Thursday, May 29, 2014

Half-Way There!

At this point we're just over half-way through the Step 1 Diet Reset phase (very very much like the Whole30, if you're familiar with that). In some ways it feels like the first two weeks have gone quickly, and in other ways it feels like two more weeks seems reeeeally long. But alas, I have survived. I am on track, and I even weathered a holiday weekend mostly unscathed! I'll say it: I'm proud of myself. At the outset this seemed a lot harder than it has been. I'm not sure if that's because I'm only half-way through, or if it's a sign of my mental determination {really hoping it's the latter}, but I'm feeling confident that switches have been flipped... permanently.

My family really wants to know how I'm feeling. Do I notice any big changes? Is this whole thing even worthwhile?? After two weeks, I can't say I feel dramatically different. I still have the hypothyroid symptoms that set me off on this journey in the first place. But, I also don't think it's realistic to expect myself to be "healed" or "cured" after two weeks either. The point of sticking to a strict set of especially healthy foods for this 30 days is to get the other stuff out of my system. It takes time for the body to get rid of some of the things that were party of my previous diet. Once that 30 days has passed and my system has settled and begun to repair, then I will start paying close attention to see if my symptoms start to improve. At this very minute, I'm sitting under a fleece blanket, wearing a hoodie and my hands and feet are ice cold. Somewhere over the next few months, I'll be looking for them to warm up. Over the past week I've found 3 pieces of my own hair in one dish of food, and a piece in my glass of water that ice cubes had fused around {seriously gross, I know}. Six months from now, I'm hopeful that won't be such a common occurrence. We'll see. It's possible that this change in my diet will help me, but that I'll still need thyroid medication. It is what it is. But that doesn't mean that I've wasted my time eating better. Quite the contrary actually.

Here is where I have seen change: The more I read of Your Personal Paleo Code, the more convinced I am to commit to a Paleo-style diet for life. There is so much information and evidence indicating which foods are the most healthful and which foods are lacking {not to mention potentially harmful}. I've also learned so much about how the health of our digestive system affects so many other conditions and areas of the body. I mentioned before that I'm someone who has always been opposed to "diets." This is genuinely not a diet. The bottom line purpose of this information is health and healing. That you will not find from Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or any of the other common diet plans out there. The goal among them is simply weight-loss, and maybe better health as a side effect. This is something different. Something bigger. Definitely something better. For a while now, despite a handful of people I know endorsing it and encouraging me to try it, I avoided a Paleo diet because I felt like it was unsustainable for me. I thought it was too strict and I just wasn't willing to commit to that for the rest of my life. I could find other ways to maintain my health. Thankfully, circumstances in my own health shoved me toward it to a point where I had to look into it out of curiosity if nothing else. Now that I've learned more and given it a try, I don't see myself going back. Don't get me wrong, I don't intend to stick to the strict guidelines that are used for this first 30 day phase forever, but I don't plan to stray too far from it either. It will remain the basis of my diet. I'll reintroduce some things, like dairy which I've really missed, but I'll probably eat less of it than I did before. And everything else will be an occasional treat. Nothing is banned for life, and for me personally, that helps immensely with my resolve.

So that's where I am at the halfway point: hanging in there better than I thought I could, learning more every day, more convinced than ever that this was a smart choice, and committed. Let's see what the next 2 weeks brings!

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