We’ve now been on the Primal/Paleo journey as a family for four months, and it is a great opportunity to size up where we are as we look to the future. It has been an amazing ride, one that has constantly reinforced itself as a permanent change by the sheer magnitude of the impacts it has had on us. Some changes have been expected, but many have not been anticipated. And all of them have been positive. So here is a run down of the expected results:
1) I have dropped 25 pounds. I knew I would lose weight, and probably lose it pretty quickly. I guess I didn’t anticipate how easy it would be, and how much it would seem to “melt” off. And keep in mind, I have been far from perfect. There are more days than I would like to admit where my 20% exceptions have been much more than 20%. If I had been more rigorous, this loss would certainly have been higher. But I am happy with it and my pace is sustainable.
2) My blood work has improved. My “good” cholesterol is up and my bad cholesterol is down. My blood pressure is the lowest I can remember it being since I was a teenager, although admittedly mine wasn’t too bad to begin with. My triglycerides are down, and my blood sugar is looking great.
3) I have substantially more energy. This is to an almost ridiculous degree. Maybe two or three nights in the last four months I have plugged my girls into a movie and napped on the couch after work. It used to be far, far more common of an occurrence. I also no longer feel totally drained and exhausted in the afternoon at work. My mental and physical stamina is up.
4) The girls have a greater attention span, and their moods do not swing as much. They are still little, so the effects aren’t huge. But they are noticeable, and they help. Most importantly, Mary has stopped complaining of her stomach hurting after almost every meal. Clearly, she was significantly gluten intolerant just as we suspected.
Most of these results were expected, based on the most basic understanding of the why and how of the primal diet that I had aquired before beginning this journey. Since then, of course, my knowledge base has expanded, so many of the impacts I will list as unexpected really shouldn’t have been unexpected. They are mirrored by many, many other testimonials. Nevertheless…
1) My skin is clearer and less dry. Less often am I tormented by very oily face or too dry, itchy feet and legs. I have dry skin, and that will always be so, but the extreme dry is gone. I am much more comfortable in my own skin.
2) My hypoglycemia is GONE. It was gone in less than a week and it has never returned. I am no longer controlled by my need to eat every two hours or get severely sick. I used to be totally driven by the nausea and lightheaded feeling I would get if I skipped a meal or went too long between meals. Now I can choose when and if I am going to eat, and occasionally have to even remind myself to do so. If there are no good food alternatives around, I simply fast. No big deal.
3) My hormones seem to be more under control. Mood swings seem to be a thing of the past. My husband is grateful, I am sure. Aside from those, overall I feel like a more emotionally stable person.
4) I seem to be more sun-resistant. I know this sounds crazy, but I do not burn as easily. And considering how pale my skin is, that is really saying something. My body seems to be able to handle the natural environment around it better.
5) I sleep so much more soundly, I rarely remember anything about the hours I am sleeping at all. I wake up much more refreshed. My body is more persistent in demanding that bedtimes be obeyed. It rewards me with the best sleep I’ve had in years.
6) All sorts of minor stomach issues I never really noticed, or thought were normal, have totally vanished. They weren’t normal. Why did I ever believe they were?
7) I can actually, well and truly, keep up with my kids. And oh my goodness, do they love that!
8) Everything about the way I see the world has changed.
Ok, so what does that last one mean? It means that I no longer take it for granted that we are supposed to get more and more tired, more and more sick as we age and move towards the ends of our life. I no longer believe that I am supposed to feel much more exhausted all the time in my 30s than I did in my 20s. Because now I don’t. We were created to exist on this world, and we weren’t created to be sick and weary and diseased and broken. We were created to live and thrive. After all, for however long we lived before technology, even before agriculture, we did manage to not only exist but thrive. Thrive to the point that we are here in the billions now, able to create and consume our technology. Why is it suddenly ok that a quarter of our population needs a psych medication to survive? What did we do before those medicines existed?
The way I contextualize everything I see has changed. My whole perspective on the world around me has altered irrevocably. I never thought that was going to happen.