Eat FAT?

I wanted to write about a realization I had the other day that was pretty awesome.

I’ve struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember.  I’ve tried every diet on the planet (low fat, low calorie, vegetarian, high fiber, Weight Watchers, etc).  I spent most of my life being stressed out about what I ate, when I ate it, if I was working out enough, counting this and counting that.  Let’s just say that wasn’t the most wonderful way to live.  Freaking out about food and whether or not I was spending enough time at the gym is surprisingly stressful.

I’ve made a lot of changes to my diet in the last couple of years and I realized the other day that I am not constantly thinking about food or beating myself up about not going to the gym or working out any more.

I went on my first diet when I was 11 years old.  I remember eating nothing more than lettuce and yogurt for months on end.  I also started exercising obsessively around then as well (at least 2 hours a day).  I lost a bunch of weight, but ended up getting seriously sick with pneumonia and gaining it all back.

When I was 16, I lost about 40 pounds, but was spending 2 or more hours a day exercising and became a vegetarian around that time.  I never felt awesome, but I thought I looked great.

I became a firefighter when I was 18, which only fueled my gym addiction.  In addition to the grueling work of fighting fires, I was working out at least 2 hours a day during season and spending 3 or more hours a day at the gym during off season.  I was also eating the brilliant diet of Diet Pepsi and some sort of carb-y goodness (a sugar cookie or bagel) and drinking copious amounts of coffee to kill my appetite.

I was thin, but didn’t seem to be very toned.

The years progressed and my diet changed (I brought back limited amounts of animal protein to my diet but was still strictly eating low fat and high fiber/grains), but my body never really changed.  Even at my thinnest, I still looked soft.  I made an attempt at a low carb diet once under the advice of a personal trainer.  I have to say about 6 hours into it, I wanted to kill someone for a muffin.  I stuck with it for a few months (but it was still low fat) and was able to get pretty toned even on only an hour a day at the gym.

About a year after that, I got into a car accident that curbed my gym habit hard!  After finally getting things back in order from that, I started to have debilitating pain that prevented me even at times from walking.  Needless to say, I started gaining weight (even while on Weight Watchers during this time) and I swear doing Weight Watchers made me feel even more hungry!  All I could do was think about food.  Plan out my meals. Allocate my points. Calculate how much of ANY activity I could do to earn more points…. It was terrible!

In 2010, I stumbled upon Nourishing Traditions and it changed my relationship with food forever.  I had been reading about coconut oil and all the wonderful things it can do for you, including boost your metabolism.  I have to say that changing to a high fat, moderate protein and lower carb diet was quite a transition for me.  The idea of actively seeking out fat and ADDING it to my diet had me nervous.  I was worried I was going to blow up even more than I already had.

I bought my first jar of coconut oil and forced myself to start eating it (even though it went against everything I thought was the right way to eat).  Well, it’s been 2 years and I haven’t gained any weight from adding fat and in fact, my weight is down.  It’s not a rapid weight loss miracle, but slowly and steadily, I was keeping weight off, not losing and gaining repeatedly.

I’ve got more to share about this subject, but I had a moment of extreme gratitude when I realized that I haven’t told myself “you better go hit the treadmill” or “you need to exercise for x amount of time” to make up for some item that I have just consumed.  In fact, it was awesome to realize that I allow myself to have dessert now without worrying about how much weight I’m going to gain.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time I tried to mentally calculate the calories or fat grams I’m eating.  I’m looking and feeling better than I have in a LONG time. And I think for the first time ever, I can really say I’m comfortable being me.

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