“What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it is supposed to be.”
This quote was left in a comment on my blog post yesterday (thanks Claire!). I have to say, I teared up when reading it. It sums up everything that I’ve been feeling the last few days. You see, I eliminated grains three months ago because I was not feeling well and I was having all sorts of symptoms. I did it for my overall health and because I felt, somewhere within me, that this is what my body needed. And as I was starting to read grain free and gluten free blogs in order to support myself, I started finding really wonderful blogs within the paleo and primal community. The trouble is/was, that there are a lot of really fit people who are showcased in these blogs, either as the authors or as….well….showcases of what “you too can achieve!”. No doubt that there are a zillion really positive benefits from being grain free and practicing paleo or primal (or a mutated combination of both as I prefer). One thing that is not positive though is the illusion that is perpetrated that you can have it all. Simply eat a lot of meat and fat, avoid bread and pasta and you can lean out, muscle up and get the body you’ve never had but always wanted. And it’s true. What I fail to remember (and maybe you, too) is that the body I’m going to get is still mine. I used to be almost 300 pounds and unfortunately there is some fallout (fall down?) from that which will never go away outside of cosmetic surgery. I’m also in my mid thirties, not twenties. Believe it or not, that makes a difference. I also like beer on the weekends and a glass of wine on a Wednesday. I like walking with my man at his pace (ever increasing, mind you!) rather than running alone. I work hard at the gym but I don’t want to spend more than an hour and a half there at any one time.
I’m afraid I may have been sucked in. Sucked into believing that I could become someone that I’m not. The fact that I didn’t/can’t achieve that became frustrating and disheartening.
However! Yesterday morning after I did early gym and was driving home I felt the most like myself that I have in weeks. I actually said (to myself) “YES! I’m back!”. I felt my determination and my fight. Physically there is no reason for me to be feeling this way. I’m a bit bloated and the scale is higher than I would prefer. Any muscle gain that I’ve had isn’t visible to anyone but me. I haven’t “leaned out”. Hell, I haven’t even slimmed down!
So why do I feel strong and successful? Because I had forgotten who I was and where I came from and these past few days I’ve remembered and it feels good! Last week and the beginning of this week I had been trying to figure out how I was going to avoid posting my results from NROL Stage 1…because it’s not dramatic and I wasn’t super pleased with how I’d done as far as losing some fat and gaining some muscle.
But I am going to post the results, measurements and pictures. Here’s why. I love all the paleo and primal blogs out there but I feel like I need to post my grain free, less than super-lean self. Because I am succeeding at something difficult. It is HARD to eliminate grains, beans etc in our culture. I’ve found my way and cleaned up my insides and I feel good. That was the point. I also started a new kind of exercise (new to me, anyway) and my body appreciates it, I’m stronger and fitter and I feel good. Again, that’s the point.
So shouldn’t I promote that? If I don’t want to perpetuate the “grain free makes you look like a fitness model” myth then shouldn’t I put my photo where my mouth is and show you what grain free and weight lifting looks like for me? A before & after that is really a “ongoing forever”? I think it’s important to know that you can work hard for three months and not be able to bounce a quarter off your abs and that’s alright. It’s still a success! You can eliminate grains and not lose 50 pounds in three months and that’s alright too. Still successful! You can be an average person who gets average results and that is most certainly a success story!
So when my Stage One is over in the next week or so, I will once again donne the Harley Davidson bikini that I took my before pictures in and get Ray to take an update. Then I’ll break out the insanely long tape measure that I have and get measured up.
I got lost for a little while there, I allowed something exterior to completely change my definition of who I am rather than taking the new item and integrating it into my fabric. That created a surprising amount of stress and frustration when who I believed I was going to become didn’t materialize.
I made fajitas last night. I could not see using the packaged fajita seasoning that you buy at the store, that stuff has WAY too much salt and too many chemicals that neither one of us need. So, I made my own fajita seasoning and it was absolutely perfect! If you’re interested, comment me for the recipe. Ray had his fajitas on soft tortillas and I had mine on leaf lettuce that I then spread with a healthy amount of mashed avocado and then topped with the fajita meat/veg. Absolutely delicious! And none of the bloat/yech that comes from using a packaged mix!