Hey all old and new Shangri-la Diet friends. Hope everyone is doing well. And hope that each of you make steady gradual progress towards your weight loss goals.
Iíve been meaning to post an update on my long and crazy journey. I am doing well. Itís taken two years of intensive parasite cleansing, but Iím finally starting to feel better! (Knock-wood that it continues!!!) Iím still in the throes of parasite cleansing, but am passing what appears to me to be a much older layer of parasite buildup. Iíve been taking lemon, lime, and V8 style vegetable juices to break down and dissolve that layer. I also drink really tasty kombucha that I brew, and eat lots of fermented vegetables that I culture. My husband did an enormous garden this year. So the bulk of my diet consists of very fresh veggies and wild edible weeds. My diet is extremely healthy. No grains, no sweeteners (except stevia), no junk food, no processed food, and only occasional small amounts of low fat cultured dairy.
Tasting and spitting really helped to cut my food addiction to manageable levels, but has not eliminated it entirely as Iíd hoped. It seems as though thereís an endless amount of food to decondition and each individual food takes time. (Itís also hard for me to know how much of my food addiction is due to parasites.) Iíve learned a lot through two years of tasting and spitting. For example, dark chocolate is an incredibly addictive food substance for me. I use to like milk chocolate more but that was much easier to decondition. I know dark chocolate is supposed to have lots of good healing properties, but Iíve come to the conclusion that it is really not good for me. Iíd be relieved to never desire it again.
So taste and spit is a replacement addiction that moved me in the right direction, but Iím ready to be done with it. It might be too soon to completely wean myself from it. But I am feeling weary of it, which is a good sign! I have been gradually attempting to cut back for a few months now. Iím feeling my way with it. I have more stress in my life at the moment, and that always makes addiction elimination trickier. If I cut back too drastically, it seems like I rebound back into overwhelming cravings. So Iím trying to move steadily in the direction of weaning myself, without being too extreme. Even though Iíd like to be completely done with it, I probably need to still do it to a lessor degree for awhile.
Since Iíve been attempting to cut back on tasting and spitting, Iíve increased my consumption of calorie free flavors (CFF). I drink a lot of different flavors of herbal tea sweetened with stevia. CFF is an extremely helpful component of SLD that tends to be overlooked.
When I first started the non-addictive diet and parasite cleansing, I gained back about half of the weight that Iíd lost on SLD. But then I managed to hold my weight steady. And then gradually and incrementally Iíve pushed my weight back down. I am now happily below my goal weight, but scale weight is deceptive! My body composition is now more fat and less muscle. So I am a pant size higher than what I was two years ago when I achieved and maintained my goal.
Ideally I would love to build back the muscle that I had then. Iím finally feeling well enough to increase the intensity of my exercise, but I also just started a new job and so my time has been more limited. Also, my muscle development a few years ago was from jogging. Iím not sure that my body can sustain the stress of that kind of high impact repetitive exercise.
Iím still hooping a lot and loving it! My skills keep steadily increasing. Recently, I felt a shift like my core muscles had gotten even stronger. Having a stronger core is an incredible feeling!
In general, Iíve been much more relaxed about the whole weight and exercise thing. I feel confident that Iíll be able to get to and maintain my ideal weight and body composition once again. Steady and persistent is the way. I know the rhythm of maintaining and consolidating gains. After awhile, my body will make another incremental shift of dropping a few pounds or building some muscle. I can feel that my body/set-point are dependably moving in the right direction. I have a much deeper understanding and knowledge of weight loss and addiction issues, then when I started SLD many years ago. Iím attuned to and working with my body, itís rhythms, and the rhythms of my life. I trust my body and the weight loss process. Itís a nice feeling to have trust! But I also want to stay humble, because thereís always unexpected changes and more to learn.
Also, just for the record I am no longer nose clipping (except for some foul tasting parasite meds). I still live by and follow SLD principles. But I am now able to get to and maintain a good weight without nose clipping, oil slugging, or sugar water. And hopefully soon without tasting and spitting. (My husband thinks that the tasting and spitting large quantities of addictive foods contributed to my weight gain. He might be right. I havenít been entirely sure about this. I know I needed it as an in between step and that the level of my cravings has been greatly reduced by doing it. But the process of tasting lots of flavors of highly addictive food might have a counterproductive element to it as well. )
For me the flavor of addictive foods is what drives the addiction cycle and weight gain. One doesnít need to eat a completely bland or flavorless diet in order to lose weight. Some of the foods that I eat and enjoy are spicy and flavorful, BUT those foods do not create an addictive reaction in my body.
Identifying and cutting back the foods that are addictive to my body has been key. Plain whole grain bread, plain crackers, potatoes, butter, and cream are examples of very bland foods that have an addictive reaction in my body. It is best for me not to consume them. Itís been a long, long time since Iíve had a good sandwich. I crave a good sandwich, potatoes, butter, cream, goat cheese, and very dark chocolate more than I crave junk food. Addiction is subtle. There are lots of healthy good foods that my body responds to like an addict. This has been the most eye-opening part of this long and crazy journey for me. Addiction is personal and unique to each personís body. I was completely unaware of how addicted I was to certain foods simply because I believed that those foods were healthy and good for me. I still believe that those foods are healthy and good for many people, but I now know beyond any doubt that they are not good for me. What a relief it is to be in touch with clear dietary knowledge that comes from within, instead of following an external authority. Self-knowledge and empowerment have been the priceless gifts and rewards of this journey.
Perhaps somewhere down the road when all parasites have been eliminated, Iíll be able to consume some of these foods once again. Who knows? Iím not sure what kind of crazy twist or turn is coming next. Iíll just have to wait and see.