Everett turned 34 two weeks ago. It was kind of a bad day to do any type of celebrating, because it was a Wednesday. There’s really nothing wrong with Wednesdays themselves, it’s just that Wednesdays are days that Everett works all day. First he’s an attorney, and then he goes to his twice-a-week class that he teaches at Strayer University. He was gone from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.
We’d had a family get together the Sunday before, so he’s already “really” celebrated. I don’t know if your husbands are like this, but my husband NEVER wants any birthday presents from me. He tells me everytime I bring it up to NOT spend any money on him, he’d rather just save it. Every year, I don’t listen to him. I get him stuff, and he likes it, but I can tell he could take or leave the presents.
This year, I decided I’d listen to him. Besides a gag gift of a Mega Nerf gun that Jackson picked out, all he got was a promise from me. To do 30 days of the Paleo diet with him.
30 days, no problem, right? It’s free and he wants to try it out.
You see, Ev’s been on this solo journey since 2012. He’s totally going to hate that I’m writing about this. The day after Thanksgiving that year, he decided he didn’t want to be overweight anymore. Together, we’ve tried working out and diets, but nothing really ever stuck. So, he started eating less carbs. And he started working out. Pretty soon, he’d lost 65 lbs.
My husband had the willpower to eat low carb AND exercise for over two years. In that time…I cheered his success by gaining 20 lbs myself. Wait a second, I think I tilted the scales the wrong way.
So Paleo diet? Sure. I could kill two birds with one stone. Lose weight and give a free birthday present.
You probably want to know: what’s on the Paleo diet? Lean meat, fruits, vegetables and nuts. Sounds totally easy and doable, right? What I didn’t really grasp was how hard it would be to have no dairy, no gluten, no legumes and no sugar. Let me just translate that to you. It’s basically NO FUN.
By dinner time on Day 1, I was whining. I woke up Day 2 with a headache, so whining gave way to glares and pouting. The third day, my thoughts turned to murder.
Did I mention that I hate dieting? I HATE DIETING. I know I sound whiny, but there’s really only so many nuts and berries one can eat before they want anything that’s NOT a nut or berry.
On the radio Wednesday morning, the DJs were debating regular Oreos versus double stuff Oreos. DEAR GOD, all I could think of after that were Oreos. And milk. And maybe an Oreo milkshake.
Instead I had a salad with no salad dressing. Waaaaaaah.
Today is day 12. I’m still whining but I “get” the idea behind this diet now. I see how food is considered fuel, and there are real benefits to trying new fruits and veggies I couldn’t pick out of a grocery store line up without a sign.
The thing is, I’ve never really had the best relationship with my body. Most girls run into this. My brother and sister were always completely trim growing up, but I had to work hard for my size 10.
Lately I’ve been muffin-topping my fat jeans. Is it my thirties metabolism greeting me hello? Or is it bad habits that I’ve acquired from years of stress eating? Who knows. Maybe a blend of both.
I remember the exact moment when I stepped on a scale in middle school and the scale read OVER 100 lbs. I was at my grandparents house, standing by the kitchen table. My uncle, who has been blind since birth, had just gotten a talking scale. I’d brought it into the kitchen to try it out. I can still hear the talking voice saying, “You…weigh….one hundred…one pounds.”
Well, I cried. It seemed like so much weight to me at the time. I’d look like Rachel Zoe if I weighed that now! My grandma always had the best words to say to me. She told me that she’d gotten on the scale and it didn’t tell her her weight, it had just said screamed.
Geez, I miss her.
It makes me dread that Jackson and Abby might go through this one day, too. Jackson is already showing some signs of insecurity about his tummy because of his large scar where they removed his cancer. And little Abby. We prayed for so long that Abby would gain weight. What happens the day she weighs over 100 lbs and cries? Do I just get out the Oreos and welcome her to the Hundred Club? How do you guide your children when their weaknesses are the same are yours? I don’t have an answer to that.
I’ve done a lot of hangry thinking these past two weeks. Right now, I feel really deprived, and that’s no way to live your life. However, I don’t mind it as much today as I did on Day 1. But I feel like we’ve got to give our kids a love for their bodies, a love for all the amazing things God’s given us the ability to do with our bodies and a love for Oreos. We are the exact way that God made us.
And God made Oreos, too.