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College Student Dabbling in Primal - Looking for Support

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  • College Student Dabbling in Primal - Looking for Support

    Just started the 21-Day Transformation and am off to a rough start. Apparently to my peers this is a humerous and stupid idea - I have gotten everything but support. I would be interested in hearing from other young people and how you respond(ed) to unsupportive or sabbotaging peers. Also, how do you handle social situations as unhealthy food, snacks, and drinks are generally the focus of our gatherings?

    Some background about myself: I am an athlete and swam competatively for almost ten years. I am a freshman at the University of Michigan - Dearborn and plan to major in microbiology. My reasons for trying the 21-Day Transformation are not so much about weight-loss, as about establishing a healthy lifestyle to avoid the health problems that are rampant in my family. In addition, I have some auto-immune conditions that I think will benefit from an anti-inflammatory diet. I would also like to become more muscular. My current height is 5' 10" and weight 140 lbs.

  • #2
    You're in it for all the right reasons and I wish you much success. I would heavily heavily heavily advise you do not talk to people about this, as most are very stupid.

    One of my trainers always says people are jealous by nature, and see any decision by someone else to better themselves as an attack on their unhealthy lifestyles. I was training muaythai at the time and I told my trainer (in passing, I wasn't going to him for advise on this...) that some of my friends upon learning that I do muaythai were calling it "karate" just to poke fun at me, but wouldn't drop the issue ever, and still three years later refuse to call it anything but karate. This only comes from those that don't do anything. My other active friends that are into different activities don't have this negative "why can't you be average like us" type of mindset. Further, just as you're looking for support as you embark on this lifestyle, friends see your new direction as if you were abandoning them because you'll no longer share pizza or whatever with them.

    Re: dealing with social situations. You will most likely get mixed opinions here. I look at it this way: Say you were once a smoker who smoked 10 cigs per day, and you quit, but sometimes give into the urge when you're drinking (a pretty common thing among "ex" smokers) which brings your cigarette smoking to 10 cigs per month. This isn't ideal, as it's best to avoid all together, but is it not an improvement from your previous 10 cig/day routine? Similarly, if you're at a social gathering and there are things available that you normally don't eat, it's okay to consume some of these for the sake of socializing. The degree to which you choose to indulge is entirely up to you. There's plenty of shit I don't touch at all anymore, mostly pastries and things loaded with sugar, but I'll grab a handful of potato chips, and drink some beer/alcohol if I'm out at a party. You don't HAVE to, but you're free to, the poison is in the dose as they say.

    Hope that helps some.
    I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.


    • #3
      I am also a struggling college student trying to stay primal through social situations. It really is tough... I haven't always been able to avoid pizza, beer, cookies, chips, etc. every time, but in the grand scheme of things, moderation is key. Usually for me, whenever I would "cheat," I would basically say, "well eff it" and then continue eating poorly the rest of the night. If you are going out in social situations and you do want something, just make sure you only have one or two things. Moderation, moderation, moderation. You could also try eating your fill with a primal meal before the social gatherings so that you are less hungry and won't even want to eat what is offered. And just a simple "no thanks" can work wonders.

      My roommate definitely makes snarky remarks whenever she sees what I eat... I try to ignore it. I tried explaining it to her once but she wasn't really getting it, so I stopped trying. Once you start seeing the health benefits, it won't matter what other people say because you are doing it to better yourself. Or just tell them you are gluten intolerant and they'll usually leave you alone, haha.

      Best of luck with your first 21 days!

      Two important questions to ask yourself every week:
      Did I run faster and farther this week than I did last week?
      Can I lift more weight and do more repetitions that I did last week?


      • #4
        I've carried this off successfully for over a year as a college student! It sucks sometimes, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

        I NEVER refer to the way I eat as paleo, although a few people have seen my cookbooks and asked about what paleo. I say I'm allergic to "everything" and that I stay away from processed foods/have an auto-immune condition - which is partially true. People seem to be surprisingly interested, but I generally don't expand much further than that.

        I play it all off as - "Yup! Bacon keeps me thin!!" and generally find myself able to make adjustments at any restaurant.

        Edit: On unhealthy food/snacks, after 21 days - you'll lose your cravings. It sounds impossible now, but it'll happen. I never feel pressured to eat it in public, and most people don't notice I'm not eating.


        • #5
          Find new friends...
          Meet Staci: Your New Powerlifting Super Hero | Nerd Fitness
          W.O.W. 10/30/11-Knowlege is For Your Own Use


          • #6
            First... You are in school and I can assume broke... ( I sure as hell was)

            Skip snacking... Anytime you have "free food" pick at what you can have.. pull toppings off pizzia in the cafe... take apart some premade sandwiches. Frozen veggie bags from the store is also going to be your friend.

            Ditch the grain and legumes... eat the rest on the budget you can afford.

            One last note... You are in collage... enjoy yourself I have fond memories. Dont let primal stop you from doing "collage" things go to parties and drink and have fun. Just keep it to one or two days a week not every night. Also drink less cheap beer and drink say vodka and seltzer.

            Nutshell.. do the best you can and dont sweat the small stuff. Ditching grain will be the best thing you ever did.


            • #7
              So awesome to see other students This is a great place to come when you are feeling harrassed by your friends/peers. I have a friend who is trying to do the Whole 30 with me but she is telling EVERYONE what she is doing and they think she is weird and personally, I think they are threatened that she is trying to be healthy so they try to get her to just "give in".

              I, on the other hand, have been eating like this for the past year and a half and have learned (through trial and error) not to tell people about how I eat. It's none of their business! I don't make snarky comments about my overweight friends ordering all the crappy food they eat, so why should they think that it's okay to pick on me for choosing to eat healthy? By now, most people just know that I'm gluten intolerant and get stomach aches if I eat unhealthy food so they just leave me alone. As long as you just do your thing and stick to your guns, people will eventually cool off and leave you alone

              Also, in regards to social situations, it gets easier to say no to all that junk when you start feeling better! Also, with alcohol, I've found that people LOVE when I say I'm not drinking when we go out, automatic DD! Major points for me

              Good luck!!! You can do it!!


              • #8
                Go for it you cannnnnnnnnnnnnn do it!
                started at 310 July 23rd 2011 ... workin and workin!

                my journal -


                • #9
                  Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                  Similarly, if you're at a social gathering and there are things available that you normally don't eat, it's okay to consume some of these for the sake of socializing. The degree to which you choose to indulge is entirely up to you. There's plenty of shit I don't touch at all anymore, mostly pastries and things loaded with sugar, but I'll grab a handful of potato chips, and drink some beer/alcohol if I'm out at a party. You don't HAVE to, but you're free to, the poison is in the dose as they say.
                  Enjoy your college experience. If you're not pointedly neurotic about food, its easier to pass off being healthy without wise-ass remarks from friends.
                  You're well-informed about what it takes to be healthy- you don't need to completely abstain from drinking. If you're at a party, have a few drinks. Be a little more careful with your calories that day and work out diligently throughout the week. I really like my cold beers so I work it into my weekends when I'm out and accommodate for the calories. Its perfectly possible to be both healthy and social. Best of luck!


                  • #10
                    First of all, thank you all so much for your support and helpful tips! It's definitely getting me more and more excited about tackling this challenge.

                    Just to clarify, I am currently commuting to school, so I live at home. The nice thing about that is my mom is also doing the 21-Day challenge with me. Not only is that helpful, but I also have primal foods available all the time at home.

                    I haven't quite made it through the entire book yet, but plan to do so this weekend!


                    • #11
                      Primal University

                      Check this website out
                      Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.


                      • #12
                        Thanks for sharing the link! The blog is quite interesting.


                        • #13
                          I'm a recent college graduate, and people definitely thought I was crazy at first. People cannot believe how much butter and eggs I go through every week. I tell them it's all very healthy, and they just seem more shocked.

                          Give it a few months and that disdain will turn into admiration when you have six-pack abs . Seriously, being in shape is a huge confidence booster, and your energy levels will be much better. Eventually, you learn to stop caring. Heck, I walk around barefoot around Cambridge and squat waiting for the signal to cross the street some times. I've found when you look great and speak with confidence, people are actually quite interested in primal/paleo. Who wants to be normal anyway when the majority are overweight?


                          • #14
                            People do end up noticing that you're eating differently. For example, I cook my beef rare while everyone else cooks their beef well done. I'm constantly told that i'm eating raw meat and that it's not good for me, or asked if I swam across the river, slaughtered a cow and bought it back to uni. Usually I run with the joke and joke back that they're eating burnt meat or tell them to stop collecting rocks and calling it food.


                            • #15
                              I live on campus, so avoiding college parties and what not is next to impossible. I find that i'm at my weakest when i feel like i'm missing out on something or when i'm being pressured into trying something.
                              We have three compulsary college dinners a week. I just see the chef at the start of each year and remind him what I can or can't eat, blaming it on my thyroid issues and that it's 'doctors orders'. I end up getting much better food than everyone else because it's not mass produced, people actually fight for the food I'm too full to eat. It's hard at the start though when everyone is eating fries and plates of dessert.
                              To combat forced alcohol consumption I make cucumber water before hand and pretend i'm drinking or shotting vodka. People tend not to question you if you have a drink in your hand.
                              If everyone is ordering pizza or fast food, I make my own pizza or beef patties and cook vegetables in the shape of chips. I usually blame this on 'allergies' or my thyroid.
                              As it's been said already in this thread, people don't like it when other people are different to them. Don't mention primal/paleo. Trick them into thinking you eat exactly like they do, and you're already half way there.
                              Hope this helps