Where to start…. My last 4hb update was at Week 6 (5 months ago). Holy moly that was a long time ago!
A lot has happened since then, I’d like to summarize the changes, challenges and quirks that are working for my mister and I 8 months into this way-of-living (because, lets face it: calling this a “diet” is inadequate).
Since March, I’ve ventured into the world of Paleo, created a hybrid of Paleo and Slow Carb diets that I thought worked well for me, went on a cruise and struggled with cheating, added in a crap-load of exercise, came back to a pure Slow Carb diet, added in even more exercise, tackled working the 2011 wedding season (and the food/cake that comes with it), etc. My report:
My hybrid of Paleo and Slow Carb: No bueno. I added fruit into my diet and removed beans. While it was delicious, it was more of an excuse for me to get sugar into my system. While I don’t see anything wrong with having a handful of blueberries fresh off the bush once every week during Summer, it was a slippery slope for me. Moral: Beans keep me satiated and energized. Fruit should be saved for cheat day.
Speaking of cheat day: It sucks. When we started this 4hb thang cheat day began with Texas french toast and cappuccinos. Now we’re sticking to eggs and beans for breakfast and one regular meal + one cheat meal (for me it’s nachos from Los Gorditos). And maybe some FroYo We’ve certainly become much more judicious with our cheat meals.
Cruising on a Slow Carb diet: An interesting conundrum indeed. Open buffet’s, SUNDAE buffets, 24 hour access to room service pizza/fries/booze… Chris and I lost our resolve and added in an additional cheat day on our week long cruise, just so we could “enjoy” what the ship had to offer. We made the most of our access to pina coladas and I destroyed the DIY nacho bar. We did manage to hit the gym on the ship (and the jogging track!) several times too. However, our desire to stuff our faces has been pretty quiet since this trip. I guess that’s what a cruise ship can do to your tummy.
As for exercise: I’ve found what works for me, Power Vinyasa (also known as Hot Yoga and Core Power Yoga). I’ve been hitting up to 3 classes a week and inter-mixing runs and walks with the dogs. Since I started Vinyasa-ing regularly my strength has increased ridiculously quickly, I’ve PUT ON 8lbs but continued to lose inches (I’ve lost an additional inch in my waist over the past 3 months) and I have much better body awareness. Not only that but the mental/spiritual aspect of yoga is just as important for me as the strength building aspect.
My mister has been running to and from the gym (about 3 miles round trip) and lifting like a banchee. Let’s suffice it to say he is wicked strong. Our bodies are working like well-oiled machines.
What has been the most challenging part of this whole diet? Family meals. Our families feel they need to go out of their way to prepare us “special” food at family meals or when we eat out. That isnt the case. Every family BBQ involves meat and veggies. We can make do without any additional party-planning-hubbub… But convincing mother’s whose regular line of “you look skinny, eat more!” of that has been challenging. Noticing how celebration = sugar has been eye opening too. When we want to celebrate something, our habit is to turn to super unhealthy food. Wedding = cake. Birthday = cake, pie, ice cream, hot dogs, soda, etc. Weird correlation, right?
I’ve also had a real struggle watching how our families eat on a regular basis. I want to tell them the downside of eating ice cream or a candy bar every day. I want to mention that non of the ingredients in a TV dinner are actually REAL food. Knowing that my sister starts each day with a Slim Fast shake drives me nuts. Pasta? What is pasta made out of, do you know? Bread? Do you know what enriched white flower is? Is that really a good idea to snack on that rather then veggies or nuts? It’s difficult to not sound like a smart-ass and say: “All of those pains, aches, mood-swings and tiredness are directly related to the fuel you’re feeding your body” — so I stay quiet. (This isn’t to say that I don’t have mood-swings or tiredness, but overall I’ve evened out significantly!) Right now I’m hoping that our lifestyle will speak for itself, that Chris and I are leading by example.
And, with that I step off of my soapbox and return to my regularly scheduled day of photo editing. I hope to put together another 4hb update for you BEFORE 5 more months go by. The next one will include photos, promise.