Since this blog is dedicated to sharing part of my journey through life with you, I am going to give you a little more information about what made my husband and me want to start living a Primal/Paleo lifestyle in the first place. Like thousands of other couples out there, we have been struggling with infertility. While I won’t go into many specifics as to how we are affected right now, I will let you all know that our health has had a lot to do with it.
Last year, I made an appointment with a fertility specialist, and one of the things they had mentioned was that my BMI was a little too high. Wait, what? I’ve never had this “issue” before, and to be honest, I was a little embarrassed. I have been so conscious of my weight for the majority of my life that I hadn’t ever really thought of myself as obese. But there the numbers were, and they didn’t lie. In addition, I felt sluggish, and my clothes didn’t fit. What happened to me? How did I let myself lose this much control? How could I let my family down like this?
Soon after that appointment, I talked with my husband about wanting to get healthy again. I had been using the Atkins diet as a guideline to lose weight for the past several years. I thought, “It worked before, why hasn’t it been working for me lately?” The truth is the diet plan was too open to interpretation. With their “snacks” especially, it was very hard to stay on track. The original way of eating that Dr. Atkins talked about had been skewed, and added toxins were creeping up in the plan, hidden by the Atkins label. I had given in to the new program, and all of its little extras that were supposedly ok for me to consume. So, what happened? Instead of losing weight and feeling better, I gained weight and I was feeling like crap all of the time.
I’m not going to go into all of the details of what all made me sick, but artificial sweeteners had a lot to do with it. The main one was Splenda. I used to be such an advocate for that brand, believing that it was a safe alternative to sugar. It turns out that I was wrong. In fact, studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can be more harmful than raw sugar. I was surprised when I studied the research, but now that I have been experiencing the benefits of eating real food, it all makes sense. The second big factor was still having processed and non-organic food. I’ve gone over how these 2 can affect health, but they can also affect the endocrine system, which can affect fertility… Oops.
What led me to try Paleo this time? The first thing was that a good friend of mine had been doing it for a while. She had told me about it, and I even bought a book and read about it, but at the time it didn’t seem like a good fit for me. Looking back, I feel a little silly that I ever thought that eating real food wasn’t a good fit. Wow, was I brainwashed. The second thing was that my husband had done a Paleo type diet before, and been successful at weight loss. We sat down and talked about “going Paleo” together so we could get healthy, for us, for our future, and for our family. We both read the book I had together, so we could be on the same page about what we were doing, and so we could learn all the reasons it is important to eat a real food diet. I believe I have mentioned the book before; it’s called The Paleo Solution, the Original Human Diet, by Robb Wolf. I highly recommend reading this book to anyone who is interested or curious about Paleo. It not only explains the why of this lifestyle, but the science behind it. I think it’s important to understand something like this before you try it out, that way you’re not doing it because it’s just some fad you heard about. Paleo isn’t a fad; it’s been around since humans started to eat. It’s also not just about what you eat; it’s about how you live.
I don’t think I have really mentioned the whole “how you live and being Paleo” before. I know I’ve discussed what we put in and on our bodies, but there is more to it than that. Paleo also means moving like our ancestors, not being glued to electronics, reducing stress, and for goodness sake, sleeping! I can dig into each of those separately, as they are equally important to our overall health, so these will definitely be a part of future posts.
What have our results been? My husband lost about 50 pounds, and I lost about 25. Our health has also improved greatly, and we are in a better position to create a healthy child when we are blessed with one. It hasn’t happened yet; however, we are not losing hope. I still have some things to work out also, like reducing my stress, and getting into a physical fitness routine with my busy schedule. I would also like to lose a few more inches, and that will come in time. I have been making progress, and I will continue to work on changing my health for the better.
What about you? Have you struggled with any health issues and changed them by improving your nutrition/sleep/exercise habits?