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Trying again, this time with support!


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Hello forum,

It's been several years since I've used an online forum, so I'll have to get reacquainted with forum procedure, but here I am!

I first heard about the paleo diet movement in late 2011. I spent most of 2012 alternating between paleo foods and comfort foods (aka cookies, pasta, pizza, etc) and wondering what was wrong with me that I couldn't stick to something I knew would benefit me. It wasn't until April 2013 that I found It Starts with Food and realized exactly what was happening with my body and mind, and why giving up ice cream and pizza was SO hard for me to do.

Which leads me to my first attempt at Whole30. I got ill (headcold/sore throat) on day 3 and didn't know what to do without honey in my tea. I found some Zand's cough drops at my local health food store which are sweetened with brown rice syrup instead of sugar and use natural flavorings, and I decided I'd give those a try because they were "less bad." After sucking on sweet-tasting lozenges for days, I had an especially bad day and I ended up reaching for chocolate, hard cider, and pizza on day 7. I clicked the "no, I was bad" link at the end of my Whole30 Daily email, and am now committed to starting over and doing it right. Now I'm back at day 2, and I've put away the lozenges and am only eating fruit if I am absolutely sure that I am not trying to trick/feed the sugar dragon. Otherwise, I am enjoying lots of healthy local animal proteins and locally grown organic vegetables. I admit that I bought myself the children's book No Eat Not Food, but I maintain that it helped me see the downside to mass production and helped me realize that I have purchasing power and am better off shopping locally. I have even signed up for a vegetable CSA program and a meat delivery CSA program!

It's especially challenging for me because I live with my fiance who, despite supporting my goals and efforts (when I remark about how tasty something non-paleo looks, he will slyly chime in with "But your lifestyle choice says you can't have that" to remind me to back off), does not himself believe that paleo is "valid" or that he needs to change his eating habits (which include things like McDonalds cheeseburgers and fries, Cheez-it crackers, chicken nuggets, breaded mozzarella sticks, pizza, and his favorite: sourdough bread). I am starting to think that he might be waiting to see if I reap the promised benefits before he considers it, but because of his food hanging around the pantry and freezer, I'm constantly bombarded by negative suggestion and I keep regressing, especially when the smell of fresh-baked pizza is wafting under my nose, and all I have to do is go to the kitchen counter to pick up a slice. Y'know?

I grew up eating McDonalds, Kraft mac'n'cheese, cookies, ice cream, and pasta pasta pasta. My (single) mom never cooked - we ate microwave meals, usually some kind of pasta, most nights, and cereal most mornings. I got real food when we visited other people, but then it was straight back to good ol' comforting junk. Even though I've been "practicing" at paleo for the last year, that single year is competing with 23 more years of deeply ingrained habits and psychological/emotional attatchments. I've also struggled with my weight since hitting puberty, with my record high at 210lbs (I'm 5'3" and have a small frame) in 2009. I was always a computer nerd since my (DOWNRIGHT HORRIBLE) seasonal allergies and pale/burn-prone skin convinced me at a young age that outside was baaaaaad news. I struggled in PE in grades 7 and 8, and by the time I got to grade 9 (high school, ugh!) I got myself excused from PE classes because I would have panic attacks and hate myself every time I tried to exercise next to anyone else, since I was always the last one to finish and always looking (or rather, feeling) like a fat sweaty wheezy pig. I was terribly out of shape but afraid of the journey to better shape, so I avoided it like the plague. I almost never broke a sweat if I could help it, sweating made me feel dirty and uncomfortable so I avoided it. I stopped playing outside and resigned myself to indoors, where I sat on the couch most of the day with a laptop. When I moved away to college in 2008 I lived on the second floor, and I would need to catch my breath after ascending a single flight of stairs. This is when I started to realize that maybe I should change... but I didn't, because I was afraid.

Enter 2012, the year of change. I started trying to adhere to paleo (about 50/50 at first, then up to 75/25) and started exercising. I used a Couch to 5K iPhone app to start running (something I never, ever, EVER thought I could or would even want to do) and completed my first 5K race in March 2013. While I've lost 50 pounds since my high of 210, I still feel dysmorphic about my reflection (at least from the waist down) since my body stores most of my fat on my legs, and there's still plenty there. However, I am so proud of myself for getting acquainted with the gym, the track, and the weight machines - I actually know what I am doing when I go in and I can write a workout plan for myself now, which is huge for me. I am determined to get fit and finally use my body for activities I had previously envied but thought were "just not for me."

I'm hoping that the Whole30 will give me the willpower to establish a healthy gut (maybe even help to alleviate my allergies and reduce my reliance on pills) and hopefully help me shed the rest of my unnecessarily stored-up body fat. I'm also looking forward to more energy and to being a morning person, since my fiance likes to complain that I am impossible to wake up in the mornings. Mostly, I'm looking forward to seeing what my body can do when I give it what it really wants. :)

Thanks to you all in advance for the help I know I'll receive here!

To good food!


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