By Dianne Shanahan
Today marks the 10th anniversary of a life changing discovery. In 2009, after just turning 50, I decided it was time to change my life. Cynergy CrossFit was holding a 6 week paleo challenge that started on June 13 and I figured why not – what’s one more diet added to the list!
Little did I know that decision would completely turn my life around. Eliminating dairy, grains and sugar was one of the most difficult things I ever did – it also had the most profound effect on my body. Although I actually had a 1 pound increase in weight at the end of the 6 weeks – which was devastating at the time – I knew something was different. I stuck with it and 6 months later weight just started to fall off.
Fast forward 10 years – I still incorporate much of the paleo diet. I tried to add dairy back a few times but my body just does not like it. After a week or two I am completely bloated and uncomfortable. It’s just not worth it to me. A few years ago after being on a plateau for a bit, I started eating a prescribed amount of macros (fat, carbs and protein grams) that broke through the plateau.
It’s been a year now since I introduced time restricted eating (TRE or IF intermittent fasting) still with a paleo base. So many good things about TRE that I enjoy:
Freedom from logging! I only weigh and log when I feel like I need to tighten things up a bit – mostly after returning from my winter in Naples where food and drink are abundant!
Not denying myself as much – if I want cookies or chips I eat them. In my eating window and only occasionally.
Flexibility. Times can be adjusted to whatever is going on that day/week. Some days, my first meal is at 2:00 p.m. Some days it’s at 10:00 so I can go out to breakfast. Some days I stop eating at 4:00 p.m. Other days it’s 8:00 p.m. to allow for dinner and drinks out.
Never having to worry about what to bring when traveling. Fasting when flying is so much easier than worrying about what food to bring, what foods will get through security, what food won’t go bad. Just get in the plane and go
Growing up in the 70’s, we were taught that fat was the villain and carbs were the answer — it was such a lie. We had so much “fat-free” Entemann’s baked goods in my house because it was the “healthy” option. No fat but loaded with sugar! Don’t eat eggs and butter – eat margarine, pasta, bagels, and cereal! Don’t eat 3 times a day – eat 6 times a day! Continually spike your insulin all day long!
It’s sad that much of the obesity in the world today could be avoided by not following the guidelines of the USDA, ignoring the constant commercials from large corporations and doctors who would rather prescribe a pill than deal with the real underlying issue. Figuring out what works for you is imperative to your future self.
If only I knew at age 20 what I know now at age 60. So many years of starving myself, trying every different diet, exercising more and more, always frustrated that nothing worked no matter what I did. Don’t let your past predict your future! It’s never too late to take control of your health. If I can do it, you can too!