Paleo Success Story: From Food Obsessed to Fulfilled
From Grass Fed Girl:
I met Natalie a few years ago. She is a young, fit and beautiful girl who is so full of life and energy. When she came to me she was craving sugar all the time and she had some insecurities about her eating habits. She was terrified of fat and she obsessed about counting calories. She spent countless hours in the gym beating her self up for her perceived indulgences. I am so glad I was able to help her find some peace with food and her body image.
Paleo Success Story: From Food Obsessed to Fulfilled
My diet craziness all started way back when I hit puberty: I went from being a chubby kid to hitting my growth spurt and losing weight. It was nice to finally not be chubby but this realization led to my obsession with food and exercise. At first I started experimenting with dieting, eating less or not eating at all. I started exercising all the time and binge eating when no one was watching. I learned from magazines how to diet and lose weight which included eating protein bars and drink slim fast drinks. I bought diet pills but luckily my fear of taking medicine won out and I never fully got into the whole diet pill thing.
Then I thought I should become a vegetarian, which seemed
like a great idea at the time, until it took a toll on my mind and body. I still to this
day don’t know how I made it for 2 years. I was exhausted, moody, irritable and
The day I ate my first piece of meat was the happiest day of my life. Once I started eating meat again I needed to try something new so, I learned to count calories. This became a huge obsession; I knew how many calories everything that I ate had in it.
I couldn’t eat anything that was cooked until I measured each ingredient. I decided that packaged food was the easiest because it provided the amount of calories (What a mistake that was!). If I knew how many calories I could eat per day that made it easier to save most of my calories for the fun times. I would eat very little throughout the day and save all my calories for the evening in front of the TV or for the weekends. This unhealthy cycle became an obsession that completely took over my life.
That was when I decided I needed help. I tried seeing a few nutritionist/personal trainers at the gym that would talk to me for about 5-10 min and then went straight to working out. No change I was still obsessing about working out and the food I ate. I knew how to work out, that wasn’t the problem. The problem was my relationship with food and what I was seeing when I looked in the mirror. I was obsessing about what I ate and over exercising which made me feel more my mind feel in control but my body feel miserable.
Trying something new:
I found Caitlin through Yelp and decided to give her a try. I was hesitant at first and asked (before signing up for 6 sessions) if we could do just one so I could make sure she wasn’t like all the other. From the first session I knew she was different. She talked to me the whole hour and we didn’t work out at all. When I left I was confused did I like her or not… we didn’t work out, I didn’t sweat, this was a bad day.
After coming home and doing my workout I started thinking maybe she really cares, why else would she talk to me about me for one hour. So I signed up for the 6 sessions and completely changed my life around. I stopped counting calories and started exercising less. At first it was such a shock and drastic change but I knew that’s what needed to be done.
Caitlin recommended going Paleo, which I decided to give a try for 30 days. I thought it was going to be super hard but it turned out to be manageable. The first week or so was the hardest because I was moody and tired. Good thing I knew this before going in so I was able to warn my loved ones this might happen. After the first week I felt re-energized like a brand new person.
I had tons of energy and free time (since I didn’t workout as often and didn’t have to waste time counting calories). My free time gave me the opportunity to start cooking. My husband was in shock all I knew how to make before was eggs and anything in a package that I could heat up.
We bought new appliances and as I learned where to shop and foods to buy I began cooking more and more. All meals were prepared in advance so that there wouldn’t be a chance to fail or slip up. My husband loved this new way of eating: red meat, organ meats, eggs, veggies, sweet potato etc (no more tofu ). We even made our visit to the farmers market a fun Saturday adventure. Everyone around me was shocked at my new found love for cooking. Honestly I was probably the most shocked, but I loved it.
Moving to Thailand
Fast forward to me now, about a year and a half since I met with Caitlin and changed my life around. My husband and I (and Kobe our 2.5 year old lab) are currently living in Thailand. We decided to move to Phuket for about a year to experience a different lifestyle. I quit my job, took my school with me (I am currently a distance student at Bauman College studying holistic nutrition, hoping to one day help others learn to appreciate food and what it does for our body) and made the move across the world.
At first it was really hard adjusting here with the new food, we didn’t know where to shop and where to buy organic. Living here now for 5 months we have made it work for us. We found an organic store that delivers at no charge to our house where we buy our chicken, eggs, and veggies. We also found a supermarket that has quality meats from Australia. We drink and eat fresh cold coconuts everyday. Since we don’t have berries here (totally sucks) we get our fruit antioxidants from mangosteens (my favorite!).
What about fish?
I know you guys may be thinking what about the fish…well that’s were we have had some issue. I have not been able to definitively find wild fish here.Although Thailand is the biggest exporter of fish to the US it is hard to know which fish is wild and which is not. We did however stumble upon organic salmon from Scotland. We are continuing to eat fish here like the locals do because if there are two things that make Thai people healthy it is their high levels of omega 3 and coconuts. We won’t be here much longer but once we get back the first thing I’m eating is wild sardines! (Find sustainable fish here).
The vitamin D from the sun and the laid back environment will have to counterbalance anything bad we’re ingesting. I am super excited to say that I have stopped using toxic face and body lotions and have switched to using my coconut oil as my moisturizer for face and body. It’s nice to be able to cook and moisturize at the same time (lol).
Overall, Paleo has definitely changed my life and Caitlin has definitely changed my outlook on life. I eat 3 meals a day now with protein, fat and veggies. I exercise 3-4 days a week and sometimes swim, if I don’t mind getting my hair wet. I have stopped snacking and obsessing about my next meal. I love cooking everyday, which it is easier here since I don’t have to leave the house to work.
Natalie plans to start a blog asap so we can all follow her cooking, traveling and eating adventures.
Do you want to eat like Natalie?
Get this great e-book for getting started on a grain free Paleo lifestyle!