Hello all! Welcome to my site!
This blog started in an effort to keep my friends from “un-friending” me on Facebook for constantly posting updates and photos of what I was making for dinner every night. I’ve always like to cook and when I’m feeling really passionate about something I tend to gab about it non-stop, so blogging about my adventures in paleo cooking seemed like a good fit for me. Hopefully you’ll find something here you like. I’m still a newbie to the paleo lifestyle so feel free to comment with tips or your stories.
My name is Tricia Cosgrove and here is a little bit of my story. While this isn’t a weight loss blog, I wanted to share a little bit of where I’ve been because that’s what has brought me to where I am now.
I am 38 years old. I’ve been overweight my entire life. I gradually started making changes about 13 years ago. Back then I lost a fair bit of weight (although only about half of what I needed to). Since then it has been a bit of a rollercoaster. I’d have success when I was being very strict about counting calories and working out a ton. But every time I’d gain it right back — plus some.
I pretty much knew nothing about food and nutrition when I started. Over the years I picked up pieces of knowledge here and there (some wrong, some right). About 4 years ago, I got started doing more serious reading about nutrition. I thought I’d finally gotten it right. I knew all about the importance of fruits and veggies and the miraculous benefits of whole grains. Can I get an amen? And despite knowing all the secrets to good nutrition, I kept gaining weight and my overall health wasn’t getting better. Does this sound familiar?
My dad is the poster child for Metabolic Syndrome — heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, the works. I take after my dad’s side of the family — short, big dimples, prone to roundness. Yeah Genetics! (Well, the dimples are OK.) While I’ve never had any major problems with my blood work, at the ripe old age of 37 I was diagnosed with a whopper of a case of diverticulosis — a disease of the colon that only used to show up in old people, but is starting to become more and more common in people in their 30’s and 40’s. The primary cause? Refined carbs, of course. The solution? Eat more whole grains. Can I get another amen? My pantry became a virtual temple to the whole grain: whole grain pastas, whole wheat flours, whole grain rice, barley, millet, quinoa, oats — you get the idea. Here’s a shot of my cupboard. I was annoyingly organized about my whole grains.
And yet, I still struggled. Finally, in October 2011 I walked into CrossFit LifeSport here in Toledo, Ohio (tell Todd I sent you) with the intent of using the workout to spice up my lackluster fitness routine. I knew going in that they would advocate paleo eating, but I was prepared to just smile, nod, and go on eating the “right” way. However, after listening to Todd’s spiel, I was intrigued enough to do a little reading. After polishing off “The Paleo Solution” by Robb Wolf, I was willing to give it a shot but had some questions and wanted to learn more. So I dove into “Good Calories, Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes. This one was a bit challenging to slog through, but it was pretty interesting and there were moments that made me sit up and say, “No shit!”. In particular, the chapters on obesity really hit home. I could see my own story written in those pages. I can’t really describe the complexity of what I felt when I finished reading the book. I was in turns mad at the world, frustrated, and overwhelmingly relieved. The relief is what stuck.
If you’ve never struggled with your weight, you will never know how helpless and hopeless it feels sometimes. That somehow you are flawed. If only you were strong enough to have the willpower. Imagine having those feelings from your earliest memories — that’s what my life has been like — never feeling I’m good enough. That’s the message I’ve gotten my whole life from my family, peers, doctors, everyone. Can you imagine the relief when you learn that maybe it’s not you. Maybe its the type of food you’ve been eating messing with your hormones causing the chain reactions of sugar cravings and weight gain. Maybe you can still fix it. That more than anything is what convinced me to give a paleo lifestyle a real go —- You’ll notice I call it a lifestyle rather than a diet. I’m doing this because I’ve become convinced that it’s the way we are supposed to eat. The weight loss will come with it, but for the first time I’m not stressing out about it.
I’ve had some ups and downs. Sometimes its easy to slide into old eating habits, but I”ve noticed its been getting easier to regain my foothold. I had to put CrossFit on temporary hold (Grrrrr….) from November till April while I wait for knee surgery to fix a torn meniscus, but have been back at it since. My knees aren’t 100%, but I’m making do with some modifications. I’m not counting calories, points, or anything, and I’m loving every minute of it! This is me in October 2011 with my BFF and my sculpture (I dabble in pottery when not dabbling in the kitchen.)
This is me recently. I haven’t lost a ton of weight, but I’ve definitely lost fat.
More importantly I feel better — physically and emotionally. Think there’s really something to the food/hormone relationship? Duh!
I’ll post more updates to this page as my journey continues. Hope you tag along with me!