Most of you are saying “Well DUUUUUH Liana, even I knew that!” I know you are. But the point isn’t the captain obvious observation, but more of how much of a struggle eating right is in this day and age. We are surrounded by quick and easy processed foods that make life seemingly easier. The $0.99 tacos sitting next to a $4.99 salad. The box of hamburger helper that leads you to believe that it will be quicker to use their processed chemically enhanced ingredients than it will to add fresh ingredients to the ground beef you still have to cook on your own. Or McDonalds, and Olive Garden, and for you Endurance Athletes out there, “Carb load” nights before a race.
I started this journey right before Easter as a trial. J had been trying to diet and even though I cooked pretty healthy, he admitted that sometimes it was a struggle when my plate differed from his because my meals weren’t as restrictive. He was eating Paleo/Primal style and I wasn’t. I still brought rice and tortillas and cookies and breads into the house. My biggest objection had always been giving up rice. It’s been an integral part of my whole life and I thought it was difficult to do until I stumbled across Nom Nom Paleo, a site devoted to Paleo eating written by an Asian family. A sign to be sure!!! and off I embarked on my journey.
I won’t say that those first few weeks were easy because they weren’t. I already knew based on my poorly kept food diary that I didn’t eat enough during the day. More specifically, I didn’t get enough protein in each day, even by SAD standards (Standard American Diet). Paleo made these issues even more glaringly obvious by removing breads and many other carbs from my available list of “go to” snack/meal options. No cookies, chips, no quick stops for sushi… Even worse, when I cooked that first two weeks, I panicked after making the main dish because I didn’t know what to serve with it. J would calm me down each time and remind me that it was perfectly ok to prepare to veggie sides. I spent many days and night poring over sites and books devoted to paleo meals to ensure that i was following all the rules. Eventually, it became easier and I realized that I had a ton of paleo friendly recipies in my noggin. I came to realize that there wasn’t a need for Paleo Perfectionism. Imagine my glee when I realized that many dishes I grew up with were paleo friendly! I could make them (some with slight tweaks) and enjoy comfort foods while staying “on plan”! Eat Kalua pork three nights? Don’t mind if I do! Steak twice a week? oh darn! Maybe I should start sharing those recipes with you all…
But between that and ramping my running back up, the past few months have still been hard. The delicate balance of eat enough and don’t eat too much changes when you’re training for endurance events, without adding paleo diets into the mix. I think I’ve been doing ok though. It has been 142 days since I began this journey. That’s 20 weeks I have spent craving spaghetti and Cheetos and chocolate chip cookies and not always winning. As you can see from the screen shot, I tend to yoyo up and down, but still going down more often than it goes up. Of special note is that I realized around the 16th of Feb that my scale was off by 4 Lbs, so I have to add them in manually. What does that mean? That I’ve lost about 10lbs now. Wednesdays weigh-in was 177. Around me, I see friends who struggle against an increasing waistline and other friends who scream in glee about their weight loss using products like Omni drops and Body by Vi and “wraps” promising to help you lose inches from your problem areas and yes even plain old diet/exercise. It’s a DIY struggle for us all as we grow older and realize that we can’t subsist on Cheetos and Mountain Dew. I am encouraged by those people who are paying attention to the journey and cheer me on. By the friends ask how it’s working out and start journeys of improvement and/or self discovery themselves. I may not have lost as quickly as others but that number moves and I’m proud of it? (and I’m proud of you.)