Why am I reinventing myself? It’s a long story. Stop me if you’ve heard it all before …
Not quite the beginning, but …
When I started this blog, I was in a multilevel marketing (MLM, network marketing, whatever you choose to call it) group centered around health and fitness products. I did well. I lost 50lb and felt great. I don’t know why it wasn’t sustainable for me. Maybe it was looking at the boxes of shakes stacking up on top of my fridge because I couldn’t keep up with the autoship. Maybe it was the constant deviations from the program that people were posting on social media. Maybe it was the never ending promotion of millionaires and big money makers. I know, I’m strange, I can’t stand flagrant displays of wealth. Sorry!
I should get this out of the way to start with. I can follow plans and checklists to a T. I love shopping lists, menus, meal plans, and structure. I don’t do well with guidelines, fuzzy outlines, “try this and see if it works”, and build-it-as-you-go. I’m a rule follower. Give me a solid plan and I’ll follow it.
So I failed.
I still have boxes of shakes and a plethora of vitamins and supplements. Let’s just not go there.
Speaking of reinventing myself, my nutritional needs are forever morphing. I believe that is true for everyone. I found that if I followed the autoimmune protocol (AIP) I no longer noticed the symptoms of my Meniere’s Disease. I faked the need to “diet plan” by using Plan To Eat. I could store all the recipes I found there, and create a meal plan every week. From that meal plan – in the same app – I could create my shopping list.
Life was good.
The only thing I have trouble avoiding is temptation. I know that if I eat certain foods I’ll feel ill. Terrible heartburn ensues when I eat a combination of grains and tomatoes. Pizza and spaghetti bolognese are out. Yesterday I ate a strawberry rhubarb yogurt and after a few minutes it felt like I had swallowed acid. I cannot go past a good bakery – yesterday it was Pekara Bakery‘s multigrain harvest loaf from a local health food store. And between two of us we’ve eaten half the loaf already.
I know what foods affect me negatively, and I avoid them. For the most part.
Let’s step back a bit in my nutritional timeline. So … AIP works for me. I added a layer. IIFYM. If It Fits Your Macros. You can plug in a bunch of personal data (height, weight, activity level, etc) and it spits out a formula. The formula tells you the amount of protein, fat, and carbs you should eat each day to reach your goal.
My formula had a low carb number, which I’m fine with. I’m always fine with these things for the first couple of weeks. And it’s always after the first couple of weeks that these things stop working. Because I get bored. I start making improvisations, or leaving things out. I start substituting ingredients and trying variations. So much for my following step by step instructions, huh!
IIFYM also worked for me – and somewhere after the first month I got sloppy and stopped recording. I just didn’t have time. I realized that what I needed was a plan that I didn’t have to think about. I was already creating a meal plan – I already had my shopping list. Why did I need to go the extra step of entering everything I was eating into another app? My reinventing journey halted while I focused on simplifying things.
Then came LCHF
While searching recipes to add to my Plan to Eat arsenal, I stumbled on a low carb high fat (LCHF) site that had a simple hack I had missed before. No below-ground veggies. How I missed this, I had no idea! I knew that some vegetables had more carbs than others, I had not made the connection with “below-ground”.
This site gave me a lot more insight into the LCHF program. It showed me more things I was missing. I could now see how it fit in with the IIFYM and AIP protocols I was already following. Reinventing the diet again added another layer.
And now, here I am. On Thanksgiving morning. I’m making two huge pans of mac and cheese that I can’t eat, but looking forward to a table filled with food that I can eat! (Have I mentioned how much I love collard greens?)
Is this sustainable?
My first dilemma came this morning when I made my coffee. For the past two years, I’ve been adding a coconut oil and honey concoction to my coffee. (I mix up 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup local honey, and 1 tsp cinnamon in a jar, and use 1 tsp of the mixture in a cup of coffee … and it’s awesome!) I checked on the carbs in honey, and – oh my goodness – I have to cut that out!
Today, I’m starting my day with an unflavored cup of coffee. And I have to get used to it again.
Phew! I feel like I got a lot off my chest in this post! I got you caught up on my journey. I’m committed to reinventing myself once more. And now we can start off anew. Again.
I’m working on getting rid of the “just one won’t hurt” mindset. Because “just one” becomes two, and then three, and then you’re off the rails completely.
I will make every effort to track my progress here. Just don’t expect a before photo until I have a decent after photo!