PD – Day 14

Now 2 weeks into the new year and “new me!” Actually, it’s the same me but with the mental fortitude and desire to “get it done” as my running partner always says. This time around feels very similar to how I started back in October, 2011 with a commitment to myself. Some called what I was doing, “short term” and “extreme” but 10 months later the results were shocking! The weight loss, eating a starch based diet was incredible.

This time around, I have found my Kryptonite. Snacking. I know Julie mentioned this recently in Class #200 – Stop the Snacks Challenge. Following her Guide to Optimal Health, I consider myself to be somewhere between Level #3 and Level #4. I’ve already eliminated the “food addiction and cravings” and understand the basics of a Protective Diet living.

While I may never perfect a Protective Diet, I know what my goals are, where I currently am and know what I need to do in order to achieve it. As Julie mentioned, I have achieved my goal some years back. I got a false sense of security that I was “heart attack proof” (remember Dr. Esselstyn?) and I let my guard down slowly. I lapsed into making poor dietary decisions and failed to follow what got me to where I wanted to be. It’s starts with a Protective Diet.

Not sure if its snacking in the true sense of the words, as I have been doing well, while at work avoiding the crap that shows up in the break room. Even during my days off from work, I am not caught in the kitchen too often ahead of a planned meal. My problem comes after I eat dinner, I find myself unsatisfied and wanting to eat more and have dipped into the pantry for some otherwise unacceptable bites.

Currently, I am trying to get myself to the point of feeling satiated when I eat. Right now, as has been the case for a few weeks I feel bloated even before a meal approaches. Eating on top of that only makes me feel like a fat slob, as guilt starts to creep in and I question my determination.

Being able to identify “true hunger” is what I need to key on. Being able to stop at “full and satisfied” is where I need to begin, while staying away from the between meal bites that are aiding that “stuffed and lethargic” feeling I currently have. It’s a terrible feeling I have been struggling with for nearly 2 weeks. Eating until satiated has been a challenge.

I fall back to what I have learned since 2011 and pictures of before and after. The motivation is there! I will succeed but need to fine tune some of the practices of mindful eating in order to take advantages of what a Protective Diet promotes. Reviewing the Goals of Protective Diet Mindful Eating Practices, there is work to be done of what allowed me to achieve my optimal health. For me, the most important aspect is, “experience and appreciate true hunger before meals.” Too many times I notice I am cooking and eating because the clock dictates it’s lunch or dinner time.

I can identify with Jerry and the need to snack because of all the calories burned when running. When I was at my optimal level, I would eat after I got done with a run and follow it up in a few hours with a meal. However, with a foot injury and my current health, I haven’t been all that active on the trails, putting in the miles to justify those “added calories” (snacking) to my lifestyle. In the future, when I get back to where I need to be and the running increases, snacking will return in due time, but that isn’t now.

Maybe writing on my experiences, when “overwhelmed,” sharing my previous and current challenges with others allows me a solution. Just sharing details of what I am doing helps me mentally on a Protective Diet. I know I am not the only one who has struggled. We all have at some point and time. Even Julie, as amazing as she looks and feels now has struggled.

In conjunction with watching Class #200 today, I am challenging myself to “Stop the Snacks!” One step I have already taken, as been attempting to drink more water daily. The past few weeks I start the morning with 32 ounces of water on the way to work. Once I am at my desk, I easily drink 4-6 cups of tea in a 2-hour period. I will revisit this challenge in 2 weeks as I near the end of January to see where I am.

PD – Day 3

It’s like riding a bicycle in some regard. I’m beginning to think it was nothing more than a lazy approach to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. On Julie’s Facebook recommendation, I viewed Class #181 – Keep It Out & Keep It Off. This class was a reminder as to how and why you got to where you are (or were, in my case). For me, seeing my before/after image on my PD Testimonal speaks volumes to me. In fact, it’s shouting at me as I reestablish myself, behind the values of living a Protective Diet lifestyle.

Like Julie and many others who have had success, I’ve had those moments where I try an old pair of clothes on and realize they are much to large for me any longer. The image of Julie standing in her size 22 pants is that reassurance that this healthy lifestyle is the key to success. While Julie holds the pants up, this is the realization of where I currently am. “Wow wee Julie, what a great visual,” exclaims Jerry! As she drops each pair pants and reveals her current healthy body. That is me! That is where I was and where I want to get back to.

That feeling of success was second to none, the only comparison I can draw from, comes from ultra running. The moment I crossed the finish line of my first 50k trail race, I experienced a “runner’s high” or “a feeling of euphoria coupled with reduced anxiety and a lessened ability to feel pain.” It was absolutely amazing to see and feel what I just accomplished and wanted to take my ultra running further, going longer distances. This is the same thing I want to do with my heath. I want to look good and feel good, full of energy to burn.

In my mind I have experienced success, but where did I go wrong? What caused my slow downhill slide over the course of a year or so to put me back to near where I started back in 2011? I believe it can be summed in with the term, “mindful eating.” Julie has discussed eating until full, this is where I have been failing. They talk about “too much of a good thing.” There are many cases where I have cooked a meal, only to see myself eating the whole damn thing. That satiated feeling gone, replaced by gluttony and lethargy.

This sort of eating saw me eat my way right back to where I was before making a change in my lifestyle, removing foods like meat and dairy, followed the oils and sugars. Time and time again, I would make an exception, “well just this one time.” Unfortunately that exception suddenly became the norm and I found myself losing control, slipping further away from optimal health.

Just three days in, I can already feel the difference in my eating habits. Work has been a big pitfall due to all the restaurants in Chinatown that cook amazing dishes, however very few fall into how we eat when following a Protective Diet. In the office, it’s a never ending cycle of sweet, sugary treats and the nonstop flow of coffee. Thankfully, I have been able to stick to the vegan basics; no meat and dairy. However, the oils and sugar, the “flavoring” of many addictive foods got a stranglehold on my eating habits. It was a long, dark decent back to a place where I swore I would never return to.

Like Julie and so many others, read all the testimonals, I know this lifestyle works! I have been one of those success stories, from the weight loss, to increased energy to great blood work numbers. Everything I did centered around achieving and maintaining my health. That is where I plan on returning to. Gone, but not forgotten are the daily runs I used to go on. Last year, I missed out on my 50 mile race I have completed the last 2 years. Plans were in the works to attempt my first 100 mile run, but seeing myself as I do know, that won’t be possible this year. Optimal health has been replaced with a lack of energy, a body I am not happy with, pants and shirts that don’t fit like they should. Pains have crept into my daily life. None of these things were present when I achieved my optimal health.

Approaching meals the past few days with the notion of “mindful eating” as the cornerstone to a Protective Diet lifestyle. It serves as a reminder reminder to eat until satiated. It’s a simple principle, but one I had failed to practice in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.