Wheat, stalking, codependence and other abnormal relationships

Audra tells this tale of romance gone sour:

Leaving wheat is like one of those break-ups where you still have to work with the person or maybe even remain roommates. In this example, wheat is a man, and we will call him W.T.

The relationship was one of those roller-coaster ones where sometimes you felt great, but most of the time you felt depressed and unattractive. Still, you were constantly there for him, and it seemed like he was there for you, until he started making you feel crazy and fat. It didn’t matter; you stayed in the relationship for the good times.

Then one day, you ended it in hopes of putting yourself back together and trying to find out who you really were without him. The problem was that you would still have to see him everyday at work, and he and his relatives (O.T.,P.T.,R.C, and C.N.) would constantly be in your house mingling with your family. Your family would even try to get the two of you back together.

You warned them about how manipulative he could be and tried to make them see how much better you would feel if he was gone forever, but they just rolled their eyes at you and told you what a mistake you were making in letting someone as well rounded as W.T. get away.

You even had to witness his intense relationship with your best friend and see her fall for all of his lies. As good as it felt to be out of his grip, you had an uneasiness about his control over your family and friends. Sometimes, you get through to one of them, and they join you in your quest to get him away from your house and your work, but trying to get to the point where you never have to see him again could take a lifetime.

The parallels make the hair on the back of my neck stand up!

Yes, wheat and humans have an unnatural relationship, one built on false trust, delusion, addiction, and deception. Audra paints this picture with exceptional clarity: the constant feeling of obligation, of losing control, of lost self esteem, the repeated urgings from others to go back.

This grain, starting as a calorie source for a desperate group of hungry people 10,000 years ago, has morphed into foods with opiate characteristics that manipulate behavior, even duping agencies like the USDA to not just fail to recognize this perverse relationship, but to urge you to allow it to dominate your life. Like the beaten down, hopeless woman who gives into a pathological relationship, so it goes with those who embrace the Evil Grain.

Recognize wheat as the deranged, control freak stalker that he is and you will be much, much happier.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Charla Eastwood


    However….ridiculously…frighteningly….accurately descriptive…

  2. Sarah Robertson

    I visit this site often and have never commented before, but this post sums it up perfectly.

  3. Pam

    I think the important thing to remember is that, like any addiction, you can occasionally fall off the wagon. But you need to immediately get up and get right back on the wagon. If I make a bad choice, I don’t beat myself up or get upset. I just acknowledge it and go back to my usual self-disciplined eating habits. The key is to not let it spiral out of control.

    • J. Minten

      I’ve been on DIETS for 40 years, and everytime I fell off the wagon, it was gone when I looked up. I never got back on; I just gained back the few pounds I might have lost and then gained some addititional ones. Then a new diet would come along, and I’d try that with the same results.

      Wheat Belly has been totally different. Yes, I fell off the wagon big time a year ago while on vacation. That went on for the last three weeks out of the five we were gone, but when we got home, it was the easiest and most natural thing to get back on the WB wagon. I’ve stayed true to WB since then.

      (BTW, I cleaned out my bookshelves and threw away a ton of diet books a while back. I considered putting them in our local library or selling them in a garage sale, but I just couldn’t encourage others to do something that harmful to their bodies. I hope no one found them at the dump!!)

      • stephen ottridge

        We turfed out today a copy of the book “Banish your Belly” which my wife bought for me one Christmas several years ago. Just stopping the wheat has banished my belly by 30 lbs now, a new low on Monday morning of 186 lbs, and another inch on my belt as I had to drill new holes.

  4. KristenS

    Myself and the folks in my quit smoking group would say pretty much exactly the same thing. Addiction is addiction is addiction. Overcoming addiction is hard.

  5. Lori

    You have to get out more, the stalker has been out-stalked. Wheat and sugar, the opium of the masses and killing far more than street meds ever will. Slowly more enlightened medical professionals are waking up to what is the diet of death for so many.

    Kind regards

    • JillOz

      ha! Pretty ironic, the short stalked wheat being painted as a stalker! ;)
      Oh, the humanity!

      It’s the intensity of the “realtionship” with wheat and sugar, etc that is so difficult. Whether the intensity is bad – draining, tiring, over stimulating – or good – exhilarating, cheering but also overdstimulating -it’s hard to get used to the lack of intensity of normal eating.
      Relationships with intense people, romantic or non roma ntic , are similar.

      I’ve foudn the probiotics useful ni n this regard, though amn taking a break from it for a short while.

  6. While this article didn’t seem to go over well with the Facebook crowd, I found Audra’s missive to be a comical analogy of the clutches of the wheat machine…..and unfortunately, quite accurate!

  7. Neicee

    Audra, you hit it out of the ballpark! Too close for comfort for many, but a great analogy of cause/effect – and dependency. Spotted several close behavior problems in friends and relatives.

  8. It’s so hard to get people to bite the bullet and make the change, no matter how much scientific proof you have placed (gently) in front of them. That’s how deep their addictions and resultant denial are. We just got to keep chipping away though, for their own good!

  9. Paulie

    First time commenting! French from Canada. Excuse the spelling mistakes???

    I live among the fattest people in my town. But they still think that I am crazy for not eating wheat and low carbs. They think that i am going to suffer from malnutrition. Which is very weird because I way about 100 pounds less then everybody around me. How do you deal with this kind of denial? When you talk about addiction and brainwashing. I believe it. Heart attacks, soar joints and diabeties up the wazzoo! What in the world is going on? When is it going to end?

    From a confused reader

  10. Lory T

    I could have said this myself…ugh!
    Indeed, my main difficulty in ditching wheat is the resistance from my own family, and the clueless looks on relative’s faces…If I start to educate, I get the “Are you an alien?” looks. I have given up. Now I only talk to those who are willing to listen — less than 1% of my potential audience. Heck, even a mom of a child with ASD was resistant when I started telling her of the association between gluten and autism! She said her children would not eat anything else, and that they (parents) are afraid her children’s extraordinary abilities (great “catalog”-like memorization of genus and species of animals and plants) would be gone (never mind the behavior typical of autistic children and the social isolation they are subjected to). I stopped at that point. Another friend who was present in that conversation just looked at me silently with the same disappointment.
    Now I just tell them I am gluten intolerant.

    • MsThistlebottom

      Lory, I have given up on my extended family too. When I told my sister, who has missed work due to chronic migraines and IBS, about all the benefits my husband and I were seeing after ditching wheat, she wailed her response: “But I don’t know what else to eat! What am I supposed to eat for breakfast? VEGETABLES???” Oh, the humanity! ;-)

      • Actually, YES. Veggies are GREAT for breakfast…maybe with a little pig and eggs too!! or what about that left over salmon with those veggies? It’s called FOOD people, your body doesn’t know what “breakfast” “lunch” or “dinner” is, right?? lol

        • Janet

          I sauteed some kale and spinach and grape tomatoes with garlic and onion in the bacon grease from my bacon and 2 scrambled eggs this morning. This breakfast just makes me feel good inside. I go to work perky and smiling–with energy for the entire day. I mostly skip lunch I am so full and satisfied. I have NEVER eaten so well. Ever in my life.

      • Linda

        Pathetic isn’t it?

        I will never understand why people would rather visit doctors, clinics and/or hospitals and pop pills or face surgery instead of simply trying a different way of eating. Makes no sense to me.

      • Janet

        Don’t give up hope. My 40 YO daughter would roll her eyes at me and shut me off when I tried to tell her–even gave her the Wheat Belly book. She has about 60 lbs to lose, along with headaches, not sleeping, inflammation, back pain and a thyroid issue. Her daughter is 7 with asthma.
        We visited for vacation last week and on her table was the book “Practical Paleo” and the fridge had good stuff in it and she is beginning to buy organic and ordered food from Amish local farms that deliver and we could actually TALK about this. I said it could be small steps to big changes! Then she will work on our granddaughter (the hard part) and get changes for her too. If she is reading Paleo books, she will get the message about grains and wheat without me pounding on her about it. I am so thrilled.

      • Sue

        Sounds just like my poor Mum. She has so many things wrong with her that wheat probably affects. But even with the book gifted to her she wailed “what would I eat for breakfast?” and “if I couldn’t have bread, what would fill me up?”.

        Sometimes we have to know what battles to fight and when to walk away.

    • Drew

      Yeah, I’m getting the same treatment from relatives, including my wife & daughter–even though they could greatly benefit from it. I’m trying to “lead by example”, but I ain’t making much progress. :(

    • It’s about all you can do….as Robb Wolf says, “help those that want to be helped”…if it’s ONLY 1%, then so be it. Maybe it will be 2-3% next year! For your children’s sake, keep at it, and BE the hyper sensitive mommy at the wheat and sugar filled parties and get togethers. WE ARE!!

    • Darlene

      I have yet to talk to anyone in my area who has even heard of Wheat Belly! Talk about feeling like an alien! I have even mentioned it to 3 different doctors who haven’t heard of it YET! amazing…

      • Sue

        Well that’s not surprising really as many doctors still haven’t heard that the last 30 years of cholesterol bashing was bad news.

  11. Dan

    I was just in the office kitchen and one of my female coworkers commented that it looked like I’d been able to keep off the weight that I loss last year. She asked me was I on Atkins. I told her no, I was just staying away from bread. She replied that bread was not her problem. Her problem was Wheat Thins. Especially the barbequed flavored!

  12. bill

    “Your family would even try to get the two of you back together.”


    As an aside: addiction to cigarettes is likely an
    addiction to sugar with which cigarettes
    are doped.

  13. gingerbread

    Hello all, been a lurker since December and following along and changing. Doing the Thyroid dance right now, but I do feel much better. This description prompted me to bring to light a frightening commercial that is running right now, but speaks the truth inadvertently. The maker of the product meant for it to be funny, but Wheatbellies know that it has more than a grain of truth. It is a Wheat Thins commercial. In the commercial, a puppet is craving and wanting the wheat thins so bad, that he has been admitted to an ‘institution’. The docs in the lab coats try to convince him that as a puppet, he cannot eat wheat thins, which at some point he breaks out of his ‘straight-jacket’ like confinement and gorges on the snack. Art not only imitating life, but telling a truth: the populace are puppets that are addicted and drugged to certain products. Sad and amazing at the same time.

    • Rowana

      I saw that commercial last night and had the very same thought! Scary, yet enlightening.

    • Boundless

      > Does wheat have anything to do with the rise in early puberty in boys and girls?

      Possibly, but I’m going to guess that more significant factors are:
      1. Surplus of food to eat.
      2. Hormones in the meats.

      • Toni

        My two teenage girls are good examples. I only served grass-fed beef, no hormones, and they didn’t start menses until ages 13 and 14. We were also not soy eaters. Got lucky there, but now have a 17-yo with multiple symptoms – frequent respiratory infections, frequent headaches, stomachaches, back pains, depression, anxiety, and constipation. She also has persistent urinary frequency and burning but clear urine – urologist testing found nothing. I think most of her symptoms are probably related to wheat and have tried convincing her to just try wheat free. Even her family doctor agreed it was worth trying. BTW I have guten sensitivity and my mother is celiac x 30 years. She opted not to go gluten-free until about 5 yrs ago. How to convince a teenager? Basically I’ve told her “when you are really ready to start feeling better, you’ll give it a try.

        • HS4

          Your daughter might be generally gluten sensitive so in addition to not eating wheat, she should also avoid other gluten sources at the same time and then test them after a period of elimination. A very good guide to testing sensitivities (intolerances?) to certain major food groups, including wheat and other gluten-containing grains, can be found it the book “It Starts with Food”. More info at the authors’ website: http://whole9life.com/

    • Suzie_B

      My bet is that high insulin levels resulting from high carb foods – especially processed ones like wheat products- make them grow faster and mature earlier.

      • Neicee

        I completely agree about the little girls eating way more carbs than they could ever stay healthy eating. Coming from the SF Bay Area it was the rarity to see a slender child in many of the ethnic groups. Some of the little girls had breasts emerging at 8 years old and started their menses about the same time. You cannot consume 2-3 carbs at one meal and not suffer some of the same problems. The little Asian girls were tiny until 17-18 and off to college. If they didn’t adopt an American diet they then gained weight too.

        • Neicee

          Never post comments while cooking dinner ;) The Asian girls stayed very slender if they stay with their native diets……

  14. Suzanne

    I find it sad that I, who has (have?) never let a man dominate me for any longer periods of time, have not been able to free myself from grains and sugar until recently. And I still fall prey to them :-(
    But every day is a new day, and most days end in triumph not in failure right now :-)

    • Dr. Davis

      But now that you understand the nature of the relationship, you can more easily set yourself free!

      Most people continue to engage in this unnatural tryst, yet have no idea they are in it.

  15. I’ve been in recovery since August 2011 and others, through my blog have been able to break up with wheat, as well. This is a comment I received this morning… Thank you, Dr. Davis!

    “We first “met” last spring when I went after Dukan and found your blog … I stayed with you, not just because of your incredible success, but because you’re the type of friend I wanted in my life — sincere, encouraging and honest. I’m no longer doing Dukan but you introduced me to “wheat belly” and wow — the difference in my life by eliminating wheat is only described as amazing. No joint pain, no low blood sugar issues, no shakiness, just energy and lbs melting off. Cheers to you my friend! “

    • Dr. Davis

      Terrific, Sandi!

      While there are truly many facets to ideal health, the one consistency, absolutely essential step before proceeding down ANY path: Lose the wheat!

      I’m glad you found the answer.

  16. paula

    hello…what do you think about macrobiotic diet? and about eat yamani rice, rye, barley, oats, millet? I hope your answer!

    • Boundless

      > … yamani rice …

      Limit rice due to being high glycemic. Work out the net carbs. Portion sizes are apt to be small for a 15 grams net carbs per meal.

      > … rye, barley, …

      Banish entirely These are gluten-bearing grains little different from what.

      > oats, millet?

      Avoid. Sky high glycemic (no reasonably sized portion has low enough net carbs).

  17. Michelle

    I was talking with friend yesterday about the opiate pathways of the brain and how the effects of wheat are the same as drugs – the high, the withdrawal making you seek more, the addiction. I remember when I used to smoke pot years ago, how it would bring out paranoia, so I stopped. Wheat does the same thing.