In the Beginning

It’s a love-hate relationship, being on a diet.

I absolutely love everything that results from specifically using the GAPS diet, from losing weight to increased energy, to no arthritis pain, to smoother skin and a fuller head of hair. I hate the GAPS diet so much that I can push it off, “starting” it for more than a year, it seems! The first few weeks are very difficult. I likened it to boot camp for both the mind and the body. Sometimes, feeling like crap seems better!  And, once you start, if you do the full GAPS introduction regime, there’s no going back.  I have personal testimony to this.  It’s hard core, but the principles are life changing…

First, let’s redefine what this blog and upcoming book are about.  While it is true that GAPS is a diet, I’m using it and other plans as a reset to maximize your body’s weight (in most cases, loss!).  I used these guidelines as a reset to my life, and, my weight.  My weight was a direct result of poor food choices and binge food eating of sugary treats.  For me, the GAPS diet was pivotal in resetting my ways, which lead to a healthier life, better food choices, no sugar addiction, and best of all, weight loss.  Therefore, I will be proactive and hope to change your perception of the process of losing weight:

Instead of using the ill-fitting term “diet,” I am redefining this choice term as a “reset.” 

I am a professed Foodie. The home cook kind due to having many boys to feed.  I would eat out at gourmet restaurants every day if I could afford it! Instead, I live vicariously through food magazines such as Savour and America’s Test Kitchen, Cook’s Illustrated, and I would love to spend my whole paycheck at Whole Foods. I simply cannot.

Through church, I met another Foodie. I like to call her My Martha Stewart because I can ask her anything and she knows how to do it the best tasting way and the old fashioned way. Her favorite cookbook is Nourishing Traditions, which happens to be a GAPS diet cookbook, of sorts. She grinds her own grains, grows her own eggs, has a winter garden, and cans everything and anything. Did you know that stinging nettle can be a substitute for vegetable broth? It has an amazing depth of flavor- just from one plant!

Her name is Heather. If you had never met Heather, you would never have known the changes that she has made to her life in relation to food. She, in fact, used to be well over 200 pounds but has lost the excess weight and kept it off for nearly two decades. She also treated Lyme’s disease and heavy metal poisoning all naturally. At one point, her feet were blue in the winter due to poor circulation and they almost had to amputate her toes.

Heather started her own company called Reset Your Ways where she was a lifestyle coach, helping other people overcome their weight by eating low glycemic foods. She helped me to see how important food is to our bodies on many levels, and how I can use it as a tool for change in both my body and in my mindset.

Sadly, and like many other people, I use food to soothe. The soothing eventually turned into a sugar addiction.  Sound silly and far-fetched that sugar is as addictive, acting like cocaine would in your system? Unfortunately, just like smoking was thought to be “safe” in the early 1900s, sugar addiction is real.  Over the past few years, major reputable news venues have even brought it into public light, as opposed to it being just an organics crowd movement.

 “Sugar is addictive. And we don’t mean addictive in that way that people talk about delicious foods.

We mean addictive, literally, in the same way as drugs.”

New York Times (Dec 2014)

It has been 3 years since I did the actual GAPS diet-as developed by Dr. Natasha-with Heather and a small group. I need to do it again. I don’t want to do it again. But I must: my arthritis is back, I’m tired all the time, I’m stress-eating all the time, and I’m just tired of this added weight that isn’t shed from exercising or “watching” what I eat (a few days at a time…oh look, a cookie!).  Not only have I seen the other side, I have enjoyed it. This blog and upcoming book are not only for your benefit as a reader and, hopefully, participant, but it is a motivational strategy for me.  I’m surprised at how many people do not know about how to apply the basics of any great diet, especially GAPS, to their specific needs as a way for losing weight, improving health, eliminating sugar, increasing energy, and restoring the body-all without exercise.

I’ve found that when I am overweight and exhausted and have no strength, doing even one exercise is depressing to me and I don’t continue because I can’t see the gains fast enough.

Realizing that men lose weight quicker than women, my husband lost 15 pounds in under 2 weeks on the GAPS full introductory regime. Three months after the full introductory GAPS diet, I was back to eating “normal” food and had lost 25 pounds. On my body, this equated to over 14 inches and I was no longer carrying around the weight of a toddler!

There are advantages and disadvantages to every type of diet or food reform available. Success is personal, and many times it’s trial and error to find something that works for your lifestyle and personality. I am NOT an extreme person or nor do I willingly enjoy exercise. The GAPS diet initially appealed to me because of my arthritis and its basics still appeal to me for that same reason. But, what I’ve found for me and my family is that incorporating the GAPS foods and choices into my life reap tremendous benefits that outweigh all of the short-term negatives that I experienced.

In this blog and upcoming book, my aim is to give you permission to take what works from my adaptations for losing weight, making your reset as straightforward and easy to follow as possible. For some, and probably most, the reset is complex based on “can and cannot” have foods. Since I have completed a reset once before, I am able to provide sound advice and helpful hints gleaned from immediate experience of “in the trenches” and more importantly, the beauty of hindsight.  I am a willing participant in some aspects the second time around, and know what to do sequentially for the maximum impact on my waistline and body health.  I’ve taken time to analyze the GAPS diet, the low glycemic index, and other food regimes and found links and adaptations to why they work scientifically in the body. Want to know why I’m resetting a second time? You’ll have to read the book!  :)

I am a researcher and program developer at heart. I love it. Can’t stop making organizational charts and tables, planners, and writing all about it!  My upcoming book will give you a variety of tools for a weight loss reset, with essentials outlined and a platform to make it personal.

There is no “one size fits all” diet or weight loss program that will address every person’s body. This Reset is an extremely effective and healthy way to lose weight using food that has long-term effects.

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