Tuesday, September 03, 2013
I've had my share of false starts on the weight loss journey, like so many others. I didn't find Sparkpeople's diet recommendations to be something I could live with forever. It wasn't working for me. I wasn't losing weight after the first week or two and I was hungry and had headaches all the time. I've managed to do a pretty good job fitness-wise. I've worked hard and made a runner of myself and I'm really proud of that. It wasn't helping much with weight loss though. I did shed some fat and build some muscle, but that stalled out before long and it became very apparent that I needed to make some dietary changes.
I came across a program that advocates a more balanced approach to low-carb diet plans and it's working really well for me. I've lost a solid 10 lbs in a month and I'm only 15lbs away from my goal weight. My diet plan doesn't involve tracking, just eating real, whole food and staying away from grains, potatoes and corn. Any other veggies are ok, but because some of them are carbier than others, I wanted to come back to sparkpeople to track my food and get an idea what kind of balance works best for me and just how much of those higher carb veggies I can eat without stalling my weight loss efforts.
Around the same time I was easing myself into my diet plan, I was exploring the idea of an elimination diet for my son's ADHD. He has been on medication since grade 1 for it and it's always suppressed his appetite and it doesn't really help enough. So, I tried him on the elimination diet, which looked remarkably similar to my diet, making things easier for both of us. We got through milk re-introduction week without a problem. Then, grain week came up and after just one serving of rice with quinoa (technically only half a serving of grain), his incontinence issues began to return. It happened again a day later after a small serving of wheat, so we backed off grains completely to revisit after we've reintroduced some other things. Now it's back to school time and I don't want to be re-introducing anything else in the first couple weeks of school, so my son is currently eating sugar-free, grain-free, preservative-free, colour-free and soy-free until he gets settled back in. We did have one all-out cheat your face off junkfood day this past weekend because it would be his last chance to have any of that stuff for a while. The results were disastrous. He was a little hyper, but the real problems came out the next day. He was having meltdowns at the drop of a hat. He was miserable, depressed and he was throwing full blown tantrums on himself over mild frustrations. Despite his doctor's insistence that the science show diet has no effect on ADHD (and Sparkpeople's article on ADHD backs up her opinion), I have exactly zero room for doubt left in my mind that his diet has a direct effect on his behaviour, his mental health, and his ability to toilet himself. So, if diet has no effect on ADHD, his doctor may way to revisit his diagnosis.
Either way, having him on a diet that's similar to mine makes life in the kitchen far less confusing, so it's definitely not hurting my weight loss efforts. He dropped a few lbs in the first week and has managed to put almost all of them back on, so oddly enough, I'm LESS worried about him losing weight on this diet than I was when he was on medication. The diet's not 100% effective in controlling his behaviour and I don't know how it will pan out in terms of his ability to complete schoolwork, so I may have to put him back on meds in the future, but for now, it's nice that I can hold a complete conversation with him without him going all broken record on me while he thinks. It's nice that he's more emotionally stable and capable of problem solving without tears. It's nice that he's a tiny bit more self-motivated.
This is the first time I've come back to Sparkpeople with a real effort to invest myself in it since Tarok passed away. Last year, I took up running to take advantage of the new freedom I had, not having to push around a wheelchair all the time. True to my usual optimistic self, I had to find a positive to keep myself going. I know Tarok would be delighted to see me running and and making the most of life. I miss him so very much, but I always feel close to him on the trail. He loved going for walks in the woods and checking out the little rapids on our river. He loved life, so I will love life in his honour.