December 28, 2011

On the Edge of the Precipice

A little dramatic with the title, don't you think? After all, I am a pudgy grandma and not the type you'd imagine standing on the edge of a precipice.

And yet I am. After a life of binge eating and yo-yo dieting, it appears I've finally found the solution in ancestral eating. It took months, but I can now "hear" the signals my body gives when I eat good/bad things.

I've done so well in 2011 that I deliberately chose to splurge for the holidays. In the past, I had to be perfect on any diet because the first time I "fell off the wagon" it was the beginning of a binge that lasted until I regained all my weight back and then continued on to an even higher weight. I need to know if that has really changed. So, on November 15th I officially declared an "open eating" season.

So far, so good, but I'd be lying if I pretended not to be nervous about the upcoming end of open season on January 3rd. 

On the good side, I have had a specific treat or two on a given day rather than anything close to a binge and I have comfortably had no treats at all on many days. I made a bad choice when I tested my wheat tolerance with shortbread, but home-made eggnog and 85% chocolate were fine. I even ate ice cream once and nothing terrible happened. Extra fruit on my yogurt has just been extra fruit. On the bad side, though, I have been thinking about food more and have noticed that I'm feeling cravings late in the day sometimes although I easily ignore them.

So here I stand, knowing I can either turn and walk away toward the healthy ancestral eating that resulted in the loss of half my excess body fat OR I can throw myself off the cliff and dive into bags and boxes of processed foods. Obviously, my rational side fully intends to turn and walk away but that other, compulsive and self-destructive side is hovering near the edge. 
Why did I put myself at risk? Well, I want it all. I want to have an occasional treat and still reach and maintain a normal weight. I want to know that my inner shadows are under control. I want to be able to relax and celebrate major holidays confident in the knowledge that I can and will return to sensible eating.

January 3rd is coming. We'll see what happens then.


  1. I thought you were going until your birthday?

    That precipice is a deeply scary place to be isn't it?... and there are an awful lot of us there with you :-)
    My advice? - be as kind to yourself as you are when you give advice to others. It was your continuous kindness on PaleoHacks that made me want to know you better, after all :-)
    You've been eating badly for years (as have I) - and this Primal thing is new to us both... those inner shadows will probably lurk a little longer, but stick with Primal for just one more day Nance... and then just one more day after that... slowly, slowly, catchee monkey...

  2. Assuming all goes well, I'll take a one-day break on my birthday. After all, I HAVE to celebrate the big 65, right? Thanks so much for your kind words and thoughts. I decided to do the post just in case there are others walking the edge right now who might stumble upon my post. We can help each other find our way. FYI, on Jan 3rd I'll start a post that I'll update daily as I work through the post-holiday challenge.

  3. Kathleen Conway12/29/11, 2:22 PM

    I agree with JanetNZ when she wrote "be as kind to yourself as you are when you give advice to others. It was your continuous kindness on PaleoHacks that made me want to know you better, after all :-)"

    Don't jump! If you jump, then you might not continue your blog. I love your blog. I check it daily to see if you have written anything new. I think there are many 50 plus women in the Paleo sphere who avidly read your blog.

    I am 56 and began eating Paleo last February. Before Paleo, I had constant pain and stiffness for several years due to Rheumatoid Arthritis. Now, the only time RA bothers me is in my finger joints when I first awaken. I ride my bike, hike, and enjoy life so much more than I did before starting this new way of life/eating. I sometimes feel as though I've turned back the hands of time.

    So far, I've not experienced too many temptations, but I suppose that's because I love being pain-free more than I love (fill in the blank with whichever non-Paleo treat food you desire). I'll bet your improvements far outweigh your urge to leap off the precipice, Nance. So, once again, don't jump!

  4. Thanks so much, Kathleen. Just think! As you're only 56 you can look forward to many pain-free years now! My joint pain also improved drastically when I stopped eating wheat and sugar.

    I hope I'm right that I wrote the post because I could sense myself approaching the edge rather than because I felt an urge to jump. In fact, I think I'm feeling a desire to "go home" to ancestral eating and I think I'm done with splurges--except maybe eggnog on New Years. :-))