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My Journey to Paleo
It really all started with these words…
Show me something.
Cried from the depths of my soul to God, as I longed to figure out what to do in my life. You see my Journey to Paleo is deeply intertwined with my Infertility Story. And as I sat in anguish, yet again realizing I wasn’t pregnant as I thought I might have been, I didn’t know what to do or what to think. I knew I wasn’t healthy. I knew it had to do with being overweight and food, but I had no idea how to fix it.
I’ve been overweight my entire life. I never quite understood why, but I always struggled in this area. At 6 I was diagnosed with hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), and with a modified low sugar diet it went away a couple of years later. The only thing I remember being modified was that I had to eat yogurt ice cream instead of regular, and I couldn’t eat much candy. I also had a lot of tummy issues. These were routinely dismissed as nothing and “normal”. I was also diagnosed with ADHD and depression at age 11.
Flash forward to my senior year of college, where I became very hypoglycemic (low blood sugar). It was not fun standing in front of a vending machine between classes trying to find something so I didn’t pass out. I made it through student teaching only with the aid of glucose tablets.
Growing up I always felt so much older than my peers. I didn’t have their energy or stamina. I couldn’t run or play as hard. Even as a preschooler I remember having to sit on the sidelines in between races. But I always tried. I tried to eat healthy, I tried to exercise as much as I could. I played every sport for girls my school offered but 2, and I pushed myself as hard as I could. All to no avail.
South Beach Diet
In 2003 the South Beach Diet was very popular. A few of the teachers at my first teaching job were on it. I desperately needed to lose weight, as my senior year of college I gained 50 pounds! So I got the book, and read it quickly one weekend. It explained a lot of what was happening to me.
The blood sugar rushes, the insulin spikes, and then my blood-sugar dropping out. These were regular occurrences of my everyday life! The lack of energy, the constant hunger, everything. So Chris and I decided to try it.
The first 2 weeks were the strictest. All carbs were eliminated, even carrots and tomatoes. But we were seeing results! In a month I lost close to 30 pounds – but there were so many more benefits than the weight loss. I felt good for the first time. In fact I felt better than I ever remembered feeling in my whole life. And this in the midst of the most challenging and difficult season of my life to that point (I won’t go into details but I was a 1st year teacher teaching 6th/7th Grade Emotionally Disturbed kids in an inner-city school, newly married, and my mother was very ill, and we didn’t think she was going to make it!).
My progress with the diet came to a screeching halt when I started adding back in some of the Stage 2 “healthy” foods – whole grains.
Suddenly I was hungrier, my cravings returned, and staying on the diet was much harder. I also stopped losing weight, and just felt blah all the time again. Just about this time, I left my job (before I became emotionally disturbed!), and since Chris was still in school we had no money. Carbs are cheaper, or so we thought, so we went back to our standard American diet (S.A.D).
I gained some, but not all of the weight back, and I went back to my “normal” state of being. I did, however, realize that I definitely had an issue with breads. While we did switch over to healthier whole wheat breads and pastas, I did start slowly limiting how often we ate them over time.
In 2004 we started trying to conceive.
The Great Physicians Rx and the Maker’s Diet
In 2006 I was in a car accident that left my back in pretty bad shape, and I began seeing a chiropractor. During this time I went back to my high weight point that I was at before I started South Beach. I was miserable, hurting, depressed, and longing to be pregnant.
My chiropractor also did nutrition counseling, and I decided to give it a try. I also began reading and searching for answers. They first 2 things that I came across were the Great Physicians Rx and The Maker’s Diet. I read both, and gained a better understanding of how nutrition is vital to our health an well-being. It was a lot to take in and digest (pun intended ;-)).
I decided to try the Maker’s Diet, which included a ‘no-carb’ 2 week detox similar to South Beach. Again I had amazing results and felt GREAT! Moving on to phase 2, which started to add in some whole grains, I started to struggle. After a trip to Disney, which I attempted to stay on the diet as closely as possible, it all began to fall apart. The cravings were back. I stopped losing weight. I didn’t feel good, and I was depressed again. Add to that, I thought I might be pregnant, but wasn’t. After that I lost my desire to wholeheartedly continue.
I tried again several times to “get back on the horse”. My chiropractor put me on supplements to try help, and instructed me to not eat proteins and carbs together. This helped some, but I was getting nowhere fast. One day my chiropractor told me that I had the worse case of sugar sensitivity (he used a bigger word, but this is what it meant), that he had ever seen. I was addicted to sugars.
So this is where I found myself in August of 2008. I’d been trying to eat healthy, taking supplements, exercising as much as I could with my back (I was still in constant pain, though I was “physically healed” according to my doctor). I was even put on metformin to help stabilize my sugar levels (didn’t work) and help me to get pregnant. And again I thought I was.
I needed help. I needed wisdom. I needed God to show me something.
And He has!
Stay tuned next week as I continue to share my Journey to Paleo. Bare with me as it’s a long story to tell.
See part 2 here. Part 3 here.
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