IINPlate_1201022I have the opportunity to participate in a 3-week guided spring cleanse. It’s not fasting, but it is a complete overhaul of what I eat with specific food groups eliminated over a 3-week period to determine food sensitivities and amplify body detoxification. I’ve seen testimonials from programs like this before, and I know it could only help my weight situation and my health overall.

The foods I would be asked to eliminate compose the bulk of my diet, and unfortunately this isn’t an exaggeration. It’s everything the doc suggested a couple of months back, and then some. The difference is I would have access to a forum for positive reinforcement, and the health coach’s knowledge and ear for that 3-week period, and that could prove invaluable.

The main theme appears to be based on the philosophies of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I’m so impressed with this institution, I’ve given thought to becoming a health coach through their program (if only I actually liked people a little more, winkwink). They took the Standard American Diet and turned it on its ear, and scores of people have benefited and created careers based on their programs.

My doc had mentioned the program at my visit last week, and this weekend I got the monthly newsletter with the full scoop. As I read through what it would entail, I realized how very much I needed something like this. The cost, with my discount, is reasonable (only because I’ve been around the block where health coach fees are concerned…explaining it to Hubs is another story, though given the good it could do for me, I doubt I’ll get pushback). It is a pinch high for my liking, but I’m recognizing I need to make the effort. Sitting here, avoiding work for a pinch while drinking my third cup of coffee of the day and chasing breakfast with a cookie, I recognize that the word “need” is a friggin’ understatement of the highest order.

Short story long, as I sat there reading the details of the program and doing all this recognizing, I realized I was experiencing a rather palpable reaction…

Scared.

Shitless.

Parsing those feelings ain’t exactly hard. I’ve been seesawing emotionally a bit more lately (gee, thanks, over-40 hormones!), to my shame and the Hubs’ chagrin, and I’d like to get that under control (ha! I originally wrote that “I’d rather get that under control”…..like the two are mutually exclusive and I can’t do them both at the same time, classic!). I don’t want to feel deprived, because I’ve never been able to stick to a program when that’s the case. I’m worried about doing away with the foods I love, even temporarily. I’m probably more scared about the idea that I might find better foods to replace them. You know you’re an emotional eater when the idea of eating healthier makes you feel like you could be losing a friend. I love a good sugar high, even though they’re becoming harder to enjoy for long stretches, because my body is finally telling me to knock that shit off. I can’t imagine healthy food offering the same thing…which is closed-minded idiocy, I know.

How can I be so close to the turning point and my brain is still trying to sabotage me? Is it part of the addictive nature of the standard American diet, a chemical reaction that supersedes the habitual? I’ll be working through those questions and others, while I wait for my next payday so I can take the plunge, and I pray for the necessary strength.

Image from here.

 

1798648_727390447311714_6385335069214716789_nI spent this weekend with my husband at the Mother Earth News Fair. It was 2 straight days of walking, and my body experienced a repeat of last weekend’s pain. Saturday night was significantly painful, Sunday was spent powering through it, and today I was numb. I grabbed a nap, which helped, but I’m definitely reaching a new level of determined.

Luckily, I’ve also been bit by the athletic bug. Finishing that 5K last week was amazing, but I want more. I want to lose weight and get stronger and healthier. I want to be able to stop worrying about cancer, diabetes, or a rancid gall bladder. I want the sugar monkey off my back.

I went to the doc today. My BP was borderline hypertensive, and I’m taking my weight with a grain of salt, because I just spent 2 days abusing my body and it’s bound to be inflamed and suffering from muscle shock. But as the doc said, I’m reaching a branch (fork in the road) in my journey.

Went to a talk about breaking the sugar habit, and Sharon Greenspan made several good points this weekend. One is that knowledge is not the same thing as behavior change. I’m quite guilty of this one: I have books upon books detailing different ways to tackle the problem, but taking that first step, and the steps after that, can’t be found in a book; it will only be found in me.

Second is that sugar is not an addiction, it’s a habit. Yes, there are chemical reactions that occur in the body that are VERY similar to the effects of addictive substances. And the doc seemed to react positively when I told him how I went off candy for 3 weeks and it felt like a damn 12-step program. That actually may be a good way for me to keep score, so to speak; and it doesn’t mean I have to start going to meetings or anything. Maybe I’ll make myself merit badges for every month I manage off the HFCS. But the point is that while sugar is damn close to an addictive substance, imagine something…imagine breaking into your boss’s desk looking for change for the vending machines. I heard that one and was like, oh snap! Because it’s a great litmus test…when you’re hooked on something, truly hooked, it doesn’t matter who is around you; you are eventually going to steal from or lie to them. And while I am a binger and overeater, I’m not an addict, and I can finally say that and understand that it’s not denial.

So, where do I go from here? I got the cookbook to accompany Fat Chance. I’m creating a plan based on the material in Walk the Weight Off, using Fitness Blender and yoga for supplementation. I’m creating goals. I even signed up for another 5K already, next month, and I have my eye on that 6K in June. This feeling isn’t going away. Hot damn!

Image from here.

53:10

Posted: April 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

My first PR.

I didn’t expect to get done in under an hour. Not by a long shot. On a good day, I do 20-minute miles. My body is large and not in shape, and I haven’t been training regularly enough yet. I’ve been hiking, so my body is learning how to handle hills, but I really shouldn’t have done as well as I did. Though I’ve been paying for it ever since, so there’s that.

I pushed myself and didn’t want to have to stop. I get in a head space during events like these, and stopping is NOT an option. My lungs burned at times. Forgot to take an allergy pill beforehand, and that probably made nose breathing less of an option. I took the first hill too quickly, and there was peer pressure in the beginning to go at a particular pace. As the crowd spread out, I acquired my own pace. They had the miles marked, and the first mile seemed to be the longest, time-wise. The second mile was the hardest, there were long gradual uphill climbs. Not much of a grade, but consistently uphill, so I thought I was going slower. Hitting mile 2 felt terrific, and mile 3 was cake, mentally. Still, hitting the mile 3 marker was excellent. Les was sitting under a tree right at mile 3, taking pictures of my big self. I grinned like an idiot. That last 1/10th of a mile felt damn hard, until I saw the time clock, and my jaw dropped.

In the interest of full disclosure, I did a 5K in college in 43 minutes and change, walking with some jogging. I was also 75 pounds lighter. So that PR is practically from childhood. The number above is what I’ll build on.

Building on it is definitely a plan. I have a book that lays out a walking regimen, and this week will be spent figuring out how to fit that regimen into my life. I have my eye on the Brew Dash 6K in Charlotte over Father’s Day weekend. The feeling that accompanies finishing these types of events goes well beyond the endorphins you create. I’m ready to become an athlete.

The folks at Whole 30 posted this on their blog just the other day. As I read it, the lightbulb went off. It’s what I’m doing, and I hadn’t even realized I was doing it.

For January, February, and half of March, this was me:

give-me-candy

I was pretty miserable. I was high on sugar and corn syrup half the time, my body ached (more like raged), and my brain was in a perpetual fog. I blame Valentine’s Day, Easter, and hedonism/complete lack of willpower.

Something clicked in my head on March 15th. No clue why, but I inhaled what was left of my candy that night, because I knew I wanted it gone. I remember this also, because March 16th was a Sunday, I didn’t work that day (I relaxed, read, tried not to graze), and in spite of there being no processed sugar in the house, my husband is still alive.

That Monday was detox day. I had headaches and felt blah, but I realized I was thinking clearer, so I determined to stay the course. Each day has been a little better. I’m not off sugar yet by any stretch, but I’m off corn syrup and most GMOs, and have been baking more, using healthier recipes, rather than buying treats at the grocery store.

I doubt I’ve dropped an ounce…honestly, I’m not trying to adjust my food intake enough yet. But this one adjustment means my knees like me again and I’m waking up with a clear head and not getting tired mid-afternoon.

I’m on Day 11 of no SAFI (Standard American Food Industry) candy. Honest to gods, there are times it feels like I should be in a 12-step program. It’s only sugar, and sometimes the cravings for it make me want to eat it straight from the bowl. Instead I’m finally becoming a label reader, and I’m learning to throw away foods that aren’t good for me, instead of eating them out of the house. Also, this change occurred during my moon cycle. It really is a miracle that the Hubs stuck around.

I watched Food Inc. again this week, and it solidified my views on food. Tonight when we were contemplating fast food (because it’s night-before payday and there’s very little in the house), I simply couldn’t stomach the idea, and normally, I’d be the first to suggest Zaxby’s heart-attack-inducing fingers and onion rings. Instead I had Hubs pick up beans and rice, which I ate with organic corn chips and cheese. I’m still taking sugar in my morning coffee, and I’m not making good decisions 100% of the time yet, but I’m on my way.

I ache for the farmer’s markets to open. First weekend in April, thank the gods! I bought an out-of-season cantaloupe the other week that was the biggest waste of $3.50 I’ve partaken of in ages; it’s huge and tasteless, and could be a poster fruit for the concept behind Animal Vegetable Miracle. I’m going to learn to eat according to the seasons. I’ll preserve and store, so the dark days aren’t so bad. I’ll get creative with recipes, so that if we can’t afford the meats we want, we’ll be able to make do somehow else. Les was in the mood to slow-cook ribs last week, but we ended up passing because the only thing we could afford was Ingles (our local supermarket) and they admitted that everything in the meat case was Smithfield. No thank you!

Some meats are going to be splurges; there’s just no getting around that until we make more money. So the key is getting creative and making good use of what we do buy. I can’t stand when leftovers languish in the fridge, uneaten; and we can’t afford to be wasteful right now anyway. So when we had crazy leftover meat after taco night, I bought some potatoes, pulled organic corn out of the freezer, and made Mexican Shepherd’s Pie that gave us another 2 nights of meals, at least. There will be more of that in the coming weeks, and I’m looking to finally put the pressure cooker to use, canning soups and broth.

Now hand me a low sugar cookie and no one gets hurt.

Image from here.

Reckoning

Posted: March 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

motivational_poster_1-717x1024As I’ve mentioned before here, if I go quiet for a bit, you can be certain I’m probably eating bad food and not exercising. Sure enough…between Valentine’s Day and Easter’s candy possibilities, I’m lucky my gall bladder hasn’t bitched.

The good news is I’m getting back on track. After 3 months of BS, I hope to be finding my way again. I realize saying “hope” punctuates the tenuousness of my situation. Whatever. Here’s the good that has been happening…

• Registered for the 5K
• Bought new sneaks
• Did some hiking with the Hubs (more than once, even!)

Yesterday we celebrated 15 years of marriage. I dragged us out to the Blue Ridge Visitors Center for a 1.45 mile loop. This is a very moderate hike, serious beginner stuff. However, I’ve been eating sugar lately like it’s going extinct tomorrow. My joints have not been happy with me, and while that hike felt fantastic while I was doing it, I have been paying for it ever since.

After the hike, we hit downtown for burgers and walked a bit, and my lower half was throbbing by the time we got home…knees, right foot, and right heel flared big-time (arthritis and bone spur). I slept fitfully, and I’m still in pain today. Arnica and Advil are taking the edge off, but it was a good reminder that 2 miles occasionally on a flat track isn’t enough to train for a hilly 3 miler. I have one month to prepare, and it’s totally doable; but only if I exercise a lot more and get my food intake under control.

So.

Wheat and dairy just aren’t going away, no matter what the latest research suggests and what my doc recommends. I enjoy them both, so the key is moderation and the purest forms I can muster. I’ll eventually research if there’s any raw milk proponents selling on the sly in our area (I’m fairly sure NC is one of those douchebag states that doesn’t allow it to be sold). In the meantime, I’m drinking full-fat organic, and still making our bread from scratch. That’s a shade inconvenient sometimes, but I won’t back down from that, not after Food Babe brought to light just how hideously “filled” shelf bread is. Never going back!

I’m reading Fat Chance by Dr. Robert Lustig, and working back to the least processed foods for meals. My lazy butt bought a bunch of Progresso Light soups last week, and I had another lightbulb moment: they may be low in calories, but they’re also low in flavor. Once you start making your own soups and stews from scratch, you discover what real flavor is. So I’m hoping to get back to prepping food on the weekends. God, I can’t wait for the farmer’s markets to start up again!

I’m so itching to work out today, but with the way my joints are still hurting, I know I need to take a day. This weekend, I’m putting together the paperwork for our Y scholarship. The weather’s slowly improving up here. One day at a time.

Image from here.

 

Progress and AHA moments

Posted: February 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

1536708_651139128261347_1228903877_nSunday: 2 interval miles on the track. I speed walk 3/4 of a loop, and jog 1/4. Tuesday: 2 miles on track, about half interval.

This body doesn’t actually jog, not yet…more like a laughable facsimile of jogging. It shouldn’t anyway. I have mild arthritis in both knees and I’m 80ish pounds away from healthy. But I’m determined to find my strength and increase my endurance, and walking just isn’t enough sometimes. I’m reading more about high-intensity interval training (HIIT), about how maintaining intensity for short periods gives just as much, or more, benefit than longer stretches at lighter intensity. The problem with track walking is keeping up the intensity, hence my attempts at jogging.

Today produced the AHA moment. This week is crazy-springlike, temps comfortable in the 50s and full sun. I got out to the track around 4PM, and it got cluttered fast. A mom running laps with her maybe-10-year old. Parents walking while watching their little ones break in bikes that haven’t seen pavement yet since showing up under the tree. Dog walkers. There’s a particular stretch of track where I attempt my version of jogging, and at one point, I had to step it up a notch to pass a pair of chatting 20somethings walking abreast. I realized two things very quickly: that what I was doing when I passed them actually felt like jogging, and that there was no way I could sustain it much more than what was needed to pass them. It was the lightbulb I needed, to remember that losing weight is only a byproduct of the exercise; that what I really need to do is build muscle. That until I have decent muscle tone in my legs, my jogging is going to feel like I’m plodding through it with a couple of lead weights on my ankles.

I’m determined to walk every other day this week, and to do bodyweight or yoga exercises on the alternate days. Skipped yesterday because my shingles neuralgia flared up (feels like someone shoved a knife in my shoulder blade), but luckily that only lasts a day or two usually. Within a couple of weeks though, I’ll need more, and hopefully that’s where the Y will come in. I’m finishing my tax return this week, and then I’ll apply for a scholarship and family membership at the local Y. I want to be up to 4 miles at a stretch by the time I hit the 5K at the beginning of April. It’s delicious to realize that’s totally doable.

Image credit

Body Image

Posted: February 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

body-silhouettesHad an interesting double standard happen this morning…

I’ve been working through a bit of terminal nostalgia lately. One of the main symptoms has been watching the Waltons. They’re on Hallmark and the Uplifting channel quite often during the week, and I’ve enjoyed having them on in the background as I plow through sites. The early ones, where all the kids and the mother are at home, are my favorites, but I enjoy the later ones too.

Today’s my day off, and it spread before me as I grabbed coffee and pried my eyes open. I flipped around the TV and found A Wedding on Waltons Mountain, when Erin gets hitched. A little overacting in spots, certainly, but it still had all the ingredients of family love and loyalty, and I was happy to half-watch it while I woke up and goofed around on the laptop. Then they played A Walton Wedding, when John Boy gets hitched. It’s the 2nd to last Walton special made, and it aired in 1995. As they showed the character’s images, from child to adult, in the opening credits, I found myself shocked by a few images. “Erin’s” aging could be blamed at least in part on the ’60s hairstyle they had on her (and she has lupus in real life, so she’s totally forgiven), but “Ben” and “Jim Bob” had both gained significant weight since their last TV specials. I found it hard to watch them, and considered flipping around.

But the double standard of my feelings smacked me in the face, and I instead examined what made me uncomfortable. Because to say that I didn’t want to watch it, because it’s hard to think of the Waltons moving on, growing older than the idyllic setting the TV series opined is a total cop-out. Sure, some of the women had gained weight here and there as well, but not to the extreme that Ben and Jim Bob had, and I had trouble seeing past it. I’m sure it was hard for them, being back in front of the camera all those years later, especially since neither of them had stayed in the business per se. To judge them simply because they had let themselves go was unfair, and automatic, and it made me very angry, how ingrained those thoughts are.

I watched the whole special, and thought about my hypocrisy and society’s.

*****

I’m recognizing that I need to work out at least every other day. This past week, I worked out Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday, and while I was sore, my muscles felt stronger afterward, which was seriously empowering. However, I’ve taken the last 3 days off (for one reason or another, snow, mood swings, etc.), and my body’s feeling it. While I’m still sore in spots from the intensity of the exercises I did this week, much more telling is the fact that my back is sore again when I wake up in the mornings, and my knees are angry again when I hoist my ample arse up from our low couch.

I signed up for the Conquer a Cove 5K walk in April. I’m going walking later today, and I’ve got a line on another pair of sneakers for cheap, so I can alternate.

Image from here.

Goals

Posted: February 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

Pretty sure I’ve established that I suck at personal accountability, especially if there’s chocolate involved. So in keeping with the spark that’s been lit under my rump, I trolled road races online yesterday in the hopes of finding something realistic to sign up for. I’m thinking I’m skating an edge here, but I happened upon something nifty that the Lil Sis and I can do together. A 6K (3.72 miles), in Charlotte in mid-June. With a beer festival afterward. Talk about ideal! ;)

I spouted my fresh activity on FB and got a nice lead from a friend. FitnessBlender.com has a great selection of mostly short workouts, focusing on multiple areas, from cardio to pilates, to yoga to butt toning. I plowed through a cardio and then cooled down with some yoga, and man, that shower afterward felt fantastic. I’m on my way!

 

Nearly there

Posted: February 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

yougotthisWe women are definitely too hard on ourselves. However, I believe there’s definitely some merit to looking at the last month and a half and thinking: “damn, I could be 10 pounds lighter by now.”

We are 5ish weeks into the new year. If I went at this diet and lifestyle change thing hardcore, I could lose approximately 2 pounds a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less. If there weren’t so many excuses. And junk food. And PMS (that’s a biggie, unfortunately, that’s going to require some herbal supplementation…last month was brutal). And…

January was a very large bust. I’m not sure what happened, because I had every intention of trying Paleo. Problem is, when you normally eat carbs with a side of carbs and veggies are an afterthought, programs like Whole 30 seem almost impossibly difficult. That’s not an excuse or lack of willpower; it’s fact. They try to give you an appropriate amount of time to prepare, and there are great lists out there about stocking your pantry and doing away with “bad” foods, but when you live with someone who eats more “normal” than you do, a certain amount of willpower is going to have to show itself in order for the program to work. And there’s the rub…finding that willpower, that control, deep inside yourself.

Side note: Does NOT help that our holidays have become so food-focused! I get that it’s all a matter of just saying no, but damn, we’re butting up against decades of habit here. Super Bowl day without chips, beer, and burgers? Crazypants! Next, let’s try Valentine’s Day and Easter without chocolate…go ahead, I dare ya!

So. Paleo is so extreme, I find myself seeking a more balanced diet. That could be seen as stalling, I mean, heck, even my doc gave me specific instructions at our last appointment about adopting a modified elimination diet: remove wheat, dairy, added sugar, soy, and packaged foods, and try not to kill anyone in the process. I’m now 1 month away from my next visit with him, and I’m already dreading it. I lasted less than a week on Whole30, and while my derailment was definitely partly due to severe hormonal fluctuations, it’s helping me see that I need to be more present about the whole mess, and more educated.

There are an overwhelming number of diet, health, and cook books out there. I stood in Barnes & Noble the other day, exasperated, saying to myself, “they can’t ALL be right.” And while Paleo certainly has its merits and the science makes sense, there’s also the fact that it’s just the latest fad. Can’t lose weight? Try Paleo, because grains are evil! Cut out dairy, it causes inflammation! And I read these things and they make sense, while in the back of my mind I’m thinking, but wait, don’t things like brown rice and aged cheeses serve a good purpose in our diets too? And should I really try a grain-and dairy-free lifestyle, if I have no digestive issues beyond occasional out-of-control candida? Because that’s a reason to remove junk food, like cookies, chips, cakes, not necessarily brown rice or aged cheese…..

I’m headed in the right direction. I’m making much more of our food from scratch right now, and vegetables are becoming less of an afterthought, but they definitely need to be bumped up to every-meal status. We make local and/or sustainable choices as much as possible where our food is concerned. I’ve just been letting hedonism rule the roost around here, and that shit’s gotta stop.

*****

Meredith-Atwood-SwimBikeMom-Motivational-Monday

I happened upon a new-to-me blog this past week that’s been a big shot in the arm.

Backstory: when I was in junior high, my school had a really terrific cross country course, a hilly and challenging run that bordered fields and forests in northwest Connecticut. I did it a couple of times in gym class, and the memory of its beauty stayed with me. But I wasn’t an athlete back then, had band to distract me, and exercise was too hard to put much effort toward, beyond the occasional aerobic class or tennis lesson outside of school. I cringe at the disservice I was doing my body back then, but we’ll move on…point being, I’ve dreamt of being a runner for oh, about 30 years now.

In my 20s, when I was biking all over creation (for transportation and to keep my demons at bay), I thought about getting into triathlons. I took a swim course in college that was a huge morale boost, because they taught everything except butterfly, and I even learned to dive for the first time in my life. I already biked everywhere. How much harder could running be? I may have known the answer to that question…if I’d ever taken the first step. Wow, just thinking about that is making me mad, because I was 100 pounds lighter back then and the exercise certainly could have assisted with how tightly wrapped up inside my own head I was back then…

Fast-forward to present: almost-mid 40s with 100ish pounds to drop and 2 arthritic knees from holding up an obese body for a decade. And the spark has been relit. Never accuse me of doing anything easy. I don’t even own a bike anymore!

Meredith at Swim Bike Mom looks overweight in some of her pictures, until you read through a bit and realize she’s a weightlifter and CrossFit aficionado. Then her size makes sense. If you do CrossFit right, you’ll keep a nice booty and your muscles will have muscles. Sold!

I started walking again. Today. Did 6 laps at the track, which equates to about 1.38 miles. I walked intervals, and jogged 3 times. Curioius to see how angry my knees will be tomorrow, because it felt OK to jog…I mean, I certainly wasn’t breaking any records. I’m sending in paperwork to the local Y in the hopes of procuring a scholarship for us, because Hubs needs the membership as badly as I do. He just started PT for some back issues, that we hope are an injury and not the beginnings of something more chronic. The membership is good for all Ys in the area, thank goodness. If we can’t get the scholarship, I’ll find a way to make it happen anyway. It needs to happen. Badly.

I’m bike trolling online to educate myself. Much as I’d love to invest in a decent road bike, the fact is that I should start with a hybrid with a stronger frame density than the lightweight aluminum of road models, because I’m damn sure not going to spend a couple hundred on a bike only to have the frame buckle under my weight. Interestingly, the biking will be the hardest thing to get back to, because the streets around my home are shitty, narrow thoroughfares with serious hills. WNC is definitely a bike-friendly area; they just don’t have shit for paths on the main streets.

So. That’s what I mean by “Nearly there.”

Images from here.

The Struggle

Posted: January 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

tumblr_my4yfh7KIc1rwe56eo1_400So the doc was kind enough to tell me that there was no point in my changing habits until after the holidays. Thank goodness for that, because between traveling to visit family over the holidays and the funeral we traveled to right afterward, being “good” wasn’t anywhere near on the agenda. However, that may have done more harm than good.

They tell you to make a start date, a set day to start your goals. They tell you to plan and prepare beforehand, so that you won’t be tempted during key craving times. I did all those things, with a plan to do the Whole 30, that hard-core Paleo detox program. My doc’s recommendation was to perform a modified elimination diet, to eliminate wheat, dairy, soy, gluten, and added sweeteners. Pretty much the same thing, when you consider I’m addicted to bread, milk in my coffee, sugar….

I lasted a week.

I haven’t been exercising; I walk maybe once a week. My joints have been pissy this entire month.

What’s it going to take?

What’s truly ridiculous is how I still behave this way, even though my body tells me now, in a much louder voice, when I’m not eating right. If I OD on carbs, I feel it in every joint. If I overeat, I live in fear the next couple of hours, wondering if my gall bladder is going to act up. The brain fog, crushing fatigue, lack of focus…and still I grab for one more cookie.

Maybe those detoxes have a point, that the only way to remove the crap from your system is cold turkey. But my point is that I know myself, and that’s an exercise in futility. It’s asking for failure before you set foot out of the gate. Real life changes occur with moderation and portion control. That’s going to be accomplished through mental exercises, through a deep self-reckoning, not through deprivation.

I do want to detox from the Standard American Diet. I wander the aisles of Walmart and am plain shocked now at how much food science is the norm, how very much on their shelves can barely be classified as food now. Michael Pollan of Food Inc. fame (and multiple books) tells people to avoid the aisles of the supermarket, that the real food is along the walls. When you understand that, grocery shopping becomes a little overwhelming.

I get that I need to make changes. I do get that.

One cool thing about the Paleo lifestyle is that it forces you to take time to make meals. I found myself stopping in the evenings to make dinner, and I’m always more centered in the kitchen, prepping food, following a recipe. Having a decent meal as the outcome is practically a bonus. Doing that three times a day can be a pain, until you remember that the alternative is buying crap, and that we live in a seriously spoiled society, because the average homemaker has done that oh, since the beginning of frickin’ time!

So, the current plan is:

a) Meals from scratch, using the best ingredients I can manage, budget-wise

b) Walking almost every day, yoga when the weather blows

That’s it, for one month. I’m eliminating fast food, and anything that comes in a box or can, but that’s as far as my eliminating goes. I’m not even going low-fat, because those products are just processed further to strip the fat and they end up stripping lots of good nutrients in the process. When I maintain my exercise goals, the extra fat won’t be an issue, so long as I can keep that moderation goal in check.

Notice I said “when”. I get how important this is. I certainly don’t want to be darkening the doorstep of my doc’s office in mid-March at this same weight. But I’m not going to make up for lost time either. There’s nothing to be gained by starving myself to try and make up for the fact that I’ve done nothing healthy in January. This is about making changes that will stick.

Image from here.