This could potentially turn into a really long blog; so I have decided to divide it in tolerable reading amounts just for you. For those of you who know me…I mean, really know me, know that it is no secret I have battled with food and somewhat over-exercising throughout the last 10 years.
If you have ever had a problem with those two things, I encourage you to keep reading.
In order for me to explain why I am sold to eating as clean as possible, Paleo and Zone, I have to give you a little bit of background information. Around my junior year in high school I experimented with eating as little as possible, and running or working out as much as possible. My goal was to lose so much weight, that when I went to donate blood I would be turned down because you have to weigh at least 110lbs. For someone that is 5’7″ that is gross! The lowest I ever got to was 115lbs, which is very unhealthy as well.
Every night before I went to sleep, I would tally in my head everything I ate. I knew it was a “good” day if I stayed under 10 items. Every morning I would wake up, workout, and think about the things I was not going to eat. My mind was consumed by what I would and would not allow myself to eat. I got a sense of power from going to lunch with my friends and not eating anything; just drinking coffee, and lots of water. I was always tired. I was miserable, and the only thing that made me temporarily ‘happy’ was getting on the scale and seeing a lower number than the day before.
I became a little less obsessive when I went to college, but I still had very disordered eating patterns. I was a low fat, fat free, sugar free, rice cake, fiber one, soup or salad for dinner, kind of girl. Sure, I would eat Taco Cabana and what-not every now and then, but I was still obsessed with working out all the time. Let me tell you, I could get away with a lot more when I was 21, than now. I can definitely tell that my metabolism has changed over the years, not to mention it probably got jacked up from years of barely eating.
Being on the Cross Country and Track team at Texas State probably didn’t help my disordered eating much either. We had to wear tiny underwear shorts and skin tight racing tops. Who’s going to stuff their face during the week knowing that on Saturday you have to race in that?! We’d practice in the morning and in the afternoon. I’d eat breakfast after practice, but was scared to eat anything more than a granola bar, apple, and yogurt throughout the day because I didn’t want to be too “full” for practice. Again, I’d go all day without eating anything significant and would eat something like a chicken breast and steamed veggies for dinner. If only, I would have known about eating Paleo then…I might not have gotten lapped off the track during the 5k!
So, where am I going with all of this? I have been longing for a way to eat that is truly healthy, satisfying, and something I can continue. Not the latest fad diet, not constantly buying fat-free dressings, and crackers, and fiber packed cereals, and granola bars thinking that the words “fat free” and “low fat” and “sugar free” would make me into a “fat free, low fat, sugar free, lean machine”….because…well…in the past few years, it hasn’t!
Nine weeks ago, I committed to not buying anything packaged, the only boxed foods in our house were for Rick. I bought only lean meats, eggs, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds (trail mix), and fish. The first two weeks, I whined to Rick and my friends like a baby because I wanted my “comfort” foods. But each week, my body felt cleaner and better, I began performing better and stronger in my workouts, and that encouraged me to continue to make healthy choices; take the time to prepare my meals; read the labels; be picky and specific when ordering my food at a restaurant.
And if my mom was reading this she would say, “Yeah, well let’s see you eat this way forever”. And to that I say, I will continue to eat this way as much as possible because it makes me a happier person, knowing that I am healthy and fueling my body with natural, wholesome foods makes me feel good about myself, and for me that’s where it starts. When I’m not happy and confident with myself, I am not a nice person. Sure, there are going to be occasions when I will splurge and eat other things, but that’s part of life, and part of staying on track. If you don’t give yourself a break every once in a while; you’re likely to get frustrated and quit all together.