On the picture above you can see my best friend, Shady Lady. The date: Christmas Eve, 2009. (The other two people are my parents.)
This was a time in Shady Lady's life, when things weren't so rosy. Her husband was gone in Afghanistan for a year. She struggled with being an only parent and with a sweet, little daughter, whose emotional reaction to her father's absence, resulted in physically painful eczema.
It was also a time when Shady Lady, as she was looking at her body, made peace with the fact that this is who she was. Being a busy homeschooling mom in her mid-forties, she was convinced, that this is just what she looks like, and quite frankly, she was just fine with it. :) She was an inspiration to me, because she made very conscious decisions about the foods that went into her body. I was convinced, too, that "at this age" that's just how it is.
Well... not so fast! In October of 2010 SL and I stood in her kitchen, and she proceeded to tell me that she planned to go on something called the paleo diet. She already had to be gluten free for a number of reasons. Now she would also cut all grains, sugars, starches, and legumes... I looked at my best friend in disbelief. Was she nuts? Why would anyone give up on rice and pasta... on delicious milk chocolate and cheese! She clearly had gone and lost her mind.
And so, because there wasn't a whole lot of support from anyone, she didn't last very long and gave up this new way of life.
Until early February of 2011, that is. You see, in January, my running buddy B., told me about the paleo diet. Unlike October I focused on the foods I was allowed to eat as supposed to the foods that were forbidden. I hopped on the paleo wagon and off I went, and I felt great!
But this is not my story. About two weeks after I changed my eating habits, Shady Lady, who of course had already done a lot of research about this lifestyle, jumped on board... this time with the support of friends... and slowly also her husband, the Lizard King. Let me add here, that neither Shady Lady nor I started to eat like this for the purpose of losing weight. It was a pleasant side effect... but the main purpose was to get healthy... to eat the foods our bodies can easily digest.
Well... introducing a radical change such as this almost always will result in some weight loss. And in Shady Lady's case, the transformation has been nothing short of incredible. As of last week, she was down 28lbs! Check out her AFTER picture:
Yes, people, that is Shady Lady now! She looks fabulous, doesn't she? (psssst... she's 46!) I consider myself lucky to have been there all the way. Both, Shady Lady and I, found one thing incredible. It is the fact, that it was so easy. As soon as the body is cleansed, you no longer crave the junk food. You start feeling better pretty much right away. And the weight just came off... yes, I mean that. It just came off. Pound after pound after pound.
Of course, having seen this kind of success has made her wonder, what is possible. Could she actually lose more weight? After all, it still is coming off ever so slowly at this point. So yesterday she decided to go on a 30 Day Challenge... She started it with a 36 hour fast, during which she ate nothing, and simply drank tea with heavy cream. For the next month she will not eat any fruit or nuts. She will stick with meat, vegetables, eggs and just a little bit of dairy.
A year ago I would have called her crazy. Who can live like that? I would have said something like, "Hey, knock yourself out, but I'm here to enjoy life, and there is no possible way you can enjoy life if you deprive yourself like this."
Today, though, I am thrilled with and for her. I love her success, and I admire her determination. I know she'll stick with that 30 Day Challenge, and she will come out on the other end an even better person (if that's even possible... because she's so darn awesome already!). I know, she is not depriving herself... I've learned that it's the other way around... the rest of us are over-indulging. Yeah, let that thought sink in for a moment. :)
Shady Lady, you rock! I love you! And I totally support all the way!!