Friday, January 6, 2017

Reflecting on my Journey prior to 2017

Entering into 2017 has brought me to a place of sorrow, regret and overall personal pain, as I think about the years of dieting and attempting to lose weight. I can't help but feel like a failure, as I continue to grow heavier and heavier. 
Back in August 2013, I started the low carb journey (You Tube, Facebook Group and this Blog) thinking "This is IT!, I figured it out!". I lost 45 pounds with what seems like "ease", just to more easily gain back 55 pounds. 
I would go back into LCHF multiple times, before truly realizing the negative symptoms I was experiencing each and every time I was doing LCHF:
  • Irritation
  • Mood Swings
  • Overall unhappiness
  • Headaches
  • Lethargy
  • Very Low energy (maybe 1 day a week high energy)
  • and many more
A little research revealed that all of those symptoms were in fact what a lot of people that go too low carb experience.  The answer, eat higher carb.  Not high carb per se, but higher.  So I started a way of eating where I didn't eat carbs, but I did pay attention and attempted to maintain below 150g. 
Lo and behold - I lost weight at the exact same rate as eating a ketogenic diet.  Interesting, considering the keto community claims they lose weight faster.   And even better than that - I felt AWESOME!   Seriously, I went from one day a week of high energy (6 days low energy), to 6 days high energy (1 day low energy).  Additionally, all those sugar cravings, in-between meal hunger, etc. that the ketogenic diet claims to help with, was also gone with the less than 150g/day "diet". 
This was a phenomenal discovery for me.  I literally felt better eating higher carbs, experienced the same rate of weight loss, had no negative symptoms, and felt extremely high energy. 
I also experienced the following:
  • Increased "want/need" for exercise.  Had no problem going for an hour+ walk every day
  • Spontaneous exercise - Just suddenly turn on an exercise video and go, go, go
  • Woke up every morning WITHOUT a problem.  Suddenly the 8 hours of sleep I had always had every night, was actually more than enough!
  • Menstruations were lighter
  • PMS symptoms were 50% reduced
  • and many more I can't remember right now
Sounds great, right?  Well it is, or was.  The thing is, I have the exact same problem I had with LCHF.  I just can't stay away from the sugar.  
The truth is, sugar is my happy place. 

Sugar is my best friend, celebrating with me during those happy moments, and making me feel better during those sad, depressing, stressed out moments. 
The next major realization I have made - The type of "Diet" doesn't matter!  Here I was removing all carbs (and sugar) from my "diet", thinking that I would be so much healthier, which wasn't true. 
Side Note:  If you think removing sugar is the only way to reverse diabetes, you too are falling pray to the misinformation in the diet world.  There are just as many high carbers eating healthy and reversing diabetes as there are low carbers.  Seriously, google it!
As I was saying, over the past 3+ years I have thought it was a lower carb diet that would cure me, help me lose weight, make me healthy, help me live forever.  Nope. 
Instead, I have found these key items are all I need:

  • Self Respect.  If I respect myself, I won't engage in disrespecting activities against myself. 

  • Acceptance.  Accept me for me.  I have my faults.  And guess what? When I lose 100 pounds, I will still have my faults, they just won't weigh 100 pounds.  We are all sinners in the eye of our creator, and I will never be perfect, no matter how I look. 

  • Mindful Eating practices (Mindfulness):  Slow down, eat when hungry, stop when full, chew adequately. 

  • Exercise:  Who wants to eat unhealthy when you just conquered a 2 hour walk?  Seriously, exercise just makes me feel so much better mentally and physically.  And I'm not talking a 1 hour bootcamp.  I'm talking a light walk, a 15 minute kettlebell workout, etc.  Nothing too crazy.  Just enough to get the heart rate up, and a smile on my face.

  • Healthy food choices:  Choosing lots of veggies, whole foods.  If I want desserts, the healthiest are homemade with whole natural sugar sources (dates, fruit, etc.).  I have yet to overeat on a healthy homemade dessert.  They are just too filling. 

  • Say No to [processed] Sugar, Most of the time. 

For Example:  There are instances when my son would share his organic cane sugar jelly beans with me, and I could eat 20 of them, and never think about sugar again.  When I was in ketosis, if I ate those 20 jelly beans, I would finish off a tub of Ben and Jerry's and just start again on Monday.  I just could not handle even the slightest sweet flavor in my mouth. 

So there it is, my own personal key to health.  Seems easy right?  Well, once I get started and past the sugar withdrawals, it is always easy.  The hard part for me is when I reach a highly stressed out situation.  Since I was a very little girl (grade school), I turned to sugar to make me feel better.  I am trying to break a highly addictive habitual behavior that I have had for over 28 years. 

Wow!   I just realized I have turned to my sugar friend for 28 years.  That is a long time.  No wonder this is so hard! 

With that being said, I do not know how much longer I will continue the Facebook Group or even this Blog, as both of them are in disagreement with my current life values. 

I am very thankful for the people I have met through this journey, and although some may not agree with my post, rest assured knowing that I still appreciate everyone that helped me get to this point.  And even if you disagree with me and my personal beliefs today, doesn't mean we cannot support eachother.

I would like to continue writing and sharing my journey, as I believe it is healthy for me, as well as possible helpful to others. 

Until next time, Peace

- Jenny


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