Monday, May 23, 2011

Three Month Weigh-In Results

Well, Paleo friends...I did not do near as well this last month as I did the first two months.  I only lost an additional 4 pounds last month.  This brings my total weight loss since February 20 to 32 pounds.  To say that I was a little bit depressed about this would be an understatement.  It's taken me three days since weighing last Friday morning to even want to blog about it.

Now, here is the funny part of all of this.  I thought I had done really well this month.  All of the sudden, co-workers, friends, and people at church are commenting on how good I look.  In the last week alone, I bet a dozen people have commented on my weight loss.  In addition to this, my clothes keep getting bigger and bigger!  I donated an entire bag of pants, sweaters, and jeans from my closet last Saturday because they are so big they do not fit anymore.

How can my body be shrinking but I only have a 4 pound weight loss to show for it?

Although I was initially discouraged, I am not quitting by any means.  I truly don't even think of this as a weight-loss diet anymore.  It is a lifestyle change.  I am choosing to eliminate grains and dairy from my daily diet.  I feel better physically now that I have done so.  My cravings are gone.  And to be honest, I truly have no desire yet to return to my life of melted cheese, buttered bread, and pasta gooey-ness.  I am happier and feel better eating Paleo.

As I mentioned in my last few posts, I guess it is time to "step it up a notch".  I have two more weeks of school and then it will be summer.  As any teacher will tell you, we look forward to the summer break as much (if not more) than the children do.  I already have plans to meet with a personal trainer and incorporate exercise and working out into my lifestyle.  During the summer months, I will have time and energy to devote to this endeavor.  I hope that by the time school resumes in August, I will actually feel about exercise as I currently do about my diet....that it will be just a habit and the way I choose to live my life....not something that I have to do each day.

So...a temporary let-down and depression...but I am still going to keep on going on.  I can't refute the results of how I feel physically and a 4 pound loss is still not that horrible, right?  I mean, if I repeated that every month, a year from now I would be down 50 pounds and very close to my goal weight.

So...continuing on the Paleo path....

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 85 - Getting Lax - That's Not Good

I've noticed lately that I am getting a bit sloppy in following my Paleo diet lately.  This is NOT a good sign for me.  I am scared to death I might be at the top of that slippery slope I've written about and I might be in danger of sliding away into the doom and gloom of unhealthy fat-dom again.  I do NOT want that to happen.

What are the things that I am doing that concern me?

  1. Probably eating way too many pistachios.  While I know they are one of the healthiest nuts...I still feel like I am eating them too often.  Usually a couple of times a day.  I found these salt and pepper flavored pistachios at Costco and they are DELICIOUS!  I told my husband that we should start referring to them as devil nuts and not buy them anymore because we are so tempted to just devour the whole package at one sitting.  Eating mindlessly is NOT where I want to be...and that is what these darn nuts are doing to me.
  2. Allowing some shredded cheese now and then on a salad when we eat out at a restaurant.  I was very good at the beginning of specifically asking for "no cheese or croutons" on my salads.   I've indulged in a Greek salad with some feta, and a rib-eye salad that had a sprinkling of bleu cheese on it within the last week alone.  Not good.
  3. Drinking Diet Coke again.  Blogged about this before.  I cannot stay away from it.  Why?  What is so darn appealing to me that I feel the need and desire to drink it several times a day?  I have no clue.  It's certainly not the caffeine because I can drink coffee and tea and still crave a Diet Coke.  Is it the convenience of just being able to pop the top on the can?  I don't think so.  I'm beginning to think the the Coca-Cola Company must lace Diet Coke with some invisible addictive drug that just keeps us coming back for more and more.
  4. Having a beer every now and then.  I know...not as bad as a mixed drink like a sugary margarita...but is empty calories.  Yes, I am having an ultra light "girl's beer" as my dad refers to it...but I really should just not have one at all.
  5. Choosing fatty meats over lean meats.  I got on a kick chopping up hard salami in my salad for lunch.  It is so tasty and better than my bland turkey or tuna.  Turkey may not be as tasty...but it is much healthier and not as processed.  Hard salami is probably not even Paleo if I really investigate it and look into it.
  6. Skipping breakfast.  When I first started, I was so diligent about eating a handful of berries and nuts each morning to start my day.  I seem to be out of that habit these last couple of weeks. least admitting these foibles and writing them out is making me aware of the things I need to change.  I have a LONG, LONG way to go in this weight loss journey and it is too early in the process to get lazy.  

Three more weeks of school and then summer will be here!  I plan to concentrate on exercise and healthy eating and feeling in shape before I return to work in the fall.  I need the lazy habits to stop.  NOW!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day 78 - Time for the "E" Word!

I admit it.  I HATE exercise.  I have never liked exercise.  Never ever.  Not when I was little.  Not ever.  Never, ever, ever!

As sad as it is...I have done everything the Paleo Solution has recommended that I do EXCEPT the E word.  Oh, I've tried a few things here and there...some wall push-ups, taken several long walks with hubby or the kids...but I have NOT made any attempt whatsoever to actually start an exercise plan.  I don't want to.  I don't like it.  I don't want to do it.

BUT...I know if I am going to permanently change my life and improve it...then at some point, I am going to have to increase my physical activity.  If I am ever going to truly achieve true health, I am going to have to incorporate exercise into my life.

One of the reasons that I think I have always hated exercise is that I have NEVER been fit or able to compete with my peers...even at what others would just say is a normal fitness level.  I can VIVIDLY remember being in the fifth grade in a small West Texas elementary school.  Back in the early 70's, school children were given the "President's Physical Fitness Test".  That's probably not the actual name, but that is how I remember it.  There were various tasks from hanging from a chin-up bar to a vertical jump to the traditional sit-ups.  As school children, our P.E. teacher "trained" us for several weeks before the actual test.  The test culminated in a 1 mile run.  To pass the test, you had to be able to run/walk one mile in 9 minutes or less.  Elementary schools in the 70's did not have running tracks.  Our teacher put out two cones and and one lap (from one cone to the other and back again) was supposed to take you exactly one minutes if you were on track for the 9-minute mile.  Thus, 9 laps equaled one mile.  Even at 10 years old, I could not even run one lap, 1/9 of a mile without getting out of breath and having to stop to walk.  My friends and peers just raced on by me.  For weeks leading up to the practice, I can remember the entire fifth grade being done with the test and watching me as I struggled to finish that darn mile...and it was never in 9 minutes.  I was "Buffalo Butt" and "Porky" and "Fatty, fatty, 2 by 4".  It was humiliating.  It was embarrassing.  It was another notch in the self-degrading negative self-image I had of myself then and continued to have for many, many years.  No wonder by the time I made it past middle school and then high school, I was withdrawn and shy and totally hated myself.

I did find out several years ago though that I have suffer from a very, very mild case of pulmonary hypertension and probably have had elevated pulmonary pressure since I was born.  It is just the way God made me.  Your pulmonary pressure is the "other" side of what most of us think of as blood pressure.  The blood pressure that we think of measures the pressure from your heart to your organs and extremities and back to your heart again.  Pulmonary pressure is the pressure of the short trip the blood makes from your heat to your lungs for oxygen and back to your heart again.  Because of this, I do "run out of breath" quicker than a normal person.

All that being said...that's still no reason to not exercise.  My lung capacity would greatly improve with a concentrated exercise program and I have no idea what I could actually accomplish with my body on a physical level...simply because I've just never really tried.  Sad...I know.

So...what does this all mean?

Well, probably that I have gone off the deep end and can be certified as totally whack-a-doodle!  When dear hubby asked what I wanted for Mother's Day, did I ask for jewelry or flowers?  A massage perhaps?  A night out on the town? way.

For Mother's Day, I asked for (and received) a renewal in my (unused) gym membership and initial meetings with a personal trainer.  CRAZY!  What's wrong with me?  And hubby, who is either thinking he is throwing money away on fantasy thoughts of grandeur or actually might believe in me and that I might accomplish something...didn't just give me a lesson or, he has given me a gift certificate for 10 hours with a private personal trainer.

Good grief!  The old me is disappearing and I have no idea who this new person is who is invading my thoughts and body....what was I thinking?

I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 73 - Yippee for Me!

This week is Teacher Appreciation week at the school where I teach each and every day.  Today in particular, our wonderful PTA provided a delicious luncheon for us.  I walked into the teacher lounge to find a smorgasbord of non-Paleo tempting scrumptiousness....pasta salads galore with ham and cheeses...broccoli salads loaded with mayo and cheese...bean salads...pea salads...bread sticks...and then there was dessert!  Cookies, cake, candies, cupcakes, super sweet bar cookies, marshmallow gelatin salads, and my favorite of all time...cheesecake.

So, you may ask...what did I eat?

I grabbed a plate and went straight for the undressed plain greens and loaded up my plate.  I went to the fridge and got my baggie of chopped meats that I had prepared the night before (planning ahead!) and my Paleo-friendly salad dressing and had a nice, big delicious salad.  For dessert?  Fresh watermelon that someone had brought and sliced up.

Not even tempted to cheat.  Not even tempted to sneak a cookie.

Yippee for me!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Day 72 - NOT Slip Sliding Away!

Hello Paleo Friends!

I have been noticeably absent from my blog for almost two weeks!  Yikes!  As I have posted before, the "crunch" time of my busy Spring came with the move of my parents from Houston to San Antonio, then the state-mandated accountability test the following week for my students.  All in all, everything went off as planned and I am past it all and finally back to "normal" life...if there is actually such a thing as normal life anymore!  LOL!  Despite the stress, travel, late night schedules, hectic and endless "to do" lists...I was able to stay Paleo throughout it all.  It is funny how at first I was so consumed with planning our menus and making a detailed grocery list.  I don't even give these things a second thought now.  Eating Paleo seems to be easy and I don't really have to think of things to prepare anymore.  I just throw something together every night or pick something up on the way home that follows the Paleo guidelines and we are good to go.  Paleo has not only become easy, it has just become the default way we eat now.

All of this being said, I did encounter my very first time to "cheat" on the Paleo diet last weekend.  I was out with friends enjoying good company and laughter.  I was relaxing and decompressing (is that a real word?) from a very stressful weekend of moving my parents, getting them settled into their new home, and giving my students the HUGE test.  We were at a local Mexican restaurant...sitting out on the deck in beautiful weather and it was just gorgeous and SO nice to have so many stressful events finally behind me.  One of my friends ordered a bowl of queso.  I have been at this same restaurant once before since starting Paleo and that time, I did not partake of any chips or appetizers or queso.  But this time...for some reason...I just felt like I wanted a cheese covered chip.  I had been through the most stressful month of my life and I guess there was a small part of me on the inside that wanted to say, "Heck, I deserve it!"

I continued visiting with my friends for quite some time while thinking about that darn bowl of melted cheese and peppers in front of me.  At some point, I realized that I was thinking about that bowl of cheese much more than I was paying attention to the conversation.  Seriously, what's up with that?  If the thought of food, even just a particular bite of food, is consuming your attention that much, then maybe you should just go ahead and eat it.  So....I did.  I had 3 or 4 cheese covered chips as a matter of fact!

Were they good?  Yes.
Were they delicious?  A most definite Yes.
Did they satisfy my craving?  Yes
Was I able to stop before devouring the entire bowl?  Of course.
Did those few chips mess with my head and make me obsess about chips and queso for days?  No.
Did those few chips with queso ruin my attempt to live a healthy Paleo diet?  Nope.
Did I immediately give up and order a plate of enchiladas, rice, and beans?  No way.
Did those bites of deliciousness ruin this attempt at a healthier life?  Not in the least!
Was I able to wake up the next day still focused on eating Paleo and being healthy?  Absolutely!

It's this last question that amazes me the most.  I have a history of dieting, doing very well for a few weeks, sometimes even a month or two (like now), and then slipping off the band wagon.  Once I get off once, I find it so hard to keep going.  I am somewhat of an obnoxious perfectionist at heart.  If I cannot do something perfectly, then I do not want to do it at all.  I beat myself up and just give up.  I am my own worst enemy.  I have NEVER been able to just put a bad day behind me and go on like nothing happened.  I have always eventually returned to my bad habits, have started sneaking food, have eventually regained any weight lost.  In short, I have always been a diet failure.

I still can't put my finger on it...but this time there is something different.  I woke up the next day with no desire whatsoever to "cheat" again.  I just simply had some berries and almonds for breakfast and kept to my normal routine.  This was 3 days ago and I still have been able to go back 100% Paleo with no desire to "cheat" again.

I have been so scared of that first bite that wasn't Paleo.  I have always slid down that slippery slope faster than a speeding bullet.  Once I falter, I have historically just given up and resigned myself to the fact that I will always be the ugly, fat girl.

Not sure why it is so different time.  But that slope was not slippery at all for me.  I had a few bites off and then was able to immediately resume my healthy Paleo lifestyle.  I don't know why.  I guess I need to do some more soul searching for the answer.  But, all I can say at this moment is "I am glad that I am not sliding away!"