that bad. But it really is. My body hates it. So I am recommitting to a 100% gluten free diet and hoping that my poor stomach settles down and stops being so uncomfortable.
I have also signed up for a 21 day healthy eating challenge, which is being run by a local nutritionist I met at a business breakfast meeting last month. I am really excited about it! It starts on 3rd July, so I’ll blog about how it goes.
Update: I wrote this over the weekend and I have stopped eating gluten again. I did a run this morning, Flatter stomach, no pain, and I took almost a minute off my current 5km time, bringing it to 33:22. Hurrah!