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06 September 2012

I used to marvel at myself in the mirror

Updated with a few links... see below.

Not in a good way.

I used to (not very often) stand in front of the mirror at the end of the day -- or even in the morning, as I stepped into the shower -- and wonder how in the hell I could look 9 months pregnant.

Sure, I'm getting older...

Sure, I gained some weight when I quit smoking...

Sure, I could exercise more...

Sure, I could probably eat better...

But, damn it all, anyway. I stopped drinking soda; I was drinking more water; I was riding for miles on my bike, or sweating buckets at Zumba or in the gym; I was eating less red meat; I was eating more fish; I cut down on junk food; I had freakin' salads for lunch everyday with a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar for dressing, lean meats, Lean Cuisine, lots of veggies. All of these things over the past few years -- together, separate, to varying degrees. Nothing made any sort of difference at all!

WHY DID I LOOK 9 MONTHS PREGNANT ALL THE GODDAMN TIME???

And that was without even trying. Hell, if I tried, I could look like I was way over term.

Not a good look. Also? Uncomfortable. And? Unhealthy! The numbers were not good at my last doctor appointment and, well, I'll try just about anything OTHER than medication to control some of these things... many of which are completely in my control.

I'm not interested in dieting -- I will have none of the low-cal, low-fat slurries of chemicals that pass for "meal replacement." Sure, I've had a few; but even way back in my WW days, I also used "real" mayonnaise, salad dressings, butter -- I'd just use less. You'd be surprised how much less you need when you're actually eating and enjoying REAL FOOD.

Anyway, long story short -- and I have not quite finished the story (actually, I think the story is ongoing and won't end until I'm dead), and I have SO much more to learn -- I am taking control.

I may not grow much of my own food, but I can support my local farmer as much as I can, and know the people who do grow my food! I can minimize potentially harmful additives and ingredients in my food by buying the best ingredients -- REAL FOOD -- that I can and preparing it myself. From scratch. It doesn't have to be hard. It doesn't have to be "cuisine" every night.

I am loathe to find the REAL FOOD at my grocery store crowded out, more and more, by yet another freezer full of heat & serve shit. And, ohmygod, have you been in the "health food" aisle? What a freakin' joke. It's chock full of "healthy" s-h-i-t -- crackers, cookies, fruit roll-ups, brownie mixes. Seriously?

(Ooopsie, am I on a soap box? I don't mean to be... I'm just sharing what's happening here.)

So, it's been maybe three weeks and not to the letter.

I've lost close to 10 pounds, at last check. I consider that all junk weight.

Heh, it's a BABY! (Believe me, there is plenty of weight to lose, but I don't look 9 months pregnant anymore... far less.)

Things are changing, and more important is how I feel.

I've already talked about the reduction in swelling; the ability to wear a previously unwearable (but much loved) pair of sandals!

It is system-wide... I don't feel too-full or bloated all the time. I feel as though I may even be able to start comfortably wearing my rings again.

I've already put a pair of pants in the donation pile and pulled another from "the pile" in the closet; I'm just about ready to part with another favorite pair (I've been wearing a belt!) and go closet shopping again!

It must be the near elimination of sugar that's making me sense things differently. I walked into the house the other night and thought it smelled "good" -- as if someone had baked some cookies or a cake. Turns out that Maddy baked a pizza! It smelled so sweet -- not like pizza AT ALL!

And flexibility. Since cutting most sugar, grain & dairy from my diet, I am more flexible -- with ease and without pain. I won't be doing the splits again anytime soon, but I was pleasantly surprised at being able to easily reach (and scratch) between my own shoulder blades again.

Yes, folks, it's the little things. And little by little...

Suggested reading:

That last one just because.  ;)

Comments

When you posted about the Whole 30 diet I surfed....but discarded the idea as too harsh for me to follow. Now, my husband has learned that a friend following a vegan diet is much improved in the same way you report. He wants to try it...argh! Ok, I'm willing. I'll watch your progress with interest, and comment with mine should I have some! God knows I could use something near improvement in so many areas.

You rock Vicki! I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said on the soap box...I believe the sugar and grains are a huge part of it. There are so many great books that talk about how they break down our bodies (and okay like maybe everyone doesn't feel it the same way but it's probably just affecting them more quietly). I totally support you and I think what you are doing is freaking marvelous! Can't wait to hear more ...

woohoo! Vicki - this is fantastic. I'm so happy for you. Please keep preaching as it's so important for everyone to hear. I'm a sugar junkie and I go back and forth. When I'm good, I'm very very good (and FEEL GREAT) and when I'm bad, I'm horrid (and whiney, and bloaty, and crabby, and...) so I'll listen and listen to your success. Thanks for the motivation.

You're an inspiration!

Hooray for you! It's ongoing, a process, for many of us. And for many of us, too, never easy. So, onward and best wishes for continued regaining-control-of-your-life!

Good job!!! Keep it up! :D

Have you read Wendy Johnson's blog? She's been on a "clean" diet for some time now, and it's worked wonders for her!

What we eat makes a huge difference in our lives as does moving our bodies more. You're doing the right thing at the right time. Keep it up, grrl!

Oh, yeah, baby! Doesn't it feel GOOD to be in control? I think there is nothing quite like it -- control how you FEEL . . . by controlling what goes IN. You GO!

You are such an inspiration! This is a fantastic post.

I've been experiencing the same things and its hard - damn hard. And expensive. But I will damned if I am going to pay big pharma to take medications for something I can fix or eat boxes of ingredients I need a chemistry degree to decipher. I CAN and will learn. Good on you and me and all of us that are trying!!!

It's awesome that you are seeing such positive results from the changes you have made. Go you!

Woot! Go you! I think "just" making positive changes is hard - in this day and age, I think we are programmed to look for almost instant results, but patience definitely pays off!

Good for you, so glad you're feeling better mentally and physically.

Yay for you! Someone mentioned to me that the grains grown today are a far cry from the ones humans ate for millenia -- modern plant science at its *finest*. No wonder our bodies react with inflammation. I have cut out gluten but still eat a fair amount of oats and brown rice. Very little dairy, 2/3 cup of milk in my morning latte, butter only in cooking (not that I do very much of that any more). I think I have read that cultured dairy products are not culprits -- cheese, yoghurt, etc.

Once again, yay for you! I'm so glad you have found something that works and that you can see and feel improvements so quickly.

I'm intrigued! I know that I feel better when I limit carbs, which by definition means less bread and sugar. I'll have to check the library for those books!

I'm totally impressed. I don't think- no I know I can't do it- I love my carbs! I already eat only REAL Food. Locally sourced, etc as much as possible but after checking out the whole 30- I'm resigned to my weaknesses.

Well, you know what I've been doing and the result? 15 lbs gone in17 days. No soda, no sugar (from veggies only) and really lean meats. No prepared foods or packaged anything. I feel fantastic! No edema ( sexy ankles!), no icky tummy, no starving, no cravings... I can taste again! Keep up the good work! You are inspiring,

Yay for you! And you've given me some "food" for thought...(yes, pun intended..just because!). Thanks for posting this!!

Good for you!!!
Check out Mark'sdailyapple, Fridays are success stories.
It pretty much the same diet but so inspiring to see it really does work. Congrats on all your hard work.

Congratulations! I struggle with needing to lose weight and want to be healthy. I am going to check out your eating plan. Thanks for the inspiration.

Yay for you! It is amazing how eliminating grains can change so much. I just restarted the Whole 30 on Tuesday and can already feel and see a difference in myself. I did the "whole 27" last winter and it was amazing. (I stopped 3 days early because my grandma passed and it would have seemed wrong not to have wine at her wake.)

I think anything that makes any of us more mindful about what we eat is ultimately a good thing. :-)

Thanks for sharing this info with us. When you first mentioned it on your blog I checked it out and thought it to be too hard for me to try. A few weeks went by and now I ordered the two books you mentioned and plan to at least read them. I've tried many things over the years and nothing seems to work to lose weight. Now that I'm older I find my feet more pudgy so shoes are not comfortable for long periods of time. UGH! I'm wondering what you eat for breakfast? I love breakfast and alternate between crock pot irish steel cut oatmeal and home made oatmeal muffins (with wheat in them). Also, I wonder how much I'll miss my wine in the evenings before dinner?

I can see these changes are going to be difficult but keep thinking of your comments and am inpired to give it a try.

I agree with your rant completely. And don't get me started about eggs. One of my local spinning friends often has eggs from her chickens....I'm going to have to visit her every week.

My toes are actually thinner after almost two weeks and I'm really thrilled.

You are such an inspiration. I've been doing what you were doing - just trying to dump 10 lbs (I'm looking 6 months pregnant!)and it will. not. move. I'm heading over to take a look at Whole 30. Great job Vicki!

Yay for you, and stay on that soapbox! I love the title of this post too.

We eat more "real" than most, but not as much as you... I've ALWAYS believed that "real" is always better than fake. Like sugar? Have some, just less (and skip the saccharine, nutrasweet, etc). Ditto low fat mayo, I mean, really... or use mustard.

I have friends who have gone vegan. They (she's 62, he's 50) first went organic, then got local organic meat, then went vegan. She's also gluten intolerant, so it was a challenge compared to what the rest of us might do. BUT she said for the FIRST time since she was a teenager, she doesn't feel hungry, doesn't feel deprived. And they've both lost lots of weight.

My bro went vegan, too, but for different reasons. He's HIV positive, and he says it makes him FEEL better.

Keep it up!! (or not, we'll love you either way).

I think you are looking great! You are doing it the absolute best way. You are an inspiration! (knitwise and healthwise!)

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