Saturday, October 5, 2013

I finally GET it!

I've flirted with the idea of going fully "paleo" for several years. I actually tried it for a while back in 2011 and continued off and on for the past 2 years... until about 6-8 months ago when I was ANYTHING but paleo. Bring on the gluten-free oreos!

Now I've mentioned before how much I don't really like labels. I'm not saying I want to be "paleo" to have a certain online reputation or to pretend I am the be-all, end-all of all things food knowledge. I'm not. Far from it.

See the thing is, I was feeling terrible. Tired ALL the time. Sugar swings EVERY. SINGLE. afternoon. Cheetos and diet Dr. Pepper were a daily part of my food intake... and I was even nearly falling asleep on the way home from work in the evenings.  And that was not cool. Not cool at all. It was embarrassing and I just felt terrible. Again, ALL the time. And I finally had had enough. I was honestly scared that I might get into an accident on the way home just from the constant sugar swings.

It took me years to get to that point. Do you still want to go to McDonald's? No judgement here! I went for years and years, even just for the gluten-free eggs & sausage. But apparently after years & years of abusing my body through food... it had had enough.

My Dad needed heart transplant surgery. My grandmother was a long-time diabetic. I really didn't want to make either of those health issues part of my future and I was just exhausted from feeling bad ALL the time.

So with the help of my husband's cousin Sabrina, I decided to try paleo again. Sabrina talked about the great success she had had over the past few months and her soaring energy levels and I wanted that. I want to feel good. On a daily basis, without tons of caffeine or sugar swings in the afternoon.

I was finally ready to say goodbye to my beloved "Cheetos."  My body felt bad enough that I didn't want them anymore. You don't have to be there yet. It took me a LONG time. And that's kind of the beauty of this whole journey. I know how hard it is to let go of those foods. No judgement here.

Today marks being 1 month completely paleo. It's actually closer to 6 weeks, but a month since I've been tracking my weight and my stats just to see how paleo has helped me. And it has tremendously. My energy levels are incredible. I finally feel GOOD most of the time, most days. I've lost quite a few inches in my waist, arms, and thighs. My clothes fit much better. But I'm still learning things. I'm still learning what foods work best for my body and what foods don't.

Right now, as much as I love baking, I'm not baking much at all. I want to hold off on the "paleo" baked goods until I'm at a healthy weight and mindset. Baked goods are an 'overeating" trigger food for me. And right now, I feel better about my health than I have in years. I feel like I'm finally ready to make healthy eating a life choice, not just a "few months" choice, or a "transitional" choice... but lifelong.

I'm no longer angry that I can't eat whatever foods I want too. I came to the point where I'm more interested in my health than in what I cannot have. It took years, I MEAN YEARS, for me to get to that point in my life. But I'm here. And I'm ready. I'm ready for a healthy and happy future that works for my body.

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  1. Love your story! Mine is quite similar and after a long bout of being "angry" that I can't eat the "good stuff" (i.e. desserts, the occasional donut, anything with wheat in it, etc) I finally reached a point where I had to pick between having stomach pain/health issues/being resentful or simply choosing to embrace a paleo lifestyle. I've been Paleo for about 2 years now and have never felt better!

    Looking forward to seeing future Paleo posts/recipes from you!

  2. You'll never look back. It's been almost 2 years for me and I'm actually at that point where I don't even want the baked goods anymore. The paleo journey is a journey and I hope you find what you are looking for.

  3. Yeah!!!! So happy for you!!! I have been a follower since I was diagnosed "gluten intolerant" but over the last year or so since we've gone Paleo, I was finding less and less on your blog that I could relate to. I was just about ready to unsubscribe. With your family health history, I was really concerned for you. I too have come a long way from what I used to call the "O's" food group (Doritos, Fritos, Cheetos -- all consumed with ice cold Pepsi, of course) which was a "go to" thing for me when I was having an emotional day. Now, I am just finishing my Nutritional Therapy certification, and I understand how the body works at a whole new level and what nutrition means to the body physiologically. Let me know if you have any questions. Keep it up!! Good health should not be taken for granted. =)

  4. Hi Carrie - I have to applaud your willingness to share on your "Ginger Lemon Girl" journey. I've identified with you and your blog for quite awhile (we both work in libraries and have similar interests). I've been running the same anxiety game over food for years... anger at not being able to eat sugar and/or gluten-filled treats whenever I wanted to, and dealing with candidiasis. But, I've reached a point where I just can't fight low energy levels, aches and pains, and foggy-headiness anymore. There's so much that I need to accomplish on a daily basis, and I can't do it while feeling lousy. I tried the Atkins diet years ago for a several month stretch and began to feel fantastic; I lost weight, my skin cleared... ALL my symptoms just disappeared--even the constant tinnitus I experienced. Then, I began to eat "normally" again toward the holidays and my immune system just seemed to fall off a cliff. The hypothyroidism (brought on by gluten sensitivity?) that may have lurked for some time hit with a vengeance. I've been eating paleo for just one week now, and I am seeing a big improvement already--several pounds dropped, rashes beginning to clear, and I'm not utterly exhausted when I get home from work. It's all about planning and having the right things in the house, by-passing all the pitfalls (like the McD word), and doing one day at a time. There are a lot of us out there who struggle with the same issues, so thank you for being brave enough to share it all. I'm so sorry for the loss of your grandmother and very hopeful for your father's progress. Their experiences have influenced you for the better, and I'm sure they would be thrilled about that!

  5. Five years paleo and 60 pounds lighter - be well, and thanks for sharing:)

  6. yahoo! all of us make decisions/changes if and when we're good and ready. So glad you feel good.

  7. Hi Carrie, I'm new to you blog and think that I understand your plight. I've recently chosen to eat gluten-free and have read quite a few bloggers pages while looking for new recipes. At one time, for six years, I chose to not eat meat. I did just fine, felt wonderful. I've learned that we need our meats, oils, veggies, fruits, etc. I now eat Paleo, most of the time. My foods are carefully chosen, and, if veggies are not garden fresh, they are bought as organic. Eggs are organic and are from a neighbor's chickens. Meats are all organic. My choice is to be fussy and eat nothing with pestacides, antibiotics, or hormones in it. If I want, I treat myself with something that I know is 'bad' for me. I'm human. Believing that our bodies do their best on 'clean' foods, my goal is to continue to be 'fussy'.
    This works and works well. I'm older, in my sixties (eeek!) and feel great. I walk first thing in the mornings (for my health0, ride my bike both for the fun of it and for my sanity/health, and mow the grass myself, care for a small garden, etc. Yes, it all works well. Unfortunately, I watch as my friends continue to get, what is called, diseases and begin taking RX's for their problems. If only they would find their CURE in foods. I, too, loved the Dr Pepper and Cheetos. Odd, huh? but they taste so good. Sodas are no longer in my home, nor are any of the bagged 'treats'. Recently, I tasted a Bacardi Rum and Coke. The taste? awful. That satisfied my desire for that old favorite drink. 21 yers ago my dad, my sweet daddy, died quickly of cancer. I began to read from the libraries near to me. 'What to do if you have Cancer', 'What to eat for Diabetes', etc. I learned that one must eat clean foods in order to maintain a clean body. It's really simple. We must desire to be well and eat REAL FOODS. Nothing should be 'processed' or made in test tube. We must read all ingredients on anything that we buy to eat. Lotions, makeup...same thing. organic only. I've learned so much. I keep a great kitchen supply of foods and try to find new and interesting recipes all the time. Library cookbooks are the rage. It's so fun to hold a book in my hands, almost making the prepared recipe come to life. What better way to live? Fun times can be bike riding the paved trails nearby, or riding thru town during a quieter time of day. I've learned that this is so true, "We are what we eat!" Carrie, you are on the right path to good health. It's not about dieting for weight loss or fewer inches, but for ones own good health. The body will soon heal and adjust itself to that smaller size when it's taken care of properly. We're amazing!
    By the way, your books are in my library and, YES, I've read them. You did such a fine job! Thank you from so many of us.

  8. I'm confused: you were gluten free while eating Cheetos AND McDonalds??? How?


    1. Cheetos are gluten-free! And McDonald's scrambled eggs & sausage are also gluten-free! yep! I was definitely gluten-free, just not eating the way I should have been!

  9. Paleo baked goods are definitely an over-eating trigger for me, too, so I sure get the choice to wait a bit on the baking. As always, I love reading your posts. Good luck to you on this adventure. Thanks for sharing this.

  10. Yay, good for you! I think I told you once those gluten free pop tarts were an evil thing, LOL. I actually unliked your FB page a while back because it was all about gf baked goods and treats these days and I don't need to see pics of those every day. I still check in here on the blog occasionally, in case there's a "real food" post. I'm so glad you'll be doing less of the bread and dessert stuff. I'll be able to re-like your page! I'm also glad to hear that you are feeling better and taking charge of your health! It isn't easy, I know. We all struggle with it, but we just have to keep making one good choice after another as much as we can.