I knew that losing weight by using calorie restriction would only get me so far. Our bodies are very smart, and they adapt very quickly. In my case, I have a tremendous amount of weight to lose. So at the beginning, eating less and moving more was a no brainer. The weight fell off quickly and steadily. In that time, my body was most likely in shock thinking, "WTF does she think she's doing? I can't keep up with what she's doing!" But, eventually, it did.
When your body adapts, the weight loss tends to taper off and stabilize - the dreaded plateaus. I'm sure I would still be able to lose weight, but it would be slow-going and frustrating. When this happens to a lot of people in my situation, they become despondent and start falling into dangerous old patterns, and eventually the weight may comes back. I refuse to accept that! So, I need to evaluate what I'm doing, and decide if I need to make a change. (FYI - this may be a long post.)
So, what am I doing right now?
- I make my food choices based mostly on calorie content.
- I exercise pretty much every day. I now rest on Sundays.
Looking at my food diary, I realized that my breakfast and lunch was pretty simple. Instant oatmeal. Granola bars. Egg beaters. Fiber One bars. Sugar free fruit cups. Lean Cuisines. Fresh fruit. That's not bad, is it?
Possibly. Why? Because most of it is processed. The only thing that wasn't was the fresh fruit. My breakfast and lunch was filled with mechanically manufactured, processed, easy-to-eat food filled with additives and artificial sweeteners. When I asked for an expert opinion about my food choices, and if I was making poor choices. I was met with a enthusiastic head nod, "YES!" So, then I ask, "what do I do?" Response, "Read this book."
My trainer passed along a very enlightening and frightening book, "It Starts with Food," written by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. It pretty much blew my mind. It's a very easy read, written in a conversational style that felt like the authors are sitting with you around the kitchen table having a chat. Some of their beliefs are controversial. I'm still skeptical about some of the things I read. But, I'm willing to give their plan a try. Why? Because I do believe that my food choices are poor. I'm eating the easiest, quickest foods I can find - processed food. I want to make sure I'm fueling my body with the best choices out there so I can excel.
The Whole 30 plan consists of following a holistic eating plan for 30 days and removing foods that fail their Good Food Standard. The Good Food Standards are:
- Foods that promote a healthy psychological response.
- Foods that promote a healthy hormonal response.
- Foods that support a healthy gut.
- Foods that support immune function and minimize inflammation.
Starting today, the following foods and food groups will be ELIMINATED!
- Sugars, Sweeteners, and Alcohol
- Seed Oils
- Grains and Legumes
So, what can I eat?
- Meat, Seafood, and Eggs
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Healthy Fats
What are the rules to the Whole 30 Program?
- Eat from the approved food list (seen above).
- Do not consume any foods that violate the "Good Food Standards."
- Do not cheat and recreate junk foods by using the approved food list.
- Do not step on the scale during the entire program.
What do I hope to accomplish?
- Rid my dependence on artificial sweeteners
- Better manage my blood sugars without the use of medication. My doctor feels I should see a tremendous difference. I'll be seeing him during my 30 day program so we will be having a medicine discussion.
- Improve my gym performance - remember, I'm training for a half marathon. I need all the help I can get.
As I start this new journey into discovering food, I'm glad to be able to share it with you. The first two weeks are going to be tough. I should expect being very tired and irritable. My workouts will probably suck over the next week or so. I'll be Miss Crabby Pants! They call it the "carb flu." I'm suffering from refined carbohydrate and sugar withdrawal. After the first two weeks, I should expect amazing changes in temperament and physical performance... boundless energy.
So this past week, I enjoyed a lot of my favorites for One Last Time... Just kidding! I'm always going to eat my favs, but I'm going to try to put them off until after the race in May. I'll provide more insight as I get further into the program. I think it's good for me to journal how I'm feeling during the week so I can share it with you. I'm going to be spending a good deal of my time today in the kitchen getting acclimated with all this new food I bought on Saturday. Until next week...