So I’ve been thinking…while my half marathon training and running all these new races is great, learning about whole foods that are nourishing to the body, avoiding harmful foods and caring about where they come from is awesome, but the ultimate goal is still–you guessed it–weight loss. I think every girl has struggled with their weight at some point or another, and while I’ve never been “overweight,” I’ve never been satisfied with my body. I’ve been through “eat all the things” stages, I’ve battled eating disorders, I’ve obsessed over every morsel I put into my mouth until I wanted to cry, and where has all that gotten me? To here. To trying to care more about doing good for my body than about being perfect. While it is a great philosophy, it’s not always easy to keep in mind when looking in the mirror. So, now that I’ve gotten serious about the “put good in, get good out” philosophy, why am I still not satisfied? Well, I don’t think I ever will be, because that’s just the kind of person that I am. A perfectionist. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t get to a place that I’m happy and proud of. I thought to myself, “Okay, I know it hasn’t been that long that I’ve been really putting all of my nutrition research into action, but I should have seen some results by now, right?” Then I realized, as much as I want to believe I am doing everything right…I’m not. Frustrated, I researched “Why you’re not losing weight on the Paleo Diet” (and while I know I haven’t gone full fledged paleo, the piece of Ezekiel toast or yogurt I eat here and there is not enough to cause my downfall by itself). It brought me to some interesting realizations.
First, I was definitely “paleo-fying” all the things (cornbread, muffins, cookies…). This brought me to my second realization: I haven’t been eating enough vegetables. One easy way to get more vegetables? Keep it simple. It’s been fun making elaborate dishes like pad thai, cashew chicken, crepes, and muffins, but the focus needs to be whole, nutritious foods, not “how much damage can we avoid by healthy-fying it.” While I was researching this I came across another article from Empowered Sustenance about why you should avoid almond flour *gasp*. Almond flour has become a crutch in paleo baking, and I have been guilty myself of overusing it. While it’s probably better than processed all purpose flour, it should be used in MODERATION (aka I’ve been using it way too much). You can read Lauren’s full post here, but I think the most compelling point to me was the first one: almond flour skews perception about quantity. She’s right, the amount of almonds you would have to grind up just to get that 1-2 cups for your recipes is a TON. Way more than we would ever eat whole. Add a spoonful of almond butter with your apple and whoa, more almonds than anyone should ever eat in a day, no matter how good for us they are.
Today I wasn’t as diligent as I usually am about packing healthy snacks, and by about 3 o clock I was dying of hunger. I thought I was making a smart choice by going to Panera, but in a hunger-induced lapse of judgement I ordered pasta. WHAT? WHY? I really don’t know. I only got a half portion and a half salad with it, and didn’t even eat the bread that came with it, but after putting it into my calorie counter I felt nothing but guilt. I’m very bad about keeping “food grudges” (not being able to forgive myself for what I’ve eaten), but this time, the food wouldn’t let me forget. It is now 10:30 at night and I STILL feel bloated and sluggish…yuck. So, I’m done with being noncommittal. I think I’m going to try going full-fledged paleo, at least until my half marathon. Let’s face it, I’m am nowhere close to where I need to be, the least I can do for myself is eliminate some inflammation in hopes of helping my time (because Lord help me I looked at the elevation map today and I’m going to need all the help I can get).
I’d like to reiterate that you really can eat anything you want in moderation. BUT, hopefully if you’re on a health journey like me, you’ll slowly start to crave what your body needs instead of what ads and industry are telling us we want. Now if someone could just tell me when I’ll stop wanting ice cream…