I had an experience yesterday that I thought might be something you guys could appreciate/understand.
Someone brought bagels into the office on Friday, and a few still remained yesterday morning. I was in the break room, refilling my water bottle, and one of my coworkers pointed to the bagels and said “I bet those are calling to you, huh?” I told him the truth, which is “Not in the least.”
And this got me thinking, of course. I mean, I’ve lost 40 pounds now, and have kept it off effortlessly. I’m not as lean as I could be, but I’m perfectly happy where I am, and could live like this for a very long time. When I say effortless, I mean effortless. My workouts are sporadic at best, and I eat as much as I want of all my approved foods, and probably more than I should of everything else. Even so, I feel great, and feel better about how I look than I ever have. But, and this is the key here, I’m not deprived. I eat bacon most every day, steak once or twice a week, loads of butter, lots of tasty veggies, etc. I don’t really miss anything that I’m not eating. I know that under most mainstream weight loss protocols, you’re supposed to be deprived. They tell you that you’re not, but you are. If you made a mistake and ate a little too much full-fat dressing on your salad, that means you’re over your calorie goal for the day and now you don’t get dessert with dinner. Or you get a boneless, skinless chicken breast instead of a steak (Ha! Like most of them would ever allow you to eat red meat, amirite?). Whatever it is, you’re being deprived. I’m not going to act like I can eat as much as I want of any food, because that’s obviously not the case. Grains, legumes and refined sugars are all on the no-fly list (the sugars and beans I will dabble in, but I do limit my intake just because of how they make me feel). Believe me, I could pound down a bag of Skittles faster than anyone you’ve ever seen, but I’d feel positively awful afterward. It wouldn’t be worth it. And because I know how it will make me feel, I don’t crave it. Same with the grains, and with the legumes, to a lesser extent. I never loved them, so they’re not all that hard to keep to a minimum.
I look at grains now much like I look at cigarettes and alcohol. I don’t drink or smoke, and I never have. When I see a glass of wine on the dinner table, I’m not making a choice not to drink it. That choice was made years ago, and it just stays made. When I see someone smoking a cigarette, I’m not tempted to light up. I’m not resisting anything, I just don’t see that as being an available choice. Does that make sense? I have a hard time expressing this stuff sometimes, so I hope I’m doing it right. Anyway, there are some foods that are like that, specifically anything that contains gluten. I don’t want to eat anything so badly that I’m willing to put up with two days of being gassy and crampy. I love food, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve never encountered a food that provided a pleasure so intense that it outweighed feeling like 50 pounds of smashed ass for the next 48 hours. The foods that get me to involuntary moaning have always been things that are now staples of my diet. Quality steaks, bacon, cheese, butter. They don’t make me feel anything but awesome, and they are often just incredibly delicious. So much more satisfying than any of the grains ever were.
Also, and I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I don’t think we generally love the bread or the pasta itself. I know only a few people who enjoy dry bread, and none who enjoy pasta without sauce or butter or something. Grain products, especially wheat products are usually delivery mechanisms for sauces, butter, cream cheese, meat, etc. Now I used to love sandwiches, don’t get me wrong. And I could go to town on some bread and butter. But what I really loved was the butter, or maybe the combination of the flavors and textures. I didn’t love the bread itself like I love steak itself. The best part is that I can put butter on steak. Or on veggies. Or on both. I can have a buttload of butter, and still feel awesome and stay lean. So I still get the things I used to love putting on grain products, now I just put them on meat, veggies, or (more often than I should) some organic corn chips. I know, I know. But hey, the fact that I can eat those chips without feeling gross, and without gaining weight is awesome, still. They’re not forming 60% of my daily calorie intake or anything, because I always smother them in enough cheese and meat to fill me up and keep me full of good protein and fat. Booyah.
Anyway, that’s just my take on all this jazz. I’m not feeling deprived because I’m eating all the stuff I always loved but was told would make me fat and sick. Now that I eat it all the time, I’m no longer fat and sick. And I’m not tempted to go back, because now that I know how those other foods make me feel it just isn’t worth it. I’m still tempted by the things that I shouldn’t be eating too much of that don’t make me feel sick in reasonable amounts, unfortunately (I’m looking at you, coconut milk ice cream and dark chocolate). I slurped down a pint of coconut milk ice cream Saturday, Sunday and Monday night, and felt pretty gnarly as a result each time. Will I never learn? It’s a relatively passing gnarl, though, especially as compared to gluten exposure. I’m not planning on doing it regularly, and I’m actually not buying any more of those foods that I shouldn’t be eating and have a tendency to overconsume. I’ve already gotten a lot of the snacky sweets out of my desk at work, and have plowed through (and not replenished) many of those we’d kept at home, too. So I’ll see how that pans out. In any case, those things are pretty well loaded with refined sugars, so they shouldn’t be part of my diet anyway. The fact that I can get away with eating as much of them as I have been and not gain weight is a testament to the resilience of my repaired metabolism. Go me.
Links? Maybe links.
Should you try the paleo diet? – Yes. Yes you should.
Why the FDA hasn’t banned BPA – This bugs me. I try to avoid BPA as much as possible, but it’s exceedingly hard to do anymore. I’m generally not a fan of gov’t regulators banning things, but if we’re going to keep paying the FDA to protect us, they should at least do the job they’re being paid to do, even if I’d rather we stopped paying them. So I do my research, look for labels on the packaged foods I eat, try to buy things in glass instead of cans or plastic, etc. But still. I’d like to see the FDA jump on this one.
The Final Nail in the Cardio Coffin – This is another interesting article about “cardio” as defined in the article. Essentially it’s that long duration, moderate pace exercise you see people doing on the machines in the gym. I’ve heard conflicting opinions on whether this is “Good” for you in general terms of health, but the increased rates of CVD in marathon runners seem to indicate that maybe this isn’t the case. In any event, it seems like cardio is not the best way to get lean. Whether long, moderate-pace cardio is a good way to get healthy remains to be seen. Maybe with long rests between workouts?
Bucky Balls Could Double Your Lifespan – This is just neat. Like they say, it’s just one study, and an animal study at that. But still. If you could supplement with pure carbon, that seems better than many of the complex compounds we’re currently using. Maybe? I don’t know. Mostly, it’s just neat science.
Grain-Free Petit Fours – These sound pretty tasty. I’m not big into cookies, myself, but they’d be great to serve at a party or something. Maybe with some homemade whipped cream?
That’s it from me, folks. Thanks for reading!