So what have been the results of putting these learnings into practice? Well, I feel better but that's not very helpful to you, is it? Let's break it down.
1. Weight Loss
I have lost nearly 20 pounds at a gentle, continuous pace. That's like not carrying around 2 and a half gallons of water. I'm nowhere near a target weight but that's an excellent start if I do say so myself.
2. Clear Skin
I have always struggled with adult acne on my face and neck. That has all gone away.
3. Hunger is better regulated
Now that I snack healthy and often and now that my meals are full of fiber from significantly more vegetables, I stay comfortably full longer. When mealtime comes, I'm ready for it but I don't feel like I'm starving to death. This allows me to eat a reasonable portion and get on with my day. This stands in stark contrast to the sugar and carb loading I would do which would result in crash and crave feelings that would lead me to the next sugar and carb loading. When it comes to food intake now, I feel significantly more in control and capable of making good decisions. The sugar crash from donut #1 no longer leads me to donut #2 and #3.
4. Anxiety is reduced
I knew I was eating unhealthy. I was just ignoring it. Every donut, every cheese-whiz laced sandwich from WhichWich that went down… I knew it. I hated going to the doctor for any reason. Their root cause was always the same. Lose weight and eat better. I could go in with an infected hangnail and they'd come up with some way to connect it to what I eat or how much I weigh. I have no reason to go to the doctor at this point. I feel pretty good despite the sick kids around me but, when I do need to go, I won't worry about getting the same lecture. I also won't have to listen to the same lecture from my conscience each day. Every apple, every celery stalk, every meat-and-veggie meal I eat is a victory that increases my overall sense of self-control and happiness.
5. I am not on a diet
I am eating food. Real food. Lots of it. I eat lots of meat. Animals cross to the other side of the street when they see me. Bacon is on the menu. I have options all around me that are tasty, convenient and healthy. I enjoy veggies more because they are crunchy, filling and go very well with piles of meat. I am not following lists, counting anything or journaling what I eat.
So what are the rules then? What are the guidelines that I now find myself living by? It's simple, really. If God put the item in question on this earth to be eaten then I eat it without worry and I make sure to enjoy the wide variety He has made available. Strawberries and bananas grow so that predators will eat them and distribute their seeds. I am a predator. I will leave the seed distribution to other creatures, but strawberries and bananas are on the menu. Peanuts contain lectins which are bad for us so, not surprisingly, peanuts grow underground as a defense mechanism to avoid being eaten. So I avoid peanuts when I can. God said without debate that the animals are here for our use. Pigs walk around looking delicious and contain the same basic stuff that I'm made of. I eat pigs. Cow milk is made for baby cows, not for me, so I avoid fresh dairy when I can. No one eats wheat right out of the fields. Grains have to be highly processed in order to turn them something that can be made into food. So I avoid grains when I can. I'm sure someone could figure out a way to make muffins out of recycled car tires and they might turn out to be delicious but that doesn't mean we should eat them.
I was built by God to be compatible with the food He has provided for me to eat. If I pursue those foods, things work out better for me. Why this has suddenly come as a shock to me as I approach my 40th year on this planet is a mystery. I am quite intelligent, but often not very smart.
My hope is that this post empowers you to look down at the food that you're about to put into your face. Eat what you want and be happy, but before you put hand to face, consider a few things. Where did it come from? How did it get to you? Is it food or is it something that some chemist figured out how to turn into food?
Think then bite.
That's the only real advice I have to offer.