Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Being Well: Linda Stokes, Devon Energy Corp

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Being Well: Linda Stokes, Devon Energy Corp

Article excerpt

OKLAHOMA CITY - Linda Stokes has found the weapon to win her battle with weight gain, and it isn't moderation. The data analyst at Devon Energy Corp. subscribes to the Paleo Diet, abstaining from sugar and grains.

She maintains healthy eating habits and healthy social networks to stay on track. She also relies on small-group fitness classes at the company's on-site fitness center, The Well, to help her feel great.

Stokes hasn't had a lifelong struggle with her weight. She started gaining when she had children, and the pounds added up as the decades passed. In 2005, she had gastric bypass surgery and lost 90 pounds. However, she gained much of the weight back.

She tried cutting out sugar from her diet, eating shakes and protein bars made with natural sugars. But in 2012, Stokes went on a trip to New Mexico with her youth group. They visited a bakery and she decided to try just one cupcake. She wasn't even interested in the pastry itself, she just wanted the icing.

After that, she couldn't say no to sugar.

She suffered from a mental fog that affected her short-term memory. In November 2013, she looked for a way to sharpen her mental acuity. She read It Starts with Food, by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, and then moved on to the book The Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter.

In late 2013, she read more of Perlmutter's books and learned about the Paleo Diet.

She then decided to try the Whole30 Program challenge in January 2014. The plan prescribes one month of lean, unprocessed meats, fruits and vegetables, abstaining entirely from processed foods, refined sugars and grains. After the cleanse period, users can add in foods one by one to learn which ones act as triggers.

The principle behind the Paleo Diet is that human digestive systems haven't evolved to process refined sugars or digest modern strains of grains. The philosophy is to return to the types of foods human ancestors ate millennia ago. For some, modern grain hybrids can cause gluten insensitivity. For others, like Stokes, refined sugars can trigger compulsive eating.

A recovering alcoholic, she had to lean on the lessons she learned from Alcoholics Anonymous' 12-step program. …

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