Subtitled “What’s that thing you’re doing, Geralyn?”
It’s been more than a month now, so I suppose it’s time to own up. I’m trying to lose weight.
I wanted to make good and sure that I was doing this before I put it on the blog, after all, it seems every week I meet someone who says, “I read your blog.” It still gives me a mini heart attack every time, and I stand there wondering “what do you know about me?”
People have been asking “what are you doing?” and I’ve been yapping–probably too much. It’s time to give y’all an explanation.
It’s called Trim Healthy Mama. Authors Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett are both moms of big families who have a passion for healthy living, and in their book they share the ‘boiling down’ of years of learning.
The basics: a low-glycemic (that means it has a low impact on blood sugar levels) diet that separates high carb from high fat so that the body can burn off the fuel you give it without storing any. If I am eating a higher fat meal, i.e. something creamy or cheesy, it will contain almost no carbs. If I am eating something with more carbs (and these carbs are carefully chosen to not spike blood sugar), the meal will contain no more than one teaspoon of fat.
Oh yeah, and sugar is not allowed.
What has this meant for me? It means that I haven’t eaten sugar, regular bread, potatoes, white rice or pasta, or milk for five weeks (with a few exceptions when away from home). My protein intake has about doubled, and I am eating more healthy fats, like coconut oil, flax seed, and natural peanut butter. Nothing too weird, nothing especially ‘diety’—no prepackaged food. Most of what I eat is good, solid, whole foods.
I thought giving up sugar might cause some sort of withdrawal, but it didn’t. I really don’t miss it. The stevia powder I’m using has almost no aftertaste, and I feel good knowing that the lemonade I’m chugging is hydrating me, not filling me up with sugar. Just to be clear (because I’ve already received a lot of well-meaning advice), honey, raw sugar and agave nectar are good for you, but they are not low-glycemic and I’m not open to using them.
The book isn’t just about eating. It gives suggestions on short, high intensity workouts that are easy to fit into the day. I’ve incorporated this into my life, as of Friday. My motto has always been ‘me no work out’, so this is truly amazing!
Why would I do this? Well, I needed to do something drastic.
Prior to this, I ate to a decent degree of health, but moderation wasn’t my strong suite. If the food was good, I’d keep eating—especially if it was salty and full of carbs. Worse, I craved junk food almost constantly. The cravings were unbearable, and when I’d finally give in to them I’d feel like a complete loser. This went on and on. I thought I was an addict. I thought something was wrong with me.
Two of my friends were doing this thing called “Trim Healthy Mama.” I knew a bit about Serene and Pearl through a magazine called Above Rubies, and I knew they were pretty ‘nutty’ about health, so I dismissed it.
Cue a little thing called “My Fitness Pal.” It’s an app that tracks your caloric intake for the day. I got an accurate picture of what I was eating, and I tried so hard to change. But I couldn’t do it. I hated it. I just wanted the freedom to eat when I was hungry and enjoy what I was eating.
Meanwhile, my friends were having results, and posting things on Facebook about the awesome things they were eating. After a bit of research, I bought Trim Healthy Mama and decided that I’d start off slow.
My friend assured me that this diet would help me with my cravings. Then, just a few pages into the book, it started describing problems like adult acne and mood swings, and I said “if you can cure me of this, I’ll love you forever.” That was it. I was in, and in with both feet.
It’s been five weeks, and I’m cautiously optimistic. I’ve lost about eleven pounds. I’ve seen a slight improvement in my complexion, and a definite rise in energy levels. I’ve yet to see my mood swings improve, but I’m hopeful that I will find a remedy. I’m still a bit concerned that I spend too much time thinking about food. But I’ve realized that I enjoy food more now, because I know what’s going down my gullet is good for me. That’s all I wanted, really. Food free from guilt.
Oh, and I tracked my eating on My Fitness Pal yesterday. I spent all day feeling almost over-full, and I was WELL under my caloric limit for the day. 🙂
Find out more at trimhealthymama.com.
An aside: many of those who I’ve talked to about my new style of eating immediately start justifying why they are not eating this way. Please don’t feel you have to do so. While I am passionate about my new lifestyle, I know that there are many ways to be healthy. Do what is right for your own lifestyle!