hi, i'm patti
Here's the story. I’ve been struggling with my weight forever. I also have never really slept well. Either didn’t fall asleep, or didn’t stay asleep or just had horrible dreams. Basically, never really rested. My mother loves to tell stories about how, as an infant and toddler, I didn’t sleep (which meant neither did she)… and all the fun I’d have at night by myself. Especially after I started walking (and escaping from my crib). Like wandering the house, climbing on things, emptying out cupboards, turning on the stove and opening up the front door to just meander the neighborhood. (Yes, apparently, I did all of that before I was two.)
Fast forward a few years (about 22) and I got married! And in my blissfulness of newlywedom, I gained about 30 pounds in 3 months. Yup… from the time I got married in January to the time Heather got married in March, I was about 30 pounds heavier. Forget the Freshman 15… I had the Newlywed 90 (OK, not really 90, but it rhymes and you get my drift). Of course, my sweet, loving husband said he didn’t even notice. Hell, neither did I really, until I saw Heather’s wedding photos. It was all a blur (to include having my Matron of Honor dress seriously let out… I don’t even remember that part).
In 2006, after losing and gaining the same 30 or so pounds for the bazillionth time, I joined one of the most popular and successful weight loss programs in the world. In about 8 months of walking and working out faithfully, journaling and calculating my points for every single morsel I shoved in my pie-hole, I had lost 40 pounds. WHOO HOO!!
I got so obsessed with diet and food, I went and got certified as a professional in Nutrition for Optimal Health, Wellness and Sports. It was fantastic, I was counseling friends on how whole grains and low fat-everything had helped me. Sure, I was still starving all the time and struggling to keep things in check, but that didn’t matter. I was doing everything by the book of what I learned in my certification course. Plus… a year went by… and I had kept off the weight. Holy cow… THIS was the secret I had been waiting for my whole life… right up until my husband (affectionately known as “the boy”) returned from his most recent “vacation” in Afghanistan and ruined (just kidding Honey, I love you!) my whole routine. As we (yes, we) ate everything (yes, everything) he had missed in those previous 14 months… back the weight came.
Rinse and repeat lose/gain cycle 2 more times… (insert “wah wah” gameshow noise here)
In desperation, I returned to the only program on which I had seen any real results. I paid my weekly membership fee and used the heck out of the online app to calculate my points for me. Back to measuring and weighing and whole grains and low fat everything... and deprivation.
Then, in July 2011, after being "so good" on the program, I was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer (not a particularly deadly kind, but cancer none-the-less). The thyroid had to come out.
I started doing a little research to find out how did it come to this? Cancer? I'm so "healthy." All I eat is heart-heathly whole grains and skinless chicken breasts and steamed broccoli. Well... come to find out... after thousands (yes, thousands) of hours of research on Thyroid Cancer, whole grains (specifically gluten-containing ones) don't really go with a healthy thyroid. In fact, they're pretty much enemies.
In addition, environmental toxins, like those in beauty products and household cleaners cause endocrine disruption. And, of course, it's all completely fine with the FDA, the EPA, the AMA and the rest of 'em. It's only an issue if you use a lot... like the 90+ items that most women come into contact with before they even leave the house in the morning. But more on that in the blog.
So... no more thyroid and no more gluten. What the heck was I going to eat? How could I give up bread and pasta and popcorn and low-fat yogurt and granola bars and, and, and?!
Cold Turkey, that’s how. At least at first… with a little help from a supportive doctor (and a little medication to take the edge off (full disclosure here, right?)… for 40 days (and 40 nights it’s gonna rain – wait… that’s something different) I ate nothing but meat, veggies, and a little fruit. And then for 3 more weeks, I started to incorporate a little fat into the mix… but only the good fats (avocado, olive oil, etc.). They called it Paleo.
Holy cow… forget what I said before… THIS THIS THIS is what I have been waiting for all my life!! Meat and fat and veggies (which I’ve always really liked, but they’re so much better when they’re slathered in butter!). I wasn’t hungry anymore. WHAAAT? NOT. HUNGRY. ANY. MORE?! It was amazing. I was satisfied, for maybe the first time ever. (insert angels singing and clouds parting here)
That was 2012 and, while I've strayed from the "Paleo" label, I have found sound footing in the real "phood" sphere, keeping gluten-free. Sure, there’s been a few peaks and dips, but overall… still maintaining.
That's where I am now. Trying to live for REAL... not just in phood, but in all the things.
and i'm heather
I am the older and wiser sister (ha ha)! I was always just your run of the mill kid who loved carbs and treats, but managed to be active enough that it did not show. College was when the fun really started. I gained 30 pounds between being dropped off at college and Thanksgiving break. Beginning at age 18, I had become one of the many Americans that struggled with their weight.
In 2009, after years of battling intestinal distress and irritable bowel syndrome, I decided to give up wheat. My stomach cheered with relief. The years of pasta, beer and cake had made a mess of my body, both inside and out. I lost some weight post-wheat, but substituting gluten free bread for whole wheat bread does not do any favors for your weight loss efforts. After further researching health and fitness I stumbled into the Real Food Realm (AKA – Paleo or Primal).
Eating real, whole, natural foods from the earth is a lifestyle and not a diet. It is a way of thinking about your food in order to improve your health and increase your standard of living. You just feel good. Add to that quality sleep, meditation and daily activity and you have the perfect set up for optimal health and wellness!
My health circle includes reducing the toxins in all aspects of my life. I've ditched the chemical household cleaners, the questionable beauty products and the drugstore items with extensive (and scary) lists of side effects. Granted, my teen daughters do not always support this, but we have made strides as a family toward a more REAL lifestyle.
I am still trying to figure out WHY I have arthritis symptoms and inflammation in my body and edema in my joints. Sometimes it feels like the struggle is endless, but I have made strides by adjusting my food with an autoimmune protocol (AIP), limiting FODMAPS and nightshades. I have been seeing a functional gastroenterologist to work on this - check out the blog and podcast for more specifics on my health journey.
There are always better and healthier options out there and we will discover them together. (I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours.) #BFFs4ever!