Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Getting Back on the Horse

I've been reluctant to write this post for several months. This blog has been untouched for over a year, during which I lapsed. Now, I weigh at least 10-15 pounds more than my former maximum weight. It's horrible and it's my fault. (More here if you want to know my personal background.)

Look at the success stories of people on the paleo/primal/evolutionary/whole food diets, especially those doing Intermittent Fasting (IF). They are strong evidence of what works.

My success doing that diet, and then my failures not doing that diet are also strong evidence of its effectiveness.

Here are the mistakes I made:

  1. Skipping my workouts, from a few less workouts to none in a matter of a couple weeks. That is crucial because exercise helped tremendously to keep me feeling good, full of energy, and less hungry.

  2. Stopping Intermittent Fasting (IF), since workouts go along with that.

  3. Not cooking for myself for all my meals. Sometimes had one or two healthy meals, but started substituting fast food (at first, throwing out the buns on a hamburger, the tortillas for tacos, and such.) Fell into old patterns of just eating fast food as is--maybe not for every meal, all the time, but enough to sabotage the meals that were healthier.

  4. Indulging in junk food snacks for dessert or late-night snack. Big Mistake! Ice cream was my Achilles Heel. Cookies, candy, pastries came soon after. Said screw it, thinking I could give them up any time and go back to sensible eating. (Sounds like an alcoholic or drug addict, huh?)

  5. Fell prey to addiction to junk food. Willpower became less effective, which was maddening. Had stupid pity parties, wallowed in guilt, and tried (ridiculously) to eat my way out of stress. It's a vicious cycle, in which my stupid choices kept making it harder to escape.

The short version: I stopped being active and ate junk.

Excuses excuses: My diet failure is my fault and only I can fix it. Sure, a few things were made worse by external stressors (job security in a time of big cutbacks where I work, frustrating, melodramatic tensions between us and our teenager, a few illnesses and a tonsillectomy). But most of it was directly or indirectly because of my poor choices. At least on a previous diet over a year before I tried paleo+IF, I had one good excuse: medicine I took for a few weeks (unbeknown to me) dramatically increased hunger and that didn't wear off after I stopped taking it. I don't have that excuse this time.

Doing the paleo+IF thing made it much easier to deal with hunger and was actually enjoyable, rather than drudgery.

At this point, I could continue to feel guilty, self-destructive, gluttonous, and pitiful but no amount of excuse making will stop this. I've got to make a change now before it ruins my health (I've already got pre-hypertension).

I've been trying to eat paleo (or paleo-ish) meals the past few days, which could be the start of another round of losing multiple tens of pounds, getting below 200, and feeling physically and mentally better. The next step is to exercise, which is tough to start, but quickly beneficial to curb temptations. Now, this blog ought to be called My Diet 540°, to be more accurate.

I also plan to blog here to record how things are going. If you read this and don't see me posting, please feel free to send me e-mail to ediafono at the gmail dot com address. Any words of encouragement would be more appreciated that you can imagine.

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