I’m Not a Food-Diet Evangelist…but

I have nothing to sell nor a product to promote.

Call it a short testimonial story about something I experienced this summer that has truly amazed me.

For the past 15 years or so, my weight has fluctuated on the average of 20 pounds.  I’d hit 205…get frustrated with tight fitting clothes and not feeling great and then try the Atkins/Low Carb…or counting calories, etc.  I’d experience some success…lose that 15-20 pounds…feel great…enjoy better fitting clothes and then fall back into that pattern of eating till the pounds packed back on. I’m usually at the top end of that roller coaster than the lower end, too.

This summer….I topped out again at 207.  I knew it was time to get back on that roller coaster and whittle myself down again.  The thing is…I enjoy eating…lots of stuff.  Admit it…you have a comfort food, or two, as well.  I love Mexican cuisine and pizza. But it was time again…to get back on …something…to lose weight.

My girls had been talking about some ‘whole 30’ diet they were doing. I assumed another fad diet.  Didn’t give it much thought and then Kathy tried it and asked me to join her as well.  I figured: ‘sure…what the heck’.  30 days I can do…just tell me what to eat and not eat.  (She does that well, I might add) 🙂

What I was learning was that this was like a detox for your body.  For thirty days…you eat no processed foods…no sugars…no dairy…no grains. You can read more of the details here – www.whole30.com 

It’s advised that you don’t do this 30 day deal if you know you have some special engagement or vacation planned that would sabotage you.  So this summer, we carved out a 30 day stint where I ate only meats, fish, poultry, pork, veggies, fruits, nuts, eggs, and sweet potatoes.  It’s amazing how much sugar is put into virtually everything you see on food counters these days.  But that’s another post for another day.

This would be a good place to inject a personal confession.  I’m not a fan of vegetables.  And fruit is just not something I have cravings for.  I’ll eat it occasionally because I ‘should’.  But it just is not my ‘go to food’.  I’d much rather slap some grated cheddar cheese on a tortilla, heat in the oven, and scarf down cheese crisps…or a bag of chips…or devour a pizza, etc.

Can’t say I’m a big sweet freak but do enjoy an occasional candy bar or Diet Coke or cookies…or cakes…

So let me just tell you what happened after the 30 days that I followed to a ‘T’.  First of all…it was not hard to do. I didn’t starve. I ate well to be honest, mostly due to my wife’s planning and preparation which does require…planning and preparation.  I just don’t think I was expecting what happened to me.  After 30 days…it was like I had an entirely different view of eating.  There were times during that month where a strong craving would come over me…maybe induced by a stressful afternoon or something…and I found myself stopping and actually analyzing why I was craving a particular food item. It was more of an emotional craving of comfort (which food often can provide).  And I was able to resist (easily) that craving and find myself opting for a healthy choice and feeling quite satisfied.

Not only did I become more aware of the impulsive cravings I’ve always had for food at various times…I actually gained control over those urges like I’ve never done before.

The second ‘phenomena’ that I experienced was what I’ve described as my taste buds got ‘re-booted’.  I am eating things that I’ve never…ever…cared for, liked, let alone desired.  I’m snacking on grapes, melon, bananas, apples and the like. I can’t help but believe that getting all the processed stuff out of my system has made all the difference in the way natural food taste to me.

One thing that  really made my wife sit up and take notice was I’ve never been one to ‘share’ a steak with her.  I might grill two healthy sized rib-eyes…and eat mine and she would eat just a half or third of hers and then save it for another meal.  But we have on several occasions recently…shared one steak.  That’s just unheard of in this home.  It’s the oddest thing.  I don’t know that I’ve ever felt this much ‘control’ over what I eat and how much I consume.  In the process, I’ve lost almost 20 pounds.  I’m fitting back into clothes I’ve not worn in some time. My blood pressure had dropped significantly and I’ve cut my BP med in half. ( I was diagnosed as border line hyper-tensive which prompted my Dr. to put me on something years ago)  Kathy says I’m not snoring anymore.  I just feel great.

Oh…when the thirty days ended…there was this sense of  ”Now what?”  And guess what…I’ve not changed my eating.  Still eating this way and can’t say I’m missing anything.

So…I’m not asking you to join a group…buy a jug of powder…pop some pills or drink some magic juice.  I just wanted to share what has happened to this 55 year old guy who was never known for ‘healthy eating’.  But getting all that processed stuff out of my system…has made a world of difference.

And there you go.  That’s my story.

I’m smiling a lot more these days.  But then…that might have something to do with my recent retirement from teaching school. 🙂

Cheers

www.whole30.com 

**Update**  2/15/17

Something I never mentioned in this original post that further convinced me that ‘clean eating’ has tremendous advantages was a ‘healing’ I experienced over a period of several months.

About 4-5 years ago, I developed a painful stiffness in my right shoulder.  So painful that when I rolled over on it at night, the excruciating pain would waken me.  I was unable to raise my right arm up at all without suffering.  Basic hygiene chores i.e. applying deodorant, washing my hair, scratching my back, etc…was difficult.  I finally went to see a doctor who quickly diagnosed it as ‘frozen shoulder’.  I had two options…put me ‘under’ in the OR and let them break up the calcium build up in my shoulder socket or I could try therapy.  I opted for the latter and after about 3 months I regained the use of my arm.

Then, two years ago, I developed the same symptoms in my left shoulder.  I new exactly what it was.  And while I balked at doing anything pro-active about it at that time…it was also along the same time that I started the Whole 30 eating regiment.  As I mentioned previously, we have for the most part maintained this way of eating as a lifestyle.  Not strictly…but we do stay away from dairy products, all processed foods, and sugar products and grains.  Much to my delightful surprise…my shoulder just sort of ‘healed’ itself and I regained use 100% without any therapy, surgery or meds.  Personally I have no doubt that the avoidance of process foods and preservatives must have contributed to this ailment.