Wednesday, November 12, 2008


A strange thing happened shortly after being diagnosed with celiac disease and going on a gluten-free diet. I started to gain weight rapidly. They warned me of this; I scoffed the idea. I said: I've been between 140 and 150 pounds for more than half my life, I don't expect that to change just because I stop eating pasta and pizza. (Incidentally, I eat far more pasta and pizza now than ever before; it's just gluten-free.)

Sure enough, here we are exactly four months later and I've gained nearly 30 pounds from my low of 140. For those of you who like numbers: that's a 20% weight gain. I seem to have stabilized just short of 170. Still, I'm always one bag of chips from feeling overweight.

Actually, I feel overweight all the time. Go figure! I'm still slim, but I'm no longer svelte, scrawny or thin. I have pectoral muscles. I don't know where they came from, but here they are. Also: biceps. I mean, I'm no weight lifter, but even hitting the gym 1.5 times per week and occasionally working out at home, I have put on more muscle mass than all the rock climbing I did the last three years.

Moreover, not one pair of jeans that I purchased less than three years ago fits. I mean, I can't even get them close to on. This weekend, I finally gave up on a pair I bought in 2005. They were my tightly fitting jean then, now they're almost lewd. Shirts hand correctly on me. I no longer swim in my jackets. All of my watch bands and belts are using notches never before used. I can barely wrap my hand around the thinnest part of my wrist!

It's not all positive. It's all a big change to absorb in such a small amount of time. As the darkness of a Seattle winter begins, I'm feeling down and out about not being that lean, svelte American anomaly. Not that I couldn't go right back to it... Just a quick bowl of wheat pasta or a loaf of bread would probably take 5 pounds off me. An uncomfortable week of that and I'd be noticeably thinner for sure. But, the energy and luster I have would likely fade with the weight. Besides, no one likes being tied to the bathroom. Ew.

So there you have it. I'm no longer skinny. It's strange to me. It's a little strange to my fiancee. No one else seems to care, thank goodness. And what do we do when something we have strong feelings about goes unnoticed by the world? We blog!

Now, get back to work.

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