How To Cope With Saying Goodbye To Bread
It seems kind of silly, but becoming gluten free was a sad experience for me. It's still really sad. I find myself grieving in unexpected ways, and it continues to surprise me. The process of becoming headache free required me to address my emotional connection to food, and that is HARD work.
If you are able to discover your hidden food triggers, then that is good news. It means you have control over your pain. But you still have to adjust to this new reality and way of being. This will often mean making dramatic lifestyle changes, and it can take some getting used to. Here are a few tips for navigating the emotional roller coaster of saying goodbye to your favorite foods.
- Give yourself permission to grieve. It sounds kind of ridiculous to be sad over food, but it's the truth. It's emotional and it's hard- and it's completely okay. You're not just giving up certain foods, but letting go of the emotional needs that food has met in your life thus far. It is also changing the way that you connect with your tribe, and that can be hard too. It sucks and it's not fair, so go ahead and have a good cry. You'll feel much better afterwards.
- Explore alternative ways of coping. If you have always decompressed from a hard day with food, then it'll be important to find other ways of processing emotions. Be kind to yourself and have patience, because this can take some time and practice. The better you become at employing other coping strategies, the less you will feel the loss of your favorite foods.
- Find more suitable alternatives. Being gluten free doesn't necessarily mean living a life of deprivation, so try new things. Look for healthier substitutes that won't derail your path to health and leave your head throbbing with a migraine for days.
- Keep it exciting. Turn your new lifestyle into a culinary adventure. Buy some new cookbooks, get bold and brazen, and start trying new things. Focus on the exciting world of new possibilities opening up to you, and keep meal planning fresh and novel.
- Remember your WHY. At the end of the day, a life no longer dominated by pain is an incredible gift. The healthier you become, the less you will miss the old comfort foods. In fact, the thought of the pain they cause might make them repellent in the extreme. You will start to feel so good that a bite of bread is no longer worth the weeks of pain it will cause later on.
Grief is a strange thing, and it doesn't follow any logical set of rules. Don't be alarmed if you feel sad and forlorn throughout the process of change. It's completely normal. Give yourself permission to feel all the feels and give grief the room to do its work. It will pass with time, leaving you free to enjoy the new life opening up for you.