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These words are my diary screaming out loud

Monday, July 23, 2012

And now, for something completely different

I've been struggling with my weight my entire adult life. Yup, even in the military. I remember the first time I had to be "roped and choked" to make weight/body fat standards - it was my junior year, and where I had always been just on the edge of the weight limit for my height, I had, for the first time, gone over, and was required to be taped to measure my body fat. I didn't feel fat. I wasn't wearing huge sized clothing. I was working out fairly regularly, and was arguably in better shape than at almost any point in my life. So, as you can imagine, a bit of a complex set in, especially as this was the standard for my entire Naval career. It wasn't until my very last weigh in in the Navy, where I had just lost a significant amount of weight, that I was able to make weight without having to be taped.

Keeping weight down was a lot easier at the Naval Academy, when people were forcing my hand, and even on the ships, where workout gear was readily available and I was moving around a lot. But once I made the move to a desk job, and then to the civilian world, it became much harder. I'm not helped by the fact that some of it is in my genes - both of my parents and all of my adult siblings are constantly struggling with their weight. But even while at Annapolis, I was surrounded by girls and women who were just plain naturally much smaller than me, and who had much more discipline when it came to exercise and working out. Being at USNA was really the first time I remember being truly unhappy with my body.

I joined Weight Watchers for the first time about a year after graduation. The guy I'd been in love with for years was coming home from deployment and I wanted to look good for him. I made my goal, and didn't really think much more of it for several years. I was on ships, I was moving around, and I was in a pretty good spot, I thought.

Fast forward to 2007. I was the heaviest I had ever been at that point, and basically, some jerk on a free dating site I was trying out for shits and grins saw a picture of me and said no offense, but I'm not into fat people. OUCH. But it was the kick I needed. I got back on Weight Watchers, and managed to lose nearly 30 pounds over the next 6 months or so. I managed to plateau at about 20 below the starting number, and stayed there for a little over a year.

When I got out of the Navy, finding a job ended up being far harder than it was supposed to be. I finally did find one, but it wasn't what I wanted, and it was incredibly hard to be successful. It became more and more obvious that if I didn't find a new job, I was going to lose the one I had, but finding a new job was proving impossible. All of that stress, which culminating in finally losing my job and making the decision to move back to the DC area, resulted in me not only gaining back that other 20 pounds, but gaining nearly 20 more on top of that.

Since then, I've been back on Weight Watchers (although not always 100%). I lost about 15, gained about 5 of that back, and have been pretty much stuck. For YEARS I've been hearing about this paleo diet, and I finally started doing some actual research on it. Turns out, its not a diet, but a complete lifestyle change. Its focused on eating whole foods of the sort that our hunter/gatherer ancestors ate - meat, seafood, fruits, vegetables, nuts. It removes dairy, grains, processed foods, added sugar, juice, and most starchy foods. The best part about it is because its not a diet, you don't totally screw yourself if you cheat, or if you just go 80 or 90%. On top of that, everything that I'm reading seems to show that people like me (who struggle with weight, even when calorie counting) do really well on it, because instead of tracking the number of calories taken it it is focusing on the kinds of food, and the types of calories. I decided that I'm going to give it a whirl - people say they feel better, have more energy, and lose weight. It can't hurt - I know all the chemicals and processing can't be good for me.

Has anyone else tried paleo? Have any good recipe / food ideas?


Ms. Andrea said...

look up fit chicks on facebook. Many people mention that particular "diet" and it's full of a plethora of other info.

Rebecca said...

Andrea, I think I've seen that before. Thanks!