Friday, August 7, 2009

The Experiment Ends, The Journey Continues . . . .

So, it’s two days past the month point since I started my grand experiment. What do I have to say about it?

Here’s the recap for those of you who are coming late to the blog: Starting July 5, I was to abstain from eating breads, grains, starchy vegetables, breaded foods, and all sweeteners except agave nectar. During the month, I have been submitting almost weekly reports detailing my progress, more or less. Now that the month has ended, it’s time for me to draw some conclusions.

I was told I would experience weight loss, an overall improvement in my mood, and a diminution of inflammation in my body, all leading to pain reduction and improved general health.

What I haven’t seen is the improvement in mood, and I’m only beginning to notice a possible loss of maybe a few pounds. I cannot yet get back into anything I had to sop wearing from my last weight gain, and honestly, it’s gonna be awhile before I see enough of that weight go to get back into those clothes. But I’m hopeful.

What I have seen, however, is reason enough for me to continue this manner of eating for the foreseeable future. I have experienced improvement in breathing under exertion, i.e., I’m not short of breath anymore just from walking. Getting up from lying and sitting positions after prolonged stillness is significantly easier, irrespective of the time of day. The most heartening change, however, has been the diminution of the pain in my back when I walk. Yes, it still hurts a lot, and I still can’t walk very fast; but I can walk farther before it gets bad, it doesn’t get as bad, and I retain more strength and energy and recover more quickly when I return home at the end of a trip of errands. And today I discovered that if I take care to land my steps gently, I can reduce the pain by yet a little more.

I still do not find that I much miss the foods I’ve eliminated, as long as I choose well from the plenty of other things that I can eat. Being able to indulge in agave-sweetened frozen custard that I make myself has gone a long way toward helping me not miss other forms of sweets, enough so that I totally do not mind the exorbitant price of the agave nectar. And I’m hopeful that things will continue to improve.

The challenge now is to be careful to read the ingredients on packaged foods before I drop them into my grocery cart. I discovered the importance of this when I purchased two bags of beef jerky this week. I bought them not thinking about the fact they were processed snacks and therefore likely to have sugar. Alas, when I read the ingredients after eating some of it, I discovered that they are made with sugar, corn syrup solids, and maltodextrin, which is a sugar derived from corn. So now I’m on the hunt for jerky not made with sweeteners.

So, the journey continues. And I hope you’ll continue to tag along with me.

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