Monday, March 28, 2011

In the beginning

As much as I rail against Diets, I do think that they are sometimes quite useful, like when you do an elimination diet to determine allergies or a cleanse to clear the toxins out of your system. When I started to change my dietary lifestyle, I began by following stage one of the South Beach Diet. This is the two-week radical, no-carb, low-fat diet that is usually followed by the next stage of SBD, which adds some healthier carbs (like beans, some fruits and starchier veggies) back into the fold. I didn't plan to continue on the SBD (being told what to do just makes me grumpy and resentful), but I liked the idea of giving my body a break from the junk I had been feeding it and the idea of starting relatively fresh after a two week "cleanse".

Two weeks without any carbs was a pain. I was grumpy. I was hungry. But I did start to learn some interesting things about myself. And I found that after two weeks with no carbs at all, the healthy ones I started adding back into my diet made me so happy. Brown rice noodles would have never had the same impact on me prior to the "Diet". Once again, the importance of perspective was driven home.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Let's get healthy? A little background.

In the late summer of last year (2010) I realized that I wasn't happy with how I felt. I was overweight, in near-constant pain and trying to adjust (and embrace) the changes that come with aging. I decided that I wanted to be healthier. I have always been pretty stubborn about eating what I want. I don't believe in diets, as they are destined to fail and make you miserable in the process. I didn't want that. What I wanted was to figure out what would work for me.

I did two weeks of dairy free. I half-heartedly tried to cut out some of the fat from my diet. I asked my doctor (who, surprisingly, never once suggested I make lifestyle changes to get healthier) what she suggested if I wanted to get healthy. She suggested the South Beach Diet. So I checked out the book. And I read.

And I read about blood sugar and gi levels. And I read about whole foods. Over the next few months, I read a lot. And I changed my thinking about food, health and what eating meant to me. I continue to adapt my sense of health and self every day. I do not follow South Beach. I don't follow any "diet" because my feelings towards diets haven't changed. "Diets" don't work. Changing self perception and definitions has worked (and continues to work) for me. In seven months I've discovered a lot about who I am, who I can be and in the process, I've lost 43 lbs.

With this blog, I hope to share some of the things I've learned about myself and food in general that I hope can be useful to others trying to live healthier lives.