Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'm No Scientist...

...but there has definitely been some sort of chemical change that has taken place in my body. It wouldn't be right to say I'm a whole new person, but it wouldn't be right to say that I am the same person. The foods I was eating prior to June 1st somehow had me thrown into a horrible (no pun intended) feedback loop. Those foods did not nourish me. They made me have horrible cravings, and essentially set me up to fail by misusing my insulin.

The funny thing is, I thought I was doing everything right. Move more, eat less. Prior to June 1st, I was keeping my calories under 1,500 and exercising 45 minutes a day on average. I thought I felt good. Until I would get a craving so bad, I HAD to give in, and then I felt like shit. Not only physically, but mentally too because I KNEW better. Usually one craving would lead to another, and another... For some reason, the power of whatever food I wanted was greater than all the knowledge I had. I could always say at the drop of a hat what I wanted to eat, because usually I had been thinking about it for hours or days. I was always looking for an excuse to give myself the foods I thought I wanted. I thought I was messed up, unique, had no will power, and that's why I was fat and my friends were not. Now I see that reason was something chemical within my body. But I am no scientist, so I can't be 100% sure.

All I can say for sure is that I no longer get those cravings. I decided to give myself a "free" day on July 31st (my 2 month Paleo Anniversary) and I cannot for the life of me decide what I want to eat. Everything that I think of to "treat myself" with does not sound appealing to me at all. But. BUT! Most of all, there is a difference in how I perceive non-Paleo foods. I see them as a slippery slope back to the way I was before June 1st. I have never considered the consequences of my eating choices before, even though I knew they were bad. The food ALWAYS won. This. Is. Groundbreaking. This represents a true shift in everything I have known, and that is why I say it is not fair to say I'm the same person.

Now I'm not sure which element of my diet I eliminated (sugar, grains, dairy, etc.) has caused this phenomenon. Honestly? I don't care. As long as I continue to feel like this, and look like this, I have no interest in changing anything. That is why I'm having such a hard time deciding what to eat on July 31st. I don't want the way I feel to change. I don't ever want to go back to food having so much control over me that I would go against my better knowledge of what was good for me just to eat it. That is crazy. Furthermore, no matter how hard I tried, without eliminating the offending food(s) causing that reaction in me, it would be impossible to overcome the urges just by sheer "will power." So all along, all this time, it wasn't me. It was the junk I was putting into my body.

I picked up a book the other day at Borders that is pretty much rocking my world right now, Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. I'm only about 80 pages in, but to sum up what I have read so far...basically everything that we as Americans have been told the past 60 years regarding diet and health has been loosely based on a hypothesis that was never really proved. Essentially, someone 60 years ago decided that there was a link between cholesterol and heart disease (we've all heard that) and therefore lowering your cholesterol decreases your chances of heart disease. WRONG. This same person also proposed that a lower fat diet would help reduce cholesterol levels, and therefore heart disease. WRONG. There have been many studies over the years disproving both of these commonly spread theories, but those studies didn't get any press.

Pretty nuts, huh? I kinda feel like I'm reading The People's History of the United States, except for diet/health. Rocking my world.


  1. Righteous post. My experiences support what you're describing about your body's response to types of food, and I have read a lot of research that also agrees re: cholesterol/heart disease. I've been debating this with my counselor about this, in fact. She's convinced that fat is the enemy, but I think I'm starting to sway her opinion. Thanks for the new reference book, I'm gonna check it out. Rock on.

  2. Since I haven't been 100% paleo I didn't think anything had changed for me. Until the past few days when I had some food with a lot of wheat (pizza), some potatos (homemade hash browns), ice cream, and cake. (it's been a rough few days) My stomach is disagreeing with all of this quite viciously. Now I feel like I need to detox; guess that's what my camping trip this weekend will be. Except I still believe that s'mores are paleo ;)