Last week I started detailing my background with food and what changes I have made. If you haven’t read it, click here.
Even before I got married my metabolism started slowing down. Growing up, I felt like I could eat as much of anything I wanted and never gain weight. It wasn’t too long after high school graduation, though, that this way of eating started to catch up with me. I’m sure the desk job didn’t help, either.
I let this go on for a few years. In reality, I just didn’t really notice the weight gain; I guess it just happened so slowly. I don’t think I owned scales back then, either. Then I got pregnant with my first child. This is when I learned how important protein was. I started paying attention to food labels to make sure I was getting my daily requirement of this important nutrient.
After I had my son, the pounds started melting off. Nursing really burned the calories for me and I was now more active taking care of a baby rather than sitting at a desk all day. Looking back, I also think that sitting at the desk all day was bad in another way—it was very conducive to snacking. So anyway, it was then that I realized just how much weight I had put on. I looked back at pictures and saw that I didn’t want to be that size again.
I nursed my son for 18 months and my husband told me one day, “You’re not going to be able to eat like that once you quit nursing!” And he was right! (I have always had a big appetite. J) I slowly started putting the weight back on. When my son was two years old my husband decided to lose the extra weight that he had gained in our marriage. He successfully lost 35 pounds and has kept it off for 6 years. At some point after this I decided I needed to get a handle on my weight so I decided to cut way back on my fat intake.
Right here I will backtrack a bit. Like I said in part one of this series, I grew up eating plenty of fat in the form of butter, cream, whole milk, and red meat. It wasn’t until I had moved out on my own that everyone around me told me that was bad. I would eat in the cafeteria at work with my coworkers and they always had comments for me about the evils of fat. I would pile the butter and sour cream on my baked potato higher than anyone—that always solicited comments. I ignored their comments because I was young and all my family was thin and, as I said above, I didn’t notice my weight gain. I think it’s safe to say that most young people don’t care much about their health.
So a few years later, when I wanted to lose a few pounds, all those comments about fat came back to my mind. So I tried dieting for the first time in my life. I would eat a packet of instant oatmeal for breakfast; I think the label said it had 2 grams of fat in it. Then for lunch I would grab a granola bar for 6 grams of fat. I ate normal dinners, but I tried to cut back on the portions. But it wasn’t working! I was STILL slowly gaining weight and I was STARVING all the time!!! I felt awful to say the least, so I gave up.
At some point I decided to give low-carb dieting a try. I had seen others eat low-carb and it certainly didn’t seem healthy, all that bacon and cheese! But it did seem to be working for me, so I thought I would do some research. I checked out numerous books from the library, Living the Low Carb Life by Jonny Bowden, The Zone by Dr. Barry Sears, The South Beach Diet book, and Suzanne Somer’s Somersize book. My thinking was, perhaps I could eat low-carb AND low-fat and be healthier.
I learned a lot from all that research. Want to know what I found out? Tune in next week…