In my darkest diet days, marching with the other overweight women in my home town to Weight Watchers (Audrey), Slimming World (Dorrie), Lighter Life (Kathryn) oh and back to Weight Watchers (Audrey again); life was a constant unhappy battle.
Each diet club encouraged members to follow a set of clearly prescribed rules which would deliver us to the Promised Land: the perfect body. That is, if we did as we were told. If we followed the rules, went into battle with the hunger cravings and agreed to accept smaller portions everything would be alright. Only it never was. Eat less and exercise more doesn't work. I don't know about you but when I exercise, I get hungry and when I get hungry I eat. And as for smaller portions well, forget it: I don't do compromise.
And so every week I would attend class, step onto the scales and feel humiliated that I had not been able to follow the rules. The weight had not shifted, I was heavier than when I'd started. A supreme effort of will power would follow and being a good girl I would follow the rules and succeed in shifting 50lbs only to see my world unravel quickly over the next few weeks as my weight went back on and then continued to rise beyond my initial starting point. So much for rules. So much for diet clubs.
And so when I am asked if paleo is prescriptive I say quite categorically "NO!"
There are guidelines yes but the rest is really down to me. And I love it. There is no right or wrong just a learning about me and my body and what works for us. And it is empowering to write this as a woman. The guidelines are a starting point but my paleo experience grows daily, weekly monthly. For example, I learn that I cannot eat much fruit. M is quite different in his response but for me it causes an insulin spike which means my mood tends to dip shortly afterwards. Its as simple as that! So bring your mind into it and never quit asking the questions...that's what moves you on!
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