Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New Eating Habits.

The hardest path I've taken in my life has been of fitness and getting in shape. I've been fighting for SO LONG. I think this past year I've let it knock me down a few times too many. But I feel like with this new development (that I'm about to share no worries) I finally am achieving sustainable progress.

So my friend Aarron and I met for lunch and he mentioned his new diet that he has been doing for around 6 months called the Slow Carb diet or the 4 Hour Body.

It was written by Tim Ferriss and actually one of his books is in my closet so he's a familiar name to me. However, his familiarity only ranges as far as working from home (his book was called the 4 Hour Workweek) and I shared a bit of skepticism when I thought about Tim becoming a food and health expert or guru.

After listening to Aarron's testimonial AND reading the book for myself and looking through the scientific research to see if I was just jumping on a fad diet that could adversely affect me, I decided, hey, this could be for me.

So here I am, the beginning of my 3rd week and I really like it. The essence of the plan is to go back to the basic foods that humans need to live. Neanderthals lived off of vegetables and meat basically. Tim espouses that one doesn't need to eat a diet rich with variety but one needs to eat what the body considers to be healthy. With the advent of processed food starting around the 1950's, the perception of what is normal has changed. It is 'normal' to have sugar laden foods and extremely processed foods. He espouses there are 3 main groups of food one needs: vegetables, proteins, and legumes. A cool note: these can be eaten in any quantity. Seriously. So no portion control here. However, any flour foods (even whole wheat), dairy, or fruit should be avoided in order to prevent intake of gluten (which your body may perceive as a threat) or sugar (to prevent wild fluctuations with blood sugar).

It has been hard but knowing that every Saturday is my 'cheat' day has made it all worthwhile. I can eat anything on Saturday, so when I get cravings (and boy do I get many), I write them down and go wild and shop for those foods/eat out to savor them in my tummy.

I am proud of the many opportunities I would have normally gave in to eat things. I am hoping to document these to give me inspiration since it is certainly difficult since we live in a flour/sugar intensive world and I've grown up with it for so long.

*My coworker and I went to the Mmm Cupcake truck during lunch and I accompanied her while she bought a dozen and even bought one for me too. I told her I would save mine for Saturday and so I watched all of my coworkers eat cupcakes while I supported them and knew that in 4 days I would have my own form of heavenly food nirvana.
*In the kitchen, my brother and I keep food near the fridge and every morning I see his loaf of bread, his brownies, his granola bars, and everything I can not have 6/7 days of the week. It kills me and it's torture, but I have abstained from stealing his stash.
*In the freezer, there is ice cream, breakfast sandwiches, eggo waffles, and so much food that I want to eat yet I have chosen not to.
*At Jason's deli I have successfully said no to the free corn bread, ice cream and gingerbread muffins.
*At the Astros game, there was a free buffet and I could not eat the philly cheesesteak, pizza, hot dogs, or quesadillas. Instead I had philly steak meat only, guacamole, peanuts, vegetables, salad, and even had to turn away the AMAZING dessert cart with cakes, cookies, and brownies.
*When Catherine and I got dumplings, I ordered dumplings and did not eat the flour casing. Instead I ate the pork inside and lots of vegetables on the side that I ordered.

And the list goes on. Going home to my parents' was interesting. I told my parents and they thought it was SO WEIRD. I understand. It was hard since Vietnamese food has lots of sugar and flour. I don't want them to feel like I'm rejecting a part of my culture or them as people who show love with food. But at the end of the day, I have to monitor what I put in my body and as much as anyone loves me, there's no one but myself to explain for my health and fitness. I only have that accountability. So this is what makes me comfortable. Although it's been really hard to say no to all those DELICIOUS things, I focus on the results I've gained already. I feel self-control, not bloated, not lethargic, full of more energy, and I've lost weight/inches already. I am excited about foods when it is Saturday and have an action plan forward that for now, makes sense. I really feel like I'm being set up for success. :)

Bring on the rest of week 3! I'll take it day by day. This Saturday my wish list is brownies, Taco Bell Doritos Taco, and the Wendy's Spicy Chicken guacamole sandwich. :) Mmmm. Hope you stay with me on my health journey.