My friend, Heather, and I commiserate about most things. Husbands, motherhood, shopping, finances, allergies, exercise, and weight gain are just a few. Yesterday, Heather posted on her Facebook page that she was going to make some “paleo iced goodness,” the “paleo” referring to The Paleo Diet. This immediately piqued my curiosity. Like many women, I have tried nearly every single friggin’ diet known to western civilization. I have done The Atkins Diet, Weight Watchers, The Zone Diet, The South Beach Diet, The Game On Diet, and The 5 Factor Diet, all in an attempt to lose that 5-10 pounds I struggle with each year. I have not, however, yet tried The Paleo Diet. So, I texted her.
Me: What the hell is “paleo iced goodness”? I imagine pie would be better.
Her: Paleo-approved ice cream. No dairy.
Me: You are weird.
Me: I’m going to Dairy Queen.
Her: Damn it!!!!
Me: Since when are you paleo?
Her: Since never. I’m a wannabe.
Me: Dairy is one of the greatest things on earth. I could never give that up. Cheese, yogurt, ice cream? I don’t care if I could be 115 pounds as a paleo. I’d rather be fat. Cavemen lived sucky lives and died young. My theory on diets is exercise daily and eat junk occasionally.
Her: My theory…F*** it!
Me: That’s a good one too. Just remember…there can be no ice cream without the cream. 😉
If the Paleo Diet would require me to give up dairy entirely, the Paleo Diet and I are finished before we’ve begun. I prefer cheese to chocolate. There is no way I could ever give that up. And, ice cream is my big weakness. Even during the winter, I eat a bit of ice cream at least 5 times a week. The mere idea of being dairy free is anathema to me. Lord help those around me if I ever become lactose intolerant.
What I’ve slowly come to realize about dieting in general, though, is that I hate it. Hate it. I’m not saying anyone else loves it, but I know I hate it more than most. You know how I know this? Because I avoid it like nobody’s business. The best way to avoid dieting is to live with moderation. Aside from the two times I was pregnant, I have never allowed myself to gain more than 15 pounds over my ideal (per my doctor, not me) weight. The less I gain, the less I have to lose, and the less dieting I will have to suffer through. This is why I choose to exercise as if I enjoy it. Even exercise is better than dieting.
I know I am blessed. I have a decent metabolism. I come from a fairly thin family. I also know myself well enough to know that I am an addictive personality. With as much as I love drinking, the only reason I never became an alcoholic is because the thought of giving up alcohol forever forced me to moderate my drinking habits. And, this is how it has been with food. Giving up ice cream (real ice cream and not “paleo iced goodness,” mind you) is not something I ever thought I could do for long, and so I’ve been very careful with my eating habits.
There is an ebb and flow to my body. There’s no point beating myself up over an extra 5-10 pounds as long as it’s only an extra 5-10 pounds above what is healthy for me at the age I am at. Sue me. I like my cheese and my ice cream. I’m not a cave woman. If cave women were thin and healthy, it was because they were busy running from saber-toothed tigers and not because they had non-cream, paleolithic iced goodness for dessert.