Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Two Month Weigh-In Results

Hello Cave Friends!  A quick post this morning to tell you the results of my two month weigh-in.

I have lost a total of 28 pounds in two months.

Wish it could have been a bit more...but I am happy with that.  As the tortoise said to the hare -- "Slow and steady wins the race."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 59 - Not Off the Wagon, Just Swamped with Life

Wow!  I haven't posted in 9 days!  I have been so busy with other things that this blog has sort of had to go on the back burner for the last few days.  I hadn't really thought about it until I received an email from a friend who wondered if I had quit the Paleo life and that is why my blog was supposedly stagnant and dead.

Well, no fear dear friends.  I am going as strong as ever.  As a matter of fact, tomorrow marks my two month anniversary of eating Paleo!  I cannot wait to step on the scales in the morning to see my weight loss.  I know there has been some.  My clothes are noticeably bigger.  One of my fourth graders asked me last week if I was losing weight.  You know for a nine year-old to notice you are losing must actually be true!  I made the decision to stop the daily trips to the scale awhile back and it has sort of released me from the numbers game.  I am not over obsessing about every little ounce and pound anymore.  I changed my scope from the day by day picture, even from the week by week picture, to the big picture...month by month.

That actually though goes along with a change in my whole way of thinking lately.  When I started this, I said I would do Rob Wolf's 30-day Challenge.  Even though my intentions were sincere, I privately doubted if I would even make it a week without bread, pasta, cheese, and chips.  As that 30 days wore on though, I found out that I actually liked eating Paleo.  The results, just in the way I physically felt, were phenomenal.  One of the most striking examples was the complete disappearance of a horrible case of nagging plantar fasciitis that has been plaguing me for over a year.  That little thing by itself was enough to intrigue me into continuing with this plan.

As the 30-day Challenge wrapped up, I was still happily living the Paleo life.  Hubby and I had purchased the black-out curtains and were sleeping restfully in our cave each night.  I was learning to actually enjoy fresh fruit as a snack and think of it as a sweet treat.  I had lost my cravings for "cheap" carbs.  I was satisfied with my diet.  Most importantly, as I posted a few days ago...I was no longer obsessed with food.  Food did not control my thoughts or my life anymore.  I felt liberated.  I felt free.  I felt different I imagine most of the rest of the world must feel.

This past week and weekend, I have been consumed with my duties in the role of daughter.  I am in the process of moving my parents to my city from another.  They are both physically disabled and the actual packing and the logistics of moving not only their "stuff", but them as well has been overwhelming my life.  As the oldest sibling (and the only girl I might add), the responsibility has fallen on my shoulders to do the planning, organizing, most of the legwork, and of course, most of the dealing with the emotional issues associated with uprooting my parents from a house they have lived in for over 30 years.  This has been a hard thing...for both them and me.  Thank heavens for dear hubby, who is God's gift to me in this life and has lightened my burden in unbelievable ways through all of this.

ANYHOO....because of all of this...blogging and eating and Paleo posting has been off my radar.

That being said, I am still 100% eating Paleo and still 100% gung-ho with the Paleo life.  It is SO easy and livable for me.  Last weekend, I was able to spend two days eating nothing but fast food meals and still did not stray.  It does take an educated look at your eating establishment choices, a careful perusal of the menu, and then a meticulous was of "special" ordering...but it can be done.  I had salads from Subway, cabana bowls from Taco Cabana, and salads from Wendy's.  You have to be forthright and insist on "no cheese" or "no sour cream" and have the will power to toss the included dressings, toppings, and chips...but it can be done.  I truly don't feel cheated or deprived.

I am beginning to now see Paleo as a LONG-TERM lifestyle!  Who EVER would have thought that?  I can truly see me sticking with the Paleo life for years to come.  My short-term experiment has truly led me to have a completely different viewpoint in how I am thinking about living the rest of my life.  It has made that much of a difference.

Tomorrow marks my two month weigh-in.  I will try to post tomorrow night and let you know my results.  This weekend, we are moving my parents....their stuff and they will be tough.  On top of that, I am the Easter Bunny for my little six year-olds, and will have the traditional church service and Easter dinner that day as well.  But...I plan to make it through it all still eating Paleo, still having energy, still having a smile on my face, and still thankful that I have discovered this lifestyle that has freed me from food.  I still have periodic inklings that DD will come back and sabatoge me (see earlier posts as to identity of DD), but as of now, I am happy and going strong.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 50 - Food? Not Ever on My Mind Anymore!

As I get ready to type this post, I CANNOT believe that I have been eating Paleo for 50 days!  I came into this journey somewhat reluctantly and dragging my feet.  Hubby was gung-ho and on board and I felt somewhat guilted into coming along for the ride.  As a lifelong food abuser/indulger, I did not want to be grounded from the things in life that give me relief and pleasure...most notably high fat, deep fried, grain-based carbohydrates.

But, come along I did and here I am almost two months later still on the reservation!  As I have posted before, this just does not seem like a diet to me.  It has been a change in lifestyle and way of thinking.  Yes, we are eating things differently.  Yes, we are feeling healthier.  Yes, our clothes keep growing bigger and bigger.  Yes, we have more energy.  But...No, we don't feel deprived or cheated like we are on a restrictive diet.

I am ashamed to think about how much time I spent pre-Paleo thinking about food.  What was I going to make for dinner?  What would I have for lunch?  What am I going to make for dinner tomorrow night?  Making sure I made a lot so there would be lots of leftovers so that I could gobble them up the next day.  Making the excuse of taking the kids for a fast food meal because I was "tired" when it was really me that wanted the burgers and fries.  Time spent looking at recipes online....planning high-fat, heavy meals of lasagna and garlic bread or chicken enchiladas and rice and beans.  As ridiculous as this sounds (unless you are a chronic "fat girl" like me), I could tell you what to order at every fast food restaurant that was "car-worthy".  That is, something you could gobble up in your car quickly for a quick "fix" before getting home and still be able to eat the next meal because no one would know you just ate in the car.  It's embarrassing...but I have a feeling that there are many, many people who have furtively eaten in their cars before.  I certainly didn't invent the practice.

I don't do that anymore.  Not ever.  And if I do think about food, it is more the case of thinking about it last minute when walking in the door at 6pm figuring out what I can make for dinner that will be quick, tasty, and Paleo.

It's like food used to be a drug for me.  I was like a crack addict.  Just thinking about and looking forward to my next hit.

I still enjoy food.  I have made some wonderfully, tasty Paleo dishes.  But here is the does not control me anymore.  And it's not like I am controlling just isn't that huge of a factor in my life right now.

Perhaps it is because other issues have taken over every spare moment I have.  Perhaps the good Lord in His omniscient wisdom knew that this would be a good time in my life to nudge me towards Paleo.    Between moving my parents here from Houston, getting their house repaired and ready, working full-time and trying to get my students ready for the state-mandated accountability tests, upcoming Easter holidays, worrying if state budge woes will eliminate my position at the school where I teach, and the general daily chaos of taking care of a family of has just been way down on my priority list of things to think about.

I have a feeling that if I had not been introduced to Paleo, I would not be handling the stress as graceful as I am at this moment.  I also have a feeling I would have gained another 10 pounds in the last couple of months. Perhaps the reason I am handling it all so well is that I AM eating Paleo.  It is helping me to forget about my food addiction (dare I say eliminate?) and focus on those things that truly need my attention.  In addition, Paleo is allowing me to physically be able to cope with the pandemonium in my life right now.  I spent the weekend painting and working on my parents' new house.  I could not have done that 2 months ago without being drop dead exhausted...and right now, I feel fine.

I am a believer and I think that between my doctor telling me about Mr. Wolf's book, my brother and sister-in-law starting on the diet, my husband reading the book, and my own self-inflicted "guilt" that I needed to actually do something and take action...God used all of those things to teach me that food doesn't have to control the way I cope with life.

I am not saying that I have solved my food issues...because I know they are still there and I am most likely one bad night of slipping up with a bag of chips and a bowl of salsa from sinking back down into the abyss...but right now, I am on the bright side and crawling up towards the light and feeling hopeful that maybe I could someday be a normal person after all.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 47 - When You Have No Choice

Tonight, hubby and I are attending a charity gala and dinner for a local organization where hubby serves on the board of directors.  We attend this thing every year and usually have a good time.  That being said, I absolutely know what to expect.

We will receive 2 free drink tickets upon entering, mingle around with the crowd, visit with friends, bid on silent auction items, and then finally all sit down to a dinner served at banquet tables.  Dinner is a pre-determined menu.  In past years, this has included a salad with a creamy dressing, a basket of assorted rolls with butter, an entree of usually some type of beef filet covered in a sauce with a starchy vegetable and a green vegetable, and then of course, the obligatory dessert and coffee.  At this point, the "program" will begin where we will hear about the wonderful things this organization does (which they do...not knocking the organization at all...believe in it...that's one of the reasons hubby serves on the board!) and then the evening ends with finding out if we won anything on our silent auction bids.

So...we have absolutely no choice or control over what our dinner will be this evening.  What to do, what to do?

Our game plan as we get ready to leave the house is to stick to a glass of wine apiece and then switch to tea or water, ask for a dry salad and lemons, scrape the sauce off the entree, eat the green vegetable offering, and skip the dessert and just have coffee.  We may come home hungry and we may not...time shall tell.

As much we want to eat healthy and stay Paleo all the time, real life does get in the way.  Sometimes you just have to go with what you are offered and do the best you can under the circumstances.  I will update you later tonight and let you know how we did!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 46 - One Day at a Time

The last few days have been difficult.  I am not just talking about staying Paleo...I am talking about life in general.

I am not sure what is going on...probably a combination of several things.

  1. Right now, I am chalking it up to unbelievable amounts of stress involved with purchasing a home and moving my aging parents across the state in the next few weeks.  The next three weekends are filled with "to do" lists of painting, landscaping, packing, moving, phone calls, etc, etc, etc.
  2. In addition, I am preparing my students for the state mandated Math and Reading tests the last week of April.  Despite what you may read in the press...most teachers work their a$$ off and care about their students and always go the extra mile for their kiddos to try and help them learn and be successful.  I am one of those teachers.  I have a class full of children with a grocery list of different learning styles, abilities, and special needs.  I am doing everything I can to try and help each and every one of those children be successful on this test.  I may not agree with state-mandated testing...but since the grand state of Texas says I have to give it...then, I am going to make sure my students are darn well prepared to pass it. 
  3. Despite warnings to "not worry" about the future of my employment, I am justifiably a tad worried.  Since I chose to stay home a few years with my two Kindergarten-aged children, this is the first year that I have returned to work and I am considered a "first-year" teacher by my school district, despite my experience.  Because of this status and because of state budget woes, there is a chance of teachers like me having their jobs eliminated.  While this wouldn't be the end of the world, it sure will put a dent in our ability to put our older two sons through college and pay our mortgage and groceries, and gas, and electricity, and, and, and, etc, etc, etc...  We have worked very hard to be free of credit card debt and not have that over our heads.  We have had many summers of no vacations and no splurging on the extras.  I do not want to resort to ever having to use a credit card to just make ends meet one month.
  4. My oldest child celebrates his 21st birthday today.  As proud of him as I am...I just don't feel old enough to be the mother of a 21 year old!  It just seems like the other day that I turned 21!  There is a side of me that simply is amazed that I am all of the sudden in my mid-40's and this is a bit depressing, needless to say.
  5. Possibly TMI...but another problem with being in my mid-40s is the whole female PMS thing is just getting worse and worse each and every month.  I used to think PMS and the whole hormone thing was just an excuse that some women used for b-tchy  I'm thinking that PMS is actually a legitimate thing.  Who knew? am I coping with all of this?

One Day at a Time.

One Meal at a Time.

One Decision at a Time.

One Bite at a Time.

Moment by moment.

I know that this time will soon pass and I will be feeling more like my optimistic self again...but until's one day at a time.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day 43 - No Brainer Way of Life

We are having such great success eating Paleo.  It is so strange to get up every morning and feel better each and every day.  I keep waiting for the shoe to fall, as they say...but it hasn't.  This way of life is just getting easier and easier.  I think too many people try to over-think it.  That's where the problems start to creep in.  I think one of the reasons we are having such great success is that we are NOT over-thinking it.  We are keeping it simple.  It is just a no-brainer way of life.

The food rules for us are grains, no dairy, no legumes, no sugar, nothing processed....that's it.

Do we mess up now and then?  Sure we do...we're human.  But, we still keep on keeping on and learn and go forward.

For instance, dear hubby and I went out for a nice dinner out Friday evening.  Our wonderful church hosts a "First Friday Kid's Klub" the first Friday of each month...which is a super opportunity for children to have a fun time doing activities with their friends in a safe environment...and give parents an inexpensive night out without having to pay for a babysitter.  Hubby and I decided to go to Pappadeaux...a wonderful seafood restaurant here in our hometown.  Ordering was a breeze...we didn't analyze every ingredient on every menu item...we just used common sense.  For our pre-dinner, sit around for an hour while waiting for your table in the bar drink...we both had a light beer...totally paleo, as long as we don't over-indulge...which we didn't.  After being shown to our table, hubby ordered a cold shrimp cocktail for an appetizer for us to share.  Again, avoided the sauce which I am sure was loaded with ketchup composed of high fructose corn syrup, didn't touch the crackers, and enjoyed the shrimp.  We told our waitress to not even leave the French bread loaf on our table.  For our entree, we split an 11 oz. tilapia filet covered with lobster and crab and it was served with spaghetti squash and green beans (instead of rice).  Now the fish did have a beurre blanc sauce (which is a white wine butter sauce for those of you who aren't into sauces)...which is definitely not paleo since it is made with butter.  We chose to indulge in this anyway...making sure to not scoop our fish into it, but just scraping off what we could and eating the fish anyway.  So, the questions are:  Did we have a wonderful dinner out?  Yes!  Did we make pretty good choices for a Paleo diet?  Yes.  Did we have an absolutely perfect Paleo meal?  No.  Could we have chosen better? hindsight, we probably should have ordered the sauce on the side or had the fish served without any sauce at all.  BUT....and here is the key for was still a good effort at sticking to Paleo and it did not feel like this huge I did not have this huge guilt thing going on the next day...and I had absolutely no feelings of self-degradation that I had "blown the whole thing" or that I should just "quit and give up".

This is such an antithesis to the way I normally approach food and dieting.  Normally, the minute I might not make an absolutely perfect decision...I decide that I have messed it all up and might as well give up and just go back to eating the way I normally eat.  Not so this time.  Like I said, I think there are decisions we might have made better, but all-in-all, I would count our night out as a success...not as a failure.

I guess the key is...I am not thinking of Paleo anymore as a diet.  I am just approaching it as "the way we eat" in our family.  We went to Costco today.  Not even tempted to buy some of the things that used to be in our basket 6 months ago...things like bread, rolls, cheese, hot dogs, corn dogs, frozen pizzas, frozen ravioli, or chips.  And some of things in my cart today were things I have never even purchased at Costco before - raw pecan halves, raisins, economy-sized Mrs. Dash, and beef jerky.  And for any of you who have ever been to Costco on a Sunday morning after the churches get can practically have a complete meal just from the samples that are being offered at the end of each and every aisle. even tempted to taste.

Hubby and I have been at it almost two months and I just don't even have a desire to go back to our old lifestyle of heavy grain-based carbs and dairy.  It is just so easy to eat this way, sleep this way, move this way, and live this way...and I am dropping weight without even trying.  I am keeping my vow to not weigh until the 20th of the month...but I am sort of curious.  People at work and church are noticing that I am losing weight and starting to comment on's nice to feel like someone is noticing and more importantly, that it is making that much of a difference that they CAN notice.

At a party yesterday, another man told hubby about a way to eat Paleo that combines periods of fasting with periods of indulging and then scheduled workouts, etc, etc, get even better and faster results.  My answer to that is NO....I don't want to complicate this.  I don't want to make it difficult.  It is so easy right now and so rewarding.  Why mess up a good thing...right?

Feeling good in my cave world!  Cave Mom!