For the past 29 days I have said no.
No to coffee, tea, alcohol, dairy, wheat, peppers/tomatoes/potatoes (all nightshades…can cause inflammation). No to corn, soy and diet soda. No to sugar, shellfish, deep water fish, red meat, pork, and eggs. And no to processed food (although I did have store bought hummus and mustard).
Why, as someone who is incredibly passionate about food, would I do this? Well…I have always struggled with my weight. I have been blessed with an incredibly slow metabolism (I just look at a cookie and it inserts it’s yummy goodness right on my ass). As a young girl in grade 8 I tipped the scales at just over 200 pounds…it was difficult for me because I was a very active kid…I began figure skating at the age of 4, played basketball, was a swimmer and had an immense love for playing baseball…but regardless of how active I was the weight just seemed to stick (my love for potato chips probably didn’t help the situation)…turns out High School was the best thing that could have happened to me. By the beginning of grade 10 I had lost 60 pounds. I was still ‘big’ (swimming and skating had given me a really great muscular base) but I only felt OK about my size….it’s sad that I can honestly say I have never felt amazing about my body…(I wish I could go back and tell my 16 year old self that her body was beautiful)
My struggle has never left. While away in Australia I got really, really tired of the struggle. Constantly worrying about what I was putting in my mouth, making sure I did ‘x’ minutes of exercise to counter balance whatever I ate (or drank)…so after 25+ years of the conscious battle, and after completing the half marathon I had been training for, I just gave up…and, of course, it caught up with me. After almost a year of being home I had gained 15 pounds, my clothes became way too snug and I found myself constantly ignoring the mirror. Years of life experiences, personal growth and change has afforded me the knowledge and truth that my size and weight does not define who I am…but when I no longer wanted to (or even could) look at myself in the mirror and no longer had any desire to put on my running shoes and go for a run, well….something needed to be done.
So I signed up for Bootcamp and read up on an elimination diet. I needed a big kick start to get on the road back to the athlete I was just 4 short years ago.
I gave myself from June 1st to June 28th…at the beginning when friends found out I was being so restrictive they asked why…now at the end many people are asking if it made a difference. I honestly have to say yes…I have lost 10 pounds, I was never hungry or felt deprived, my strength has increased immensely (thanks bootcamp!) and I’m having the most restful sleep I have had in years.
Things I have learned over the past month.
1. I am much stronger than I thought. I was bombarded by temptation in June. Cupcakes, cookies, end of school year lunches and drinking celebrations…I got through them all. Willpower is a constant internal struggle…but just like any exercise…work on it long enough and it becomes much, much easier.
2. When I set clear goals I won’t cheat. I never once snuck anything completely off limits. However I did have a dairy free “booster juice” honestly believing that it was just fresh fruit that was used…till I actually saw them make it and scooped a big ass scoop of sorbet into the blender…don’t think it followed the ‘no sugar’ rule (even though they advertise no added sugar…I’m very skeptical)
3. I have the most supportive family, friends and colleagues. EVER. I already knew this before hand but it was reaffirmed loudly during June. They put up with my complaints and my weird eating (chicken breasts and mustard….there was a lot of mustard consumed) and they still love me (hopefully) after becoming one of “those people”.
4. My love of fitness and exercise has been reignited. I may not wear the smallest size on the rack, I may have jiggly triceps, a smushy tummy and, as my physiotherapist described them, “extremely well defined” glutes…but I absolutely love challenging what my body can do. I love even more being able to see progress and overcome challenges. I am fit…chubby and well insulated but I work my body hard…it can be worked harder (that’s what July and August will bring) but I’m confident that I’m well on my way to being back on track.
Will I keep it up? Exercise…damn straight. Eating…not everything…I miss tomatoes like nobody’s business and I miss coffee, eggs and red meat (moderately of course)…but I will keep saying no to dairy, white/red potatoes, wheat and corn and I will continue to be aware of how much sugar I consume and strictly limit the amount of processed food in my diet. I plan on continuing the challenge every so often just as a reminder to always be aware of what is going into my body.
Thank you to everyone who supported me, encouraged me and tolerated me during this journey. If you’re looking for a great cleanse and an incredible test of your willpower then I challenge you to an elimination diet. You will learn so much about yourself.
Now…on to July’s running challenge!!
Thanks for reading!
Hugs and love