Friday, May 2, 2014

No Gains, No Grains - Changes in my family


A group of Primal/Paleo/Grain Free women who blog about their experiences/life/benefits without grains. A great way for others (who may be wanting to lose weight, reverse an acute/chronic health trend, and/or transition from commercial weight loss programs) to read about real life women who are living the life and succeeding.

This month's topic is about changes that happened within my family after I went grain free. I went grain free in September 2011. At that time I started following a high protein, low carb, low sodium metabolic diet developed by Dr. Pat Poon in Toronto. This how I lost the majority of my weight (132 pounds). During the weight-loss component of my lifestyle change, which lasted 15 months, I was the lone grain-free person in my household. I cooked for myself and my family separately. I was able to make certain dishes that we could all eat, but more times than not, I made my own meals.

As I was approaching maintenance, I began to panic about eating processed carbs again. This is how I became morbidly obese in the first place. I'm a binge eater and my binge foods of choice were always processed carbs (ie: bread, crackers, pasta, potato chips). I knew that I could not just have "a little" of these foods. Then I stumbled upon the Paleo lifestyle through some of the blogs I read. I had eaten grain free for 15 months already, and the thought of reintroducing grains back into my diet caused me a lot of anxiety. So I did a bit more reading about Paleo, and decided to continue my lifestyle by switching to Paleo for maintenance and cutting out all grains, processed foods, refined sugar, dairy and legumes. It seemed simple and fool proof to me. I need structure in my eating and Paleo provides me with that.

My husband started running in June 2012 and although he was never obese, he had about 20 extra pounds on him. He decided to give Paleo a try with me and we have both been Paleo for about 14 months now. By switching to Paleo, he has shed his extra weight. We are both long distance runners and our diets do not hinder us from completing long runs. Contrary to popular belief, I do not need grains or processed carbs for energy. I perform just fine eating grain free while training.

My son does not follow our lifestyle. Although we model our eating habits to him and he makes healthier snack choices (ie: apples and almonds are his favorite), he still enjoys eating grains, dairy and his peanut butter (which is a legume). If he decided to go Paleo one day, that would be his choice. He's watching us very closely so it's important that we lead by example. He often asks me which foods are healthiest and makes his food choices according to my answers. We still eat as a family. Julien gets pasta with Bolognese sauce as opposed to spaghetti squash with Bolognese sauce. It's easy to tweak a meal so that everyone is included.

Julien doesn't remember me morbidly obese. In the summer of 2012 I had already lost 100+ pounds and we were looking at old photos where I was 300+ pounds.  He saw my "before" picture and asked who that lady was. When I told him it was me, he looked genuinely confused and a little upset. I asked him what was the matter and he said, "mommy, that's a big lady". I explained that I had a lot of "illnesses" at that time (hypertension, joint pain, back pain, digestion issues) and once I changed my eating and started running I became healthy.

When Julien sees pictures of me now from when I was heavy,  he refers to those pictures as when I was "sick". He tells me that he's glad I'm healthy now because it means I'm going to live for a long time. That is why I continue to eat the way I do and follow my grain free lifestyle. I became healthy so that I could be a part of my son's life instead of just watching him grow up. Anytime that I think of eating off plan, I remind myself that nothing tastes as good as enjoying my son's childhood. He is my motivation and my inspiration.  I'm the one who makes the choices for what I eat and I can choose to go back to my old ways or I can choose my son. My son always comes first, hands down.


Hubby and I pre and post our "grain free" lifestyle.

 I invite you to go and look at my BBF`s (best bloggy friends) and read about how going grain free has changed their families.  They are awesome women and mentored me through my transition into Paleo. They inspire me each and every day and I'm proud to call them friends. Check them out, leave a comment and tell them Leigh sent ya:-)

Against the Grain
For Life
Living the Life
Garden Girl

10 comments:

  1. Hello Leigh!

    I wonder if your son is a healthy weight for his age. And why don't you encourage him more to give up grains and processed sugar? I think anyone who struggles with food and obesity would be happy to have parents who imposed a paleo lifestyle to them when they were kids. If my parents had done this, I would'nt have suffered for years with carb and grain addiction and other problems that come with it.

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  2. So awesome to see your changes and your family changes, Leigh. Total transformation, all around. It all starts at home and your example warms my heart. :) Karen P

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  3. Love that you were modeling healthy behavior for your son and not forcing him to eat a certain way, it will make the biggest difference in his health as he ages, having seen your good example

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  4. GREAT job, Leigh! So happy your husband has joined the grain free world too! I betcha your son does too at some point. ;)

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  5. The changes in your family are amazing and your son will be learning great health lessons along the way. I love that Julien refers to "when you were sick". What a wonderful thing you have done getting well for him.

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  6. So glad you don't 'impose' a paleo diet on your son, that would be bad advice! I think forced restriction would only make him sneak off to eat forbidden foods when away from you and could lead to eating disorders! No, far better to lead by example and let him decide he wants to eat healthier. You've made the right choice, don't worry about that at all.

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  7. Love it Leigh! Over the past month I've had way more grains than usual and I feel the difference. I'm so ready to be grain-free again! It really does make a difference. You're such a terrific role model :)

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  8. You and your husband look great in your after photo and younger than in the before one!

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  9. What a beautiful story! It has tears welling up in my eyes, I am so happy for you and your family! You look fanstatic and I'm sure you feel fantastic!

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  10. Your grain free lifestyle has worked out really well for both you...it's nice to have family also following similar lifestyle and I also love the way you are not forcing your son but by following your example he is making the right choices

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