It's been two weeks since I started my 'lower carb, lower sugar, more fruits & veggies, few processed foods' healthy eating plan. You might recall that in my post, 'Haywire Hormones', I read an article about how the foods we eat affects our hormones and, thus, our moods. It's stuff I had heard before but for some reason the article really resonated with me and I decided to give healthy eating a shot.
I've always known that I want to eat in such a way that is good for my body & that is natural. I didn't want to try 'diet pills'. I didn't want to sign up for a program that sent me pre-packaged food (although I will say that I have a friend who recently lost 50 pounds through one of those programs. So, for many people they do work). I wanted to do something that I could live with long term. I wanted to change the way I eat.
What a better time than the summer than to incorporate fresh fruits & veggies into your diet! That part was a no-brainer. Getting rid of a large portion of the carbs I usually eat has been harder. But, not impossible. The first change I made was changing what I eat for breakfast. Instead of eating carb-laden cereal, toast, pancakes, or baked oatmeal I've been eating eggs/omelets with veggies or bean salsa, turkey bacon, Greek yogurt, fruit smoothies (made with yogurt), rice cakes with almond butter, fruit. Getting protein first thing in the morning instead of carbs has made a huge difference in my energy levels throughout the day.
I also have a huge sweet tooth. But, I haven't missed the sweet stuff as desperately as I thought I would. But, the clincher for me is that I can't completely deny myself a sweet treat. So, once a day I have allowed myself either a piece of dark chocolate or some frozen yogurt. And, surprisingly to me, some days I didn't even crave a treat.
To keep myself on track with my eating and so I don't lose focus I have been keeping a food journal. I kinda fought against doing this. It's one of those things that feels restrictive to me. But, I don't think it's something I will do forever. (Ok - I KNOW I won't do it forever). Right now it helps keep me on target and makes me more conscious of what I put in my mouth.
I've also been trying to incorporate more exercise. This hasn't become a regular routine yet. But, there have been several days that I've packed my big boy's bicycles and a stroller for the little one and I've taken them to a park very close to my house (2 minute drive) that has great riding & walking trails. The boys love it (and now ask to do it everyday) and I actually love it too. I've even met a couple new moms by going to the park!
So, the big reveal I have is this: This morning I stepped on the scale and in the last 2 weeks I've lost six pounds! It hasn't made a huge difference in my appearance or in the way my clothes fit yet. But, it HAS made a giant difference in the way I feel!
I have more energy and my I've been in a fairly good mood most of the time. (I'm interested to see if there are any differences when I reach 'that time' in my cycle.). I feel less blob-like, less blah and more engaged in life.
And the other surprising result has been that of gratitude. When I take the time to actually think about healthy options and to prepare that food for myself instead of just grabbing miscellaneous junk out of the cupboard or refrigerator and shoving it in my mouth, I have become more aware of what a blessing food is. The news of the famine that is killing thousands of children makes me even more aware of this blessing.
And here is where I try to come up with an ending line that doesn't sound cheesy or trite. Saying that 'an attitude of gratitude is the real pay off of healthy eating' or something like that sounds crass next to the line that children are dying. So, I'll end with this - I'm not sure what this new awareness means for me, but it seems that it should mean something.