Most current photo of me, taken last weekend at the zoo.
Okay, so you want to hear about this diet I've been on?
First, let me say that I've never been on a diet before. I've had a bit of a Goldilocks body all my life...size 8, not too big, not too little. Any changes in my waistline could be measured in the tightness or looseness of that size 8. As I settle into my early 40's though, I had started to notice that there was less fluctuating and more just plain spreading. That size 8 started getting a bit too snug. And every time I weighed myself, I was a pound or two heavier than the last time. Just before the diet, I weighed in at 160 and the size 8 clothes that I'd always worn were too small.
For months and months last year, Rich had been researching how he could help his migraines through diet. His research led him to Dr. Rosedale's diet...low carb, no sugar, moderate protein and fat diet. He read about how this diet can help heal your body. He hoped that it would help him with his migraines...something he's been desperate to solve.
When he was researching the diet, he read many accounts of how this diet helped women with endometriosis. He also read a book about a similar "endometriosis diet". He encouraged me to try the diet to see if it would help me. After lots of treatments, including twice going on Lupron Depot, a drug which induces a simulated menopause (and all of the pleasantries associated), my doctor had recommended a hysterectomy. I know lots of women have them all the time, including lots of my friends...I just wasn't keen on something so drastic. I told Rich I'd give the diet a try.
Before we began the diet, I weaned myself off Coca-Cola and sugar in my coffee. Out of all of the changes I had to make, I knew these two would be difficult. I still find myself seriously jonesing a coke. The sugar in my coffee was easier. I just slowly decreased the sugar while increasing the heavy cream (the diet doesn't allow milk, which is in half and half, because it contains lactose, a sugar). I don't miss the sugar in my coffee now at all. But I do drink more coffee than is really allowed on this diet. It is my one indulgence and is just the thing to get me through the afternoon when I often have cravings.
The first month was the hardest. Dinner wasn't too hard...I prepared the same sorts of meals we'd have before, minus the carbs. That meant no rice, no pasta, no potatoes, no bread. When you think of how much of that we usually fill our meals, that can be a bit of a difficult step. I enjoyed the challenge and found lots of great recipes that inspired me.
Lunch was harder. No bread means no sandwich. And while an occasional salad is great, I don't really like them enough to eat everyday. With it just being me here during the day, I'm not likely to whip something up just for myself. The best solution for lunches, mine and Rich's, is to have enough leftovers from dinner to eat for lunch.
The single hardest part of the diet is snacking. I didn't realize until I was on the diet just how much of a snacker I was. And nearly every snack available is packed with carbs and/or sugar. We eat a lot of nuts. And a cup of coffee often gets me through.
We've gone off the diet a few times...once over Christmas and again for my birthday. The two hardest parts of going back on is 1. going off the diet makes you feel positively horrible...no energy, impossibly sleepy, and just blah. 2. you get the cravings extra hard the next day and continuing on and on if you crack.
But enough about how difficult the diet is...let me tell you about the positives. Rich's migraines went away completely for a long while (unfortunately, he's had a bit of a relapse recently). My cycles are so much smoother, they are almost a nonissue. This coming from someone who has always had at least 1 day a month so bad that I spent it in bed. Now, Advil is all I need for pain. In everyway, I feel healthier. I have more energy than I have in my life. I'm sleeping like a baby and waking up so refreshed.
To date, I've lost 20 pounds and my size 8 clothes are really too loose for me now. My weight loss seems to be holding steady at 20 pounds but I'm noticing that I'm continuing to slim down. Rich said the other day that my legs have never been so skinny. Rich never meant to loose weight on the diet, only to tackle his migraines. He lost quite a bit and would love to gain some of it back.
Because it is such a complete lifestyle change, one that is not easily achieved in our society, I'm not sure I would eagerly recommend the diet. To tell you the truth, I'm mainly on it to support Rich and to make it easier for him to be on it. But I am thrilled with the results, especially with the impact the change in diet has had on my health.