In the beginning of of September, around the start of the school year, I stopped exercising. I quit running mid-summer because the heat was excruciating and I took to walking at night while listening to the entire Harry Potter series. I was still slowly gaining weight, though, despite all of the exercise and healthy eating. I knew it probably had something to do with Hashimotos and the quantity of food I was eating, but I wasn't sure. I had all of these crazy sugar cravings I felt I couldn't control. So I decided to stop exercising and focus strictly on what I ate.
If you've been following my blog for some time, you know that I have been gluten-free since the birth of my second child because I found over time, my body couldn't tolerate it any more. And I always flirted with the idea of being sugar-free and dairy-free. Sugar inflames all of my joints and muscles. It actually seems to make my muscles tender. And the more sugar I eat, the more I want. Dairy always made me feel bloated and caused intestinal distress. However, giving these things up seemed impossible -- absolutely out of the question -- hence the flirting and not the commitment.
But in September, I was at my wit's end. I had been exercising and watching what I ate for an entire year and at the same time, watched the scale slowly go up, up, up. So in addition to no gluten, I stopped eating dairy and sugar. I just stopped.
So what do I eat? I decided to stop worrying about calories and portion size and to eat when I was hungry and absolutely stay away from those three things (gluten, dairy and sugar).
I reverted back to not eating breakfast because quite honestly, I have never eaten breakfast in the past. I'm just not a breakfast person. I know all of the nutritionists in the world are gasping right now, but I say do what works for you.
For lunch, I have a gluten-free sandwich roll, with mayo, lettuce, onions and half an avocado (because avocado should be king of the world!), sprinkled liberally with salt.
I have two hard-boiled eggs for some protein.
After this, I found I was full. Ironically enough, around the same time I started this, I stopped eating most meat because it just grossed me out a little. I do have meat here and there (I had turkey on Thanksgiving) but if anything it's one day out of seven. But I do eat a TON of eggs. My cholesterol is probably sky-high! I've been calling myself the vegan who eats eggs.
After lunch, I've taken to making French-pressed coffee. (I found it produces the most robust flavor!)
And then if I'm hungry, I'll have a piece of fruit. Or sometimes, if I am hungry in the morning, I have a piece of fruit then.
For dinner, I sort of wing it based on what I'm making the rest of my family. Last night, I made split pea soup (with the ham), grilled cheeses and roasted broccoli. So I had a huge bowl of soup with the broccoli.
If I am hungry at night, I tend to have some tortilla chips with guacamole. Or a big spoonful of peanut butter and a banana.
More often than not, though, I don't have anything because I'm simply not hungry.
Why am I telling you this? Not because I want you to try this; everyone needs to listen to his or her own body. And I feel like that's what I did. I stopped and listened and things changed. My quality of life changed just by cutting a few things out of my diet. Now whether or not I am putting the right things back into my body to supplement is the question.
Luckily, I have this amazing opportunity through BlogHer and Coca-Cola to attend a Balanced Living Workshop in Chicago. I live in a suburb of good old Chi-town, so when this opportunity presented itself, I was thrilled!
On December 11 and 12, I am going to attend a workshop with fitness and nutrition consultations and cooking demonstrations. So I'll actually have the chance to talk to a nutritionist about these changes I have made and see how I can make sure I am fueling my body the right way. And I can talk to a fitness expert about what types of exercise will work for me. Now who knows, maybe I was gaining weight while running because my food choices were so out of control. What I do know is that I will be able to talk with someone with knowledge. Like the title, of the workshop and my post, I am hoping to find some balance!
Stay tuned for updates on my exciting adventure!