After years of jumping on and off the wagon, I am finally committing to a training diet. The days of Starbucks, Snickers bars, and waffles are long behind me.
There came a point, early this summer, where I had enough. I was sick of being fat, out of shape, mopey, and depressed. My moods were still miserable, despite multiple “elimination diets” where I went off sugar, caffeine, etc. After several yo-yo periods of time where I lost weight then re-gained it, I was ready for permanent change.
So I decided to take my doctor’s advice and try “paleo”. The Paleo Diet, formerly branded under the ambigious training diet, is quite simple. No grains, no sugar, no fun (sorry, that’s what I thought at first). The object is to stick to a “pure” diet, like our ancestors ate pre-Industrial Revolution. If you eat dairy, eat raw, organic products fresh from the farm. Eat organic veggies and fruit, from the farm if possible, that’s not genetically modified.Organic meat and wild fish, prepared yourself without the sauces and glazes that often end up soaking the stuff in restaurants or in most people’s kitchens. Some nuts (in moderation), teas, and water, (not sure where coffee fits in, but since I can’t drink it anymore that’s no problem). That’s it.
To a foodie like me, that was like a death sentence. But it was also a chance to revitalize my health and body and get back into my skintight figure skating lycra with ease. So I took the plunge.
I’ll be honest; there are days I crave grains still. And chocolate. Even things I didn’t LOVE before (like ice cream, which I haven’t had since I was 12) was tempting. Was I tempted to swipe ice cream cones from the tourists on Main Street? Absolutely. Did I sometimes walk by Candyman (our local candy store) and gaze longingly through the window? Of course. But I was starting to lose weight–pants were fitting better, stomach was flatter–so I didn’t give up. My one slip-up over the last few weeks was a Clif bar, which is both grains and sugar (or sugar-type sweetener, like evaporated cane juice). Afterwards, I felt that sickening, stomach-clenching feeling where my energy dropped faster than the divers at the 2012 Olympics (had to include an Olympics reference). My head hurt, my stomach twisted, and I felt apathetic. So I realized what exactly these “delicious foods” were doing to me, which helped me stop my “cheating”.
I’m still on Paleo, and when people ask me what that is, I basically say it’s a training diet. Lots of professional athletes adopt this diet while they are training, eliminating foods that aren’t that healthy anyway. I’m reading great paleo blogs like Mark’s Daily Apple, and my mother and I have been using coconut flour for recipes. We made a killer batch of blueberry muffins that are AWESOME and completely within the paleo diet. Eventually I hope to get off this habit as well, and eat as pure as possible.
So now that I’m eating healthier and have a goal, I’m going to start the next phase–exercise!
Tune in for the next blog post, and tell me your stories. Did you get out of shape after being a super-athlete? Are you a college grad who’s trying to get back in shape? Have you already whipped yourself back into your pre-university fitness? Tell me how!!