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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I Owe You A Photo!

So I said I would post an updated photo when I'd lost 10 pounds. That actually happened a few weeks ago but I've been busy! Jay and I (forever after known as J+C) are rehabbing a house. It's a labor of love on an old Victorian that has been hogging the lion's share of both our time and attention recently. Some day I may buy it and love it forever. Until then, we are exchanging some of the rental costs with our sweat equity. That makes time for blogging (and eating well, working out, working, taking care of children, sleeping, bathing, etc) nearly non-existent.

As such, I'm a bit behind on an update.

Firstly- GAPs. It's harder than one would have thought. Initially I felt great! Then die off started so I began rotating every other day and eating carbs on my off days. When bacteria and yeast die they release toxins into your system and that makes you feel like poo. Feeling like poo plus rehabbing a house equals a lot of crankypants behavior. Crankypants behavior leads to a lot of trouble in paradise (aka: fighting.a.lot.) So, about a week in I decided that now is not a good time for me to try to stay GAPs compliant. Especially since I was having a hard time keeping my blood sugar stable. Instead, I've been on the "grab something quick from the grocery store" diet. Thankfully since I've been so active, the scale has been kind and I've only gained 2 pounds in the three weeks this hell, er, love story has been underway.

Today I weighed in the afternoon and the scale said 195.2 and that means I've officially lost 10 pounds and I owe you an image of where my body is right now. I took some snaps in the mirror at the gym so they aren't the most fantastic quality but as I tell my children:

You get what you get and you don't throw a fit

Here you have it ladies and... well, probably just ladies. I can't imagine I have many male readers except for the occasional peek by J and I think he's just checking to see what mean things I might be saying about him. ;)

First up is a front shot. I think I need to start wearing tighter pants so you can see my legs a little better. 

Next up I made you a little comparison in Photoshop so you can see the difference without having to dig for the last picture post. I'll probably do that every 10 pounds. 

Firstly, I notice that the places I've seen the biggest change in my clothing are the places I notice have dropped the most. Namely, my stomach and my boobs. I am wearing bras that were not in rotation when I was 206 and I have had to retire a couple that are now ridiculously huge on me. Also, while it's still sorta gross, my tummy has shrunk noticeably and indeed, my pants are fitting much better these days. I am also truly surprised at what a difference a 10 pounds loss or gain makes. 

The other thing I noticed? My hair is a hot mess after working out. :P

So my goal this month is to get back on a regular 4-day-a-week work out schedule after my kids start back to school next Monday and to watch more closely what's going in my mouth (which, again, will be easier when I'm not running back and forth incessantly between houses and juggling the back and forth of nine kids all day). I have a new commitment now that I'm healthy again and feeling like my normal self. July was rough. I've not lost as much weight as I had hoped at the 9 week mark- but I'm going to say that a 10 pound loss in 2 months isn't half bad. 



Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Nourished Belly

Today begins the first of a 30 day GAPS diet cycle. What's GAPS you ask? Read about it here, here, and here. And as you can see from the food list, it's not as restrictive as it first looks. The introduction phase is very simple- warm, nourishing stock and boiled meat and veggies. Plenty of water. Lots of good foods to feed the happy critters I'm trying to grow inside my intestines. My gut flora is clearly off balance and this diet will help me get it back to a healthy state.

And as an added bonus, I've no doubt I will begin to shed pounds. Right now I am holding strong at my 193 number (13 pounds lost) and I expect it to fall fast as I will be naturally limiting calorie intake through my food choices (there are only so many calories one can consume when one is eating mostly vegetables and boiled meats) as well as after an entire month of inactivity getting back into the working out saddle.

GAPS diet enthusiasts report clearer skin, healthier hair and nails, a re-charge of energy and vitality, just to name a few. My greatest challenge will be to incorporate fermented foods into my diet. I will mainly be relying on kombucha and plain greek yogurt as we are moving this month and I can't see myself spending the required time to ferment my own veggies while we're in transition between houses!

Gut flora imbalance has been implicated in autism, ADD, allergies and other autoimmune disorders, colitis, and a host of other Western diseases including, it might surprise you to learn, depression and mood disorders. Basically the theory goes- if the gut is sick, the body is sick. If the gut does not have balance, the body does not have balance. If the lining of the intestines, which is a direct pathway to the blood stream, is "leaking" then the body is being slowly poisoned by the foods we consume. Further exasperated that by eating a Standard American Diet (SAD), which is high in processed, non-nutritional empty carbs, high doses of bad-bacteria-and-yeast feeding refined sugars, and massive amounts of bad oils and 'fake' foods (ie: high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, etc) and you've got a real recipe for disaster, or chronic illness, on your hands. Large proteins from the foods we eat can "leak" into the blood stream through the lining of the gut and then the immune system reacts to these foreign particles by attacking the body in various ways. Additionally, when good bacteria is missing from the system the bad bacteria and yeast are better able to flourish, causing another host of problems. Years later, while these two conditions have quietly been wreaking havoc on the body for decades, a person is told by a doctor to take ever mounting numbers of pills to try and control body-wide system failure when the problem is in the gut and is as easy to fix as repopulating the gut with beneficial bacteria and eating to support their growth.

The GAPS diet isn't so much a "diet" as it is a transitional, healing way of eating for a non-determined length of time. Basically, you eat this way until you are well. Then you pretty much need to continue to eat clean for most of your meals most of the time to maintain your health. Once the gut is healed it can handle an occasional influx of 'bad' foods (aka: date night pizza!!!) but overall the commitment needs to be a clean, non-processed eating for life if one would like to reap the benefits of a healthy gut. Some choose to stay on GAPS for life because the symptoms of their conditions are only improved by this method of eating. I'm committing to 30 days and then I'll re-evaluate from there and decide if I can move towards a less restrictive eating plan.

My focus now is completely on health. I'll still weigh in and I'm hopeful that my body will shed it's unneeded and unhealthy fat stores. But my focus isn't on losing weight but rather the healing of whatever happened to me last month. It was a huge wake up call. I just watched my lover celebrate his 35th birthday and I stand to face mine in November. I was reminded often this past week that we're now "half-way to 70". And he's right. I stand on the precipice of the part of my life when my body will begin to decline (slowly! hopefully!). If I want to retain the vim and vigor of a young woman then I must treat my body as the beautifully made, precious commodity that I have unwisely taken for granted. I have used my body as a garbage dump. For the sake of ease or pleasure or taste I have frequently loaded it with non-nutritive, harmful foods. And now I am paying for those choices. It's not too late for me (or for you!!!) to take back the temple and nourish it back to health. GAPS will help me do this literally from the bottom up.

I will keep you updated on how it goes. :)