Monday, December 19, 2011

DIET: Part 1

How my " Paleo Mermaid Lifestyle" began … 

I was a chunky kid ... I was a curvy teen ... I have been curvy in multiple degrees ever since.   A couple of decades ago I decided to loose weight, so I created my own diet. That was during the low-fat craze, so I ate a very bland, dry selection offoods including oatmeal, toasted fat free bread with fat free cheese, fat free yogurt, bananas, apples, sugar free Jell-O, Lean Cuisines, and diet Mountain Dews ...  every day ... for several months. Hey, if I couldn’t have great tasting food at least I would have caffeine! The low-fat diet worked ... quickly ... but I felt like crap and  looked bad, too. People frequently asked me if I had been sick. I lost 70 pounds, but  over the course of the next year or two I gained it all back. Duh!   

About a decade ago I decided to try Atkins.   I ate lots of savory, flavorful foods   and lost 40 pounds within six weeks! This worked very well for me because I love meats, dairy, and veggies.  I managed to gain weight again, but it took several    years with several major life changes. Being female and over 40 certainly helped, I am sure! Go figure.   

Earlier this year we booked a trip to go scuba diving. This isn't uncommon for us as we often go on dive trips several times   each year. We always have several   digital underwater cameras and camcorders to review, so we carry a lot of gear   with us. It's difficult enough maneuvering airports, shuttles, and those tiny sardine-like seats.  Add to that all the extra gear and it makes for a strenuous adventure! 

Why do I mention this, you may ask? Well, I mention this because since we do fly often I was getting tired of feeling likea sardine in a can strapped in with wire ties! So, my quest began again to explore options - Do I work on losing weight?         Couple a diet with exercise? Look at options of a whole different thought process of how I think of food? Consider the health aspects of dieting? Explore nutritional  information about foods to ensure I am getting everything I need? The answer is   YES ... to all of these questions.  

I remembered how easy it was to shed pounds using low-carb foods, so I resear-ched those options again. Within a couple of days I had decided that route was   worth trying again, so I went to the grocery store and stocked up on lots of meats,eggs, cheeses, and green vegetables. I am now 51 years young and I have         always heard the older you are the harder it is to lose weight. I stuck to my new   eating lifestyle and within 20 days I had lost 20 pounds and kept going. I guess     there's something to be said for the phrase "50 is the new 30" after all!   

In addition to totally changing my eating habits I also added a brisk morning walk  to my daily activities. What I learned from  this is that the more you exercise the more you want to exercise. The more you do it the easier it becomes! I started off walking around the block. During the first few days I would have to stop half way and stretch my back. As I continued on with my routine the farther I was able to   go before I needed to stop and stretch. Eventually, I was able to make it all the     way around the block without pain and then I concentrated on varying my route,   adding longer distances or hills, then finally longer distances with hills. Before I    knew it I was walking the equivalent of a 5K again!  

After six months of low-carb eating and my daily walks, I have lost 50 pounds. I   am pretty much where I feel my best. There’s still some needed toning, but that     improves daily with walking, eating well, drinking lots of water and getting plenty of sleep. The one thing I miss on a low-carb diet is fruit. I do not miss pasta. I do   not miss potatoes or corn. I do not miss grains or wheat flour. And, I don't even    miss sugar, but I dearly miss fruit. 

So, again, I started looking at options. Interestingly enough, one day while            browsing the Internet, I saw an ad for Paleo for the 21st Century and just HAD to  investigate! I requested a download version of the book and I got all excited to    see what foods were on the approved list. The list contained fruits, veggies, meats, fats, herbs, and spices. I was a very happy camper to say the least!  

So my Paleo exploration began. I started researching Paleo websites and found a lot of yummy recipes. There seems to always be a catch or a drawback when    one finds the "perfect diet" and, in my case, Paleo is no exception. One of the key  ingredients to the Paleo lifestyle is fish. I don't eat fish. I love fish. I love oysters, scallops, grouper, halibut, calamari, sushi, sashimi, and a lot more, but I strongly disapprove of fishing practices today so I flat out refuse to eat fish. Besides, after all, I am a scuba diving professional and a mermaid, and fish are my friends, so    they CANNOT be my food!   

As I begin my quest to explore the Paleo/Primal/Atkins-based lifestyle, my plan is to make regular entries here on my blog. I am not a food snob, but I am pretty set in my ways as to what I like, what I will try and what I won't try, so I cannot          honestly say this is a strict "Paleo" lifestyle blog. Because of that I will refer to my diet and exercise lifestyle as my "Paleo Mermaid Lifestyle." 

Thanks for following along as I write about my experiences. Please feel free to    send me suggestions and comments and share your findings so we can explore  this new journey together. 

Happy hunting, gathering, eating, and swimming!     

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