Wow, it’s 2013–and not a moment too soon! A lot happened in 2012–some good stuff, some bad stuff. That’s pretty typical, I guess. I was watching the documentary Happy on Netflix the other day (before Phoebe got bored and demanded a viewing switch) and one of the points they brought up is that bad things that happen to you usually end up transforming you in a positive way. I can certainly think of a few instances where that is a harder pill to swallow, but I can also point to a couple of experiences from last year where that is absolutely true.
Getting blood clots while on vacation at DisneyWorld was certainly traumatic for me, but if not for that “you could die from this” brick wall kind of realization, I might never have made the changes I made to my diet last year. Last January, my sister-in-law, Emily, started following the Paleo diet. If you’re unfamiliar with it (also referred to as the “Caveman” diet or “primal eating”), it’s basically gluten-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free for the most part. There are also certain things like potatoes, corn, and legumes that Paleo eaters avoid. When she told me she was doing that, I thought she was crazy. “I could never do that,” I thought. I’m a bread freak and a have a raging sweet tooth. The idea of dropping all of that cold turkey just seemed unrealistic to me. But five months later, when my hematologist officially declared me blood clot free, he mentioned that being overweight was a risk factor for getting blood clots again. Hearing that just after weighing in for the appointment and seeing the highest number on the scale I’d ever seen in my entire life, plus seeing Emily post her 50-lb before and after pics on Facebook, I started to look at Paleo a little differently. “Whatever you’re doing, I’m doing that,” I told Emily after leaving the doctor’s office. I went gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free on May 1st and eight months later, I am “this” close to having lost 80 FREAKIN’ POUNDS. That’s a lot of el-bees, y’all.