Monday, March 21, 2011

{We Are Cave People} - Day One

Last night I got emotional over cheese. That's right... cheese.

Back up. Let me explain. About two months ago, some friends (3) from our church small group announced that they were going on a new diet. They were giving up carbs, dairy and sugar. Essentially, they would just be eating meat, vegetables and fruit for 30 days. After that, they would consider what else they wanted to add back in. They told us it was called Paleo... basically eating what a hunter/gatherer could. The rest of us pretty much thought they were crazy.

Now it's two months later and they are seeming a lot less crazy. All of them look and feel great and at least two of them have lost over 20 lbs each.

So what does this have to do with me feeling sad about cheese?

This part is really hard for me to share with the world wide web. I never EVER had to watch what I ate growing up. When I came to college, I was tiny. I inadvertently staved off the "Freshman Fifteen" for the first couple years by rock climbing 2-6 hours a day 4-6 days a week, though I did gain quite a bit of muscle. Then I stopped. I was putting more energy into school and extracurriculars, and I met Jake. Soon I was in student government and community service and Greek life and planning a wedding and being in charge of everything. I don't regret a single second, because I've learned so much in the past three years, but I never took time to take care of myself.

Some people lose weight when they are under stress... I'm not one of them. Some people notice every pound that goes on or off... I'm not one of them either. I just realized a few months ago that my body isn't the same as it used to be and I don't like it. I don't feel my best or look my best and I started to get really down about it. The little changes I was making weren't doing anything and that made me feel even worse.

Before you start thinking that I've being too extreme, I just want to say: I'm not some tiny girl trying to get attention by saying she needs to lose 5 lbs. I've looked at a BMI chart... I REALISTICALLY need to lose a double digit amount of pounds... and the first digit is not a one.

Hubby on the other hand, is a stick figure... always has been. He used to play soccer and run a lot and he is a MAJOR snacker. I am talking about starting with a candy bar, moving on to potato chips and ending with cheese its and peanut butter... in one night. He is very slender, but now that he's working full time and not working out, even he has started to notice a tiny bit of muscle turning to fat and he doesn't feel as good.

So we're looking around trying to figure out how we can change up our lifestyle and here are our friends who are real people that we know and see every week and their results are so real and they say it's worth it. So, we're doing it. Yup, we're all in.

We are going meat, nuts, veggies and fruits only for 30 days. Today is day one.

Let's get to the cheese...

In order to be able to make such a big commitment for 30 whole days, we needed to eliminate temptation. We needed to make it normal to only have meat, vegetables and fruit in the house by taking everything else out. That was the hard part. We had talked about starting on Monday for a while, but when Sunday afternoon rolled around, it was time to walk the walk.

We started with the fridge. We hadn't done groceries in about a week as preparation, but about 30% of what we pulled out was cheese. Beautiful, tasty, comforting cheese. Here's what else we got rid of:

orange juice, salad dressing, mayonaise, cream cheese, shredded cheese, cheddar cheese, baby cheddar cheese, carmel apple dip, apple sauce, butter and colby-jack cheese

Then it was on to the cabinets. The top one wasn't so hard... just peanut butter and a couple other things... but the bottom one... PASTA, RICE & POTATOES. Ouch. It hurt. Take a look (this isn't all of it):

rice, crackers, beans, beans, beans, reese's peanut butter cups, soup, cornbread mix, minute rice, instant potatoes, panko break crumbs, rice, pasta, pasta, pasta, rice

When we were done, this is what our fridge looked like:

We donated all the food to our favorite "charity", a poor college friend who never seems to have a budget for food. She and her roommate were overjoyed when we brought over six huge bags of food (including two beers and a carton of ice cream). I felt good that the food wasn't going to waste and that a friend would be enjoying it, but for a second as we were leaving I felt a panic. Like just for a minute, I wanted to run back and grab my cheese and pasta. Horrible right?

So we went to Whole Foods to replace our comfort foods with lean mean greens. I have to say, shopping on this diet is a breeze... I usually dread finding ANYTHING at Whole Foods, but I didn't have to look for a box of this or a can of that. It was so easy and quick. We had a cart full of fruits and veggies, an expensive chunk of salmon, chicken breasts, ground turkey, a few nice cuts of grass fed beef and eggs. Plain and simple.

I love the way our fridge looks now. Like it feels fresher and cleaner and I can grab whatever I want.

That's all the typing I can do for right now, but I'll be reporting back weekly to let you know how everything goes. The next month promises to be an adventure and a challenge, but we're hoping to look and feel better at the end. Wish us luck!

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