The "G" Word
Happy Monday everyone, I have another guest blog from my wife Marina for you today. Enjoy! And be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Peace of Mind
I’m sure we’ve all heard the expression ‘bad habits are hard to break’ and speaking personally, I’d agree. Last paleo-challenge go-around, I shared ‘my paleo story’…looking into some of the more psychological reasons/health risks that pushed me to really take the plunge.
But I have to be honest with you. I lied. Not the kind of lie where you completely fabricate something, but the kind of ‘lie’ I so often talk to my teenage clients about- the ‘partial truth lie’ (Example: ‘I didn’t lie to my parents about the party, I just didn’t mention that my friend’s parents were going to out of town and that boys were coming to the party…’). In other words, what I shared with you was true, but I left out an important piece of the puzzle.
Why you might ask? Oh goodness, it could be a number of things- fear, shame, worry that I would be judged more closely if my past came out. Do I have your attention now? Are you all wondering what deep, dark secret I’ve been hiding? Alas, it’s not some dark skeleton that will have Sergeant Scott Holliday pounding down my door, but after something considerable thought, I decided it was worth mentioning. I used to have an eating disorder. Five years of my life, starting in my teens until the day I turned 20 were ruled by a constant obsession with weight, food, exercise, and my body. I might add that during this time I also a varsity cross country runner, an obsessive gym-rat (when I wasn’t running), and a vegetarian. Oh yah…and I left out that part about being miserable. I don’t talk about this all that much because THANKFULLY, although it will always be a part of who I was, it truly is the furthest thing from who I am now. I’d like to pretend that it was just an overnight transformation- and in some ways the beginning was (my ‘birthday present’ to myself when I turned 20), but even after I kicked my eating disorder to the curb, I still had very disordered thinking about my body and the food I put in it.
So why am I writing about this now? Well, there’s a new paleo challenge- and inevitably at some point during the challenge I hear this UN-magical buzzword: GUILT. Guilt, my friends, was something I knew a lot about. Guilt was something that held my hand and lead me down the long and twisted path of my eating disorder. And guilt, I’m happy to say, is something that’s really not part of my life anymore- at least not when it comes to food. So what changed? Eating paleo has completely shifted my focus when it comes to food. I’ve learned that with a paleo diet, calorie-for-calorie, I am eating the most nutrient dense foods out there. I am providing my body with the foods it needs to be healthy, be strong, and the foods that make me feel good. It has stabilized my blood sugar, lowered my blood pressure, helped me build lean muscle, and changed my body comp overall- so while I may not be as ‘skinny’ as I once was, I’m probably the healthiest and happiest I’ve ever been! More importantly, it’s taken the focus off ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and allowed me simply concentrate on what makes me feel my best. Don’t get me wrong- I still indulge (like possibly having some 3twins yesterday!!), but instead of berating myself for ‘being bad’ I take ownership of it and look at it as a choice I made- and savor every bite! (side note, it’s worth it to look up Scott’s ‘choices not cheats’ blog from last spring).
The coolest thing is that I now know I am not alone in this discovery. Maybe not to the extreme point of disordered eating, but to the point of gaining peace of mind through a paleo lifestyle. I’ve had the pleasure of talking to others in the gym who had experienced pressure in the past to look a certain way, or felt major guilt when not sticking to the ‘high carb/low fat’ diet we’ve been told is the only way to go. By shifting the focus to health and being able to reap the benefits that are clear when you truly give paleo a fair shot, they too felt the empowerment of escaping the pressure and expectations of our society. And it wasn’t always easy- letting go of the idea that fat makes us fat, that bacon won’t kill us, and that eating could actually be healthy AND enjoyable…WHOAH! Nothing short of mind blowing when you think about it!
So there you have it…my dirty little secret. But I’m happy to say the only thing I have guilt about now, is how much I enjoy my bacon every morning—and how easy this way of eating actually is once you ‘un-learn’ all the things you’ve been taught!
Monday’s Benchmark WOD:
Compare to: 6/20/11. 2/14/11, 10/25/10
2011 10 23