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The Food Pyramid diet makes me fatter

Sunday, February 26, 2012

In 2011, I decided to get serious about losing weight, getting fit, and working toward long-term health and longevity.

I have been fat my entire adult life. Considering that, it might be considered remarkable that I have, thus far, avoided developing obesity-related disease or any weight-related problems worse than lack of stamina. I have had short-term success with Weight Watchers (once) and Atkins (once), but I always gained the weight back. So I thought about why that should be. Because, according to Conventional Wisdom, I was doing everything pretty much right. Maybe I ate too much at meal time, but I was eating the good stuff. I wasn't eating between meals. I wasn't eating junk food. Fruit, cereal, and yogurt for breakfast. Low fat lunches and dinners. Desserts only occasionally. I stopped drinking even diet soda years ago. I don't really like potato chips and all the savory snacks. Yes, I like sweets, but I was pretty sparing on those. I even stopped taking sugar or sweetener in my coffee. And I didn't really drink much alcohol.

And yet, there I stayed, hovering near 300 pounds, and still hungry. What else to do but to eat more food, to satisfy the hunger?

And then I heard, from a couple of different friends, about the Paleo / Primal diet and lifestyle. Eating real, whole food, sourced as close to nature as possible. Animal protein and animal fat - because saturated fat not only isn't bad for you, it's an important source of vitamins and minerals your body can't absorb from any other source. Vegetables aplenty. Nuts and seeds. Natural, healthy fats, from things like coconuts and avocados and olives, and animals. Fruits.

What did I give up? Industrial food. Sugar and grains, which have to be extensively processed to make them edible by humans (who did not evolve to eat them, especially in the quantities we get them now). Seed oils like canola and sunflower, whose chemical-heavy production process damages the molecule to the point where the oil becomes an anti-nutrient. Any "food" that came in a box or a bag. Almost anything with a "Nutrition Facts" label on it. Anything low-fat, though honestly I gave up low-fat dairy years ago because it's unutterably disgusting and I just can't stand it.

I started eating better-quality food. Fresh, local, seasonal produce. Locally-produced grass-fed beef. Eggs and meat from pastured chickens. Avocados and coconuts - neither of which grow locally - whenever I could get my hands on them.

And it worked. I started eating this way in October 2011, and 19 weeks later, in February 2012, I was down 33.4 pounds, 17 inches, and two (nearly three!) clothing sizes.

I can eat this way for the rest of my life, I think. And honestly, I don't miss bread, pasta, crackers, cookies, etc. I'm happy to have traded bread and pasta for eggs and bacon, and my size 22's for size 18's, which I'm shrinking out of, too.

Take that bottom layer off the food pyramid, and you've pretty much got the recipe for a good healthy diet. Thank goodness I found it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TOPS-TORTOISE 2/26/2012 7:18PM

    It's great when you find a plan that works for you that you really enjoy. It seems like a lot of people are more successful with low carb programs like Atkins and South Beach. They pretty much eliminate bread, rice and starches too. Whole grains are always promoted for the fiber content, but there are plenty of fruit and veggies that are good sources of fiber too. I saw another food pyramid that looks much better. Fruit and veggies were on the bottom tier. Meat, seafood, eggs, and cheese were on the second tier. Bread, pasta, and rice were moved up to the third tier and the top tier was still fats, but healthy ones like olive oil, nuts and seeds.


Comment edited on: 2/26/2012 7:20:02 PM

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I'm Baaaaaack

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Bless me, Sparkers, for it has been nearly two years since my last activity on this site, and in that time I have let all the good habits slip, cancelled my membership to Curves, stopped taking care of myself, and slid into a pretty unhappy groove. When it started to affect how I felt about my husband, our life together, and even being married, I knew I had to change something. And that something was ME. Because I love my husband, and we have a good life together. We are a team. We're just pretty lazy, and tend to bring out the bad habit in each other.

So we joined a new gym (
), and I signed on for some sessions with a Personal Trainer, and I dragged my butt back over here and started getting back into it, because it worked for me, back when I was doing it last time. I lost 13 pounds, and felt better and I'm smart enough to recognize success when I see it. (Yes, I got lazy. And complacent. And stopped measuring food. And then stopped tracking food. And then stopped thinking particularly about food. And I regained 10 of that 13 pounds.)

I'm hoping that my hubs and I will motivate each other and keep each other accountable. I hope we don't encourage each other to fall back into bad habits, as we have in the past. We are too young to be so unhealthy.


Reality Check

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I think six weeks is about my limit for unchanging routine. It was about six weeks into SparkPeople that I stopped tracking everything I ate, ensuring that we had the right groceries, and staying away from French fries and the like.

I was still working out at Curves, though, so I was still losing. And feeling better. And bought clothes a size smaller than the last time I bought clothes.

And then we went to England on holiday - my BiL got married - and it was two weeks of eating and drinking and not nearly enough exercise. And then I went to a conference with a group of friends, and it was four days of eating and drinking and not nearly enough exercise. And then we went to a wine festival and it was four days of drinking and eating and not nearly enough exercise.

And I got back at Curves, and am developing the exercise appetite again. But I was up two pounds at my last weigh in (not all of which is explainable by the fact that my period just started), so it's time to get real again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I hope you are still working out at Curves. I do too. I love it. Haven't heard from you in awhile. We can do this. No more excuses I say. It may be a long journey but one that is worth it.


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I have new muscles!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Okay, I suppose they're the same muscles I've always had, but it's been a while since they made their presence known. But after just a couple of weeks of going to Curves (and watching what I eat), I can feel - and flex - my abs! I can feel the difference controlling my abs makes to other exercises on the machines at Curves. It's awesome to get on a machine and suddenly find it a LOT easier to do the movement than it was last time. And I'm pretty strong of arm anyway, but I can feel a difference in those, too.

Things I can do (or do better) since I started going to Curves:

- Hunker down to pick something up (or play with a puppy!) and get back up (groaning optional). I hate the squat machine, but this is worth it.
- Lift and carry grocery bags
- Lift my bike off and on the bike rack on the car
- Sit up straight in my chair at work

It's little things like this that remind me that the scale is only one measure of my success at this weight lass thing. Yay!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

>^..^< 8/11/2007 2:23PM

i just wanted to say
thank you for your comments on
my blog entry .
they made a lot of sense to me.
i had to miss a few curves visits
because of my daughter's illness
but congrats to you for staying with it .
i am looking forward to things getting
back to "normal" again and going
back to curves :)
have a great weekend.

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INSOMNIATIC 8/9/2007 12:39AM

    congrats on stronger muscles!! ^_^

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I can feel the differences already

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I am down 7.5 pounds and I can feel it, in all these different ways:

- my bras fit better
- all my trousers are looser, in both waist and hip
- my belt is officially too big; I need two more holes punched in it
- I don't get winded going up two flights of stairs at work
- I don't have to slow down or stop partway up on those two flights
- I have more energy

I told my boss (who is also losing weight), and she gave me a stack of books to heft. "That's about seven pounds!" When you see it like that? Wow, impressive.

I just got a great visual: a diminishing me, beside things that weigh the same as the weight I have lost. First, a stack of books; a sack of flour; a medium-size dog... wow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRECECOOKS 8/22/2007 4:38PM

    I LOVE that visual - a stack of things that equal what you've lost. I've got to go add that to my visual diary and collage. Thanks!

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