How I Gained Weight and Got Healthier Over 10 Years

Photos: Clockwise from Top left – At my thinnest, Top right – At least my arms are a bit stronger, Bottom right – Doing well but tummy bloated from gluten, Bottom left – Curvy, healthy and happy!

Hello lovely people! Someone suggested it might be a nice idea to share my weight gain and consequent health journey with you.

The reality of me being so thin and also unhealthy in my late 20’s early 30’s:

I was ALWAYS cold; if I got ill I’d become under weight and weak so easily; if I fell down (which I am prone to do when fatigued/not concentrating) I’d get really hurt because I had no padding over my bones; I struggled carrying my heavy boobs around on such a narrow frame and always had a bad back. I was so pale and not olive skinned like I should naturally be (which I covered up with fake tan).

BUT I was constantly told by people that I looked amazing and should feel grateful that I was ‘so skinny’.

I honestly thought through my 20’s and early 30’s that it was normal for young people to be over-worked, slightly stressed and to push their body to it’s limits and then prop it up with caffeine, sugar and beer/cocktails because that seemed the social norm at the time.

How I got healthy in my 30’s:

I mostly cut out foods containing gluten and dairy as I have an intolerance to them (meaning the body doesn’t absorb nutrients from those foods as it can’t digest them properly but it can, confusingly, make people look fat/bloated in places). I eat regular balanced meals with enough protein. I priorities sleep (even though that means saying no to morning invites). I don’t push myself to the limit of my strength and energy for fear of missing out (using up all of my body’s resources). I got a full blood work-up and found I was totally lacking in B12 and Vit D (no wonder I was so weak, brain fogged and grey!).

Even though I have MS now, I still feel healthier overall these days!

Has wanting to gain or loose weight prompted you to start a health journey? Let me know what you think in the comments!


Customer Service Food Intollerence Fails.

To put this into context I eat some wheat, gluten and dairy but as a concession to the rule and only for a meal which is a treat occasionally. On a daily basis I really try to avoid them but it’s not always easy when other people are involved.


Going nuts in Tesco

Me: Would you check if those wasabi coated nuts behind the counter have wheat in them, please.

Shop assistant scans them and puts them in my bag!?

Me: Excuse me I only asked you a question about them!

Shop Assistant (taking them back out): Why?

Me (taking a deep breath and speaking slowly): Can you check that they don’t have wheat in them please?

Shop Assistant (speaking even slower) These. Are. Nuts.

I take the bag off him.

Me: Here, it’s the first thing on the ingredients list!

Shop Assistant (optimistically): So now do you want them?

Me (trying not to loose my shit): No I have a food intolerance to it.

Shop Assistant looks at me like I’m (wasabi coated) nuts.

Local Shop Which Tries To Up-sell People Random Stuff

I put the glue I’m purchasing on the counter.

Shop Assistant: You buy Nutella!

Me: Excuse me?

Shop Assistant: You are girl, all girls like Nutella.

Me: I have a food intolerance to milk.

Shop Assistant: No, no milk.

Me: It’s ‘milk’ chocolate!

Shop Assistant: No, no – no milk, you buy now?


Shop Assistant’s Wife freaks out at him in Indian.

The Flattering But Confused Deli Assistant 

Shop Assistant: Hello!

Me: Hello! Can I get the falafel with humous and salad in a tray please, without the pitta. I’m wheat and dairy intolerant so trying to cut down. Thanks.

Shop Assistant: Oh you are so slim!

Me (blushing and puzzled): Oh, erm thank you.

Shop Assistant serves me with my order including some extras and then smothers it all in yoghurt sauce.

I grit my teeth, thank her with a smile and leave.


Me: Do you know if you have any gluten free soy sauce in the free-from…..

Shop Assistant sprints off and shouts at me to follow.

Shop Assistant: Here is the soy sauce.

Me: I was trying to say, maybe in the free from isle? I have an intolerance to gluten which is why I’m asking.

Shop Assistant: It’s just sauce.

Me: Well, yes but 90% of the popular brands I’ve seen contain gluten though.

Shop Assistant (frowns and thinks for a moment): Oh right! Is it fish then?


I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to have severe allergies – although when I’ve used the word ‘allergy’ instead, most people seem to understand the concept. I do think the term ‘food intolerance’ needs to be used though so people get more used to hearing it.

Chrissie xx

Food Intolerance Symptoms and Information

What Is A Food Intolerance?
The bodies immune system reacts to the ingredient/s as if it is an invader and puts all of it’s energy and resources into fighting off. An intolerance can also mean your body is naturally lacking a particular enzyme which is essential for digesting the ingredient. A perfect example of this is cows milk or lactose in all dairy. Food intolerance symptoms are much milder than an allergic reaction but if you suffer from many of them, it can still have a detrimental impact on your day-to-day life.

Food Intolerance Symptoms

Mild swelling, possibly around the nose and/or forehead

A red flushed appearance

Fluid retention often around the chin, stomach, fingers and ankles

Nasal congestion or runny nose.

Constipation (stomach/digestive system still feels and appears swollen after stomach muscles are clenched).

Stomach cramps caused by trapped wind.

Excess wind



Mild wheezing/tight chest

Raised temperature

Constant thirst


Spotty/oily skin breakouts

Joint pain/Back ache/Muscle pain

Mild itchiness and irritation

The most common food intolerance’s


Cows milk (especially common in people of Oriental Asian decent)




Sea food



Sulphates (in tomatoes, mushrooms, red wine)

It might not be as simple as one of the obvious ingredients, it could be the lactose (milk sugar) in dairy. Which which is often used as a flavour coating for foods such as crisps and nuts. It could be the gluten used as a bulking agent and to bond together ingredients and to thicken most brands of soup. It could be sulphates in red wine or tomatoes, yeast in beer or MonoSodium Glutamate used as a flavour and texture enhancer in asian dishes, processed meats and some soups.Make sure you read the ingredients labels on EVERYTHING you buy.

Information and Resources

Symptoms can last up to 5 days and may not be immediately apparent.

Symptoms relating to each food intolerance can vary greatly.

It’s important to keep a food diary and a list of symptoms for the process of elimination. It will also help you later to recognise which unsuitable ingredient your food included if you eat it by mistake.

Make your pharmacist aware if you have a food intolerance as they will know more about medication ingredients than a Dr.

A good Dr should refer you to a nutritionist but unfortunately some Dr’s still consider food intolerance to be a minor problem, not worth their time. If this is the case there are now several companies which carry out blood tests against a wide range of foods and will give you a clear diagnosis. York Test offer two phone consultations with a nutritionist, they test your blood against 113 foods for a reaction, provide a food diary and lots of info. Plus, if your test shows up negative to everything they offer a full refund. I personally found them to be fantastic.

Dietary/digestive aids can help greatly if your food intolerance is mild. I find Acidophilus Complex by Viridian really relieves and even prevents some of my symptoms. I take one capsule with a problem meal and then one the next morning with a light breakfast. Obviously do read the ingredients and instructions before taking any supplements. If you can’t digest dairy you may need a complex containing a probiotic (naturally found in milk, yoghurt, cheese) to introduce good bacteria into your gut.


If you discover that you react to wheat and gluten and get regular stomach cramps and the runs, you may be coeliac. This is more severe than food intolerance and if overlooked, can cause long term stomach and digestive problems. Consult your Dr and/or ask to be referred to a specialist or nutritionist.

Bloating, frequent dihorrea, severe stomach cramps and constant fatigue can be symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or the more serious Ulcerative Colitis. Consult a Dr immediately and ask to be referred to specialist.

My Story

I realise now that I must have had a food intolerances to wheat (however I’m not celiac – a gluten intolerance – which is more severe) and dairy from being a child.

I felt very tired with small peaks of energy in between my breakfast of cereals or toast, my packed lunch of sandwiches and my tea with a dairy filled desert.

At the age of 15 my ankles and feet started to swell massively because of the undiagnosed intolerance’s. My Dr looking rather alarmed told me to stay hydrated but cut my salt intake way down. This confused me as I had more of sweet tooth. I cut down on salt even more. Nothing changed. At age 33 I’ve just learned if you don’t have enough salt you can’t sweat (which I didn’t) and you can’t cool down (which explains why I’d quickly feel sick and faint all summer) and your body has no choice but store an excessive amount of water ie water retention. Ta for that Dr.

At age 15 I had fairly bad acne and rosacea (a deep red flushing of the skin). I was prescribed pills twice to no avail. The second time my Dr (the same one I went to with my ankles) told me “If this doesn’t work, something is wrong. I’ll do tests and send you to a nutritionist.” Oh, how I wish I would have followed it up. I was a lazy teen, armed with concealer who was scared she’d be told to cut out the ready meals and McDonalds.

Age 20 (an adult bear in mind) I asked to see a Dr but only got to see a nurse. She felt my incredibly swollen stomach and intestines, then confirmed I wasn’t I wasn’t pregnant. Well I knew that! She then looked at my skinny frame and said “We can’t all look as skinny as models. Is that it? Are we done?” I was so astonished by her ignorant dismissive attitude that I actually apologised for wasting her time!

Age 30 I had read enough food intolerance articles in women’s magazines to be certain I had one. Determined this time, I deliberately made an appointment with a female Dr. I told her about my symptoms and said I was sure I’d been struggling with food intollerance for years and that I’d cut out wheat & then dairy for a month each but to no avail. Her advice “Go on a food elimination diet.” “It’s where you cut out most foods from your diet then re-introduce them one at a time.” That was literally her only information and advice on the subject. I find that really irresponsible as it could have taken 6 months maybe and I’d be going without important nutrients that support and stabilise the body. Plus she never mentioned symptoms can take days to appear, what they are or that I might have multiple intolerances. Why not just refer me to a nutritionist if she couldn’t be bothered?

Luckily, a week later York Test kits were recommended in a magazine I was reading which proved invaluable. Then a lovely woman at Neal’s Yard Remedies matched me with the perfect digestive aid by Viridian an eco friendly company selling natural products which are vegan friendly. It has made such a difference!

Don’t give up, persevere!