We 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.
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.