Four weeks into Paleo Diet: Skirting the issue of scales
See that skirt? I call this "Goal Skirt #1". It's a kicky, pleated little number I used to wear, oh, about fifteen years ago. But fifteen years and ten+ pounds later, it has joined the pants I used to wear in the dark recesses of my closet, whispering to me that I really ought to make it official and just donate it to charity. But I could not bring myself to give up on the goal of losing those 10 or so pounds of pudge that have slowly accrued around my belly and hips over the years.
To lose the pudge, I tried exercising, mostly. Fortunately I love to exercise, especially with kettlebells and going for walks and sprints with my husband down by the river. But still, no matter what I did, the Pudge remained and the scale did not budge. I chalked it up to age and junk food sins of the past and present.
Then I discovered the Paleo Solution diet, and I was intrigued. My diet isn't so bad, but it could be better.... could it help me lose that stubborn pudge and protect me from disease? So this became "Goal Skirt #1", meaning my hope that if I stick with the Paleo Diet for a minimum of three months, (until, say, around my birthday on April 24), maybe, just maybe I could get into that skirt again.
About four weeks ago I suddenly got serious about eating "Paleo", meaning a diet rich in animal protein and healthy fats, plenty of non-starchy vegetables, some fruit, and in my case some dairy in the form of full fat yogurt.
I even allow myself the following daily "cheats": three teaspoons of sugar in my three cups of morning coffee, a glass of wine with dinner, and a square of dark bittersweet chocolate after dinner.
There have been a *few* lapses. In the last four weeks I have eaten two pieces of Naan bread with some Indian food, and a large slice of regular pizza a different day. Maybe there have been others I can't recall at the moment, but in general I have been pretty regular about avoiding grains and desserts.
It has been EASY. I feel great. Rarely hungry, in fact I can go longer without even thinking about food.
The weird thing is, the weight scale has barely budged. Maybe it shows the loss of one pound, but it is hard to tell since it is an old scale and not super legible. After four weeks or so, I could feel that my pants were fitting looser than usual, and since I was increasing my workouts with the kettlebells, I thought "I must be gaining muscle and losing fat" because I simply could not understand the scales staying the same when I had made such a significant change in my diet. Was my body composition really changing? Or was I kidding myself? Would I have to be satisfied with "merely" feeling better, but learn to live with the pudge? It seemed to be shrinking, but maybe it was an illusion.
So this morning I thought, I could use a little motivation. I decided to try on the pants that I have not been wearing because they had grown uncomfortably tight and UNflattering on me.
Well zippety do dah day, they fit like a charm, slid nice and comfortable up over the hips, and I am wearing them now!
Then I pulled out Goal Skirt #1, the one I hoped would fit me in another two months. While I would still not wear it in public, the shocking fact is, I was able to zip it up when only three or four weeks ago, no way that was going to happen.
WOW! Now I have proof positive that despite the scales not seeming to budge, the Pudge has definitely been reducing, about three times faster than I had anticipated!
Then I pulled out Goal Skirt #2:
I bought this skirt at a thrift store without trying it on, since the size on the label was one that should fit me. It had such pretty floral embroidery on it, I couldn't resist. What a disappointment it was to get it home and discover that it didn't fit my (pudgier) body.
Until today, I have never worn this skirt. Four weeks of eating about 90 percent Paleo style, and it fits! Needless to say, eating Paleo is a lifestyle for me, not a temporary diet. I plan to post again around my birthday in April to see what I expect will be more improvements in "how I look, feel and perform."
At this point, I don't care what the scale says. I have "skirted" the issue, and the results tell me that eating Paleo is changing my body composition for the better. Weight loss really is 80 percent diet and 20 percent exercise. Guess I will be donating clothes after all-- just not the ones I had expected!
PS: I waited over night before posting this. I wondered, Is this too personal? Then this morning I stood on the scales and it registered three less pounds than the last time I looked at it, a day or two ago. Damn the torpedoes, I am going to post this in case someone else out there in cyberland needs to know-- forget the scales, don't count calories, just avoid grains and eat healthy natural foods. It works.