Day 7 of week 5

So now that I’ve done this program for 5 weeks, I’m wondering more and more why I don’t just continue doing what I’m doing. Just keep going after the 8 weeks are done. I know how the regimen makes me feel, both in my body and emotionally. I wrote this to my sister yesterday:

At the first of this year, right on January 1st, I made the decision to do something really nice for myself and that was to once and for all eat much healthier and to exercise daily. I had learned about a program that helps you to do that and has proven results. I read all about it and since it was very affordable to sign up, I did and started the “program” on January 6th. It’s for a minimal 8-weeks and you work out daily except on Sunday and you eat only healthy and whole foods, and skip anything with sugar, dairy or wheat in it. You also don’t eat anything in the family of beans or rice. So I’ve been keeping up with it, tracking my progress, and recording my journey. I have done 5 weeks and have 3 more to go, but I’m probably going to keep going after the 8 weeks because it’s become so easy for me to do. I’ve lost 4.5 pounds so far and just feel great.

I feel stronger and leaner and the food is helping to eat less and not feel so full after eating. I have some meat every day, eggs, some fruit and lots of vegetables and a little bit of nuts. For healthy oils I eat fish, olive oil and nuts. I have added a few things in, maybe once a week, of diary (like yogurt) or something like a cookie or piece of pie, but for the most part I’m strictly on this food program. It’s also called the Paleo diet, because it is based on foods that people ate in the paleozoic period, when people were hunters and gatherers. The theory is that after agriculture the health of people declined. They have compared bones of paleozoic people to those of later people and their teeth are healthier, their bones are stronger, they were taller, and there was less infant mortality. The science of human nutrition is still in infancy, but I read several books on this and it appears there is a lot to this paleo healthy diet theory. Many allergies are caused by foods like dairy and grains and when you think about it, our bodies were not made to digest food from farm animals or food grown on farms. We still have the stomachs and organs of our early ancestors and they ate what they could find in the wild. There might even be a correlation to many diseases we have now due to the consumption of grains and dairy.

Well, I shall see if I can maintain this kind of eating but so far I’m really liking it and I don’t miss cheese or sugar or bread as much as I thought I would. I may try to introduce brown rice and whole grains back into my diet later, but I also might not. I want to see how things are with me after the 8 weeks and then decide.

In any case I feel good, both physically and emotionally due to this effort. It is the first time I have really done something this consistent, outside of work. I have tried to eat healthier before and exercise more and just didn’t keep it up because it felt too “hard.” Or I didn’t have the time to cook or I didn’t have the ability to get up early enough to exercise. But I’m very surprised by my change of heart because I have been cooking more and getting up earlier and I just decided this was more important than doing other things and to keep with it, especially as I figured if I didn’t like it after 8 weeks, I could stop. But I’m really liking it and am so glad I started. It’s good feeling like I can do anything if I set my mind to it. Sometimes you need that to break out of your rut, your regular old existence. The last quarter of last year I felt like I had fallen in a rut, I wasn’t really doing anything constructive with myself. I was just passing the time. I now feel re-energized and am so optimistic about the future, about this year, about my life.

I’ve shared my experience with others too, friends, some other family by telling them about it. “How are you?” they ask. “What have you been doing lately?” So I tell them, working out, eating healthy, following a specific program and diet. They are all interested in hearing about my experience.

I haven’t yet shared my blog with them, but maybe I will. After all, I am writing here and publishing it to the public, why not get them to come and let them make comments? It is a rather personal journey but also one I’m happy to share, in case anyone else wants to do it too, or might feel inspired to do something similar. I can undergo a little bit of embarrassment, I suppose, for the revealing photographs. Anyway, no need to feel weird about it, I guess, as it’s not nudity and it’s something I’m quite proud of.

I’m not embarrassed to say that for someone who just turned 45, I care about the way I look but most importantly how I feel about myself. I think it’s that I’ve always felt much younger in my mind than my body’s age. That’s a good thing, they say. I have also been pretty lucky in that I have stayed looking fairly young for my age. Some people are surprised when I do reveal how old I am. It’s therefore not at all something I keep hidden from people. I am my age, why lie about it? Especially if they respond with, “No, really? You look so much younger!”