This is the story of how I learned that everything I’d been taught about nutrition was a lie, and what I’m doing about it. It was inspired by someone’s suggestion that I take a picture of my former self, put it on a pin with the caption “ask me how I did it?” and wear it around.
The first post is The Beginning, and here it is repeated:
“Begin at the beginning,” said the King gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
Who am I?
No one in particular. I’m American, but I live in Asia. I’m a woman, but I really like football, cars, and barbecue. I have blue eyes, but sometimes I wish they were brown because they’re sensitive to sunshine and bright lights. Oh, and I used to be fat.
But that’s been changing. In the course of five years, I’ve lost and kept off 145 pounds, packed on muscle and dramatically improved my triglycerides, my HDL count, my blood pressure, and my resting heart beat. I’ve also gotten more alert, ended spring allergies, and have energy and to spare.
In case you’re thinking, Well of course; when you lose weight you have more energy: think again. The increased energy started long before I lost any weight. I also stopped feeling constantly tempted to be negative, grumpy, and tense. You know that feeling of impending doom? The one you can’t place, which seemingly has no definite object to it? That’s gone now. In case you’re thinking, Well of course; now she isn’t so fat she feels better about herself: Sorry, wrong again. That also started long before I lost any weight.
Here’s what I did NOT do in order to see all these changes:
Go on a diet (in the sense of counting my calories to less than I supposedly need each day.)
Here’s some of what I DID do:
Read a book and discover I’d been lied to my whole life about what constitutes a healthy diet
Yep, that’s about it.
Before this change, I was pretty well-known as a “healthy” eater.
I made all my own pasta and bread so that I could ensure they were completely whole grain.
I ate 7-12 servings of vegetables and fruit each day.
I ate very low fat–I figured out how to make spaghetti sauce without using any oil or butter at all. I ate nothing but boneless, skinless chicken breasts and some occasional fish.
My idea of breakfast was one measured cup of plain, unsweetened oat Cheerios with skim milk, black coffee, and a smoothie made from my own unsweetened yogurt, banana, kiwi, and berries. For lunch I would eat an apple and a sandwich of my own whole grain bread with a third of a sliced chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, pickle, mustard and 1/2 ounce of cheese. For dinner I ate whole grain pasta with little to no fat, chicken or fish, lots of cooked vegetables, and a salad. My salads had no dressing, no nuts, no cheese: just leafy greens, broccoli, bell peppers, onions, olives, tomatoes and cucumbers. If I needed a snack, it would be whole grain toast with low-fat butter substitute or a small amount of popped corn with olive oil. It would be wrong to say I never indulged, but those indulgences were limited to no more than once a month; say for a birthday, a holiday, or when I was invited out by friends. In the main, I eschewed sugar, candy, fatty meats, and things like pizza. Healthy, right?
Oh, and I exercised. I bought an elliptical when the pollution got bad and my daily walks were out. I forced myself to do 15-20 minutes a day, even though I was so shaky I couldn’t stand when I got off. I also walked briskly whenever the pollution wasn’t too bad. About 40 minutes, at least twice a week. Healthy, right?
But that diet made me fat.
It made my blood pressure go up steadily, and my resting heart beat pounded high in my ears. It made me want to be depressed, snippy, and negative about everything. It made me think about food all the time. I didn’t eat it, but I thought about eating it. I ate my Cheerios and skim milk and planned making my sandwich at lunch. It made me go to bed early because I was so hungry I wanted to cry; yet having eaten the requisite amounts of the correct kinds of food, I wasn’t about to eat again till morning.
That person is long gone, so is that way of eating, and so are all those problems.
So many people ask me now how this happened that I’ve decided to blog about so there’s a place I can point people to.
But before the nutritionist communists descend, let me add the proper caveat:
I AM NOT A DOCTOR OR A NUTRITIONIST. NOTHING SAID HERE SHOULD BE CONSTRUED AS MEDICAL OR NUTRITIONAL ADVICE. WHATEVER IS WORKING FOR ME WILL PROBABLY NOT WORK FOR YOU IF IT VIOLATES ANY PRECEPT OF THE DIETARY OVERLORDS , SO DON’T DO IT. PROBABLY I’M A GENETIC ANOMALY, LIKE THOSE CENTENARIANS WHO SMOKE.
DON’T QUESTION ANYTHING YOU’VE BEEN TOLD BY YAHOO HEALTH OR ANY OTHER IMPORTANT SOURCE OF SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION. THE GOVERNMENT IS HERE TO PROTECT YOU. JUST LOOK AT HOW THEY CARE ABOUT YOU AND HOW EFFICIENT THEY ARE DOWN AT THE DMV, THE POST OFFICE, AND AT THE IRS.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.
Plato says he’s hungry
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