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I've lost 156 pounds!

And that's no lie.  It is a little known secret that since the Lounge launched a year ago, I Little_fat_fairy have lost 156 pounds.  That is the good news.  The bad news is that I have collectively gained 163 pounds in the same period of time.  I have lost and gain some number of the same seven pounds on my body over 55 times.   Running and weight loss has been a constant losing battle for me with the little fat fairy.  Up until last month.

A month ago this week my husband, Jim, started on a new diet.  And I found myself on this diet by association.  Jim suffers from and has tried to manage his Crohn's disease for almost 20 years.  He has been through almost every treatment, test, surgery and medical option for it and it still persists.   He hit a real low point with the disease this summer and decided to try something else - anything else - instead of going back to the doctor and more medicine or surgery.  After alot of research he found and decided to try a special diet for Crohns, IBD and Ulcertive Colitis patients called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.  This diet is a gluten free, lactose free, sucrose free diet.  What is left you wonder?  Pretty much just fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat and a special homemade yogurt.  All sugars, starches, grains, pastas, breads, and chocolates are gone.  This diet doesn't fool around.

And while I don't recommend the diet is perfect for runners,*  I mention it as context of the lessons it has taught me in the last 30 days.  It is the lessons of this diet that has helped me lose real pounds, consecutively.

Lesson #1:  Read the labels of everything you eat.  Because this diet is so strict, I found myself reading every label to ensure I brought home only "legal" items.   And in the process I found out that I have been putting alot of things in my body that I didn't know about or need to have.  Sugar and/or starch is in everything.

Lesson #2:  A little bit of sugar might make me nice but it adds up into alot of extra weight.  By cutting out all sucrose, dextrose, etc and relying only on natural sugars (from fruit or honey), I found myself easily losing weight and being fuller faster and longer.

Lesson #3:  If it's not in the house, I won't eat it.  If I don't eat it, I lose weight.  I know, I know - it sounds so basic but it is so important.  We dumped most of the tempting food to make it easier for Jim (who had been a junk food junkie).  But in the process, I found out all my bad habits too.  I found myself trolling the kitchen at night looking for a forgotten bag of candy or chips stashed in the back of cabinets.  It was really quite pitiful.

Lesson #4:  Fresh stuff tastes better. Cooking with fresh fruits and vegetables just tastes better.  The flavors are wonderful and its fun mixing up new things.  It is more satifying.

Lesson #5:  Eating good stuff brings mental clarity.  Both Jim and I have noticed that eating more fresh fruits and vegetables seems to have a good side effect - our minds are working better.

Lesson #6:  A good diet isn't a fad or short term solution - it is a change of habit and tradition.   I am not going to lie, the first 3 weeks were really, really hard.  And quite honestly, it is still really hard.  This diet is changing how we think about food, how we use food and the role food plays in our life.  We have had to rethink how we handle and plan for meals, how we handle eating out, and family outings.   Food is wonderful, but we find that it doesn't always need to be at the center of everything we do and I think that is a bit healthier.

Lesson #7:  It takes a while to form a good habit.  The old saying, "21 days to a habit" is true.  At 21 days we food a routine or groove that we could live with.  We stopped fighting against the principles and working with them.  Change a habit for 21 days.  And then persist with your good habits.  And for support of your 21 day habit, check out Jenn's 21 Day Habit Challenge.

Lesson #8:  Find a friend.  Because this was such a change, I turned to a good friend for help - the blogosphere.  With a quick blog search of "Crohns + Specific Carbohydrate Diet" I was connected to bloggers with alot of information to share of how they live with this diet.  Without these bloggers, I don't know if I could have supported Jim with this diet. 

Back in the running world, so many runners deal with weight loss issues, it isn't hard to find one.  In the Lounge, you can watch the progress of Viv's Marathon Season Weight Loss Challenge or also do a search for runners with "Weight Loss" in their Running Topics.

* NOTE:  Jim signed up for his diet challenge by agreeing to try it 30 days - to see if it really could control a disease that has proven, until this point, to be uncontrollable.  And the great news (outside of my weight loss) is that the diet is working for him!   It is controlling or has eliminated many of the symptoms he has had with Crohn's for many years.  So on and on our adventure continues.    I am not a doctor, so I won't recommend the diet to others with Crohns.  Each person has a different issue with the disease.  But I would recommend that you research it and make the decision for yourself. 

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Comments

Bill Carter

Great post Amy

Everything we eat has an impact on how we feel both physically and mentally. I hope everything will work out for Jim as Crohn's is a very serious disease, but your family has learned something that far too few will ever know. It is not hard to eat healthy, but in our rush/rush society with endless advertisements for really unhealthy food there are temptations to have a poor diet.

Best of luck to you and your family and the healthy food choices you make will certainly pay off.

Jamie

I used to work on drug trials for Crohn's so I know how horrible the disease can be. It's good to hear your husband has found a non-drug/non-medical procedure to help ease the problems as there is no cure. And a added benefit for you too!

Lauralou

Great post Amy, you have taken a very balanced approach. I really admire you two for sticking to the diet! I'm struck by how the points you have made are just common sense when you thinks about it, so should in theory be easy for us all to stick to, especially runners who are generally health conscience, but it takes real dedication to do this long-term. I get inspired by stories like this and go "yeah, I should eat like that from now on" and yet two days later someone offers me a PBJ and it's all forgotten.....

Lauralou

Oops, can't spell conscious!

Lacey

Wow! You know that takes a lot to stick to, I can't even imagine. You are lucky that you and Jim have each other for support. I think most people try to make changes and form new habits by themselves, and this is just plain difficult. Very good point about the blogosphere for support. Thanks for the post!!

J.C.

Wow, congrats on the weight loss. I've just started running myself--entirely so I can run in a half marathon for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation in January.

I'm actually running a little contest on my blog right now to raise money for the CCFA. I'd love it if you'd stop by and check it out:

http://jcnemecek.com/grosvenor/?p=445

Database Diva

Losing weight is cool, but finding a way to manage a debilitating medical problem without drugs is AWESOME! Congratulations to both of you.

pat monahan

congrats to Jim for finding a diet that works. I've been limiting my carbs and have lost a bunch of weight. I don't have any cravings either. Last night my daughter made peanut butter cookies and I didn't want any of them. No white flour, no sugar, very little carbs works for me.

grammarian

"alot" is not a word.

Nat

I know someone who was on that diet, and it worked wonders in controlling her colitis. I think we all know cutting out/down on refined sugar makes one hell of a huge difference in how we feel.

(So tell me... are you sneaking cookies? ;) )

Andrew is getting fit

Hmm...it seems to me that when I was consistently losing weight I was on Jim's diet!

suzee

Believe it or not, Weight Watchers taught me many of those same lessons! Good food is good for you, and it fills you up.

Congrats to you and YAY for Jim. Crohn's is the worst.

Nancy

YAY - so glad there are multiple benefits. How much have you lost? Will I recognize you??

Ruth

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Ruth

http://www.infrared-sauna-spot.info

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