Oh Lordie I can't believe I am going to do this. I'm going to post my 50 lb before and afters. I should start by saying that I am now 10 MORE lbs down from the after picture. I have put on a fair amount of muscle in that time also so my body is significantly different in just 10 lbs. 50 lbs was a milestone for me though and I thought for the sake of transparency I'll post it.And I'll add my story in for kicks.
As a kid I wasn't ever heavy. I played highly competitive soccer so the endless exercise kept my think enough. In my early twenties I was super active (as we lived somewhere with no electricity and hitchhiked or walked miles into town lol) and got super thin. To thin. I even did okay as I started having babies as I jumped into fad after fad trying to find health. 100% raw food anyone? Juicing anyone? Vegetarian? Endless whole grains? Even then I was okay. I felt pretty healthy because well I was young :) Then my husband got sick. As I attempted to deal with his recovery from a severe drug addiction, I gained weight with a vengeance. I gained 60 lbs in only three months! I destroyed my metabolism, destroyed any proper insulin response I had, destroyed any healthy relationship emotionally and mentally I had with food. I tried to diet on and off through the last few years, Weight Watchers, calorie counting, etc. but all I ended up doing was getting fatter and fatter and hated myself more and more. Diets make you fat. Nuff said about that.
I found myself at a rockin' 245 lbs. As I type this I sit at 191 lbs.
This health journey for me began in October last year (2012). By the recommendation of a friend I read the book "Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It" by Gary Taubes. That man is amazing! I think anyone starting from a place of eating processed carbs, or even way too many healthy carbs like homemade bread, etc. like I did should read that book. He's not totally paleo or anything but the way he lays out the science of blood sugar and weight gain, it's gold I tell ya. I jumped in with both feet and started going low carb. The weight started melting off. By the end of the year I had lost 25 lbs. I couldn't believe it~!
But I still felt old. My back pain was coming back in full force. I have a malformed vertebra in between my lumbar and sacral part of my back. It has been malformed since birth. I had a bad back injury when I was 12 that left me in physical therapy for months. That injury coupled with my birth defect caused my disk to start to degenerate. A couple of years ago I spent most of a year hardly able to walk. It took my until about noon before my back would loosen up enough to walk. I have six kids. I was scared to death that I'd be in a wheelchair raising my kids. When I got pregnant last the pain subsided due to my Relaxin kicking in and loosening my joints. But last fall, it came back. I was losing weight and yet my back was starting to get worse by the day. And despite low carbing it I still did lots of stevia treats and had sugar, I mean stevia lol, cravings were a tad on the insane side. That's not really what I wanted for long term either. So I started hunting for answers. And I came up..... what for it........ Paleo of course LOL~!
I found the Whole30.
I read all sorts of amazing claims about the Whole30 and nabbed the Hartwig's amazing book It Starts with Food. I joined the forum and started right away. The Whole30 template has you eating vegetables with EVERY meal and wow was that something! Nutrient dense veggies even with breakfast. Breakfast? And low and behold I found kale was my new favorite breakfast food. Kale! Who knew? But I'll get into W30 food in a different post.
Within a couple of weeks I noticed an amazing thing happening........ My back started to not hurt! What?! Those claims about inflammation going down were true? Believe you me, I'm a skeptic. I didn't really think I would get relief. I had been going to the chiropractor once a week because it was all I could afford. I wished I could go more. Within weeks my chiro told me I didn't need to come but once every two weeks. By the end of my W30 it was three weeks. I read and read and learned about Omega3 and Omega6 ratios. I started trying to eat less nuts and started taking Fermented Cod Liver Oil to up Omega3s. It was a miracle! My back pain was gone. Gone. I started going to Crossfit and was scared to death that deadlifts, weighted squats, pullups, etc. were going to make my back hurt more. I had been scared of exercise since my back pain. I only did isometric exercise since I hurt my back. But low and behold my back pain was gone! My long nagging knee pain was getting better not worse as I squatted. This thing really worked!
And the weight was melting off. I didn't count calories, I didn't restrict myself, I had lots of saturated fats, protein, ate fruit with meals, and weight was melting off. I was feeling vibrant and strong. I was a new woman! I have no gallbladder and my stools were getting better. Loads and loads of fiber and my stools were getting more normal? This whole thing was odd. My body in general was getting healthier right before my eyes. It wasn't weight loss that was driving me feeling better, it was from the inside out! My skin, my hair, my joints, my bowels, everything was feeling better. Why would I ever want to stop?
Then my Whole30 ended. The day after I thought I'd splurge and ate pie. Yes pie. Don't judge me. I ate two pieces of pie. What drove that I don't know. I was feeling amazing and hadn't had any cravings in a couple weeks. Why would I do this? Anyways.... literally the next morning the inflammation in my back was back in full force. I was shocked. Shocked! I had been doing hundreds of squats a week for almost a month and one single air squat that day after the pie wrecked my knee and the inflammation was crazy. I guess I needed that kick in the rear to remind me that I wasn't just making this anti-inflammation thing up. I was a believer through and through now. I went back to total paleo and have been for the last few months since that slip-up.
So 50 lbs. I lost 50 lbs. I'm almost at 60 lbs down now but these pics mattered to me at the time so I'll post them.
I have some observations though. This woman in the befores didn't care. She hated herself. I looked like that day in day out. Terrible bra, slovenly clothes, and hair. She was just someone who had gotten to where she didn't care about herself at all, and I'd venture to say she was disgusted with herself. I am sad for her when I look at the pictures. And look at my shoulders? They were so tilted from my terrible back pain.
And the rest of my story will play out here. I've been paleo now for four months. It seems like forever. And it seems like just yesterday I started. Some things are second nature and some things are still a struggle. But I'm muddling through and will muddle through here on this blog. This is my health story.
This blog is going to try and answer the million questions I get about how I manage to afford eating paleo with six kids and "What do you EAT?!" and the even more asked question of "What do your kids eat?!", throw in an occasional "How do you have time to cook three meals a day?" We live a normal and crazy life with a house full of crazy kids, endless laundry, weeds in the garden, and a growing desire to not be satisfied with poor health. I homeschool, garden, Crossfit, eat paleo, have SIX kids, three dogs, lots of chickens, love the Lord, and am trying to honor Him through finding true health both physical and spiritual.