This is the picture that started it all. Isn’t that usually the way? Now of course there is nothing I can do about the fact that at 5’5″, I am the shortest one in my immediate family, and my niece Amanda is gloriously tall AND wearing heels in this picture. I am ok with being shrimpy. And the hair? Well that was easy-I cut it off. It’s not even the wrinkles starting to form that are highlighted by Amanda’s gorgeous 18-year-old visage.
No, my problem with this picture is my chubby cheeks, and my overall chubby self. At this point (early June 2014) I had started to watch my diet, but that was only to stay away from GMO foods and eat organic as much as possible. Otherwise I exercised no self-restraint at all.
By the time this picture was taken, I was already thinking about my brother’s family’s dietary path and overall great state of health, and had discussed it at length with my sister-in-law, but the picture just jump-started something in my brain. Why not try changing things up and see where it would take me?
So a couple days after this picture was taken I embarked on a new path-not a diet per se but a healthier way of eating-a semi-Paleo diet if you will. The strict Paleo diet cuts out just about everything except meat and vegetables, but I wasn’t ready to go quite that far. My goals? Eliminate processed foods, all grains (at this point I have rice or potatoes occasionally but at first I cut them out completely), corn in all forms, and all sugars, including natural sugars. I did not cut out dairy, but I did resolve to eat only the cleanest (organic, grass fed) dairy products possible. I still do allow myself some ice cream once a week, which yes does violate the no sugar rule, but I have learned that a little bit once in a while will not take me back into addiction.
Because yes, I was addicted! To wheat, grain, sugar, and carbohydrates in general. And although I never had my blood sugar tested, I know I was on a sugar roller coaster. Time to get off!
So what do I eat? Eggs, glorious eggs! Bacon, and all kinds of pork. Steak and ground beef, preferably grass fed to keep the unintentional corn down to a minimum. Chicken. Seafood of all kinds! Cheese, and butter! Green and colored vegetables, salad et al. Nuts, especially cashews. My go-to snack. What do I drink? Water, of course. Coffee and tea. As for alcohol, well yes I do still indulge, mostly in red wine but I will have the occasional whisky or rum. Not on the Paleo program, but I did mention this is custom-made for me, right?
I noticed a positive change right away, including some lost pounds, but didn’t recognize the vast difference in my metabolism until I went to the UK at the end of August and started eating the occasional cream tea with scones and jam (grain and sugar). Although all my walking and hill-climbing ensured a stable weight, I keenly felt the addiction setting in. It was amazing-a dietary epiphany of sorts. (Luckily after I moved on from Cornwall the scones weren’t quite so tempting and I was able to go back to my weekly ice cream only).
So what is the result of about four months of my semi-Paleo custom dietary program (including six weeks vacation in the UK)? A loss of 20 pounds, and (almost) 2 pant sizes! And more importantly, I feel better. I don’t crave those foods anymore, and it didn’t take long. Although I wouldn’t mind losing a bit more weight, and I must sort out a way to get moving over the winter, I am thrilled about my new way of living and intend to stay on it even if no more pounds drop off. It is wonderful, a kind of freedom I can only compare to throwing away my cigarettes in 1986.
So, you ask, where is the after picture?
Yes I am proud of the weight loss and thrilled about the way I feel, but the best part is to have control over the addictions at last. What a year-I liberate myself from root slavery (I cover gray no more), long hair maintenance, and sugar and grain addictions! Whew!
Do I recommend that you try something like this yourself? If you are interested, do some research about the Paleo diet and sugar and grain addictions. If after some reading and study you are ready to make a change, I wholeheartedly suggest you do! However, if you are looking for a quick fix to lose a few pounds, this is not for you.
Thanks for reading and sharing my secret.