My Paleo Eating Journal

Goal Check-in: a healthy weight

Posted on: June 23, 2011

As mentioned in the intro to my last post, I had two goals when I started this diet. I’ve already talked about my “sugar addiction”, so today I’m going to talk about weight.

I’ve never really struggled with my weight, not like many people do. On occasion I’ve gained about 10 lbs and then somehow managed to lose it when sufficiently motivated – usually this meant instituting some exercise plan (back in those days it was aerobics videos like Jane Fonda, or Step Aerobics, which I’d do with my roommates) and denying myself food and going hungry (I’ll never forget the SlimFast diet – ugh!). I was never able to maintain the exercise part, even when I joined a gym – for me it soon became a drag to feel that I *had* to engage in seemingly pointless physical exertion several times a week. I much prefer living a life that is inherently active, such as here on our little homestead with all the chores that need to be done, and an active dog that needs to be exercised. Give me a walk in the forest or a ride along the trail any day, rather than moving my body around starting at walls or screens. With respect to the hunger part, it doesn’t really matter what “they” say you should be eating in terms of calories if you are finding yourself hungry during the day. It’s distracting, depressing, and I don’t believe it is a sustainable way to live, let alone a healthy one.

I did have one period in my life where I gained 25 lbs. I was in a deteriorating relationship and possibly suffering from mild depression. I was “treating myself” pretty much every day, not paying much attention to what I ate or frankly what I looked like, and so I gained a lot of weight despite the fact that I was running regularly during this time. When the relationship finally ended I cut out all the junk and lost the 25 lbs within about 3 months. However, things were still rocky and I was smoking cigarettes a lot so I was able to get down to 137 lbs, which looked very good on me. When I got over things and stopped smoking I gained a bit of weight. I decided that 142 lbs was a good goal weight for me because I could maintain it without going hungry so long as I stayed away from the chocolate bars and cinnamon buns.

Fast forward to now. When I started this diet I weighed 155 lbs. That’s the most I’ve weighed in a few years and I was not happy about it. But simply cutting out the sweet stuff and the treats didn’t seem to be helping. I was even running up until about a year ago, and that wasn’t helping either despite doing 20 – 25 km per week. My current plan seems to be working well – I don’t do any more exercise than what is part of my regular lifestyle, I don’t count calories and I definitely don’t go hungry. Of course, with an properly-functioning satiety mechanism I’m actually eating when I’m hungry, not when my blood sugar is crashing, and I’m stopping when I’m satisfied, not when I’m stuffed. I’m losing an average of 1.5 – 2 pounds per week which seems a healthy rate to me.

The remaining issue is: what is my goal weight? I have always felt pretty good at 142 but I weighed a lot less in my twenties and I wanted to see how my stats compared to the average. According to this chart, my 5’5.5″ of height puts me around the 60th percentile among women my age. According to this chart my start weight of 155 lbs put me around the 55th percentile for women my age. However, I don’t know how they arrive at these average weights – do they reflect the current obesity epidemic? And why do we gain weight as we get older, despite not growing anymore?

So I also consulted this BMI chart  and my height and start weight netted me a BMI of 26, which is above the 25 cutoff for “good health”. My goal weight of 142 lbs puts me squarely in the “healthy” category. But my question now is: how low can I go? According to this chart my medium frame should have me in the range of 127 – 141 lbs so theoretically I can plateau somewhere in there and be at a healthy weight for my height and frame. I’m going to wait until my weight loss reaches a plateau to determine where my “end point” is on this eating plan. I could even tweak it a bit more – I eat a fair amount of berries each day, and I probably eat more nuts and seeds than I do meat. But I’m not sure I’ll bother. I’m already feeling so much better in my clothes. I’m not interested in attaining somebody else’s idea of what I’m supposed to weigh. If I feel great and look good in my clothes I’ll consider it all a success!


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The Basics

My way of eating is based on a Paleo/Primal diet and is comprised mainly of saturated animal fat (grass-fed meat, pastured eggs, butter), nuts and seeds (almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, coconut, pumpkin seeds) and their oils (coconut oil, avocado oil) and lots of vegetables and fruit. I eat virtually no sugar (other than that contained naturally in fruit), potatoes or sweet potatoes, beans or legumes, and no grains or grain products.

Weight Loss Tracker

Start date: May 13, 2011
Total weight loss (updated every Sunday): 19.5 lbs

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