Why I Went Paleo
Disclaimer: this is my personal experience with the paleo diet and does not intend to diagnose, treat, or cure any illness. Infertility is discussed too. You’ve been warned.
When I first decided to take the Paleo diet for a spin, it was before my wedding. I wanted to lose some weight before my upcoming nuptials and it was suggested to me by a personal trainer and several friends. Looking back, I wasn’t doing it exactly the right way. I had great results but was probably too restrictive to sustain it. I hardly ever “cheated” and told myself, just get to the wedding and then you can eat whatever you want. That was a horrible way to think!
Immediately following my wedding, I started eating “normal” (junk) again and got off a few medications. The main reason I did this was to get pregnant. I was on birth control for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). I was sick of working out and didn’t work out as much as I was before the wedding which, looking back, I wasn’t even working out that much! For me, the best treatment for my PCOS was birth control. Once I got off it, everything got out of whack. After 6 months of not having a period, I started seeing a fertility doctor which is when I started pumping my body full of hormones. I was on one hormone or another for two years. Obviously, these hormones led to weight gain. I felt horrible! I felt horrible physically and mentally. My confidence was gone.
I tried one diet after another and did several different workout plans. Finally, towards the end of my experience with IVF I said to myself, you know what? Paleo was obviously the only thing that really truly worked for me so let’s give it a go again. I actually started with the South Beach Diet because I had some friends that were doing it too. Then I kind of transitioned back into Paleo. Since then, I’ve figured out what I can and cannot eat. In the beginning, I was really restrictive because it was the only way I could stick with it. I am someone who needs rules to stick to something. At least at first. Once I started seeing results I would reintroduce a food back into my diet and see how it affected me. I did this slowly one food at a time and I’ve seen real benefits to it.
Before this point, I kept telling myself I would get pregnant and then I would lose the weight and feel better. After my first IVF failed I knew I couldn’t continue to live this way. This was when I realized I probably would never actually achieve or maintain a pregnancy. I needed to make a change FOR ME! Before, I was showing myself love by “treating myself.” Then I changed my way of thinking. Self-love is taking care of yourself for YOU! Not anyone else. I also stopped thinking about it as a diet. This is my life now, and I love it! I feel great and I enjoy my life! A big part of that is because I stopped with the fertility drugs, procedures, surgeries, etc. I took control back of my life and that is empowering! If you follow my personal social media, you know my husband and I are adopting a baby. The day we decided that was such a huge turning point in my life, health, and marriage. I feel such peace about adoption that I never felt with IVF. The only way I can explain it is that the peace of the Holy Spirit has washed over me.
For years I suffered from stomach pains and bloating and truly the only time I don’t have that is when my eating is free of grains and glutens. I have never been told I have any allergies but I do have some suspicions about gluten. I do not think the Paleo diet is right for everyone. But I definitely think it is right for me. I have seen such a shift in my health and I just hope I can keep it up! For me, maintenance is the hardest part. But now that I’m committed to my workouts (and I actually enjoy them now), I think I can stick with it. I do “cheat” usually once a week. I do one cheat MEAL, not cheat DAY. That’s a big thing. Sometimes my cheat meal is sushi, sometimes it’s a burger with a gluten free bun, and sometimes its real pizza! For me, I have to know that I can have those delicious foods eventually. I wanted to share my experience to encourage you. You, too, can do this! Please reach out to me if you have any questions about the paleo diet, infertility, PCOS, or adoption. Let’s do this together so we can THRIVE!