I have been what most would describe a super-healthy eater for a while now. Cancer'll do that to a girl. I have been all about fruits, green leafies, whole grains, lean meats, fiber fiber fiber for over a decade. I have cooked most of our food, eaten little processed food and cut out almost all alcohol.
But I still had my vice: sugar. And I knew it wasn't good for me, but in retrospect (and even at the time, but I chose to overlook this), I was/am addicted. It is, in the great words of the authors of It Starts With Food, my "food with no brakes." Once I start, I just can't stop. Even if it was fruit, which of course is much better, I ate a lot of sugar. So I was 1) spiking my blood sugar often and 2) getting a lot of calories from carbs, to the exclusion of calories from fats and proteins. But I was eating well and so I overlooked it and chalked this up to my "one vice," not so bad, right?
Enter in my terrific trainer, Tamara. After reviewing my food logs for a couple of weeks, she gently alerted me to this macronutrient mayhem and suggested I might want to limit my carbs and up my protein a bit. Suggested that I might finally start to see the fat loss I'd been wanting for so long, see the muscles I've been building start to emerge from under that little layer of fat that kept them from shining through. And since Tamara is so smart, and is older and more wise than any other trainer I've ever seen, I took her advice. And you know what? It happened.
At first, I kept things to about 30-30-30, macronutrient-wise (protein/carbs/fat). I stopped eating the sweeter fruits, focusing instead on things like apples and berries and citrus. I upped my protein and upped my fat (you KNOW I love me some fat - "Don't fear the fat!" I always say). I was satisfied and I started to lose inches. And see muscle. And my CRAVINGS WERE ALMOST COMPLETELY ELIMINATED. My blood sugar was much more stable. This was enabling metabolic change to happen, all the while keeping me un-hungry and out of our "carb cupboard" at home.
So between this and the freedom from pain I felt because of giving up gluten, I have been feeling freakin' fantastic. Full of energy. Strong. Satiated.
All this got me thinking more about hormones and metabolism and fat loss and such. Yes, this dyed-in-the-wool calories in/calories out dieter started exploring the world of bodybuilding. I read blogs, I read books, I've delved deep. And you know what? There really is something to it. I like to call it "Strategic Eating" - and although I thought it the stuff of meat-heads, it's not. It's working wonders for my body. It really does "start with food." What you eat, when you eat it, the quantities you eat it in. It can really make a difference. I'm living the proof right here on this sofa.
More soon on some more great books and resources to get you started, if you like. I don't aspire to be a body-builder, just a strong, fit middle-aged mama who feels good in her skin (and a swimsuit). And for the first time (yes, folks, at 43) I can say that I finally do.
*Disclosure: If you click on the graphic above, it'll redirect you to my Amazon.com store, and if you purchase the book, I'll make a teeny tiny commission. To date, I've made $.04 from this blog!