This is part of an ongoing series of real life success stories from people all over the world who have been impacted by the Paleo lifestyle and The Paleo Solution. Read Jodi’s story below.
The following was sent to Robb by Dr. Jack Kruse. “A patient wrote this to me today…..thought I would share it with you.”
My Paleo diary, 7 weeks in
by Jodi Guillot Wibel
Since several of my friends have expressed interest in this new “Paleo” thing, I thought I’d share some detailed results for those curious about it.
I’m a sugar/carb addict. Always have been. So although I’ve wanted to be 10-15 lbs thinner for the last 8 years (since before having 3 kids), I never could commit to giving up the bread and sweets. Sure, I knew they’re bad for you… but like any other addiction, the road to complete “sobriety” seems insurmountable, especially living here in New Orleans where temptation resides in every consumable food and beverage. How could I possibly give up cake, cookies, fried seafood, po-boys, jambalaya, frozen daiquiris, ice cream, Sal’s sno-balls, and above all, my beloved crown royal & diet coke? Inconceivable.
Then two things happened.
(1) I turned 39 in November, which was a little sobering. With the big 4-0 looming over me, I finally decided if I don’t get my ass in shape now, when will I ever? Do I really want to spend another summer hiding self-consciously in knee-length cover-ups?
(2) I started paying attention to what my friend and neurosurgeon (Jack Kruse) was posting on FB about this “primal” diet, the dangers of wheat consumption, and the science behind it all. I bought Robb Wolf’s book, which, in layman’s terms, made biological sense of it all, and I saw the transformation in Jack, who lost 160+ lbs. Suzanne Somers (in her 60’s) does it too, and she looks 10 years younger than me!
I decided to start after Mardi Gras, with Lent. Because, after all, I had to get that last king cake season in. Then on Superbowl Sunday I was at a party watching the half-time show, and while on my 3rd or 4th slice of Randazzo’s cream cheese, I heard my husband comment on how “smoking hot” Fergie’s body was. That did it. I started Paleo the next day.
The first week was pretty gratifying, as most of them are when you make any drastic dietary changes. I lost 4.5 lbs in 4 days and although I still craved sugar and bread, it felt great to see a difference on the scale already. I stocked up on coconut oil (to use in place of olive oil), omega 3 butter, omega 3 eggs, heavy whipping cream (for my coffee), Nu-Stevia (in place of my 100g/wk Splenda habit), grass-fed beef, fish, bacon, ham, cheese, avocado, and a varied assortment of veggies (mostly tri-colored peppers, onions, zucchini and squash). I wasn’t counting carbs or calories, or even fat grams, just eating til I was full. To keep the sweet tooth at bay, I kept a jug of green tea in the fridge, and thinly sliced sweet potatoes on hand to bake with cinnamon and butter. I snacked on that often in the beginning.
But then, the scale stopped moving. Every morning I weighed myself and scratched my head in confusion. Was it broken? Why the hell am I not losing more? I’m doing everything right! I started taking measurements and to my surprise, saw some significant changes there. Turns out, my body composition was changing, and so was my metabolism. I wasn’t really working out much – except for my 20lb kettle bell swings 4 times a week and some 8-lb free weights – but usually when I would go on a “crash” diet cutting out sugar completely, the weight would come pouriing off. This was different.
I also noticed I was going to the bathroom more. And taking Advil less. And never felt bloated or swollen the morning after a big dinner. Hmmm…. interesting. Maybe wheat and sugar ARE the culprits of so many of these seemingly insignificant ailments that we’ve been taught were a “normal” part of the aging process?
The weeks went by… 3, 4, 5… the scale didn’t budge. I started getting frustrated. Yes, I was happy to be seeing less of the tape measure wrap around my middle, but I had a NUMBER in mind I was itching to see on that damn scale. And it was starting to piss me off that I wasn’t getting any closer to it.
It was during the 6th week that my family and I went to Disneyworld. And folks, there isn’t a more Paleo-UNfriendly place on earth, let me tell you. I watched my kids indulge in cookies and ice cream, french fries and pizza – all HUGE no-no’s for me. But I didn’t cheat. I was determined not to quit, considering how far I’d come. And one thing Jack had said kept echoing in my mind, “You CAN get over your sugar addiction to the point where you can easily pass it up without a second thought, but it takes a couple of months, and if you cheat with even so much as a cracker- you’ll set yourself back (with the cravings) 2 weeks.” The last thing I wanted was to start all over again… so I stuck it out.
For me, this was nothing short of a miracle. Those of you who know me well know I can’t turn down a Froot Loop, much less a fresh-baked cookie! Zero willpower, that was me.
Now here I am at 7 weeks, and I’m finally seeing my patience and discipline paying off. The scale did finally move, and I’m currently down a total of 8 pounds, and 13 inches. I have more energy and fewer aches and pains than I’ve had in 10 years. I don’t crave sugary sweets anymore, and have no problem passing up dessert at parties or restaurants. I hardly ever feel the need to snack in between meals, and when I do eat, I eat until I’m full, plus it takes less to fill me up now that it used to. [That’s because protein tells your brain you’re full, sugar and carbs do not. Ever say “I can’t believe I ate the whole quart of ice cream!”? You don’t have that problem as much with filet mignon – after 6 or 8 oz, you’re done. There’s a biochemical reason behind that. It’s called Leptin function, which you can read about in the book.]
On average, I’m eating 130g fat, 150g protein and <50 carbs a day. Carbs are in everything from vegetables to seasonings, so it’s nearly impossible to avoid them completely, plus your body needs them to function. But I’m learning that you get more than enough of them in the Paleo diet without having to eat grains… and I don’t miss them anymore.
Have I reached my goal? Not yet. But I feel like I’m well on my way. This is a lifestyle change, not a diet, and it has changed my thinking on food unlike any “diet” I’ve tried and given up after a week or two. They say it takes 21 days to break a bad habit; in my case, more like 50. My only regret is that I was too vain to take “before” pictures, even though I was strongly urged to do so. Even if they were for my eyes only, it would be cool to see the transformation over time.
Like anything else in life, it takes determination and commitment in order to get the results you want. Even if I never see that magic number on the scale, I have proven to myself that I can overcome a lifelong addiction to unhealthy food, and potentially avoid a multitude of health problems that typically present themselves when you reach your 40s. If I can do this, believe me, ANYBODY CAN! You can make excuses til the cows come home, but when make up your mind you want something bad enough, you find the will to make it happen.
Whether your motivation is weight loss or overall improved health, if you’re serious about doing this, you have to jump in with both feet, so to speak. You will gain weight if you combine too many carbs with high fat/ high protein eating. Read The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf and check out MarksDailyApple.com for a list of grocery “musts” and foods to avoid. Get a carb counter app (it’s free) and keep track of what you’re eating. Finally, take before pictures and track your measurements. The results will astound you and you’ll thank me in a couple of months.
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