So I've always had a struggle trying to stay Paleo for many reason, a lot are my own problems. But I'm finding that the more I know about what others think about my attempts at eating a Paleo lifestyle, the more confused I am about my own body weight. People really don't like that I'm trying to eat this way. They think I eat very healthy when not eating Paleo and that my body is perfect the way it is. This then convinces me to have "give-up" days, as I call them, or days where I don't give a shit what I eat because no one cares how truly healthy I am.
I am a 5'6, 19 years old, female, and range from 175-180 lb. depending on the time of month. I believe it would be great to just to lose 25 lb. That would make me content with myself and put me in the normal range. I've been that weight once before and it felt good. My ultimate goal weight is 130. And I don't feel like these are unrealistic or too extreme goals.
Well, according to every single family or friend that I have, this lifestyle and those goals are nuts. "You're fine the way you are." "You have a healthy lifestyle already." (on eating gluten, dairy, whatever). My favorite so far has been "You are big-boned, you shouldn't lose that much." They even start getting angry at me for not listening to them! It doesn't matter what I say about being tired all the time, not being able to shop at certain stores at the mall because of how I look, how I can't reach any goals I make at Crossfit, how I'm always stress and hate how I look in general.
I just want some ideas on how I can convince them what I'm attempting to do is at least sane. So far, telling my loved ones that I don't feel good, that I am overweight on the BMI calculator, I'm not doing well at Crossfit, and any scientific/nutritional facts that I have mentioned has not worked so far. Or are these goals too much for me? My Crossfit coach told me that weight loss might be too much for me right now with college stress, Crossfit, and having to stick to campus dining. (I never understood this considering all the college kids that go to my Crossfit who are fit and can manage college just fine. Somehow they can do it, why can't I?)
And this is why you could not PAY me enough to be 19 again! I know it's hard not to care what others think of you at your age but try to work on that. If you do it right in 20 years you truly will not give a SH!T and I promise you it's the best feeling ever.
Do what feels right to you and don't waste your time or your breath trying to convince anyone else of anything that is none of their damn business to begin with. Yes this little problem is also your own doing so cut it out. Figure out what you want to do and go do it. You don't need anyone's understanding or acceptance of whatever you decide is right for you. You're 19 not 9. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, you are wasting precious resources trying to obtain this understanding and acceptance and it's holding you back. Stop it.
Adding this for Kelly.
Dorothy: Oh will you help me? Can you help me?
Glinda, the Good Witch of the North: You don't need to be helped any longer. You've always had the power to go back to Kansas. You've had it all along.
Dorothy: I have?
The Scarecrow: Then why didn't you tell her before?
Glinda, the Good Witch of the North: Because she wouldn't have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.
The Tin Man: What have you learned, Dorothy?
Dorothy: Well, I - I think that it - it wasn't enough to just want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em - and it's that - if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with!"
Glinda: Home is a place we all must find, child. It's not just a place where you eat or sleep. Home is knowing. Knowing your mind, knowing your heart, knowing your courage. If we know ourselves, we're always home, anywhere.
In some cases its simply jealousy. Some would rather you not succeed, would rather you stay a part of the herd. In the case of your crossfit coach, he has somewhat of a point. If you were concentrating on counting calories and doing weight watchers or some crap I would agree, but with paleo you should just be living it. Eat the right foods for health and just expect to reach your optimal weight. No extra stress and don't bother weighing in.
I'm so sorry you're not feeling supported. I totally get what you're pointing at, and I think there are several things at work:
Honestly, at this point, the best thing you can do is stop discussing it with folks who are undermining you and secretly in your best inside-voice tell everyone (including the industrial food complex) to eff off. Live your life the best way you know how and when everyone sees how vibrant and healthy you are, they will come around. It's easier to support results than supporting talk about something. Realize you're making the best decision for your life (probably saving it) and stick to it.
Go do it, girl!
I've had similar experiences. I'm fairly strong and muscular, and being in theatre has made me more mobile, especially when I do physical theatre, mime, etc. I told my mentor/professor about paleo and the goals that I have for losing fat and gaining muscle. Not only would I feel better, and thus perform better, I would look better too. She thought it was absurd. But I know I could lose more of my gut.
But I'm a 5'6" male, ~160 lbs (I don't weigh often). I used to be much heavier, nearly 300 lbs, with practically no muscle. So because I am making progress, people, especially in my grad school, seem to think I am fine.
What I have found helps is saying something like, "I don't want to be fine, I want to be at my best, so I've still got improvements to make." This way it isn't necessarily just about diet or exercise. Other than that, I've found just sticking to my guns makes the point for me. One colleague even commented on how it seemed I had gotten stronger and more defined in the time he knew me. If my goals seem unreasonable to others, I can at least show progress.
Bear in mind too, what is unreasonable for others -- especially if based on CW -- may not be for you. To some people, a good BMI while eating SAD means being healthy, and being paleo would be too "strict". But paleo people, like you and me, want to push beyond that.
My favorite is when someone you haven't seen in awhile says "You look great!"
Then you tell them, "Yes, I lost X pounds last month" (any number exceeding 10lbs)
And the response "Oh, that's too fast, that's not healthy is it?"
When I changed my diet I started letting them know my progress, after 3 months I had dropped 25 pounds from 175 to 150 my mother got worried, "aren't you losing too much? Are you going to keep on the diet now that you reach a nice point?
I never thought I'd ever stop eating this way except for the single cheat meal once a week. Never crossed my mind, but that was kind of an insight into her mindset on dieting. Reach a target, go back to normal. The same normal that caused the weight gain to begin with!
As it happens I didn't stop because I remembered how much I weighed when I was 18. 130-135 lbs as a hyper fit multisport athlete. I haven't stopped and I have no intention to change, I plateaued for a few months at around 147-148. I put back a few more carbs in my diet and I eventually started back on a slow drop over a few more months down to 138-140 today.
No one in my family asks anymore if I will return to eating the SAD. I'm that "Paleo" member of the family. But I'm the example now, one brother is dabbling, an uncle is on it now and has lost dozens of pounds is off statins and off diabetes meds, my mother is now trying to figure out how she can get on it. She runs a daycare in her home and has a home full of crackers and snacks and bread and jellies.
I went to the doctor for a routine checkup a couple of months before going Paleo. I was about 229 pounds, the heaviest I have ever been. My blood pressure was also a little high (130/90 I think).
The doctor told me my weight was "fine", said my BP was "nothing to worry about". I mentioned some other minor issued I had been having -- GERD, sore muscles and joints, minor skin irritations, etc. and she was nonplussed. At the time I was suffering from a lot of stress and borderline depression, for which I asked for meds, but she declined (probably a good thing).
Coincidentally, a couple of months later I went Paleo and, soon after, changed my exercise regimen. I lost about 25 pounds, my blood pressure came down 10 points, and a long list of minor health problems went away. I felt amazingly great. Lots more energy, better sleep, better exercise, perfect skin, etc.
After a while it really struck me that I was basically overweight and unhealthy there in the doctor's office, and the damned doctor didn't say a thing about it. 6'0" and 229 pounds is borderline obese, my blood pressure and general health were far from perfect. And all it took was some relatively simple dietary changes to totally change my health.
This really made me realize the truth of not settling for less than optimal health. Being healthy is not just being able to get out of bed in the morning. Optimal health is being fit, happy, healthy, muscular, lean, with a good mood, good appetite, good sex drive, and lots of positive energy that gives you a positive view on life. Anyone who gives you health advice that is not telling you to do this is doing you a disservice.
Great attitude:"Somehow they can do it, why can't I?"
My attitude towards anything has always been very similar. People attitudes are too defeated in their attitudes. I switched too paleo about 1.5 years ago after toying with it on and off and people gave me crap for a few months. Then after a dramatic change in physique, everyone starts asking for diet advice.
When you say I am unhealthy to a SAD dieter, many people hear that you think they are unhealthy as well. So when they fight you on you currently being healthy, they are justifying their own habits. I try to tell people that they don't have to be sick all the time or putting on weight is not just a consequence of getting older.
I would tell my crossfit coach: Here are my goals. Can you help me get there? (I did and how I got tossed out of a box, but that's not for here ) If he says no, go to someone else. It's ridiculous to think, you cannot drop weight and do college.
I weighed about the same as you when I started paleo and even had comments from others like you (big boned, you look good as is, yada, yada). I am now holding at 135 for about a year now. I have found people do not like it when others experience weight loss success. Now I get people telling me not to get "too skinny." However, I could never go back to eating the way that I used to think was healthy. Plus, my drs are amazed at blood work numbers. So what I am trying to tell you is don't let others sabotage you just because they don't want to look overweight. Do what you know you need to do to make you feel good.
My entire southern family. When I'm at my happiest weight (5'5", between 120 and 125 lbs, 25" waist) they think I'm underfed. When I think I'm overweight (add 10 lbs or more) they think I'm healthy. I think it's a southern thing for them, at least. My husband used to tell me to gain some weight, too, until I did, lost my body confidence, and didn't want to be sexy for him bc I wasn't feeling it. I don't think he'll be complaining again when I'm back to my goal weight. ;)
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