Eating Gluten-Free–an Expression of Freedom – Guest Post

Image Source: Stock Exchange

Image Source: Stock Exchange

Food Restrictions…

….No, I’m not talking about diets.

I now—praise God—believe that all foods are permissible. And I have left dieting behind me. But here’s the rub for me – all foods are definitely not beneficial for me. For health reasons, I do have to exclude all foods that contain gluten from my eating.

About 5 years ago, I experienced several health issues and I was so relieved, after a year of misdiagnosis, when I was finally diagnosed with gluten sensitivity. In fact, I was happy to be told not to eat food with gluten. You see, this diagnosis occurred before I was freed from the diet mentality. So, I thought when I eliminated foods with gluten (bread, crackers, pastries, packaged foods, cookies) that my extra pounds would just melt away. I did experience resolution (slowly but surely) of all of my other health issues, but I was so disappointed that the weight (gained during this time of health issues) did not disappear. But the Lord met me in this place of despair and fatigue and freed me from so many strongholds. But, that’s another story for another day.

Now that I have been delivered from diets and am free to eat all foods, I have experienced frustration because I can’t really eat all foods. I have experienced the following thoughts:

“Well, since I can’t eat the __________ (bread, sandwich, cake, brownie), then I will eat the _________(ice cream even if I’m not at 0, gluten free sweet even if I’m at 5).”
“This isn’t fair.”
“I’m not really getting what I want to eat.”
“I don’t get to be satisfied by what I really want.”
“Everyone else is eating all of the meal and I can’t” or “They have the delicious bread and I have the mediocre GF bread.”

As you can see, many of my thoughts were about fairness. Well, as our parents told us, “Life isn’t always fair.” And if life were fair, the sinner that I am would be condemned to an unsaved life/death. But, unfair as it was, Jesus took on my sin and I am now offered the abundant life.

So, now I try to focus on the truth that I am actually allowed to eat all foods, but I choose not to eat the ones that aren’t beneficial to my body. Eating gluten-free is not a diet at all. It is a choice. I choose to treat this temple of the Holy Spirit well and choose to decline foods that will make it not work well.

I rarely whine about the foods that I “can’t” eat and I simply make substitutions. It is just food, after all, and there is a bounty of delicious foods available to me that don’t harm my body.

So, if you have food restrictions for medical reasons and wonder if the Thin Within approach is feasible for you, it is! You can have freedom! Be grateful for all of the choices you can make and the wide variety of “allowable” foods. I certainly had more restrictions when I was on a diet!

~ Carrie (Not South Africa)

How About You?

Are there some foods that you know your body doesn’t tolerate well? Are there even categories of foods, like those that include gluten, that your body does best without? What if you were to make a list today of all the many foods you can enjoy that are whole-body pleasers for you—foods that you enjoy and that leave you feeling energized, without any negative side-effects? Might it be worth it to make some adjustments to your food selections today, given all the many options that remain?

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16 Responses to Eating Gluten-Free–an Expression of Freedom – Guest Post

  1. marthared November 22, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    What a blessing your post is to me right now! I have just been through the very same experience as you, and came to the same conclusion… that gluten is permissible for me, but not at all advantageous. I’ve been connected with ThinWithin for years, and in and out of other “diet” techniques. This last month I did the 3 week Virgin Diet of cutting out 7 things (gluten, dairy, peanuts, soy, corn, sugar, eggs) for 3 weeks and then putting one of them back in at a time to see if there’s a sensitivity that shows up. Oh my! After the first day of no bread/gluten, I felt sooooooooooo free!!!! My sluggishness was gone! Energy! No afternoon naps!!!! Seriously! No afternoon naps!! I’ve added each one back in, a little at a time, and found that the gluten drags me down big-time, the milk (like a whole cup) and fried eggs make me nauseated (throwing up), and I’m unaffected by the rest. I’ve been praying, and trying to follow God’s leading through this whole thing, incorporating the Thin Within principles. I’ve released 7 lbs in 5 weeks! I pretty much eat what I want, except the bread-thing is the hardest to live with. Each time I’m tempted with something that is made of mostly bread, I ask for the Lord’s help, and he helps me! I’m not saying to myself.. “I’ll never eat bread or milk again”, I’m just eating foods with very little wheat or milk products in them. That goes for the high glucemic foods too, like white potatoes and white rice. Yams are great, and so is a brown/wild rice quinoa mix from Costco.
    So, I’m totally with you, Carrie! Thanks again for your post!

    • Christina November 23, 2013 at 9:43 am #

      Martha, praise God that He showed you what was going on in your body. It really sounds like you’ve found freedom in not eating gluten. And I’m SO glad you are feeling better! Praise God!

    • Heidi Bylsma November 24, 2013 at 5:07 am #

      Wow, Marthared!!!! What great insights you are having! 7 pounds? Awesome! You are wise not to make this a “forever and always” thing in your head. I don’t know about you, but that would set me up to stumble. I am so glad that Carrie’s post encouraged you. 🙂

    • Carrie November 24, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

      Martha – thank you for sharing. And what a victory! Yes, you may find that you can have a little bread here and there. But how wonderful that you are turning to God when tempted and He is providing a way out!

  2. Joy Miller November 22, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

    Hi Carrie,
    Wow! I feel like your story is very close to mine.
    I have been dealing with extreme fatigue and brain fog for at least 6 years now. It’s been to the point of being debilitating.
    I started getting help from a naturopath back in March and she said I have a candida overgrowth, so I quit eating fruit, sugar, carbs & processed foods. I had a lot of withdrawal symptoms, but I was taking herbal supplements that helped. (I have been able to add fruit and certain carbs back in.)
    The brain fog subsided a lot (after 8 months), but I was still really tired all of the time. I went to an A.N.P. and got some blood work that showed I have pituitary disfunction, and that has caused my thyroid to not function well and it’s very low.
    Before starting all of this I had lost 28 lbs on weight watchers and was 7lbs from my goal weight. I had gained 15 lbs and thought by now I’d have dropped the weight because of how “pure” I’m eating. Well, in 8 months only 5lbs came off. I remember telling God I couldn’t understand what was going on. He showed me that I had the attitude that I should be able to eat what I want when I want since I wasn’t able to eat as many things I used to eat. I realized that was rebellion.
    Just last night I was telling my friend that I felt like a failure because I don’t feel like I’m getting this, and the weight isn’t coming off like of like it to.
    I have been feeling frustrated and disappointed.
    I appreciate you saying that it’s not a failure if you keep going.
    I am not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and believe. Hebrews 10:39

    • Christina November 23, 2013 at 9:41 am #

      Joy, I really believe as your body balances out with the thyroid meds and as you continue to press on listening to and honoring to your hunger levels, that you will release weight. It sounds like you have a lot of things going on at once. I like the scripture you shared. I think I will include that in my truth cards. The enemy wants us to give up. He wants us to feel like a failure. But God says to press on! He will be our strength! Press on, my friend! God is doing a new thing in you!

    • Heidi Bylsma November 24, 2013 at 5:08 am #

      Great insights, Joy. 🙂 Hang in there! 🙂

    • Carrie November 24, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

      Joy – wow, what a journey you have been on. I can relate to how slowly the weight can come off. I completely relate to the rebellion thing – I used to think I could eat as much salad as I wanted bc it was salad! God showed me that it still was an attitude of greed. I had to realize that I needed to accept where I am (weight wise) and focus on God instead of my weight. I was also being greedy in wanting to look a certain way and not having gratitude for all that I have. I pray that you will hand your frustration and disappointment over to Christ and keep on going! Please keep us updated.

  3. Christina November 23, 2013 at 9:39 am #

    Carrie, thank you so much for sharing this. I’m so glad you did because there things for each of us that aren’t beneficial to our bodies, but it’s not to make us feel bad. For me, it’s random things, like store-bought taco seasoning (I have to make my own), artificial sweeteners, caffeine, and some other foods. I have accepted that these are things I would rather not eat because I don’t feel good when I do, but it’s not like a diet mentality type thing. Part of the TW journey is learning what our body enjoys.

    • Heidi Bylsma November 24, 2013 at 5:09 am #

      True, Christina! I love that Thin Within has taught me that God will lead me personally, uniquely, individually.

    • Carrie November 24, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

      I always think about how all things are permissible, but not all are beneficial. We are all uniquely made and it’s easier to accept it than to rebel against it!

  4. Jamie November 23, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    Thank you for sharing with us Carrie. : ) I have cut milk out of my diet and do feel better. I use almond milk now and do enjoy it. I do feel better physically. So wonderful how God will show us things that are hurting our health and help us to change. He is so loving and patient with us. : )
    “He who began a good work in you will complete it” Amen

    • Carrie November 24, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

      He is so loving and patient, isn’t He?! Thank you for sharing about the milk. That seems like it would be harder for me than gluten!

  5. G. Ann Arias November 24, 2013 at 5:00 am #

    I appreciate this so much! My fourth grade daughter has celiac disease. One crumb of gluten and she’s violently ill for days. She appreciates being healthy, but also grieves how the disease impacts her life. Every activity, every party, every meeting in our culture revolves around food. And she is an outsider now. Which makes me understand how difficult and amazing the TW journey is. We are outsiders too. We are done being slaves to the scale and food and diets. Freedom is so unusual today! We may feel like outsiders but it is so worth it.

  6. Carrie November 24, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    Oh, that must be so difficult. At least there are a lot of options out there for substitutes. But, I imagine a 4th grader must have very tough moments – my heart hurts for her. Yes, the freedom is such a gift

  7. Jacki October 10, 2014 at 5:31 am #

    Thanks so much for this post! I have diabetes and last year my dr told me I really needed to cut out most carbs in order to get my sugar under control. Well bread has always been my favorite food! But almost immediately when eating very low carb my sugar came way down (I am ALMOST off all insulin!), the inflammation all over my body got better, my legs which had been VERY swollen for years despite being on 2 diuretics immediately released all the extra fluid! I do think this was a good response from my body that it does NOT like all those carbs!

    Now almost a year later, I have released 75 lbs, my A1C has come down from a 9.8 to 5.8, my lipid profile is now so good my dr asked if I was on statins and I’m not! I do still have about 100 lbs to release, but I believe God will complete this in His time.

    Now at first I thought doing low carb meant abandoning Thin Within principles because every time I’d read someone talking about having no restrictions and being free to eat whatever they wanted, I’d rebel and get angry inside and think, “well, not ME.” But now I do see it really isn’t a RESTRICTION at all – but rather a CHOICE. Sure there are times I’ll choose to eat the things my body doesn’t want – and it quickly reminds me it doesn’t want them! Then I observe and correct and “next time” I remember to choose more wisely with the help of the One Who gives us all Wisdom…

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