“You look great!”

The nice people I see everyday have apparently started to notice that I look different, and have told me so.  They have been very sweet and complimentary.  It’s a small office, so everyone knows that I have been going to the gym most work-days, for almost 2 years. The real differences only arrived recently, with the implementation of a paleo diet.

I will take those compliments and run with them, but the truth is that I get credit for exercising, I get credit for researching dietary solutions, but paleo must get the real credit.

In the past, I have been “model skinny” and I have been “obese”…  Most recently, when I was was very noticeably overweight (BMI score greater than 30), I came to realized that people make a lot of automatic assumptions about a large person’s health (“unhealthy”) and character (lazy, gluttonous, poor self control).  I think I started to make those character assumptions about myself, whenI kept failing no matter how hard I was working to be “good”!

Now, when people say things like “you’ve been working SO HARD” I have to stop myself from launching into full-out paleo evangelism.

The truth is that paleo has been SO EASY for me to implement, because it feels physically great to eat this way, it makes me happy to eat this way, and the food tastes wonderful.  Food planning does take a little more work, and my grocery bill is higher. However, shopping itself is easier:  I don’t have to read labels because most often I am buying the stuff without a label, and I skip most of the aisles of non-food crap.

After the compliments, people often ask what I am doing to lose the weight.  I try not to launch into a Paleo diatribe.  I have stopped even saying the word “paleo” or “caveman” because of the weird look people get on their faces or how they seem to immediately check out of the conversation… It’s bizarre.

Instead, I say, “I exercise, I started eating more protein, and I cut out sugar, dairy, grains, starches, legumes, and processed foods.”

More than once, a wide-eyed response has been: “Wow. So what DO you eat?

Or, members of the Pasta Patrol who say: “But how do you get any carbohydrates or fiber?”

Or, the Bean Bunch: “The other stuff I get, but what’s wrong with legumes?!”

Or, the Fast Food Fanciers:  “Wow, that’s great, but I could NEVER give up pizza or cheeseburgers or ice cream or cheese!”

The answers to the responses are:  1) I eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, healthy fats and minimally-processed proteins like omega-3 eggs, grass-fed beef and chicken; 2) fruits and veggies have plenty enough carbohydrates and fiber for me; 3) I do miss my beans but they don’t really agree with me; and 4) I thought the same thing about pizza and cheeseburgers, but I actually don’t miss them because I realize they make me feel yucky/ill.

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