Healthy Lifestyles and me – part five

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you all on my Healthy Lifestyles journey.  Both Steph and I were not around for the last drop in at the end of July, so we had a lot to catch up on when we met again at the beginning of September and yet again we’ve taken a diversion off the planned track.

Let’s recap and give you the background.  You may remember last time round I had been diagnosed with severe Iron Deficient Anaemia and I looked forward to the iron tablets magically fixing me so I could move on and feel better.  Unfortunately this wasn’t the case and things didn’t improve.  Thanks to my doctor, who wanted to get to the bottom of everything, more investigations took place and only this week I got the final diagnosis of Coeliac Disease. 

Having family with the disease I am not unfamiliar with everything it entails, but suddenly being thrown into a world where I have to undertake a lifelong gluten free diet is somewhat daunting.

It’s a learning curve for all of us at home and I’m wondering how many hours the weekly shop is going to take me over the next few weeks while I get to grips with it!

It was fortunate that my next meeting with my Healthy Lifestyles Advisor Steph took place immediately following my diagnosis, so one of the things Steph and I spent some time talking about was label reading and gluten free choices, particularly breakfast options as so many cereals are out of reach now.  There are many naturally gluten free foods out there that I need not be hungry, and given that all fruit and vegetables it can also be an opportunity for me to continue eating healthily.

It’s important to note that Steph is not a dietician or medically trained so she can only support me on a limited basis and advised that I should seek help from a dietician through my GP for more in depth information. If you join Healthy Lifestyles , you will always be advised to get in touch with medical professionals if your advisor feels it necessary and beyond the scope of their work. 

As usual with our meetings, I hopped on the scales in the middle of the library again.  I’ll admit I expected my weight to have gone up a little as I had used the need to continue eating gluten prior to my endoscopy to eat some of those foods that I am now going to miss.  Inevitably those foods are not the healthy options, and I don’t suggest you do the same if you find yourself in the same boat as me, but boy did I enjoy those little treats (plenty of gluten free treats are available though)!  The good news was that I didn’t break the scales and it was only a very minor increase, but I’m getting back on track now.

As you can imagine it’s been an abnormal six weeks or so, and I’ve been continuing to deal with a number of symptoms during that time, not least the crippling exhaustion; fabulous timing I hear you all shout given that it’s all coincided with the school summer holidays and children off school.  This has meant that even gentle exercise hasn’t been possible, let alone making it to the gym to build up my fitness.

Was Steph bothered by this? Of course not, she’s there to support me on my road to fitness, not berate me for having other things going on in my life.  She is amazing at rolling with the diversions and offering help and advice on moving forward.  As I’ve said before, Healthy Lifestyles Advisors are not there to judge, they’re here to help us achieve our goals in a way that we can manage.

Do I still want to feel fitter? Definitely, but at this time I’m choosing to set it aside and concentrate on planning how to eat and fit that in with a family at home that don’t have any current dietary restrictions.  I will revisit my fitness when I’m able to.

Healthy Lifestyles drop-in sessions continue to take place each month at Madeley Community Library. 

For more information visit Introduction – Healthy Lifestyles Service – Telford & Wrekin Council You can also check out Coeliac UK if you’d like to find out more about the disease Home – Coeliac UK

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