I want to thank all of you for your words of encouragement and support throughout this experiment. Being accountable to you during 12 in 12 helped me stay the course, and for that I am truly grateful. The objective of the experiment was to find the right diet for me, and I believe I have done just that.
I doubt I would have come to my conclusion had I not tested a variety of plans. Each offered clues to what my body liked and disliked, and what practices I’d commit to given my lifestyle. The experiment also helped me identify areas of imbalance, such as not getting sufficient rest, and ignoring the mental, emotional, and spiritual issues that led to me becoming obese in the first place.
Throughout the experiment, I was asked several questions, but two came up repeatedly – how do you stop cravings, and what diet works best? If I had the answer to the first question, I’d be rich! Personally, whenever I tested plans that had me eliminate sugar from my diet my cravings subsided dramatically. As for which diet worked best, the answer varied depending if you meant which one gave me the best results on the scale (Answer: Paleo), or if you meant digestively (Answer: Whole Food, Plant-Based), or for my lifestyle (Answer: the ones that kept it simple). What I can say with certainty is that there is no ‘one size fits all’ diet because we are all different.
When I started this journey, I thought I would find the answer by simply connecting the dots.
Therefore, the winner of the experiment is not any one diet entirely, rather a combination of several plans that resonated with me. I call my personalized plan, THE BEST OF THE BEST, and this is what it will look like.
My body responded best to Paleo on the scale, but my heart, conscience, and digestive system wants to be Whole Food, Plant-Based (WFPB). As contrary as that sounds, I will be doing both, the term for which is FLEXITARIAN – go figure!
Therefore, I will:
- Adhere to Paleo’s protocol of not consuming grains, dairy, or legumes when I eat animal proteins.
- Aim to have a WFPB meal at dinner, allowing me to digest more efficiently before bedtime.
- Snacks will primarily be fruits, nuts, and seeds.
- Both Paleo and WFPB omit dairy and flour, which is doable for me, as I do not tolerate them well.
- I won’t be weighing and measuring my food – it’s not always practical, and I hated doing it. I will however, gauge portion sizes using the hand technique.
What about sugar?
When I tested plans that had me cut sugar (Twelve-Step Program for Food Addiction, Paleo, WFPB) I saw tremendous benefits. I stopped getting hot flashes, my cravings subsided, and I was able to taste the subtleties in foods again. However, diets anchored in ‘always’ or ‘never’ are my downfall, leading me on a self-destructive path of binges and regret – I feel like I failed, and ultimately fall off the diet bandwagon.
Therefore, when it comes to sugar I will:
- Allow myself one teaspoon of sugar in my morning coffee.
- Adopt the practice of enjoying one or two desserts a week, like in The Mediterranean Diet. This way I won’t feel deprived, and will be less likely to binge.
As someone who suffers from insomnia, I know firsthand that a tired body doesn’t burn calories as well as a rested body.
Therefore, I will:
- Aim to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night by continuing with The Hormone Diet’s protocol of powering down devices 2 hours before bed.
- Refrain from eating after 7 PM, not only to aid digestion, but to recharge my cells.
Several plans recommended supplements, however, The Gabriel Method’s regimen worked best for me.
Therefore, I will take:
- One probiotic daily
- Two digestive enzymes with breakfast
- Omega-3 once a day
- One multi-vitamin (that includes vitamin E) and a multi-mineral.
- In addition, I take Vitamin D during the winter months.
If I were grading my efforts during 12 in 12, I’d flunk myself when it came to exercise. I only incorporated regular physical activity when I tested The Biggest Loser and The 8-Hour Diet; otherwise, it was hit or miss. I think it’s because I hate the monotony of the machines at the gym.
Therefore, I will:
- Channel my inner child and start playing again. Along with getting my 10,000 steps in a day, I’m going to participate in fun activities like hula hooping, jumping on my mini-trampoline, belly dancing, and going for walks along the lake to keep me active.
I don’t want to dread exercise, I want to look forward to it. Hmmm, maybe the next phase of the journey will have me testing various exercise plans!
Feeding My Mind and Spirit
Lastly, the mental, emotional, and spiritual lessons I tackled in the last quarter of 12 in 12 had the biggest impact on me. That’s why my customized plan will devote the same amount of time for soul work as for physical activity. I must exercise both for optimal health!
Therefore, I will:
- Delve deeper into Marianne Williamson’s A Course In Weight Loss. Taking my time to work through the 21 spiritual lessons.
- Continue with the meditation and visualization exercises from The Gabriel Method. However, I will be recording my own morning and evening tapes, personalizing them for my needs.
And so my friends, this concludes 12 in 12. However, the journey continues! I invite you to join me in the new year here on Searching For My After, where I will continue with The Best Of The Best chronicling my next step towards a happier, healthier me. SIZE 10 HERE I COME!!!!