Friday, July 25, 2014

Some Thoughts on Healthy Living

So I've been THMing for over ten months now. Wow, I can't believe that!  I've tried so many stinkin' "diets," and I usually burn out by the six month mark, tired of counting calories, measuring portions, and never feeling full...

My weight loss has really slowed in the past three months, but that's OK.  The crazy thing is that even though that number on the scale isn't moving much, my body is continuing to change.  I just did another round of purging in my closet - the clothes that I couldn't wear when I started this journey are now falling off.  I've run out of notches in my belts, and even my shoes are looser.  That's amazing.

So what have I learned from this journey? (so far)
  • I firmly believe that weight is 90% what you're eating; I'm not saying that exercise doesn't play a part in your health (good for your heart, building muscle helps metabolism and prevents bone loss, etc.) but you do *not* need to work out an hour a day to start losing weight.  You are in charge of what goes in your mouth, and the majority of us Americans choose convenient crap rather than REAL food.
  • It's about making small, good choices consistently.  You'll mess up, and that's OK. Don't use it as an excuse to write off the day/week/month and drown your sorrows in a box of doughnuts.
  • Although it's overwhelming at first, it really and truly does get easier.  If someone had told me a year ago that I'd be completely sugar free, I would have rolled my eyes and started laughing.  I still enjoy sweets (made with stevia, erythritol, and/or xylitol - stop and think about that acronym!) but I'm no longer controlled by my cravings.  No, I'm not overstating that - if I had a taste of something, all I could think about was how I could have MORE.  Food is definitely my drug of choice.  Which leads me to:
  • Sometimes moderation is not an option.  I had to completely cut sugar out before my cravings started going away.  That's tough since sugar hides in everything; I used to say that I ate pretty healthy, and I've always made a lot of our food, but I didn't realize how much junk was hiding in the stuff like BBQ sauce and salad dressings.
  • Having support is HUGE.  I'm truly blessed to have a group of ladies locally; we've been meeting for over two years now. We come from very different backgrounds and are all at different places in our health journey, but what a blessing to have a safe place to gripe, ask for prayer and share recipes.  I've also found that I enjoy the online community; there's a FB group specifically for those following THM who have over 50 pounds to lose, and it's great to know I can post there and that those ladies get it.
  • It's important to pay attention to YOUR body.  We're all different, and what works for one person may not work for another.  That's actually one thing I love about THM - it's NOT "Here's your eating plan for the next week." I've learned I do better with a minimum of six E meals weekly (Energizing: 25-45 grams of healthy carbs along with a good lowfat protein, i.e. grilled chicken breast with brown rice or pork loin with beets) although the S meals (Satisfying: these are fattier meals, very similar to Atkins) sure are tasty!
A few Non-Scale Victories (NSVs, as we like to refer to them online) I've noticed - beyond needing smaller clothes :)
  • My skin has really improved!  I've always had acne - not as severe as when I was a teen, but annoying nonetheless.  I also have mild rosacea. The photo above is me without makeup. 
  • Speaking of that photo: it's a selfie I took because I mentioned getting a new haircut, and a long-distance friend wanted to see it. I hate selfies - I shoot a whole bunch of pictures, but then hate looking at them (my chin, my cheeks, whatever!) Well, I only shot two tonight (and I had my eyes closed in the first one, LOL). Confidence increasing, self loathing decreasing!
  • My nails are stronger.
  • My arthritic knees hurt less (I used to pop 800 mg of ibuprofen each morning to help manage the inflammation, but haven't done that in months).
  • Much fewer headaches.
  • Increased energy levels.
  • Sucking in my gut in to scooch through a tight space only to discover it wasn't necessary :)
  • My feet don't smell bad anymore!  This is the one that has surprised me the most - never considered that might be related to my diet.
But a word of warning - I'm becoming one of those crazy people, you know: those annoying friends who talk way too much about whatever it is they're into.  I was chatting with a casual friend yesterday who's had some gallbladder issues.  She asked me some questions about the way I was eating, and I then asked her if she was taking any supplements, such as ox bile.  As soon as I said it, I stopped and had one of those, "Whoa, where did that just come from?!" moments.  Yes, I am still reading all sorts of things about nutrition, and apparently more of it is soaking in than I realized!

Anyway, I am still very much a devotee of THM.  Someone online was complaining that it was too hard with all the rules. I completely disagree - I have found it liberating to learn the basic principles and tweak them to fit our lives.  I was pretty strict with eating on plan the first six months, and even managed to do well while hubby was in the hospital (on a side note, if that had happened a year prior, I probably would have gained 10-15 pounds during that period as I would have sought solace in baked goods).  We went on vacation earlier this month, and there were a few meals where I really and truly couldn't eat entirely on plan - and that was OK.  I did the best I could and kept moving on -- I didn't inhale a plate of fries, but I did eat a couple.  I even had a Wendy's frosty; I wasn't sure how I would feel after that, but I was fine.  I have noticed that when I choose to have something like delivery pizza or a fast food burger, I'll get bloated and my face usually breaks out about three days later. Fascinating.  It's not a gluten issue (I do use some low carb wraps and tortillas for convenience sake, and they are not gluten free), but there's obviously something in the white flour that my body does not care for. 

Oh, the things I'm learning!

1 comment:

Megan Groves said...

I'm so happy for you! Health, wellness and a sassy new haircut!