I’m an avid learner. I listen to podcasts and read blog posts, and I even attended Paleo FX in Austin. Now I’m thinking of going to the Ancestral Health Symposium in Berkeley next month.
But man oh man, I can tell you there is such a thing as too much information.
BACK TO THE BEGINNING
In my search for more information, I lost myself. I lost my original goal and I lost focus. It’s no one’s fault but my own and I’ll divert blame on my enthusiasm for learning all I can about good health and good nutrition. Maybe I should consider entering a nutritional therapy consultant program.
Just like the weight loss industry bombards us with twisted messages about programs and miracle pills, I let myself be distracted by too many real food solutions, from all-encompassing lifestyles to little hacks. The 21 day sugar detox, the ketogenic diet, the Wahls protocol, the auto-immune protocol. Walking, meditating, lifting heavy weights. It’s all good for sure, but I’m at that point where I need to reassess MY goals and MY issues.
So I’m going back to the beginning, when I was still eating the standard american diet and exercising like crazy. What were my issues then?
- Inability to lose weight
- Sleep disturbances
- Night sweats
- Depression and mood swings
- Chronic constipation (lifelong problem)
- Bloating and abdominal pain
I remember telling my nutritional therapist that my body didn’t belong to me, that it was apart from me and I felt trapped inside. I can’t explain it otherwise. My body had become an insurmountable enemy.
I GOT BETTER AT FIRST…
I did the elimination diet and lost 15 pounds in 4 months, without going to the gym and without much effort but to follow my new diet. I learned I was intolerant to almost every food I loved and blood tests revealed I had Hashimoto’s disease. Can I say eye opener?
Once I got over myself (boo hoo, I can’t eat bread no more, waaa!), I embraced this new world. I became paleo by bouncing off the elimination diet. I dove into this new lifestyle head first and most probably bored my loved ones to tears. I lost weight and maintained that loss give or take 5 pounds, 80% of my fatigue left, I slept soundly, no more night sweats and my mood improved.
I still struggled with digestive issues but those distresses got way better. So I can say I got better back then. The improvement were so significant, whatever issues remained took second seat.
But fast forward four years and those improvements don’t seem so magical now. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still there, but I’ve gotten used to my new life. And now I want more. So call me human.
CURRENT ISSUES AND CURRENT GOALS
If my first goal four years ago was to lose weight, right now it’s to lose fat. Not to look better, but to feel better. Like Sarah Fragoso and Jason Seib say on EPLifeFit, “Healthy by choice, Hot by accident.” I still have chronic constipation and I still get bloated, painfully so, mostly at night, despite sticking to a strict paleo diet. But I’ll admit I do sometimes indulge in sweets and I’ve a feeling those do not agree with me. And when I travel, it gets way worse. To the point I’d rather stay home all the time, which brings conflict in the household because my husband loves to travel.
I’ve also discovered I might/could have an eating disorder and that’s one area that weighs on my mind. I don’t know what to call it, but sometimes I will eat without being hungry. Call it emotional eating if you like. It’s a state of mind that’s really difficult to fight and it’s worse when I fear I won’t have access to “good” food for a period of time, like when I travel. It’s a fear deeply rooted in my childhood, so the uproot will be arduous, I’m sure. I would love to consult a professional on this issue but I’m afraid I won’t find anyone remotely adept where I live.
To re-focus myself on my goals, I need to determine what they are. I’m the kind of person who often doesn’t really know what I want, and I attribute my indecision to having such a wonderful life. Also, sometimes I’m not sure what I even LIKE, and that, I attribute to a lack of self confidence. So to list my goals, I needed some deep probing to determine what I really, really, really like in my life.
I like tennis. I like cooking. I like reading and writing. I like helping others with their nutrition struggles. I like to feel healthy. I like to have a flat and quiet tummy, especially at night. I like to sleep deeply. I like to wake up early and be full of energy.
There is also a list of “would” like. I’d like to have a healthier relationship with food. I’d like to be stronger. I’d like to be more flexible. I’d like to have a regular meditation practice. I’d like to travel without any fear and any discomfort.
So my goals are based on what I like and would like, because it’s what matters to me. The first and most important goal is to find out which paleo fits me. I already know my body likes to be low carb, especially after two rounds of 21 sugar detox. Maybe my body will like to be ketogenic. I know I need to stay AIP because of my Hashimoto’s. And I know I need to support my digestion because of the chronic constipation.
- Create MY paleo food plan
- Devise which supplements will fit my needs
- Create a gym routine in harmony with tennis
- Set time aside for writing and guard it with intent
These four goals will affect everything I like and would like in a positive way. Number one and two are the most challenging and will be a work in progress, I expect. For my next post, I will share what MY paleo food plan will look like. I’ll put all I’ve learned to focussed good use.
As for number three and four, well… It will take determination and strength of character. And if I don’t have it, I’ll fake it until I do have it.