My Journey – Part 1
“The Only Impossible Journey is one you never begin” – Anthony Robbins
As I mentioned in my “Why this Blog” page, my journey of real food started January 2014, 4 months after my daughter was born. This is Part One, but Part Two might not be written for quite a while because this journey is still at the very beginning. Let me, first, give you a little more history about me.
I’m very average when it comes to physique. Average height, average weight, etc. Also, I was blessed with the genes that puts extra weight in the more ‘preferred’ places. I
was am active. I used to play at least one sport every season in middle and high school; I played Rugby in high school and college; and I joined a triathlon team in grad school (I’m a pediatric physical therapist by the way). Currently, I go to the gym and do some weight lifting, body weight training, and cardio. All of this is mostly with classes because I like shutting my brain off and following the instructor for an hour. I dieted occasionally. Usually my diets were after the holiday season when I ate too many sweets. They consisted of cutting the snacks and sweets, and counting calories. They really just kept me within the 10 pounds I was comfortable.
I wouldn’t say I was a serial dieter, but I didn’t exactly have a healthy relationship with food either. I could binge on a bag of potato chips or sweets in the office lunch room like nothing but then I felt terrible and guilty afterwards. Even a few weeks ago, I was doing the same thing. I used to go to the gym and ‘reward’ myself with something unhealthy after. Listening to Gretchen Rubin‘s podcast one day she made a wonderful point. Rewards are terrible for creating habits. Treats are fine, but not rewards. Rewards often diminish the good habit you are trying to create. This resonates for me.
Okay back to the point. So back in January, we kept hearing good things about Paleo and Whole30 so I decided to get my husband on board and we could both lose some of our baby weight. I told myself that it wasn’t about losing weight, but who are we kidding, I wasn’t there emotionally. Maybe I’ll never totally be, but I am a whole lot closer. We did it, though! Barring a few events, we completed that challenge pretty well. I lost weight, too! I was lighter than I was before I had the baby and I felt great.
We kept a pretty sturdy paleo-ish diet after that for a few more months until my daughter really started eating. Now I know a variety of people have different views on this but this is my approach. She gets everything we eat. She can eat as much or as little as she wants of it and in between meals she can be more choosey of her snacks. While I admit I don’t know all of the research; I didn’t want to eliminate anything specifically from her diet for fear that if she wants, say, gluten, down the road, I don’t predispose her to an intolerance. So we added some foods back into our diet. We had pasta occasionally 1-2 times a week. We have Ezekiel Bread in the freezer. She eats cheese all the time. Honestly, she eats great. Little bits of everything. Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Red Peppers, Grapes are her favorite snacks and she loves cheese and chicken.
As I was commuting long hours during our move and stressing out a little I’m sure, I was slowly gaining the weight back I had lost during the Whole30. I also stopped nursing around that time and didn’t adjust my diet. I was listening to these awesome ladies and decided to let my body do its thing. I would eat when I wanted to eat (with some limits on processed sugar) and what I wanted to eat and tried not worry about the scale numbers. I was exercising quite a bit at that point and we started trying to get pregnant again (18 months after my first daughter was born). The first few months went by and we still weren’t pregnant, so I was fearful maybe I was exercising too much or being too restrictive so I cut back on the cardio and snacked more. I gained some more weight. I read Liz Wolfe’s Eat the Yolks and ate mostly real food, and avoided crappy oils at home, but I wasn’t as good at work.
The new clothes I bought to fit my new mom bod were getting a little tight and a few months later and we still weren’t pregnant. On top of that, I just wasn’t feeling great. I was pretty tired a lot of the time, my back was acting up again (I have 2 bulging discs that flare up occasionally). Worst of all, I was bingeing on sweets in the lunch room. I needed to make a change and for the right reasons this time. I still want to lose a few pounds. But this time, it’s because I don’t get as tired when I chase my little one around. Or maybe so that there isn’t as much strain on my back. I was feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Who can even think of baby making when you’re feeling that way.
So I pulled out this book that I was lending to my mom (but hadn’t done more than skim through myself) and started a meal plan. I told my husband we’re doing this! He was on board. I went to Diane Sanfilippo’s Site and downloaded the grocery list and went at. Those first 7 days were pretty phenomenal! I prepped, I cooked, I ate and man those meals were delicious. I brought apples as snacks and felt no need to binge on anything else.
6 days in, we went out to dinner for my sister-in-laws birthday. I ordered a delicious gluten free seafood salad with EVOO and vinegar. I tried some of the ‘non paleo’ appetizers and I had a little dessert. You know what, I felt great and didn’t regret any of it. Even better, the next day I wasn’t craving those things either. We went to the movies and my husband got Cinnabon bites; I said no thank you and was okay with it. I brought some unsweetened dried pineapple and clementines and was good to go! I feel so much more intuitive with my eating this time around. Now each time I think I want food, I take a minute to think about what I really want or need. Do need protein? I grab some leftover meats or an epic bar and I’m good to go. Need quick carbs? I get a banana or apple. I’m more thoughtful on what I put into eat meal to make sure I’m having enough of everything. It isn’t just about meat and veggies. I’m understanding the balance of eating starchier vegetables on days I work out and fueling my body appropriately.
I feel like this is attainable, and only 1.5 years of learning about real food! I feel like I’m better able to continue being healthy and intuitively eating. I’m working hard not to fall into ‘accidental dieting’ as Liz Wolfe so timely sent out a e-mail about. (She sends out exclusive content to her subscribers.) Overall, I’m feeling good about it. I officially signed up for the NTP Course this fall and I’m ready to get that under way, too.
We still aren’t pregnant. But you know what? I’m really happy with the daughter I have, so when it happens, it will happen; but if it doesn’t, then that’s okay too.
I’m off to meal plan and prepare for week two of this part of this forever journey. I’m still using Practical Paleo but picking a few different meals here or there because we get to pick up our CSA this week! I want to find a long-term sustainable method for this. Maybe I need to start meal planning more; I’ve never been consistent with it but it always helps. I am so excited for Practical Paleo 2nd Edition for more recipes and information!
Thanks for reading!
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