A southern girl in the Pacific Northwest

Food revolution

Monday. I think I’ll be able to handle this with a little more coffee. hahaha

Yesterday was kind of a bust in terms of feeling good, but today is a new day! I’m cheerful. Also, I’m desperately behind on your entries, but will catch up and make thoughtful comments tonight.

Some people have asked about the whole lower carb thing, so I thought I would take a minute to explain what I’m doing.

First of all, there’s the Adkins thing, which I think is super high in protein? And there’s the Paleo thing, which is eating only certain foods and nothing else. I AM DOING NEITHER.

What I’m doing is listening to my very smart doctor, who I like very much. She pointed out that at 178lbs and 5’4, I am overweight, and as such, and especially taking into account my family history of heaviness and Type 2 diabetes, it would probably not be a bad thing to lose some weight. She explained the mechanism of insulin and carbs and calories and how it all works together, how certain foods impact those things differently, and how exercise works on it all as well. Because I am interested especially in the insulin bit, this all makes sense to me. I posted that article a couple of weeks ago from the NYT that was along these lines, so it all just clicked.

So what I am doing is this:
~ I have eliminated processed foods. That part wasn’t so hard because I wasn’t eating a lot of that stuff to begin with.
~ I have eliminated a whooooooole lot of sugar. This has been much harder, and the sugar withdrawal cravings were REAL, but it’s finally pretty much passed. (I’m 11 days in now.)
~ I have a list of how many carbs are in various fruits and vegs and I refer to it frequently.
~ For now I am going without grains, pastas, and breads. This will change eventually. It hasn’t been hard at all though – veggie noodles are incredible, I didn’t eat much bread to begin with, tortillas I definitely miss but they’ll come back, and I also miss quinoa and rice, but it’s temporary. Tonight I’m going to “rice” cauliflower and see how it is.
~ I am staying under 50 carbs per day. Eventually this will rise to between 60-100 per day.
~ I increased how much water I drink, and quit booze (well, theoretically, although Saturday night I did drink) for the time being.
~ These days I do a lot more walking and actual exercise.

Carb comas are gone. The weird side effects from the early days of changing how I eat are gone. I feel unbelievably energetic and peppy. And! I’m down to 172. I’m taking it in 5lb increments. By 170, I’ll be looking fabulous in the dresses I bought. The final goal is about 160, which is where I think I’m most stable. But at this point, I feel so good that I almost don’t care about the number anymore. My clothes fit better and I FEEL better. That’s worth more than anything.

As you can see, I am not on a fad diet, or doing some weird super-elimination thing. I’m not on a diet at all! I eat a ton of food, and I’m managing to continue being vegetarian while doing this. I do not feel deprived and I do not feel hungry. I do not get that “I’m starving!!” feeling. The only times I’m having difficulty is when I go out – ordering from menus is difficult. I’m not willing to give up going out, but I’m limiting it, so I can keep track of what I’m consuming. It’s more important to me to really build in good habits and meet my goals than to eat whatever just for the sake of doing it. It’s important to me to change the way I approach eating – being mindful of what I choose to eat and not just gobbling or mindlessly eating.

In my quest to live as conscious a life as possible, this works for me really well. I will be super happy to get back to drinking beer (my homebrew!!!!) and eating tortillas and a piece of pie now and then, but I’m planning for this to be like quitting smoking – an actual change for the better for me. Therefore, gone are the days of day after day of mindless, immoderate consumption.

Thanks for all of the kind and encouraging things you guys have said. I am like 99% of women in that talking about their weight and their bodies is super hard and scary and makes me feel like hiding my face in shame. My inner monologue isn’t always helpful or kindly. My relationship with food has, for so long, been fraught with complexities.

What feels pretty good though is taking the bull by the horns and making some small slow steps toward having a different relationship with food and with my body. As I’m coming up on 40, it is more apparent than ever to me how important it is to address this issue and gently turn the boat away from the rocks and into calmer waters.

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