In February of 2012, I was at my top weight of 183 pounds and felt miserable, heavy, lumpy, and exhausted. Little energy. Somewhat depressed. I was 54 years old. I am a registered nurse, and was very frustrated that I was gaining weight while I thought I was "eating healthy". I exercised moderately. Walking and such. I had a physical exam and was borderline Type 2 diabetic, and my cholesterol and Triglycerides were high. I was panicked because I could see the direction I was headed and I know the health ramifications. I started to feel desperate. A trainer I met at a local gym (where I lived at the time, in Clarksville, TN) suggested I look into "The Primal Blueprint." She said she thought I would find the science behind it very interesting and compelling.
I went to the website that day, and was hooked within 30 minutes. I was led to Paleo links by the PB website, so I researched both life styles for about 3 weeks before I decided to commit. I kept having "aha" moments of clarity and understanding and I knew the lifestyle changes would work for me. "DIETS" are not sustainable. Lifestyle changes are. I dove in, went through 3-4 days of Carb withdrawal flu...then it was over and I was detoxed. No more cravings. Hunger was not an issue. The food I did eat tasted better...real flavors. Fruit tasted sweeter since I was consuming less sugar. Energy levels went up. Weight started coming off after a few weeks. I was walking most days. I added in 2 days a week of Zumba and 2 sessions a week of weight training. When i did that, the weight/fat loss accelerated. I dropped 45 pounds over a 6-7 month period. I went from a size 16 to a size 8 in jeans. From extra large tops to small/medium. Even my shoe size changed because my feet lost weight!
I started to feel happy when I looked in the mirror, and loved getting a new and smaller wardrobe. I had a follow up physical the next year, and all my numbers improved. My HgA1C dropped significantly. My cholesterol total decreased. Triglycerides went down. All the numbers were great. I felt lighter, and could feel the joy in easier movement and flexibility. I slept better, less snoring due to smaller belly! I eat very well now. All foods taste better to me. I avoid soda, most grains, and processed foods. I love eating grass fed beef, organic eggs, organic fruits and veggies. I pay attention to what is in or on my food, and how I make it. I've learned a LOT of useful information from Mark's Daily Apple website, and from Chris Kresser's Paleo website. I'm a huge fan of the entire lifestyle: eat well, exercise, lift heavy things, move around, sleep more, etc. It works. I feel like a whole new person and have managed to stay within a few pounds of my goal weight for the whole time.
first 3-4 days of new lifestyle were hard as I detoxed and dealt with cravings. Now, sometimes it's hard to ignore heaping piles of carbs at dinners or events. It can be done, but not always easy.
What advice (if any) would you give to someone interested in trying a carbohydrate-restricted or paleo diet? Were there any obstacles that you overcame that could help future dieters?
Don't think of or even use the word DIET. It connotes, to most people, something they will do that has a start and an end. It's short term and not sustainable. LIFESTYLE changes are long term, hopefully forever.
My advice is to study the plan. Visualize what it means for you and to you. I was a good student. I read the Primal Blueprint website. I bought one book called the 21 day Total Transformation. It is not a 21 day diet. It's a 21 day plan to transition from one life style to the new lifestyle. It works. I followed the plan. I did what he said to do. I was successful. It was easier for me to follow his plan, rather than wing it on my own.Then, I just kept on doing it, and I keep on reading and researching. I got a lot of great useful information from the success stories on the PB website. Real people with real stories to give ideas and encouragement. Loved them. Still do.
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