I can’t remember when it started just that I have been on a constant diet for most of my adult life and I am now 53. If it’s out there I have tried it! The cabbage diet, the hip and thigh diet, optifast, detox, weight watchers, jenny craig and finally lite n easy. Yes I would lose weight, well initially anyway especially if I combined it with unrealistic and unsustainable gym sessions but then when I came off of the diet and or stopped going to the gym I would swiftly put it all back on again.
In my opinion one of the best programs I tried was weight watchers but portion sizes were small, the diet was restrictive and I got sick of counting points! So a few years ago I decided enough was enough I needed to accept that I was always going to be bigger than my two younger sisters…the fat sister! Yep that was me. I have a great husband who loved me but in 30 years of marriage I had doubled my weight! Not something I was proud of. Finally I chose to accept myself for the way I was and just make sure I did not put on anymore weight. I didn’t own a set of scales as I often became obsessed, weighing myself everyday and then this would affect my mood, so they were thrown out years ago and instead I went by the feel of my clothes, which seemed to work better for me. I joined a gym and had 2 weekly PT sessions. The weight didn’t come off but for quite a while it didn’t go on either, which was the aim.
Then for no apparent reason I started to put weight back on again, but nothing had changed except that I was in a very high stressed job and worked away from home on a weekly basis. When I was away I didn’t eat out so I would buy ready meals or lite n easy meals. Still the weight was creeping up, I was struggling to manage a full workout with my personal trainer at the gym. It was like my body could not cope with the exertion. My IBS was getting worse and I was diagnosed with anaemia and a vitamin D deficiency. My mood was very low, with anxiety and stress levels off the scale. Coupled with a breast scare and horrendous breast pain two weeks every month and heavy periods. My life was out of control!
I started to look into dietary options to try to help control my IBS. Paleo and FODMAP were the two main ones. I researched and researched but I worked full time and had a really busy schedule. Finding time to do all the food preparation and cooking was the one thing I wasn’t sure I could do so I forgot about it again. Then by chance in January this year my sister had suggested I buy her husband a cook book for his birthday. This book was the Autoimmune Approach Cookbook by Sarah Ballantyne. I started to read Sarah Ballantyne’s Facebook page and then her web site, then Pete Evans then nom-nom paleo etc etc. wow! This just might help. So in March I decided to start slow by eliminating bread and then gradually eliminate all the other grains, legumes and processed foods and sugars. I started to take a good probiotic everyday and doubled my vitamin D supplement. By mid April I had eliminated all grains, processed foods and legumes from my diet. Within four weeks my bowels were back to normal and I had noticed that my two weekly breast pain was reducing. Within 7 weeks I had lost nearly 6 kgs, my breast pain had gone, my periods were not as heavy and I wasn’t feeling constantly lethargic. My mood started to lift.
I have been following the paleo lifestyle for five months now and I haven’t looked back. My vitamin D levels are now normal and my anaemia and cholesterol levels are improving. I have lost a total of 10.7kgs so far and dropped two dress sizes. My next goal is getting back to the gym with my personal trainer who I haven’t seen since September last year. Weight loss was never and still isn’t the main driver for me following this lifestyle, it was about wanting to feel better in myself. The weight loss has been the bonus!
Written by Sharon Moir