Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Year One: A Recap

I can hardly believe it has been one full year since I took the Paleo plunge.  Some days it feels like I have been eating this way my whole life, and other days it seems like just a few weeks ago I was researching and preparing myself for this change.  One thing I know for sure is that I will continue to research, refine, and practice the art of clean eating.  I will continue to eat foods that are 1) real, 2) found in nature, 3) hormonally intelligent (as in don't alter my hormones so I store excess fat) 4) rich in anti-oxidents and minerals, and 5) TASTY!
Did I get surprising results?  Absolutely.  I found that nearly everything positive I read about this diet was true to me.  Allergies I once suffered from disappeared.  Cravings went away.  Blood sugar stabilized.  Fat loss.  Improved performance.  Nice skin.  Other benefits that I'm sure I've named but can't think of right now...
Did I get all the results I was hoping for?  No.  I know what I'm about to type is silly, but when has that ever stopped me before?  Honestly, I thought that in a year, I would be totally fixed.  As in at a healthy weight for me.  I realize how ridiculous that is because there is no way I can fix years of abuse in one year.  I realize how ridiculous that is because I wasn't 100% this entire year.  In fact, I bet if I totalled it up, there are a good 5 months out of the year where I was not exactly close to sticking to the Paleo principals.  That's a long time!  This thinking is also indiciative of old ways, fat person ways- wanting a quick fix, thinking that results are only measured by the scale, making excuses.
I must remind myself that evolution is natural and slow.  As long as I continue to make tweeks and try new things, the experiments that work will stick, and the ones that don't will be naturally selected away.  I must remind myself that I am 20+ pounds lighter then I was one year ago, and so much stronger.  I have figured out something that works for me, and as long as I actually do it, I will continue to make progress.
As I approached this anniversary, much like a New Year's Resolution, I thought about things I want to test out, things I might want to adjust going forward into year 2 of Paleo.  On the most basic level, I want to keep refining, keep bettering, keep trying to achieve the cleanest eating possible.  I have spoken with numerous Paleo veterans, whose advice always seems to echo the same thoughts- it takes time, keep at it.  That is what I intend to do. 
I don't know if this has ever happened to anyone else out there, but it happens to me a lot.  I will hear something somewhere.  I will understand it, but I won't necessarily act on it or remember it for weeks, sometimes months, sometimes years later.  I used to have these moments frequently at my old job, where my boss would come into the office, stand by my desk, spew a bunch of tasks for five minutes and then run out the door before I could clarify/ask questions.  Sometimes it would take me the rest of the day just to make my way through all the things said to me in that time and get them done, sometimes I would remember something the next day, and be like, "oh, yeah."  On one hand I was amazed at my brain for being capable of remembering such jibber jabber, and on the other hand I was annoyed that my boss couldn't just make it easy on me and send me a detailed e-mail. 
ANYWAY...a bit of nutrition information I picked up somewhere along the way came back to me last week.  The issue of recovery.  Post workout recovery, that is.  I remember at one of the nutrition seminars I attended, the speaker was singing the praises of recovery, and how necessary it is.  How you need to immediately provide your worked muscles with fuel, or you will risk losing a large amount of the effort you put forth to inflammation, hindering your ability to progress further.  Essentially, if you are not getting protein and carbs to your muscles 20-45 minutes after a workout, you are spinning your wheels.  I thought about my current pattern.  I workout at 4 or 5 pm.  I usually hang out at the gym a little while after my workout cooling off/socializing.  I get home around 6pm, then make dinner, usually eating anywhere from 1 to 2 hours after a workout.  This does not fit into the ideal recovery model! 
So, I did some more reading, and found that during the recovery time is when a body that is intolerant of carbohydrates actually needs more carbohydrates.  In my twisted head, this means if there is any a time to give myself the green light to eat something I shouldn't, its during recovery.  Before you get all excited about this...let me explain.  I don't mean that I will be gorging myself on pizza and cookies post workout all in the name of recovery.  What you need to remember is something as seemingly healthy as fruit is something that I must limit due to its affect on my body, just like wheat, nuts, and dairy.  So, if I limit my consumption of these items that typically need to be avoided to post workout recovery times, its a win-win!  I will feel like I'm giving myself a "cheat", and my muscles get what they need to recover/replenish.  I can even extend this window to eat things like 1/2 a banana with almond butter, 1/2 apple with almond butter, 1/2 bagel with deli meat, larabar, greek yogurt and strawberries...the list goes on.  The major rule for recovery foods is that they should be made up of carbohydrates and protein (some suggest a 4:1 ratio).  Too much fat and it slows the absorbition of needed stuff.  Too much sugar is never a good thing.  So, again, this is not the time to be gorging on gross stuff, but a time to allow things that are off limits to me a chance to find their way back into my diet (and ideally calm the beast within). 
Along the same lines, I notice (and this was also pointed out to me) that I do well for stretches of time, and then go crazy.  Although I was against the idea for a long time, trying to convince myself that I need to be all or nothing, I think I need to allow myself cheat meals during the week.  I'm going to start out with allowing 2 cheat meals/ week.  Up to 2 times in a week I can have my burger on a bun, or eat at a Thai restaurant, or have a few drinks.  Assuming I average 21 meals a week, 19/21 clean meals is 90%- good enough for me!  I bet my pattern currently is something more like 28 clean meals, and then 5 cheats in a row (before I can reel myself in) coming in at 82%- B-?  Not acceptable.  Sometimes the best ideas are counter intuitive...like giving employees more days off in a year will make them MORE productive, giving myself cheats will make my overall performance better!  Thank you to those that have suggested this to me...back to that whole I hear stuff but don't do it/really hear it until weeks/months later?  Ha.
I'm going to leave it at that for now- two major things to focus on over the next few weeks- recovery and 2 cheat meals/week.  I will re-evaluate these items in a month or so, and see how they are working out for me.  Things I'm interested in seeing are 1) Do I feel like I'm letting myself "live" a little? 2) Is the scale moving downward? 3) Is my endurance/lifts improving? 4) Soreness?  Does it go away quicker?  5) Can I get right back to Paleo after a cheat meal? 6) Do I cheat less overall? 7) With the periodic cheats, do I still have that awesome feeling I get with strict Paleo? 
I know I will find a balance that works for me, I just have to keep testing new things and paying attention to the results.   

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Minding My Own Business

When I am doing what I am supposed to be doing, I no longer see what other people are doing (or not doing).  Being constantly bombarded with thoughts and ideas of what so-and-so is eating today, or what so-and-so said they did at the gym last night is maddening.  It fills my head with useless thoughts or worries- other peoples worries and prevents me from staying present in my own head, in my own life.  I'm violating the first rule every single person is taught- mind your own business.  Why is it so hard for me?
Instead of just waking up every morning with a smile on my face thankful for the roof over my head, the air that I breathe, and freedom, I unconsciously search for some external force to validate me.  Wow, that is a hard thing to type.  I don't really know how else to explain why it is that when I lose my focus on what is important to me, I feel the need to tear others down. 
Lately I've been reading blog posts of authors that I usually enjoy, only to find myself incredibly negative and cynical to their triumphs or failures.  What I really am is negative and cynical to MY triumphs and failures.  I don't give myself enough credit, or trust myself enough to just keep my head down and power through the tough times.  I look for flaws and weakness in others and in turn further distract myself from the matters at hand -that none of it matters.  The only thing that is important is me doing what I need to do for me everyday. 
Somehow, somewhere I lost sight of that.  I forgot that I go to the gym because I like it, and I want to be the best I can be, not because I just want to tell people that I go to CrossFit.  I forgot that I eat real foods because they make me perform my best, not because going Paleo is trendy.  I forgot that I was trying to lose weight, not just hang out here at the same weight for months and critize others for counting calories.  I forgot that I am capable of so much more then what I'm currently doing.
I keep this blog because it is more then just a place for me to be held accountable, it is a place for me to examine and reflect on all aspects of my health- mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional.  I believe they are all intertwined, and if I begin to fall into old or bad habits with one, the rest will soon follow.  The only way I can think to get out of this pattern of being consumed with what others are doing is to dive deeper into myself, and focus on the things I know I should be doing.  There is always room for me to improve, and if I'm focused on improving, I will be less focused on how others can improve.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Weighs Are Back

Yesterday was my first real workout with weights in over 6 weeks.  It was HARD.  It felt like my first day at CrossFit all over again.  I forgot how many smaller muscles are involved in getting a bar off the ground and to your shoulders, and then above head.  I forgot how easily weights can take your breath away.  I forgot how much I want to scream profanities at the weights because they are so damn heavy.  I forgot how much bodily control it takes to correctly perform a movement.  Most importantly, I forgot how badass I felt after completing a tough weight workout.
To honor the delivery of new bumper plates (softish weight plates that go on the ends of the bar and can be dropped on the mats) our trainer decided that a 20 minute as many rounds as possible (AMRAP) was fitting.  I was still sore from Monday, and I had to do what?!  5 squat thrusters, 7 hang cleans, 10 sumo-deadlift high pulls = one round.  I was lifting 65#, and I completed 6.5 rounds.  I collapsed on the mat afterwards, my wrists aching like crazy (those small muscles I was mentioning) and proceeded to make my sweat angel.  It was a good one, I should've snapped a photo.  Next time.
About 20 minutes later, I felt pretty damn good.  My arms were weak and shaky as I drove home.  I felt that addictive exercise induced endorphine rush that makes it all worth it.  I'm so happy to have weights back.  Even though there are going to be workouts where I feel like its day one all over again, I will get back to where I was, and farther. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Thank you for all the support regarding my last post.  Your comments, phone calls, and in-person conversations helped me see that it is important to pursue what I want: a destination wedding.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled program- starring my big butt. 
I'm super sore today.  Now that the gym is almost back to its full glory days, the variety and workouts have returned to their full glory as well.  Yesterday we did 15 rounds (FIFTEEN ROUNDS) of 5 pull ups, 10 push-ups and 15 squats.  The girls performed the pull-ups by jumping since we don't have giant rubber bands yet, and I made it through 2 rounds of regular push-ups before I had to drop to my knees.  I really tried to focus on making my squats faster, which results in a motion not unlike humping the air in an exaggerated fashion. 
I finished in just under 19 minutes, which is a nice little victory considering that back in December, we did this similar workout, except it was complete as many rounds of the above in 20 minutes.  I completed 15 rounds.  So...here we are in May, and I completed 15 rounds in 19 minutes...after essentially 6 weeks of toned down workouts- still progress! 
I realized something else during this workout yesterday- that my body has a tendency to want to control itself and find a rhythm, especially when it knows it has 15 rounds to complete.  I notice this when I run to, I just want to find a rhythm and be comfortable.  I think I really need to work on pushing the boundaries, or else I'm going to find myself plateauing.  Sure I'm getting a workout, but if I always just start pacing myself when it gets really hard, I won't get much better.
The tendency to pace myself has become pretty apparent by my weight loss ticker up above.  I have 19 pounds that I would like to shed, and I've just been camping out.  Working, but not really pushing myself to the limits.  I'm treating this new workout goal as an across the board life goal.  I'm not going to just push myself at the gym, I'm going to push myself at work, at home, in my diet, and in whatever else I take on.  Hard work is always rewarded. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Guilty As Charged

If there were a "Mom Olympics" and one of the events was The Guilt Trip, my mom would be the gold medal winner for the past 30 years.  I am convinced that there is no other mom on the planet that has mastered this skill quite like my own.  Oh, she's good, that's for sure.  Sometimes I just have to sit back in awe of what she is able to do with her skills.
She has this incredible way of taking a benign issue and turning it into the end of the world.  Suddenly all of her problems and hang-ups have morphed into MY problems and hang-ups, and she sneeks by unscathed.  The amount of people that I have seen be sucked into her scams before they even realize it is far too many to count.  The reason why we fight so much is that I am not, nor have I ever been, willingly sucked in.  But I have been sucked in.   
I see what she is doing.  I call her out on it.  This results in the fury within boiling over (when I witness this in person, I swear steam comes out her ears), much like a rabbid animal backed into a corner, she begins spewing insults in a last ditch attempt to once again undermine rational thought and make her problems someone elses.  It works brilliantly. 
The real shitty thing about this?  I'm probably the only one that can beat her at her own game, and that is a really ugly thing to have in my arsenal.  Its my least favorite part about myself, and probably the most self-destructive.  Its also the number one reason I won't have a kid.  I would never subject them to those kinds of forces.  I don't think I could overcome the instinct to raise them as I was raised, and in some of the most important phases of their lives, guilt them as I was guilted.  I would selfishly rob them of moments that belong to them because of what I wanted.  Just as I was robbed, just as my mom was robbed. 
So how did this start?  How did I get here?  I don't know.  I'd like to say it was just a simple announcement that I plan on having a destination wedding, but I know that's not it.  It runs deeper- into family history, hurt feelings, competition, stubborness, and everyone thinking they know what is best for someone else (in this case me).  Oh, god how my family can go on and ON about what I "should do" yet there are 5 different people saying 5 different things...how can they all be right? 
They can't.  So when I decide what I want, and refuse to listen to the "should do's" I get called selfish.  I get accused of not being considerate.  When those basic tactics do nothing to change my mind, the guilt rolls in:
"You have a grandmother that is still living, she won't attend" (um, she's just as unlikely to fly 6 hours to the west coast as she is Mexico)
"lots of your extended family don't have the means to travel" (not my problem, they will still get an invite, and perhaps that was intentional?)
"why can't we just give you money and you do what you want" (money is very impersonal)
"how about you have a wedding in the totally OPPOSITE place of where you want so more people can attend" (NO.)
"your dad doesn't want to go to your wedding" (I asked him directly, and he said he would go wherever.  He won't like it, but he'll go.)
At this point I'm in full on fight mode, tallons out.  I will not be sucked in to the crazy!  Next comes the personal attacks:
"this is not all about you" (Yes, it most absolutely is)
"why are you giving so much credit to your friends? are they even going to show up?  they are not your family, they will not stick by you through everything that your family will" (my friends keep me sane when having to deal with a crazy family like this, my friends have been there everytime my family pulls this crap, if they can show up, they will)
"insults about my boyfriend deluxe's family that I rather not re-type" (silence...utter and total disbelief that my own 63 year old mother has resulted to playground insults because I want to have a wedding in Mexico)
So now I am basically left with two choices.  Continue to fight which will not be pretty, and endure more creative ways of guilting and insulting, but have the wedding Dave and I want- or realize the attacks will just get more frequent and more hurtful and do whatever my mom thinks I should do. 
Now I know watching from the sidelines its easy to say "eff your mom" "do what you want" "go to Mexico" but I wonder just how many people in my situation would actually do that.  My own dad (they are divorced) is chanting these things right along with y'all, and he is the one that started this whole debacle by adamantly saying he wasn't going to go!  Oh sure, he's talking all tough to my mom one day, getting her all fired up.  She then feels justified in pushing her ideas on me.  Then, I talk to him and ask him directly what the deal is, and get a different story ("I'll go wherever you want") but he would rather just give me money and not do anything - not fly anywhere, not attend any party, because weddings are a waste of money.  After all that, he has the audacity to ask me why I give a shit what my mom says, because its not her wedding.  So I tell her this...and here we are. 
Perhaps I should just be happy that I found someone willing to marry me after meeting my family?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Land-Speed Record

I am 100% certain that yesteray I set some sort of record for the fastest lap ever run around Greenlake.  How do I know?  Well, for one, I forgot my watch at home so it was an untimed run, and second, my running buddy was the trainer at my gym.  His 5K pace is I think sub-20 minutes.  My 5K pace- desperately trying to be sub-30 minutes. 
On Monday, trainer announced that the gym would be closed due to painting of the floor (HELLO INVESTORS!  HE IS BACK IN BUSINESS) anyway, at first I thought, crap!  I haven't been into the gym since last Thursday, and I really need to get my ass kicked.  Then I suggested we all (meaning a group of us) meet at Greenlake for a lap.   The only one that took me up on the run was the trainer.  I knew of our serious time discrepanices, and figured he would just run ahead and I'd do my thing, and we would high-5 at the end after he had been waiting for 10 minutes. 
Oh, how wrong I was.  As I neared the vicinity of Greenlake, I noticed the weather.  It was beautiful.  I don't remember it being so nice when I left my house in the morning, or even when I left the office 15 minutes prior!  Now, when the sun comes out, Greenlake is like a magnet for everyone in a 5 mile radius.  It may be 60 out, but there are shirtless guys, girls in bikini's, rollerbladers (who still does that?!), dogs, tennis matches, frisbees, joggers, endless trains of baby strollers, and of course...no parking.  I started to curse as I was in a line of cars all turning into the same lot.  I somehow found a spot which may or may not have been legal, but whatever, it was sunny in Seattle!  There are no rules when the sun is out! 
I met up with trainer, and we proceeded to start running along the outside (5K) path.  At first I knew our pace was fast.  I was trying to not let on how slow I really am, but it was SO obvious.  I told trainer he could go on ahead if he wanted, I'd be fine.  No, he just wanted to have a chill run.  HA!  He had no idea how chill it was going to be (for him) because I was still attempting to run "fast!" The sun was motivating, trainers pace and obvious non-affectedness by the sprint we were engaging in was motivating.  Everything on me hurt.  I estimate we were at about 800 meters.  LOL.  I'm sure I started to slow, but I didn't really notice.  Trainer stayed with me the whole time, and not only that, gave me tips on how to improve my lung capacity (by talking while running) and also tips on my form (no heel strikes, keep upright, don't swing arms so much).  I felt like I was running with my own personal trainer!  It was great!  The lake was flying by.  Seriously, the whole thing was a blur because we were going so fast. 
As we got to about the 2/3 mark, I felt better.  I knew that I was going to be able to finish the entire lap no problem.  Trainer was just yammering on (about interesting stuff) and I was trying to respond, but probably said "yeah" more times in those 28-30 minutes then I ever have in my life, as that was the easiest word to manage and still contribute to the conversation. 
I would say that yesterday, hands down ranks in my top 5 runs of all time.  The weather was perfect, I felt good (maybe I haven't been pushing myself enough), and the high afterwards?  Unmatched.  I wish I had remembered my watch, because I think for sure I met my goal of finally doing a sub 30 minute Greenlake lap.  According to my lungs, it took us 18 minutes, but you know...those spongy bastards lie sometimes. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

More Lessons Learned

FYI, on Thursday, my laptop went "tits up" according to my boyfriend-deluxe (I can't really get into the term fiance, so boyfriend-deluxe is what we settled on).  This means blog posts have to be posted from my iPhone.  Not impossible, but a challenge none the less.  I apologize ahead of time for any formatting weirdness.  I really have a lot to say, especially regarding this past week.  I learned a lot about myself, my habits, and what I want to do about the things revealed to me that need work.
Nutrition challenge:
What I learned (and in some cases, re-learned) about myself-
I can cut out the majority of offending items (sugar, grains, dairy, legumes) from my diet and not only feel satisfied, but feel good.  Really good.  
I can eat this way for extended periods of time (I feel that 7 weeks is an extended period of time, and does warrant some kind of 'cheat'). 
The number on the scale has nothing to do with my body getting smaller. 
Sometimes the victories are in what I don't eat rather than what I do eat. 
Keeping record of all things that pass my lips is a great tool in accountability.   
My habits- Sometimes I genuinely miss being able to just eat whatever I want at the moment, and feel that euphoric feeling of being full and bad (self-induced because I know that some foods are bad for me) all rolled into one.  It seems weird typing it out, like people that don't know what this feeling is will be like "what?  how can someone miss feeling full and bad?"  I guess the only way to describe it is comfort?  I take comfort in that feeling? 
I want to eat to no end when I am angry, feel slighted, or feel as if I've been treated unfairly by the world (um...this is everyday...lol). 
I often want something sweet after a meal. 
I am a creature of routine, and perform much better when I plan my meals/days/shopping
Any seeming little disruption in what I think is a plan can send my whole world off balance (stove going out, laptop breaking, not winning the nutrition challenge...)
Wow, my habits are embarassing.
What I want to do about it-
Continue to keep my food logs
Continue to keep trying to better my attempts at clean eating- dedicate each week to a small change for the better- like eating more greens.  Continue to work on task until I feel its achieved.
Incorporate planned cheat meals to keep my sanity.  Cheat MEALS, not cheat WEEKS. 
Realize the power to change what I don't like is in my hands.
When the Nutrition Challenge Ended/And the Winners were Announced:
What I learned about myself- Giving myself a green light to eat anything I want for an unspecified amount of time is not going to work out.
Eating sugar/grains makes me incredibly thirsty and all over icky feeling
Its a lot harder to record foods that are unhealthy...do not want to type them
Foods that I have been imagining in my head for days or weeks never taste as good as they seemed in my head when I do finally eat them. 
I may have overestimated how clean I was eating
My habits- I will continue to eat something that isn't that appealing to me during a cheat time just because "I can."
When I found out I wasn't even in the top 5 females, I threw an internal fit and proceeded to eat shitty food (to show them!) 
Bad choices beget bad choices (well, I've already screwed up today, so..)
What I want to do about it-
See above, all of those apply.
Keep at it.  This new lifestyle may take numerous attempts before getting to a point that is realistic and manageable.
See?  Lots learned.  I guess you can say the nutrition challenge and week of downward spiral that followed were a gut check.  Ha.  So with that, I will be taking all I have learned/re-learned and move forward.  I still have an ultimate goal of eating clean and performing functional movements in the hopes of correcting my body to its genetic blue-print. 
If you haven't taken a look at my Weekly Food Logs (posted in the tab on the top of the page) please do!  Starting next this week (posted next week) I will be stating my goal for the week.  You can see how well I do! 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Constantly Varied, High Intensity, Functional

I think that pretty much sums up my last week. More often then not, I think that describes most weeks I seem to have lately. Constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement is the prescription for every CrossFit workout. This is how CrossFit makes me better at life.

The past week was a heavy week for me. And I'm not talking in the physical sense for once. Mentally. It was like everything just hit me at once, couple that with a few random life nuisances popping up, and its easy to find yourself treading water in a vortex. I was feeling pretty hopeless about my gym's current situation. I avoided the gym more last week then I ever have since joining. I was in my last week of the nutrition challenge and our oven/stove went out. A good friend of mine has to make tough financial decisions that will affect me (because we own condo's in the same building) due to health issues. And more stuff that I can't remember right this second...

So when a workout is tough, and it feels like my muscles are getting ready to go on strike, what option do I have? Continue to go through the motions until I'm done with the workout. There is no other option. I can't quit. I'm not going to just stop doing what is written on the board. It will be over as long as I keep moving. In time it will all pass.

How is that different from life? Its not. What other choice do we have but to just continue on? Afterall, just as easily as things turned bad, things can turn good. Sure enough, this week is so much better. The gym got an investor and ordered equipment today. My stove is still broken, but I have been turning out some awesome Paleo meals on the grill. I went into the gym today for an ass kicking, and I got one. I continued to go through the motions. Time passed, and things changed.

CrossFit is a metaphor for life, crossfit makes me better at life.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Correcting Myself

The current nutrition challenge that I am participating in ends tomorrow. I have to say I am incredibly happy with my determination over the past 7 weeks, because as much as I like to focus on the smugness of eating healthy, the real victory is in the smugness of what I DIDN'T eat. I had multiple opportunites to be de-railed big time, but the thought of the prize at the end kept me on track.

This morning I was rewarded by reaching a new low weight. If you notice above on my ticker, for the first time in 5 months, it has moved in a downward direction. The reason for that is I have been doing what is correct for my physiology. Unfortunately, by the crazy nature of genetics, I was given a body that cannot process carbohydrates in a healthy manner. The typical American diet is heavily reliant on carbohydrates, so I found myself hoarding extra weight. In order to CORRECT my weight (which in the end still may be heavier than some) I need to remove carbohydrates from my diet. It is up to trial and error to see just how many my body can tolerate before holding onto excess fat, by for right now, I need to continue to restrict my carbohydrates until I correct my weight.

We are all products of our genetics. As much as we may envy or appreciate another's body, it may just not be in our DNA to acheive the same results. Wishing for someone else's arms or legs or abs is literally the same as wishing for someone else's eye color. This is an incredibly hard realization to come by, as I've always felt that I could have the body of my dreams if I just ate right and performed the correct exercise. In fact, what I will get as I continue to "correct" my body is whatever my genetics have determined for me. I may never have sculpted upper arms, or a defined 6-pack, but I will have calves to die for and huge quadriceps. I may never have a J.Lo booty, or the abilities of Serena Williams, but I will have the best of whatever my genetics have in store for me.

In this past year I have done so much research and learning about myself. I learned first and foremost that I must stick to what I know works. This is probably where I have gone wrong so many times in the past. I start seeing results, I get confident, and then I slowly stop doing the precise things that I need to be doing for my body. That cycle has been repeated in my life more then I care to count. I had sort of a realization today that struck a cord deep within me. Especially as I follow many blogs and see others keep falling into this cycle. I have learned:

1) It doesn't really matter what method a person chooses for success (I have my personal opinions on what is the best, but everyone is different and entitled to their own opinions)
2) However, whatever method a person does choose must be a long term, sustainable one.
3) Finding out what works for me and what is sustainable was one of the hardest things, and it was done by multiple trial and errors (how many times have I heard "I've tried EVERYTHING.." from overweight individuals)
4) I felt like I had tried everything, until I found something that I knew changed me physically, and something I knew I could STICK with forever.
5) It turned out that giving up refined/processed foods/grains/sugar was something I hadn't tried
6) Once I found that it worked, and worked differently and better then anything before, I realized that it is my 'medication.' Not medication in the sense of numbing myself, but medication in the sense of correcting myself. Much like a doctor prescribes Prozac to a bi-polar individual, or Lipitor to someone with high cholesterol, or Metformin to a diabetic. I was in need of 'medication.'
7) Now, what happens when I am on this medication, and things are going great, naturlly I begin to feel invinsible. I skip some 'meds' here and there (as in I stop doing what works for me, in my case, eating too many carbs). It becomes a downward spiral.
8) Before I know it, I have fallen off track again. Why? Because I stopped taking my 'meds.'

I know this may be a little abstract for some people, but my point is that once you find what works for your body, YOU HAVE TO STICK WITH IT FOREVER. You cannot decide when it appropriate to stop taking your meds, because the meds are what is making you perform, making it so you are 'normal.' The brain is tricky. The brain thinks it is in control of ever aspect, but if that were true, there would not be persons with chemical imbalances, or weight to lose. Not everyone has a problem that needs correcting. Some individuals have simply won the genetic lottery (Jessica Alba, Brad Pitt, Megan Fox, just to name a few).

Since I am an individual that needs correcting, I need to continue to take medication in the form of not eating excess carbohydrates. FOREVER. No more self-diagnoses "I'm fine, I'm doing great...sure I'll eat this donut..." is exactly the same as a crazy person saying "I'm not crazy anymore, I don't need these meds..."

I know how that story ends.