*I’m revealing my weight in this post. I’m really not weight-obsessed, but it is good to have real proof that this diet is “working”. I use the scale as a tool and a motivator, but not in an obsessive kind of way. My weight can fluctuate up to 4 pounds from day to day, depending on where I am in my cycle, what I’ve eaten recently, etc, and I don’t really get upset if I weigh more today than I did yesterday. I’m just looking for overall patterns from month to month. Okay, on to the post.
Beginning in high school, I began gaining about 1.5 pounds per year. At my heaviest at 28 years old (right before I got pregnant in 2010), I was 140 pounds, which is slightly overweight for a short gal like me. It was such a gradual weight-gain that it only bothered me when I started crunching the numbers and thinking about the future. I realized by age 50 I would be obese if I continued to gain weight at that pace.
When I first started this blog about a year ago, I was super excited to just be maintaining my weight instead of gaining. It was a huge accomplishment. I didn’t expect to lose poundage on this diet, and I started the diet more for health/psychological reasons than to lose weight. But I did have the faint hope that maybe I would firm up. Perhaps I would fit into my old jeans or feel comfortable in a bikini again. Maybe??? But I wasn’t holding my breath.
When I started getting more consistent about the paleo diet and kicked the sugar addiction last Spring, the weight started to come off. Verrrry slowly at first, but I was definitely slimming down and my clothes began fitting more comfortably. However, in the last 5 or 6 months, it’s as if my body finally found it’s fat-burning stride- I’m losing about 1-1.5 pounds a month. A very healthy, gradual weight loss.
I remember jumping for joy when my weight fell into the 130′s . When I hit my wedding weight of 126 a few months ago, I almost cried. Now, I’m very quickly approaching 120, my high school weight. I’m starting to hear compliments like, “Kris, you’re looking thinner!” and “You look great in those shorts!” These are comments I never expected to hear again.
People assume I must be working out like crazy to lose weight. The answer is NO. I haven’t been working out. In fact, I think I was a lot more active at my heaviest than I am now. I was a wedding florist on my feet and doing heavy lifting 12 hours a day. I did yoga and workout videos, took ballet and hip hop classes, and occasionally played tennis. I’m certainly not sedentary now (who can be with a toddler?) but I haven’t purposefully worked out in a very long time. It really is the diet, I swear!
Here’s what might have clicked in the last year:
- I’m only eating two meals a day. One very large breakfast (2 pieces of bacon, 2 eggs, and a protein smoothie with 2 raw egg yolks, protein powder, cocoa and coconut milk) and a very large protein-heavy dinner. Perhaps some nuts or chocolate during the day or a small paleo dessert at night.
- I’ve cut my grains, legumes, and “bad oils” (canola, soy bean oil, etc.) to practically zilch. I do munch on popcorn or tortilla chips once in a while. I eat rice with my sushi. But other than that, I am grain free.
-I gave up caffeinated coffee because it makes me crazy and gives me headaches. I have no idea if this is related to my weight loss or just a coincidence.
-I’m eating less dairy than I was a year ago. I try to stick to grassfed cheese, creme fraiche or heavy whipping cream, and I use it sparingly.
- I eat out MUCH less than I used to. It’s just so difficult to eat out and stick to the diet. I’m also becoming a much more efficient cook, so eating out is sometimes more hassle than just cooking a quick meal.
-I’m eating more fish than I ever have in my life.
-And the most important one was cutting out (or I should say drastically cutting down) the processed sugar (see this post for details.)
All these changes are causing my body to shed the pounds in a way that feels effortless. I’ve lost a few pounds in the past by calorie counting and by working out intensely. But I was never able to keep it going, nor did it ever feel like my body was working for me like it is now.
I’ve been working on this analogy for a while now, so hopefully this makes sense:
To me, calorie counting and crazy exercise is like swimming upstream. It’s possible to get where you need to go, but it’s exhausting and you’re working against nature. Sooner or later you will probably burn out and float back downstream like a log. For me, the paleo diet is more like sailing. You can’t just “do it”- you have to take the time to learn the proper techniques and understand the vessel. You must be watchful and make sure you’re navigating the course correctly. But once the wind is in your sails and you’ve found your groove, you’ll get to your destination quickly, effortlessly, and gracefully.