Sunday, June 01, 2014
After waiting for a month for the Whole30 book (It Starts With Food) to come in to the library, I finally picked it up yesterday and began to read it. At the very beginning of the book one of the authors, Dallas Hartwig, talks about his first attempt to test this method of eating and how prior to that attempt, he had been suffering from tendonitis for several years. After a month on this plan, his tendonitis was gone.
Reading that, triggered in me the fact that I somehow injured my upper right arm in early February. At the end of February, I finally went to see an orthopedic surgeon who examined me and took xrays. She was uncertain what was wrong and said it could be anything from a muscle strain to a muscle tear and wanted me to see a physical therapist. I passed on PT because on March 1, I entered my health insurance plan year and had a large deductible. I knew that I would be paying out of pocket for every cent of that PT and just couldn't spend that kind of money. I have babied the arm ever since. When I must use it for something (like when I painted the closet just last week) it aches afterward and the one thing that I absolutely couldn't do was lie on it. In fact, that is how I first knew that something was wrong with it. I always slept on my right side, but when I would lie that way even for a few minutes, my arm would ache terribly.
When I read about Dallas's tendonitis, I thought about my arm. I realized that the last time it had bothered me was about a week ago and then it didn't bother me too much. I turned out the light and rolled onto my right side, where I slept soundly for much of the night. This morning my arm feels fine!
Saturday, May 31, 2014
I just completed my 30 days of WHOLE30 and thought I would share what I discovered I learned about myself during this month.
1. I learned that the scale is too much of a force in my life. Without it, I tuned in to the fact that I was overeating in the first weeks on the program just by the way my body felt. I was able to make the necessary changes without stressing over a number and feeling a lot of guilt or self-deprecation.
2. I learned that I could feel completely nourished and satisfied without grains and dairy in my life. I never deprived without them. There were several times when I would encounter some food that I was giving up and feel a pang of desire, but it quickly passed. Also, there were so many foods that I love and usually deprive myself of, such as nuts, dried fruits, almond butter, etc. that I was permitted to have on this plan that I could always find a treat if I wanted one.
3. I learned that I do not need wine or beer at the end of the day in order to relax or to treat myself (though I do still enjoy it and will drink it occasionally).
4. I learned that I can control the amount of food that I eat based upon how my body feels rather than by counting calories or limiting myself in some other way (even though it took awhile for me to get it). I feel more in touch with my body and its needs than ever before.
I am not yet certain how this has affected my arthritis. I am still aware of pain, especially in my knees on stairs or inclines, though I think the pain is decreasing. I don't really expect 57 years of damage to be repaired in 30 of eating differently.
It was vital for me to stay off of the scale during this experience. I realized that I was overeating at first (I think it was in response to my feelingemotionally deprived initially because of all that I was giving up.) and I definitely gained weight because I felt larger and my clothes were tight. Because I didn't focus on a number, I was able to focus on how I felt and adjust my eating accordingly. That only happened in the last 7 - 10 days of the month, so it definitely took me awhile to adjust. Despite the initial gain, I ended the month down 4.2 pounds without ever counting a calorie or feeling deprived.
My mood is great. I feel very upbeat and motivated -- more so than I have in a long time.
I also think that my allergies are milder than they have been in months.
Overall, I think this has been a great experience for me and I am not ending a program, but beginning a new phase of my life.
Thursday, May 01, 2014
I returned late yesterday afternoon from a 3-day hiking escape. It was incredible, energizing and relaxing all at once. We got in over 12 miles of hiking on each day, Monday and Tuesday. I came home ready to make a change in my eating habits. Of course, real life is often very different than the reality we imagine when we are away from home.
Prior to leaving for my trip I determined to take on the Whole30 eating challenge upon my return. I am still committed to that, however, I walked into my house upbeat and ready to make this big change and found real life waiting sullenly for me. I was quickly reminded of what my real day-to-day existence is like.
There were moments lying in bed last night, unable to sleep, that I wished I had never left. Somehow being here day-in and day-out, I have adjusted to this. Going away for more than a day, freed me of what has become normal in my household. It made my reality so obvious that it felt like I was hit in the face with it when I came back.
It is clear to me that whatever I do, will be a real struggle. It is hard to remain motivated and determined in the face of what seems hopeless on many fronts. This process may well be taken on one hour at a time. Here I go ... trying to make a change in myself in the midst of a life that feels like it is lived in quicksand.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Recently I have been surprised, pleased and humbled to be contacted by several new members asking for advice on how I have been successful in my journey. Something about my page inspired them enough to reach out to me. I have to tell you how incredibly satisfying it is to feel that I have touched someone in that way, especially when I have all the ups and downs of everyone else and sometimes feel that I am falling far short of the expectations I have for myself.
When they asked me for advice, this is what I said. I thought I would share it here for anyone who might need something like this right now and for myself to be reminded of this the next time one of the "downs" comes around.
The best advice I can give you is first of all to BELIEVE that this is possible. I was over 50 years old and 295 pounds at my highest weight before I began my journey to health and fitness. I hated everything about exercise and didn't even like taking walks.
Remind yourself regularly that you didn't get this way overnight and you aren't going to be thin and fit overnight, either. That knowledge and understanding will go a long way to keeping you on track even when you feel discouraged because the scale isn't cooperating.
Third, I would say, is to learn to forgive yourself and move on. You will slip. You will slide. It isn't how many times you fall down that matters. It is how many times you get back up. I have fallen off track many times, but I am still here and still plugging along toward my goals.
Last, but not least, I would say, follow the basics -- exercise regularly, eat high quality foods, count your calories, drink your water, get enough sleep. I can't tell you how many "lose weight fast" schemes I have tried in my life, and while I lost weight on many of them, I never could keep it off. Do you know why? Because I never developed any new habits. I simply dieted and then I didn't. When I dieted, I lost weight and when I stopped, I gained it back.
What SparkPeople teaches works. Over the months and years that it has taken me to reach this point, I have developed new habits that make me FEEL GREAT! I feel physically better, I have more energy and I am happier. Because of these changes, when I slip, slide or fall, I get back on track with those healthy habits not just to lose weight, but to regain those great feelings.
My journey has not been one of perfection, but one of improvement. I am moving fairly consistently toward a better version of me and you can do it, too!
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