Thursday, May 30, 2013

Living Clean/Paleo: You just don't want to

I am no expert on weight loss, eating right, or health in general. I am just an average sized woman (ok, bigger than average at 5 foot 9 inches tall) who like most women reading this, has struggled with her weight for the latter part of her life. I have tried all the fad diets, lost and gained too many pounds to count and fluctuated from a size 10 to a tight size 16 (after baby #2).

When I was younger I thought I was fat. I was not. Looking back at pictures of myself, in a bikini, I can't believe I ever thought I had a weight issue, but then I look to my left and right and see my skinny mini friends in their string bikinis and remember why I felt that way. I was not as thin as the girls I was friends with (and have always been the biggest of my friends) but I was not nearly the beast that I thought I was at the time.

It wasn't until I went to college, stopped dancing and started eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, that I started to pack on the pounds. For 4 years I ate cheesesteak after cheesesteak (after pizza, after calzone, and sometimes in the same day) and never worked out. There was one summer, after sophomore year, that my mother actually got me a personal trainer to try and get me back into shape while I was at home. It was a quick fix, but as soon as I went back to school I gained whatever weight I had lost in those three months back in one week of nightly peanut butter sundaes.

After college my weight really fluctuated, with two periods of weight loss (around 30 pounds each time) and lots of weight gain in between. I was going to the gym most days, but still eating whatever I wanted, so the weight never stayed off. I joined Weight Watchers at one point and lost 30 pounds, and joined a dance studio and danced my ass off (literally, as I went down two dress sizes). But then the weight came back on, I started having kids and yada, yada, yada...there I was this January weighing more than I ever had and my size 16 clothes were tight on me.

It was in January, as you all know, that we began our Paleo adventure, giving up carbs, sugar, dairy and gluten. It was a struggle, but we powered through and the weight started to melt off. Then I hit a plateau, and didn't lose anything for a few weeks. It was then that I started working out again. I joined a local pilates/barre studio and now go 3-4 times a week to cardio barre classes, and let's just say I am red faced and dripping with sweat after each work out.

A few weeks in to working out again I noticed incredible changes to my body.  Things were tightening and shrinking, and I was actually ok with seeing myself in the mirror naked again. The combination of working out and eating right was once again burning my body fat and getting me back in shape.

So what the hell is the point of this post? Here it is...anyone can lose weight. There is no magic pill or gadget you can buy to help you lose weight fast.

Just follow this simple equation: stop eating crap + start sweating = weight loss. 

Obvious right? I think so.

Every time I tell people how I have lost these last 25 pounds they always say "Oh I couldn't do that," or "how do you not eat pasta and bread?" or "I couldn't give up cheese.." And to that I say, "you could, you just don't want to."

No one is force feeding you that brownie. You can survive without eating all that cheese. Just don't do it. Just don't put crap in your mouth!! Or more importantly, don't buy it in the first place.

I struggled tremendously when on vacation with my family this past weekend. I ate chips with salsa, I ate salty nuts, I ate a couple of skinny cow ice cream sandwiches...and a burger with a bun. I had Hellman's Mayo - and it was delicious. I fell off the wagon hard, and I felt like complete shit. I was shocked at how fast all that crap I used to eat affected my system! Now I am back at home and struggling like I did in the beginning of eating Paleo, but I am determined to get back on the wagon and back to feeling as good as I did just one short week ago.

I can't see myself ever going back to eating processed calorie-filled foods I was eating BP (or before paleo :). Sure I will cheat here and there but this is not a diet for me, it is a lifestyle change. Eating this way, in combination with working out has done wonders for my body, my spirit, my attitude, my sex life...I could go on.

Back to the point of this post...It is not easy to lose weight, but anyone can do it. It is not rocket science. Stop eating processed calorie-filled foods and start working out. I am not saying you need to eat Paleo like I do, but find something that works for you. Stop making excuses. It will take time, and it will be hard work, but just shut up and do it. Find the time to work out - wake up before your kids do and go for a walk or a run. Stop buying the crap you usually buy at the grocery store. Start taking care of yourself now while you still have the chance.

And don't get me started on what you are probably feeding your kids (yes, this I will judge you on because it is under your control). That is for another post...

For now, put down the diet soda and stop eating those pretzels. And take the stairs.


  1. Love it Jess. Remember though that fruits and veggies are carbs, so you are still eating complex carbs... just the right ones! :)
    -Bobby K

  2. Hi! I just drowned a bad day with ice cream and I know my stomach is going to hate me for it! I agree about feeling so much better when keeping it clean.

  3. Oh - and bad day was the direct result of the evil side coming out in one of my 3.5 year-olds. I'm sure you can relate!

  4. You are really an inspiration for all those people who are suffering from weight issues and that including me too. I have been struggling with weight issues almost all my life. But I think at the end of the day it’s my own fault. I am the one who cannot control on my eating habits. I have always known that right eating habits and exercise is all needed to stay fit. But now it’s really time to think about health.