So I may have inadvertently made a huge lifestyle change last week.
I went paleo.
I know. I’m shocked too.
You see, I am addicted to processed foods. Absolutely, 100% addicted. Sugar and carbs? Come to mama. I could not get enough.
The thing about writing about this is I’m afraid I’ll jinx it. I’ve written about making lifestyle changes before. And I may have kept it up for a week and then quit. So I don’t even really want to say it aloud. But I feel like I have to because, well, this is huge for me.
I’m so tired of feeling like shit, you guys. Every day, all day, feeling like total poo.
I’m exhausted, constantly yawning, having trouble keeping my eyes open – even though I’m getting a full night’s sleep!
I’m severely bloated. Like, look 6 months pregnant bloated. None of my pants fit anymore.
I have acne all over my face, neck, chest and back (tmi and gross). Sometimes I use silicone chest pads, and it does work, but not for long.
I am drinking two cups of coffee with all kinds of artificial grossness in it. And I drink pop all day long. Like six cans worth of it. Sometimes never having a glass of water the whole day.
And I never exercise. Ever.
About a year ago I noticed that my health had gone downhill. I was feeling sick after every single meal I ate. Eating way too much fast food, sometimes on a daily basis. It was all processed food. Frankenfood, if you will. I would go a few days never putting a single vegetable in my mouth.
It was awful.
I have been researching programs for awhile now. I researched the Whole30 program and thought it sounded great. I read the book “It Starts with Food” and it seriously changed my way of thinking about food. I realized quickly that I am sick. I have a leaky gut. My entire body is inflamed because of how I have eaten for so long. I am pretty certain I am pre-diabetes level of unhealthy.
Last week, after looking in the mirror for a good long time. Staring at the endless, ugly acne on my face, a symptom of my horrid diet, I decided to make a change.
It’s amazing how relatively easy it has been so far. I just don’t eat processed foods at all. The first couple of days were hard and I may have given in and had a McDonald’s cheeseburger. Hey, I’m just being honest. But that surrender only solidified for me why I am making a change. I instantly felt sick after eating it. Like I was going to throw up. And I was also yawning by 3:00 p.m. because of the carb crash. I don’t want to feel like that anymore.
So, I’ve cut it all out. All the processed sugar. All the fast food. All the bread and pasta. I just don’t believe it’s good for me.
One of the biggest changes has been cutting out dairy. I never ever in a million years thought I could do it. But once I started it wasn’t hard to say no because I felt better.
I started paying attention to my stomach after I ate dairy and it was crazy what I noticed. A deep rumbling in my stomach and pain in my bowels. Gassy and bloated. Yuck. I knew I had to cut it out to see how I felt. And it was instantly better! I am seriously the biggest dairy lover out there. But if it’s making me sick why am I going to continue eating it?
I’m on Day 5 of paleo and I’ve never felt better. I am drinking nearly 100 oz of water a day and eating real, healthy food. I already feel more energetic. The bloated belly goes down a little more each day. And the big kicker? My acne is COMPLETELY gone. No, really. I don’t have a single zit on my face and neck. My chest and back are finally clearing up too!
Essentially, what I’m trying to say is, I’m sold.
Paleo, you had me at “no acne.”
The one challenge I think I will face is that I’m not a good cook. I look at a bunch of paleo friendly recipes and wow, some of them are very involved with 10 or more ingredients. I think I’ll just stick with grilled chicken or fish and a side of veggies.
I’ve realized it doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be as simple as I make it!
Another change I’ve made is my eating schedule. Are you ready for this? I used to not eat breakfast. Awful, right? I know that eating breakfast kick starts your metabolism and regulates your blood sugar. So now even if I don’t feel like eating I am forcing myself to eat before I get to work. I also want to drink at least a liter of water before 10:00 a.m. I think I have been severely dehydrated from drinking sugary, caffeinated beverages. I thought giving up pop would be so hard. But turns out, I’m already over the hump and am craving water more than anything!
I’m trying to retrain my mind and body to be hungry at the correct times. I used to not eat anything until 11 or 12 and then wouldn’t eat lunch until 2 p.m. So bad for you. Now I’m on a regular schedule with healthy snacks in between and I find that I’m hungry at the right times. I know this is better for my insulin levels.
This is all new and big and shocking for me and probably anyone who knows me. I know Naaman is thinking – how long will this last? I try things and they just don’t stick.
But I’m being honest when I say I want this to last. I really do. I could see me slipping off the paleo plan from time to time. But considering how good I feel I think this is the best change I could have made. I haven’t felt this good in months.
So, paleo? You and I are going to become best buds. I just know it.