My progression to eating Real happened something like this:
From age 12 to 45 I struggled with weight and dieting. I tried many different diet plans and had the most success with weight watchers. Sometimes losing 20 pounds sometimes losing more. In fact, in 1994 I lost 131 pounds using weight watchers and got within 10 pounds of my ideal body weight. It was during WW points system so it didn’t matter what you ate as long as you stayed within the points. I ate a lot of 100 calorie snacks. I also cooked a good portion of meals and learned how to take a recipe and lighten it up with fat-free and sugar-free and lite ingredients. When I think of all the “garbage” I was adding I shudder a little bit.
Within two years I had gained it all back and more. It was so frustrating I almost gave up on trying again.
In 2013 I made the decision to have gastric bypass surgery. I had to give up soda and I was an avid Diet Coke drinker so I gave it up first before scheduling the surgery just to make sure I could do it. My last Diet Coke was July 9, 2013. I had the surgery in December of 2013. My highest known weight was 341. A year later I was weighing in at under 200. Sometime in the Spring of 2015 I got down to my lowest of 184 pounds and a size 8. (last time I weighed I was 192 so I know I bounce around a bit still although I have stayed a size 8 since then.)
I started seeking out organic foods even before my surgery. After my surgery I read many articles on GMO’s and decided for myself to believe they were evil even amid the confusing and contradictory evidence. I cut out artificial sweeteners as well. I cut out beer and all carbonated beverages. I felt like I was eating pretty good most of the time.
About a week ago I was reading articles on something food related and stumbled on the 100 day Real Food challenge. It was like a light bulb went off in my head. I was buying organic and Non-GMO and grass fed but I was mixing those all together with sauces and condiments made of all sorts of chemicals and products and stuff that just isn’t food?
I was eating Dave’s Killer Bread and would have sworn on a bible that it was healthy. It isn’t horrible compared to some breads but it does have sugar and canola oil.
I was drinking Vitamin Water Zero and Life Water which have no artificial sweeteners but looking at the ingredient list for Life Water I see : Filtered Water, Erythritol, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Calcium Lactate, Xanthan Gum, Ascorbic Acid(Vitamin C), Purified Stevia Leaf Extract, Potassium Citrate,Black Carrot Juice Concentrate (Color), Ginger Extract,Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Cochineal Extract (Color)
And for Vitamin Water: reverse osmosis water, less than 1% of: erythritol, citric acid, calcium phosphate, magnesium lactate and calcium lactate and potassium phosphate (electrolyte sources), gum acacia, phosphoric acid, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), stevia leaf extract, natural flavors, zinc gluconate, glycerol ester of rosin, vitamin B5.
Today I am seeing food differently. Before on any other food plan I craved foods I couldn’t have. I gave in and cheated, sometimes a little sometimes a lot almost every day. On this Real Food plan I feel informed and good about the decision to eat Real. Food that isn’t real doesn’t tempt me because I really don’t want to eat “fake” food. Maybe this is just a honeymoon phase but Real Food tastes better, it’s more satisfying, the weird cravings aren’t there. I like food and I don’t have to be afraid of it.
What’s next? Checking the labels on my soap, shampoo, toothpaste etc.