Monday, 8 July 2013

Who likes change? Put up your hand!

Yesterday was Day 30 of the Whole30 and the motivational/check-in email asks you to evaluate how you did - did you meet your goals for the month?  My goal was to see how clean my diet was and if being even stricter about what I ate would make a difference and the answer is "Yes - I did."  I dropped one dress size and my shape has changed so my clothes fit better, I am sleeping better and I barely notice the arthritis I have in my hands, feet, arms and back.  Normally, it takes about ten pounds to lose a dress size as a rule of thumb.  In this case, I dropped 2 pounds and a dress size, proving you can't judge your health by the number on the scale.

So - am I glad I did it?  Yes, definitely - I learned more about how what I eat makes me feel, and I learned that I really enjoy simple food.  Would I do it again?  I still have some health issues, eczema and sleep issues, so I am going to continue for another couple of weeks at least, incorporating some of the recommendations for autoimmune problems.  Paleo Grandad, who was not doing the Whole30 100%, was obviously glad to get off the plan as seen by the Mr. Big chocolate bar on the grocery bill from yesterday!  You can lead a old horse...

My CF office colleague asked me an interesting question the other day - "Do you think it is harder for baby boomers to change their diet/lifestyle?"  I would say the answer is probably yes, based on the lack, first of all of Paleo blogs and websites for the 60+ crowd and, secondly, many baby boomers people don't like change, or figure that they have "earned" the right to put crap in their bodies,  and others feel nothing bad will happen to them.  It happens to other people - right?

Reading the Paleo blogger stories, pretty much every one of them (and the people in their blog success stories) had a major health issue sending them looking for a non-drug related solution.  I know I did.  So baby boomers, who can be more set in our ways, may be slower to change, and it may take a major heart attack, stroke or other life-threatening event to get them looking for alternatives, but wouldn't you rather head those kind of problems off rather than reacting to them?

Day 28 of the motivational/check-in email talks about the The Five Stages of Change:

  1. Pre-contemplation - not yet acknowledging there is problematic behaviour that needs to be changed.
  2. Contemplation:  Acknowledging there is a problem.
  3. Preparation/Determination: Getting ready to change.
  4. Action/Willpower: Changing behaviour.
  5. Maintenance:  Maintaining the behaviour change.
As I "warned" everyone - I am really enthusiastic about this lifestyle, and many people have commented on how great I look, how smooth and clear my skin looks, how much energy I have for my age, but when I tell them what I am doing (and to check out my blog for more information), the response is less than overwhelming.  The Whole30 team addresses this issue too:
  1. People in the pre-contemplation stage aren't ready to hear the message yet - even though they are the ones that need it most.
  2. The people in the contemplation stage may ask questions, but they are also the ones who will question the responses most.
  3. The preparation/determination bunch are gathering information, planning and preparing for change, and may be one step away from taking action.
  4. The action/willpower people tend to be very open to receiving help and are likely to seek support from others - an important element in their success.
What stage are you at?  My CF office colleague is definitely at Stage 4 and is actively seeking my help to get on track.  He spent all of Sunday shopping and prepping himself for the week by precooking protein and chopping vegetables - no more cooking for the rest of the week - just reheating.

I have a couple of acquaintances at Stage 3 and, of course, I am happy to answer their questions (and yours).  Again, I am not a nutritionist or other medical professional, but I know what worked for me,  continue to learn and am happy to share what I learn. 

Have a question on the Paleo lifestyle?  I might have the answer (or the recipe) to get you started.

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