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My Low-Carb Journey (So Far)

I shared this in my 21-Day Challenge Group a couple of days ago (a reflection of sorts for the end of our May “Food” Challenge) … I thought it would be worth sharing here too.

I started my low-carb journey about a month ago now (if you haven’t already, be sure to read “The Case for a Low-Carb Diet”) …

While it wasn’t my intention or my purpose for going “low-carb,” I have lost weight … about 10 pounds so far!

I definitely feel a little “lighter” and I’ve enjoyed not “worrying” quite so much how my clothes fit or how I look (especially with the weather warming up a bit and dressing a little “lighter”) …

I have DEFINITELY NOT felt “deprived” at any time … I’ve been able to enjoy many, many yummy, yummy foods along the way … and I truly love the idea of just “eating until you’re full.”

I’ve had periods where I’ve been quite faithful with sticking with only three meals a day (I WAS a big snacker before I started this journey) … but, this week with the kids home (it’s a long story), I DID feel like I wanted to snack when they snacked … I still made good choices about WHAT I was eating, but I still ate MORE (I’m not sure if this is REALLY a big deal, but in the last book I read, The Obesity Code, the author spoke about the importance of the “fast” or the “break” from eating, so I’ve definitely become more conscious of this).

I am not interested in losing any more weight, so a couple of extra snacks per day isn’t probably too big of a deal!

A couple of evenings this week, I had a “lighter” supper, then felt like I needed something to eat in the evening (again, I stuck to the foods on my low-carb list though) … in general, I’d been aiming for a 12-hour fast (from about 5:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.-ish), but on these nights I wouldn’t have fasted that long.

I am definitely grateful for less cravings, a “side effect” of this eating “style” … sugar especially tends to be a slippery slope for me … one sweet treat, and I soon feel the urge for another one (and another one before long) … even my one delicious scoop of natural peanut butter for dessert ended up being two scoops at times … as such, I can see value in skipping “the first scoop” to avoid “the second scoop.”

I DO like to eat apparently, and I love yummy food, so it is definitely a bit of “work” to limit myself sometimes!

Beyond all this food stuff, I caught myself thinking a couple of weeks ago how I just feel “better” … my stomach has been bothering me for months, and all of a sudden, I realized that it’s not really bothering me anymore … another participant thought maybe her long-standing sinus issue was “abating” … I DO find this interesting and worth considering!

I’m truly grateful for all I’ve learned in the last month or so about food and what happens in our bodies when we eat (at a hormonal level). I don’t think I’ll ever be able to think about insulin (and it’s increased production when we eat sugar and refined carbohydrates) in quite the same way ever again … though FAT has been considered the enemy for so long, it seems FAT is not the problem at all … SUGAR (in all its forms) is the REAL problem!!!

I personally did not “count carbs” during this whole process (it’s just too much work for me) … I just made a list of low-carb foods and ate only those (I’d be happy to share my list if you’re interested) … for interest’s sake, if your goal IS weight loss, you should be limiting yourself to 20 carbs per day (Gary Taubes).

Going forward, I know I can easily avoid mashed potatoes, pasta, and white rice (except when these items “show up” in homemade soup) … I’ve never been a sugary drinks person, so that’s an easy one to skip … I could probably (easily) limit desserts to special occasions or weekends … I can avoid store fries and hashbrowns (but the homemade ones are much harder to resist) … I can eat non-breaded, savoury chicken wings (rather than the sugary type), but I won’t resist my husband’s marinated (and smoked) ribs or steak … I can eat a burger without the bun (except the occasional Teen from A & W on a road trip), but a campfire hotdog without the bun (and some ketchup) isn’t quite the same.

I will definitely have to indulge at times with a scoop of my mom’s potato salad or a few of her perogies, a homemade bun or a biscuit, a special macaroni salad, or a Lynn’s ice cream “flurry” … I have to have pizza (at least once in awhile) … and the occasional wrap or quesadilla … I’m not “done” with carrot sticks, Jalapeño Pringles, Dill Pickle Triscuits, nachos, sugar cookies, or corn on the cob … I’d be lying if I said I was!

Do you see how complicated this all is for me? How “confusing” it all gets? How hard?

To be honest, this whole food thing is a really, really slippery slope for me … I know now though that isn’t just a “Leanne-thing” … this is a hormonal thing .. this is an “inner-workings of the body” thing … making me yearn for MORE … making me WANT MORE … each food choice I make determines which “craving” occurs next (or if a craving occurs) … minimizing these foods minimizes these cravings …

So for now, I’ll just carry on with my current (and new) normal …

It’s working, and I’m happy with the results so far … it takes a bit of planning and some preparation, but it’s been worth every bit of energy so far …

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