Sunday, December 19, 2010

Me and the Paleo Diet - A Year in Retrospect

((Most bloggers will be writing a "year in review" post after Christmas, but I'm not like most bloggers.  ;-)  So, I thought I'd jump the gun a bit and write it today, while I have some time.))

As 2010 barrels to a close (finally!), I can't help but look back upon this past year and marvel at the changes that have happened to my life and body:
  • I've lost about 45 lbs (depends on what day you weigh me on, the phase of the moon, and which way the wind blows).
  • My pant size dropped from around 22 to somewhere between 14 and 16, depending on the brand.  Yes, I lost that much belly fat - did you know I have feet???
  • I discovered the cause of my chronic migraines (wheat) and am now wheat and headache-free.  Woot!
  • I feel better, have more energy, and feel "human" again.  (Ladies and gents, you are NOT SUPPOSED to feel exhausted all the time.)
  • My blood pressure (once barely controlled with medication) is now in the "borderline" range and still falling...and that is with NO medication.
I credit a lot of this to the Paleo / Primal lifestyle.  Though many of these changes began early in the year when I dropped wheat from my diet, things seem to fall into place the moment I switched to a "more fat & protein / less carbs" diet full of real whole foods.

Yes, I know I could have lost more weight this year if I had followed the plan more strictly (100% Paleo) but really....I love food.  I've always been one of those "live to eat" sort of person so when I have serious cravings for hash browns (homemade shredded potatoes fried in enough animal fat and butter to make a cardiologist faint - MMMmmmm....greasy goodness!) or something sweet, I do give in...while staying wheat-free of course.  I enjoy the treat and get on with my life....I try not to dwell on the idea that I "cheated" or that I'm a horrible person because I'm not following the diet 100%.  That's not how I want to live....that's not life - that's being taken hostage by your diet.

I still marvel sometimes that eating fat made me skinny.  My friends ask me what diet I'm following and I tell them, "I eat protein, veggies, and fat with a little fruit thrown in to sweeten the deal."  They marvel that I could eat that way - "What about pasta?  What about sandwiches?  What about CAKE!??!?!"  The idea of going "wheat-free" scares the general public.  They'd rather starve themselves than give up wheat.  They'd rather follow some fad diet that's unhealthy for them than do their own research in the latest nutritional research and decide for themselves.  They'd rather go under the knife than do the work.  *sigh*  No wonder we're so f'ed up!

Anyway....back to me!  For 2011, I plan to continue following the Paleo / Primal ideals.  I'd like to lose another 30 lbs or so to get down to my "ideal weight"....but we'll have to see.  I do have a lot of muscle on me and I don't want to endanger that muscle mass to meet a certain number on the scale.  I'd also like my BP to be in the "normal" range - I'm sure my heart and cardio system would appreciate that.  ;-)  I also want to exercise more - something I've let slip in the last few months - but we'll have to see how that works out schedule-wise.  Balancing work and home and kids means that I don't get a lot of "me time" and when I do have some down time, I'd rather spend it doing something I enjoy than exercising.

As this post comes to an end, I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years.  My kids spend the holiday with their father which means a blessed kid-free break for me.  ;-)  It won't be all bonbons and Netflix for me though - I still have to work and let's not mention the long list of things I want to get done before the kids come clean my couch cushions.  We'll have to see how far I get.  As such, don't be surprised if I don't post much over the next two weeks.   You've been warned!  ;-)

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