Lately I have not been too thrilled about my eating habits. I would eat bread at least twice a day (it's just so convenient to quickly spread pb&j on it or make a sandwich). Of course, having grown up in Germany, bread is one of the most delicious, and, might I add major food groups. Even now, that I have been off bread for 4 days, even the word bread makes my mouth water. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Other things on my diet have been rice, pasta, oats (you name them, I have them), potatoes and more. And while this way of life worked just fine for me, when I was still a kid and running around in my village all day... recently I started feeling, well, somewhat out of shape, which is weird considering the many miles I run every week. I found myself dissatisfied, disillusioned, and I suffered from a loss of sleep among other bothersome symptoms. I'm 36 years old. I shouldn't feel that way, right?
I was introduced to the Paleo Diet briefly by my friend Shady Lady (forgive me for not posting the link. You all know her anyway.), who tried to live that lifestyle a while ago. As I listened to her talk about what was NOT allowed on this diet, I thought that maybe she had finally gone and lost her mind (okay, not really... but damn, no bread, no pasta??? The sacrifice was simply too much for me.)
And so I vegged on, accepting that I was just not deserving of a good night's sleep... and gave in to the fact that my waistline was an ever-expanding part of my body. After all, don't a lot of people have issues to keep their weight in check starting around my age? Perfect excuse, I thought. I quit all diets, and did affirmations. "You are beautiful and I love you just the way you are." was (and is) my daily mantra.
Only trouble is, the waistline was still expanding, and I was still feeling crappy, AND I started making more bad decisions when it came to eating whatever the heck I wanted. Sure, I was a runner, and for a while that was a good enough excuse to ward off any critical statements from my husband, who knew that sooner or later I would be unhappy about what I have become, but then something happened... and I'm so grateful for it.
My friend B, also a runner, and struggling with too much weight, turned into some kind of workout machine. She runs Sunday morning, plays soccer at night, goes to this Crossfit training (can you spell 200 sit ups, pull ups, push ups?), plays more soccer, runs even more during the week... Wow! What an amazing human being she is. I admired her, but didn't do a whole lot to change my own ways.
And then, last week, as I was browsing the self-help book section at the library (don't ask me how I even got there), painfully aware of my jeans rolling down under my little belly flap. I pulled out a low carb diet book and remembered that living the low carb life a few years ago (after Toothless Fairy's birth) really helped me lose a lot of weight. Of course back then I mostly did cardio workouts, and I'll admit it, I used Ephedra for a long period of time. Ah yes, the sins of my "youth".
I decided to give this low carb "thing" a try, and shall I say, I felt unbelievably miserable by Day 2. How can anyone survive on bacon and lettuce?? Sunday I went for an 8 mile run with my friend B, I told her about my miserable existence, and she said, "I'm on Day 8 of the Paleo Diet, my cravings are gone, and I feel great." Uhm... yeah? Do tell, dear friend. (Sorry Shady Lady, I should have listened to you, way back when...) And so B told me all about how everything has changed for her, how she feels great (how she's lost 5lbs! in a week), and how she thinks this is the way to live.
Alright, fine... I must know more about this Paleo Diet now. When I got home, I didn't waste any time. I googled and found what I was looking for. The Paleo Diet is based on the paleolithic time, when our very distant ancestors hunted and gathered.
This time, with a new attitude, I did not look at what was NOT allowed on the diet. Instead I focused on all the things that I actually AM allowed to eat. Lean meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries etc... Nothing like my Dr. A. low-carb book. Of course it still means no grains, no pasta, no refined sugars, no starchy vegetables, no dairy (which is just fine by me, because I realized recently that milk products gave me stomach aches). Of course I will admit, that I dearly miss bread. I love bread!! But the fact is, that even less than a week into this new lifestyle, I feel so much better. I have not made any bad decisions. I am not reaching for the chocolate in the late afternoon, because my stomach is still satisfied and happy from my spinach salad lunch with chicken and avocados (YUM!).
I should add that I'm not doing this to simply lose weight and then go back to my old habits. I know this would backfire terribly and leave me frustrated and sad and feeling like a failure. No, I'm doing this because I want to help my body get into shape (this doesn't have to include weight loss, even though it will be a welcome side effect!). I'm doing this, because, as I age things will not get any easier, and I would like to be healthy now, so I can stay healthy later. I want to be that 92 year old woman who runs marathons (I still can't get over her!!).
Will I never ever eat another piece of cake... or a bowl of delicious pasta... or a slice of bread with peanut butter and jam? Well, duh! Of course I will. Someday, when I don't have to worry that this will turn into a bad habit again. For now I'm doing just fine with my caveman diet. And I will keep posting on this blog about the changes that will be happening soon. :)