I forgot the why of writing this blog. I thought it was about perfection, and having gained 12 pounds in France last year, then only managing to lose six before we went again this year, I felt I didn’t have anything to share. (And BTW, I gained eight this year.) Then a friend chided me for not writing and reminded me, we’re in this together. I don’t have to be perfect to share with you. Insert embarrassed emoticon here, because I realized she was right and how foolish I had been for feeling this way.
So here goes. Aging and travel mean a few things and the one I’m going to talk about today is gaining weight. It’s difficult to maintain my weight when I travel. I drink more, I eat more and things aren’t prepared as I make them at home, adding extra calories for sure. And as so many have said to me, “You’re in France! Of course you have to enjoy the food!” Well, yes and no. Yes, I need to enjoy, but no, I don’t need to eat so much. The French love their veggies, so the first few weeks, when I was at our apartment, it was easy. I went to the market that was actually the first floor of my building, and had great choices. I managed to eat well and I didn’t feel as if I gained anything. Then the travel began and we were with my husband’s clients and I found myself eating, and eating, and eating. And don’t get me started on drinking. I love the wines. I could tell the weight was going up, up, up. I had indigestion. Bloating. Hot flashes and night sweats. All related to food and drink. Yup! As a health coach, I know the effects food and drink has on our bodies. Yet I was torturing myself with both. The question then becomes, how to NOT do this? And here’s my answer, I don’t have an answer. Well, not a fully developed one yet.
Before I left France, I ordered, How Not To Die, by Dr. Micheal Gregor. It was waiting for me when I arrived home. I tore through it. I couldn’t put it down. It is by far the best book I’ve read on nutrition. It is entirely evidence based. The kind of evidence scientists love with double blind gold standard tests. I appreciated that very much. I then took stock of how I had been eating and realized, I had to stop being out of control. I managed to lose a couple of pounds before the next two trips we made and while on those trips, ate well, but still drank more than I’m used to, so gaining, losing, gaining, losing were still happening. Till I said ENOUGH. On July 6th I told myself I was going sugar free (not with substitutes for sugar, but I mean cold turkey…NO SUGAR) and decided to pretend I am gluten intolerant and quit eating bread, and instead have been enjoying other grains like rice, millet, oats, etc. (I do not buy gluten free products, they are generally highly processed foods and not healthy.) I also am avoiding processed foods. You know the kind I mean? The ones with weird ingredients and the sugars disguised as something else? And guess what? I’ve lost seven pounds. I’m not counting calories. I eat all the fruits, vegetables and beans I want. I get my fats from avocados and nuts. I drink lots of water and drink an anti-inflammation drink daily (a product I’m working on that will be coming out soon). I also drink Hibiscus and white teas. Then we went on a week long vacation and I didn’t gain weight. Talk about happy!
My sugar free, gluten free period was supposed to be for thirty days, but the results are so good, I’m continuing on. I forgot to mention, I also haven’t been drinking alcohol on a regular basis, though I didn’t forbid myself drink, I just felt giving it up for awhile would be good. I think I’ve had a few glasses of wine over the last three weeks. I don’t feel deprived because I told myself I always have the option at the end of the thirty days to go back. But I like how I feel. And I should mention, no more hot flashes and definitely no night sweats.
I have a two week trip coming up in the near future, so the question becomes now, can I maintain my progress? I want to. I need to. I’m certainly going to try. I’ll let you know how it goes. If you are interested in joining me on the weight loss quest, let me know. I’ll be glad to share ideas with you. I am using this app to help me track what I’m eating: Nutrition Facts, the daily dozen and I use www.nutritionfacts.org to learn new information regarding foods I’m eating or not eating. If you are a reader, which I hope you are, it helps stave off Alzheimers, then read How Not To Die. Trust me, it’s a very compelling read.
I hope you’ll join the conversation in the comments below. I look forward to hearing from you! If you like this, please share!