I have always struggled with my weight. I remember first becoming conscious of my stocky but strong body when I was 10 years old. I loved ballet. Yet something happened when I was 10 years old and I realised I was never going to be a ballerina. So I decided my body was better equipped to be a swimmer. Even as a competitive swimmer and butterflier, I was extremely unimpressed by how my body looked – my shoulders were too big, my tummy popped out, my legs were too chunky, my legs were too wobbly, my arms weren’t toned enough, my abs always seemed to be hibernating. I had zero appreciation for the amazing feats my body did and the thousands of kilometres it swam during my 13 years of training. Instead, I put my body through the vicious cycle of self-loathing – not eating, purging, binging, the vicious self talk and of course, dieting. SO many bloody diets! You name it, I’ve been on it. I have tried it all. Atkins, South Beach, Zone, Ultralite, Herbalife, Isagenix, Weight Watchers, Ketogenic, low FODMAP, Cohen, HCG, low carbs, low fat, shake diets, blood type diet blah blah blah blah blah. I have lost weight only to find it again…. with interest. Too bad the banks don’t offer the amount of ‘interest’ I have gained every time I’ve tried a diet! Eventually my body cracked the shits with me and I developed chronic fatigue syndrome. Goodbye aspirations of being an Olympic swimmer.
Over the past few years, I have been working with some wonderful people (Belinda Morris www.wimwib.com, Adrienne Gulliver www.adriennegulliver.com, Demartini crew https://drdemartini.com) to change my thought patterns and mental chatter regarding my weight, my body and my approach to life. Trying to the change the pattern of hating my body is definitely not easy and realising how I have made my success in life conditional on how much I weigh, is very hard to admit and even harder to break. It is amazing when you stop and look around at the TV, advertisements, movies, magazines, billboards and all things social media how much we tie being skinny/young/beautiful to being successful. It makes me so thankful that I was the last generation to grow up without a mobile phone, or Facebook, or Instagram or anything like that. I’d probably be in a psychiatric ward by now if I was bombarded with all that as a teenager. No joke.
So where does Bacon2Broccoli come in? I am a carnivore. I have been known to sit down to a 1kg steak and still have room for dessert. I have been known to sneak down to the fridge at night and eat the left-over BBQed steak. I have been known to finish off other people’s steak because you can’t let steak go to waste! I have always had a resistance to vegetarianism and even more resistance to trying a vegan lifestyle. It wasn’t until I listened to a podcast by scientist Ray Cronise (http://www.richroll.com/podcast/ray-cronise/) that it hit me. I needed to do something different. His research and his application of knowledge makes complete sense to me from a biochemical and physiological perspective. And this guy knows his stuff. There’s a growing body of research that is starting to show that calorie restriction, vegetarian and vegan diets prolong longevity. Google Scholar shoots back bout 4000 results. Perhaps there is something in this? The T-Rex part of me was very reluctant to admit this. Believe me.
In my own search for information, I found that a vast majority of research in this field has been conducted on men. No surprises here. Having worked on pharmaceutical trials, men are much easier to study – mainly due to less fluctuations in hormone levels. But where does this leave women? This intrigued me. There are plenty of men who have become huge advocates for certain ways of eating or even making/selling their own diets. But how applicable is their experience to women? Is what they are advocating safe for women? Would we get the same results?
These questions are a driving force behind Bacon2Broccoli. Apart from giving my Dad a heart attack (not really!), I wanted to explore vegetarianism, veganism, fasting and the effects of these on my body. Bacon2Broccoli is not just about weight loss. It is a documented experiment and I am the experiment. Sorry it’s not the “gold standard randomised double-blind clinical trial”, but it’s a start. I will be monitoring my blood pressure , my cholesterol, my glucose, my hormone levels, my iron, B12 and vitamin D levels, my RBC, WBC, liver and kidney function and inflammation markers. I want to see what this way of living does to my biochemistry but above all, I don’t want to repeat my past mistakes. It’s time for a change, a lifestyle overhaul and Bacon2Broccoli is the platform to share my story.
Let the fun begin!