Going Paleo. And this time, I mean it!
Despite worldwide agreement of its totally awesome bodaciousness, my body is the result of years of dedicated lowfat dieting mixed with all manner of faux food: fast, junk, GMO'ed, packaged, pasteurized, micro-waved, hormoned and antibiotic-ed. All of which I ate thinking it was not only real food, but actually good for me. Thank you, FDA, USDA pyramid and SAD for that pack of lies.
For all of us born in the last half century, the list of faux food poisonings is long and hearty. We were mis-led down a faux-garden path by alphabet agencies. The result being a prosperous-looking 56yo bod in serious insulin resistance mode. (That means everything I eat gets stored as fat.) The ironic thing is, I've actually been programming my body -- albeit unwittingly -- to do exactly this. Nice goin'.
If you're fat, you've been programming, too. Grocery stores are full of fat-programming faux foods. More on this later.
Well, it's flat out time to turn that tide because I'm flat out sick of failing at losing weight. And if I don't turn the tide this very minute, I'm going to end up in a Walmart People photo. Just shoot me now.
The only time I successfully lost weight was when I:
Starved myself when I was young. (Those days are long over.)
Joined Weight Watchers
WW worked because it was calorie restricted. Yeah, OK, Jennifer: "WW doesn't count calories. WW counts points." In the real world, points = calories and everybody knows it. It's like One Day At A Time really means I'll never have another drink for as long as I live and everybody knows that. But, hey, whatever it takes to keep ya happy eating dry English muffins, hard-boiled eggs and fudge creamsicles made without a trace of cream.
Atkins was fun for about three months. Yeah, baby, load MyPlate with steak and butter! Then one day, 20 pounds lighter, feeling good because I was looking good, out to dinner with friends, I somehow found myself eating all the bread on the table... then ordering more. I would have killed for a potato. I ate one simply to keep from going to jail. Not only did I fall off that wagon hard, the thought of getting back on turns my stomach.
The worst part -- even worse than gaining back all the weight -- was facing the fact that Atkins was not the magic potion I told myself it was. When diets do work, we go, "Yay! Life is good. I'm not a weak-willed fattie!!! I am strong, I am invincible." When diets don't work, we blame ourselves. Why else wouldn't a diet work? Gotta be me, right?
Right. Because, up until my late-30s, I owned my body. It totally did what I wanted, got skinny when I said so, ran 6 miles a day when I felt like pushing it. I ate what I wanted when I wanted, then sacrificed as needed to get into The Skinny Jeans. I commanded, it obeyed. We were happy together. Until...
At 38yo, My Body Turned On Me
Like it had a mind of its own. Overnight, I ballooned up to 155lbs on a 5' frame. Ok, maybe not overnight but it seemed like it. It was not pretty, it was depressing and it scared me. What happened?
Any woman over 40 can answer that one: menopause happened. Menopause: the day your metabolism grinds down to a pathetic crawl. Unless you've spent a lifetime eating fat-programming faux food in which case it comes to a complete standstill.
That's when I joined WW. Then Atkins. Then tried exercising like I was training for the Olympics. Then back to low fat dieting. Then giving up. Then starting over. No matter what I did, how little I et or how much I exercised, I lost nothing but self-worth and serenity, gained only stress and sleepless nights. And more weight.
This Post Really Isn't About Losing Weight
It's about losing control. Losing choice. All while losing health, to boot. I'm not fat. Fat is just around the corner, but I'm not there. Yet. I'm chubby. Prosperous. Voluptuous. Rubenesque. I look pretty good for an old broad.
But I'm also really uncomfortable in any position, my clothes are too tight, my boobs are gigantic, I don't feel sexy... How I actually look ("pretty good for an old broad") doesn't really count when I'm this uncomfortable. I like being thinner. I weigh 145 now. When I weigh anywhere south of 132, I'm good. Comfy in my clothes, in my skin, able to move and sit. Plus, Hal can't keep his hands off me.
Yeah, TMI, but it's my blog. So here's the deal:
I'm Going Paleo. Possibly For Good.
"But," you ask, "isn't Paleo just another diet? Like a modified Atkins?" Sorta. But there are certain hard facts I'm gonna have to face if I want vibrant health (which will include getting my voice back):
When I eat bread, I bloat. Every time. And I crave more. Then I fall asleep.
When I eat high glycemic foods -- like rice (white or brown) or white potatoes at night -- without a stabilizing amount of protein, I'm seriously hungover the next day. Like alcohol hungover: sick to my stomach, blasting headache, can't move, light hurts, running to the bathroom, need several aspirin and several hours to get right again. Clearly my body does not handle white food.
When I eat sugar -- especially HFCS-ed candy -- I become, er, volatile. And I crave more. Then I fall asleep.
Certain foods throw me out of balance. They happen to be the same foods left off the Paleo template. I can ignore the obvious connections or I can hop on the path with all those happy healthy fit people.
Because I have a choice today, I'll take door number two. If I want to be healthy, balanced and keep my weight under my control, there are a few foods I must eschew. At least for now.
On the other hand, there's a plethora of nutrient-dense foods to include in my diet: more vegetables and fruits. Sweet potatoes. More coconut oil. Way more fat, although I'm doing pretty good with that. More eggs. Delicious raw milk, preferably fermented.
My new favorite breakfast: 2 raw eggs in raw milk with a slash of maple syrup -- yeah, syrup is Paleo! Blend, drink. OMG. Eggnog without the rum.
There are only about a million blogs out there written by Paleos. I've been reading and listening to the experts: Chris Kesser, Mark Sisson, the Jaminets, among others. Plus abiding by the trusted WAPF principles of local nutrient dense foods organically grown, pesticide/GMO/hormone/antibiotic-free, pastured, humanely slaughtered.
Ironically, if I had been raised on real food, gotten to make my own informed food choices without FDA or USDA oversight, this whole discussion would be moot. Without faux food, would one in three of us get cancer in our lifetimes? Would obesity be such a huge problem? Diabetes? Heart disease? Mental illness*? We didn't have those diseases in epidemic proportions before faux foods, right? Talk about food for thought.
Time for bed. Paleo also demands I get adequate sleep, so off I go. Here's the best thing about Paleo: coffee is Paleo. :) Thank goodness or I couldn't do it. But coffee with a T of coconut oil and a T raw honey and real cream? Oh yeah, I'm going to do just fine.
Here's what got me seriously interested in this path. I read these posts often:
Chris Kesser's what not to eat and what to eat
Another "Paleo in a nutshell" post -- I need to keep it simple!
Fat Head the movie (on Netflix) is excellent at explaining the fundamentals of faux food fat programming and insulin resistance to un-brainy people like me.
*This is an excellent podcast re. mental illness and food with Robert Whitaker and Stefan Molyneaux.