Sunday, April 1, 2012
Eleven months later . . .
here i am after losing 40 lbs.!! after being the weight i was for so many years, and finding that nothing i did seemed to make a difference, losing 40 lbs. in 11 months was amazing to me. what was also amazing is the puffiness all over my body was starting to subside. my fingers were no longer sausages and my wrists reappeared as did my ankles. what was it that seemed to work? i concentrated on eating protein at every meal, plus eating more vegetables and less grain carbohydrates. i was still drinking at least one regular soda almost every day, and i was still having a glass of chocolate milk or mug of hot cocoa every day. i am one of those people who doesn't like to feel deprived!! even with the pop and hot cocoa, i had still cut my carb intake by almost half. i was keeping my calories to about 1600-1700 per day, and my husband and i had worked our way up to approximately 2.5 miles of walking at least 6 out of every 7 days per week. i was feeling pretty good and it was so nice to be able to move my body and not be so sore and tired all the time.
in march of 2011, i was flying back from visiting my daughter in rhode island, and i was seated in a row with two other ladies. i don't remember how we got on the subject, but during our conversation, i discovered one of them was a local doctor with a psychiatric practice who focused on nutrition in the treatment of her patients. we had a 6 hour flight, and my seatmate and i picked this doctor's brain. she was very accommodating, answering all our questions and giving us the names of books, authors and blogs to use as resources in our own journey toward healthier eating. when i got home, i started doing more reading!! throughout the rest of 2011, my husband and i worked on our health. i started using coconut oil in my cooking (it is also great on my skin!) and we were going through vegetables like crazy. i worked on breaking my pop habit (with little success). by june of 2011, my husband reached his goal weight and in november i achieved a total loss of 40 pounds. then, i kind of just stopped losing. what was interesting, though, was that even though the scale wasn't going down, my body composition was still changing. i can wear clothes from 10+ years ago when i was 20 lbs lighter than i am right now.
at the end of 2011, i checked a book out from the library called "wheat belly", by dr. william davis, and after reading it i really felt that the elimination of wheat from my diet would be beneficial. through january of 2012 i worked on that and succeeded in removing most wheat products from even my baking and homemade waffles. in february, i attended an event that presented me with a selection of conventionally prepared desserts. i indulged, and the combination of wheat and sugar left me feeling unwell for a week. i was truly surprised, but this experience just furthered my resolve. i was also able to finally put my soda pop habit to rest. it has been about 10 weeks since my last one. i feel very good about that accomplishment! it is huge for me -- i REALLY LOVE soda!!
in my reading throughout 2011, i kept coming across the term "paleo". it refers to the diet our supposed "paleolithic" ancestors ate. evolutionary theories aside, the diet itself made a lot of sense to me, and went along with what my husband and i were already trying to do with our own diet. in january 2012, i came across another term: the "whole30 challenge".
this is an even more strict version of the paleo diet, and it is meant to be initially followed for 30 days. i began to think this was something i wanted to try. i asked my husband if he would do it with me and he said he would. we decided on a start date of april 1, 2012 (no joke! lol!!) during the month of march, i allowed myself to have some of the things i liked (like m & m's and my hot cocoa in a 16 oz mug for example) in preparation to give them up in april. now it is april 1, and the challenge has begun. no grains or seeds, no dairy, no sweetener of any kind, no beans or legumes (no peanutbutter!) no potatoes (sweet potatoes in small amounts are ok occasionally). we are focused on eating protein, veggies, good fats and a few fruits. and LOTS of water.
why am i doing this diet? number one, i want to be healthier, and my bloodwork back in august of 2011, 8 months into our journey, showed some specific improvements. my fasting blood sugar was 20 points lower than it had been previously, my cholesterol ratios were right on the money, and my liver function was slightly improved (my enzymes had always been in the normal range, but this time they were better than normal). number two, one of my greatest desires is to reduce or even eliminate some or all of my medications. i am currently taking a thyroid supplement (for hypothyroidism-- i have been taking it for about 18 years), a statin drug (i have been on this for about 15 years), a diuretic (for the beginnings of high blood pressure -- for 3 years), an actual blood pressure medication (which i let my dr. bully me into taking about 18 months ago) and a potassium supplement (to replace the potassium my body loses because of the diuretic). i feel like it is only symptoms that are being treated by these meds. i am hoping that by eating this way that the issues that are causing the symptoms will finally start to be resolved. i can't find a downside to eating a diet that has let me lose weight and improve my bloodwork by eating meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit and fat, and doesn't severely limit my calories.
i will be posting here every day of the challenge. if you want to follow along, i would appreciate your comments. thanks for reading!