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Primal Journal Challenge (Indiscreet)

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  • Primal Journal Challenge (Indiscreet)

    I've always been active and I've always liked lifting weights. Unfortuantely, like a lot of women, I grew up feeling less than confidant about my body, to the extent that I suffered from an eating disorder through much of my teens and twenties.

    At 42 I'm a bit older and wiser, and more forgiving of myself. But whilst I still push myself in the gym, take plenty of walks and eat a nice, grain free diet, I still tend to pig out on nuts and raisins and, if it's there, dark chocolate.

    I'm going to Japan and Korea next month - not a beach holiday, but one where I still want to look good in my photos.

    I can tell when I've put on a few pounds because my trousers all get tight in the thigh, and I struggle even more to do chins (I'm not good at these, but I've dropped from being able to do 4 to struggling to do 2 lately).

    Consequently, my aim is to 1) fit into my clothes and 2) do 5 chins. And to achieve that I must also get a handle on my eating and, well, not use the weekends as an excuse to eat all day long.

    As someone who sits in front of a computer for many hours every day, I can't afford to eat badly.

    So here goes...

  • #2

    Right, I took some measurements. Not terribly encouraging, I have to say.

    Chest: 37 - fine, I have a wide back.

    Waist: 29.5 - this is the worst it's ever been. I am slightly bloated, but ouch!

    Hips: 39

    Thighs: 24.5 - double ouch. No wonder my pants are all tight.

    Obviously these have to come down!

    I'll review my day later on once I'm back from work.


    • #3

      Right, at this point I should point out that I was visiting my elderly and disabled parents (both have had strokes, something I am anxious to avoid) at the weekend so I have not restocked the fridge. Thus my first three meals of the day were whey protein shakes, and I only ate something solid once I got home. And that was a delicious meal of random fridge leftovers - cauliflower sauteed in butter with cumin seeds, and canned tuna with some cucumber slices and goats cheese. It tasted better than it sounds. I nibbled on two carrots while I was cooking and had some (well, too much) 85% Green & Blacks chocolate after.

      I am going to avoid buying more chocolate for a while - seems that if it's there, I'll eat it until it's gone.

      Yesterday I went to the gym and heaved weights, so today I took a break from work at lunchtime and ran about 4 miles (well, 40 minutes worth) on the nearby common. I'm not a chronic cardio queen but, since I am in London, I like to get out somewhere green and stretch my legs when I can. I walk several miles a day as part of my journey to and from work, but it's all on pavements. After hunching over a computer all morning, I like to go somewhere green with trees, birds and wildlife and just chill. Usually it's a walk - I'll take time to look at the ducks on the pond (not to mention the feral green parakeets which seem to have established themselves so effectively in South London), breathe the air and munch on the blackberries that are currently in season (can't get much more primal than foraging for free fruit, eh?)

      However, I have a 5K on Sunday, so thought I'd best get a last run in before then.

      I have taken to doing a few races this year, since they're organised by someone at my gym and take place on Clapham Common, so I can run on soft surfaces. I enjoy them, and they're a challenge. I've done two 10Ks and this will be my second 5K, but I'm a plodder - I typically run a 10 minute mile, or just under.

      I don't run more than twice a week, and usually it's just once. I've been meaning to add more sprint sessions but I have a niggling butt/ham problem that gets grouchy occassionally - probably due to all the hardcore sitting I do. I have very tight psoas and my glutes could fire a lot better.

      I was reasonably happy with today's run - I seemed to have enough energy. One of my colleagues is running with me on Sunday so I'm hoping to do under 30 minutes (I managed 29.35 or something like that, back in Feb) - but mostly I'm hoping to have fun.

      Right, bedtime for me!


      • #4

        Kept awake by the new tenants upstairs laughing loudly into the small hours. Id like to know what was so damn funny, because going to the gym on less than 5 hours sleep is anything but.

        Workout went OK, nonetheless. I remember to take my chalk, so did my first deadlift workout in a long while. I followed each set of deadlifts with 20 overhead lunges (10 reps per leg, using a body bar held overhead in a snatch grip).

        Sets went like this:

        60kg (132lbs) x 10

        70kg (154lbs) x 8

        80kg (175lbs) x 6

        90kg (198lbs) x 4

        100kg (220lbs) x 2

        105kg (231lbs) x 1

        110kg (242lbs) x 1

        The last pull was really ugly all back. But I locked it out, at least. Been a while since I went that heavy.

        For reference I weight about 70kg/11 stone/154lbs currently more than I would like.

        Im quite happy with my strength (not to mention the 140 lunges I knocked out) but my midriff is looking a tad flabby. There are some good abs under there somewhere I would like to see them eventually.

        Finished off with 20 glute ham raises, some stretches and then my journey to walk which consists of a 10 minute tube journey and a half hour walk.


        • #5

          I'm still eating leftovers and such - I've just not had time to go shopping - so my diet's not bad but not entirely primal (lots of whey protein).

          I've also had two rest days in a row. I had planned to workout this morning but just woke up too late (I don't use an alarm, instead relying on the daylight to wake me up, and usually it does. But this morning was unusually gloomy). Not a bad thing, though, because my delts and buns are still fried from my deadlift/lunge workout.

          I mentioned the blackberry bushes on the common I walk on at lunchtime. Today I was organised enough to take a tupperware container with me and pick enough fruit to fill it. Free food is always good, and wild blackberries taste so much better than the ones you buy in supermarkets.


          • #6

            Yesterday: well the one thing I like about the weekend is that I don't feel I have to get up early. But my body had other ideas. I woke at 4am, starving. I went to the kitchen (I live in a studio flat - the kitchen is really just a walk in alcove five feet from my bed) to get some glutamine in warm water, which is what I usually use to quell unwanted hunger pangs. And damn, I saw a mouse. I've had mouse infestations before, several years ago, and they're persistant little blighters. So instead of grabbing my glutamine and returning to bed, I ended up scrubbing and bleaching the kitchen.

            Went to the gym when it opened and felt OK. I did a mixture of free weights and kettlebells - nothing too stressful since I have my 5K this morning (Sunday) - however my butt and hams are feeling it! Oh well, 5K is not too far for me so I should be OK.

            I also weighed myself. 11 stone (154lbs/70kg) which is what I expected. I'm 5'7, btw. But I'm not too disheartened as my waist is back down to 28.5, an inch down from a few days ago. I have a lot of work to do, though.

            I did my shopping and resisted treats (I often buy houmous, but actually took a look at ingredients and saw it was full of canola oil, yuck), then came home and had bacon and eggs. I felt very unsatisfed, actually. Ended up eating my blackberries with some raw almonds and protein powder about 90 minutes later. Not really what I was hoping to achieve but never mind.

            Felt tired so had a 3pm nap for an hour - slept easily on my back, which I can never do at night. I wonder why that is?

            Dinner was minced beef in passata/red wine sauce over broccoli, with some goats cheese on top. Not bad at all! I did feel satisfied after that, I didn't feel like snacking, which is good.

            Right, off for my 5K now. I am doing this fasted, as I find even liquid sustenance (protein shakes etc) try to make a bid for freedom if I have them before exercise. I made the mistake of taking in a shake three hours before the 5K I did in feb and felt sick as a dog. My stomach seems to be a slow emptier.


            • #7

              5K done - I was a bit disappointed I came in at a fraction over 30 minutes, which was about 20 seconds slower than the one in Feb. Having said that, it wasn't a chipped race and the start was very slow. that, and I also tripped over a tree root and went sprawling halfway round. Only my ego was hurt, but I daresay it cost me a few seconds. Still, I felt as though I was running faster than in the Feb race - I thought I would break 29 minutes. Never mind, though. I'm not much of a runner, I just do these things for fun.

              Just finished a nice 2 egg omelette (cooked in butter) with goats cheese, two rashers of bacon and a green salad with tomatoes and olive oil. Oh and a cuppa. I realise Grok did not drink cuppas but then Grok was likely not British.

              Next race will be a 10K in October, if I'm healthy. I want to do that one in under an hour. I have a 2.5 week holiday in September, however, so I won't get much training done - not that I ever do, to be honest - I am mostly a weight lifting sort of woman, and run usually once or at most, twice a week.


              • #8

                Oops I've been a bit lax here haven't I?

                Monday - I worked from home because I was expecting delivery of a new television and mattress (my old TV expired last week and the mattress has been sagging for far too long). I didn't get my usual 2 mile walks to and from work and lunchtime stroll, but humping the old double mattress downstairs, then getting the new one onto the bed, building a flatpack TV stand and then lifting the new 40" screen onto it seemed strenuous enough. I feel quite proud of myself as I would have got my boyfriend to build the stand and help with the TV, but as he now lives in Manchester I had to do it all on my own. I did, however, pay a couple of guys to remove the old TV (a 32" CRT - even though I can deadlift 250lbs on a good day, I wouldn't be able to get that monster down a flight of stairs on my own!)

                Diet was based on salads, meats and goats cheese and some (well, quite a lot of) almonds. That's the trouble with being at home - I tend to snack more.

                Yesterday (Tuesday) was back to normal. I did a gym workout before work incorporating squats, standing press, bench press, dumbell rows and dumbell snatches. I prefer to do kettlebell snatches but can only take my kettlebell to the gym on weekends, as I go straight to work from the gym on weekdays.

                Diet was pretty tight yesterday. I've run out of tempting stuff like nuts, so I am pretty much forced to eat clean now.

                One thing bothers me - my RSI has flared up again. The last time it did this was back in December when I was trying a wheat experiment to see if eating a lot of bread really did mess me up (it did - joints hurt, put on a lot of fat. Good experiment as now I know for certain the effect wheat has on me and why I should avoid it).

                Initially I thought the RSI was down to the fact I work on a computer all day and then go home and play games on my PC (I'm an avid gamer - I've worked in the games industry for years so this habit is unlikely to change).

                Then I remembered the large bag of roast peanuts my dad gave me two weekends ago, which I worked my way through. Apparently, peanuts are not my friend either. Something else to avoid in future.

                I love that this is all a learning process. I've bumped up my fish oils and hope the pain goes soon. I also hope to rid of the cursed bagel and inner thigh flab, but I've had a problem with below the waist fat since puberty, so it's going to take some effort to shift that lot.


                • #9

                  Ugh, work is stressful right now. My job is hanging in the balance so it's as much as I can do to try and stay positive.

                  Intended to go to the gym this morning but didn't wake up early enough (I don't use the alarm other than in winter when it's dark - I try to wake up naturally. And sometimes I sleep longer than others).

                  Instead, I went out at lunchtime and ran 7 sprints on an uphill trail on the common near work. Normally I sprint around the football pitches, but it was hot, so I elected to run through the wooded area.

                  My goal is to be able to go faster for longer. Currently I have two speeds: jog (6mph) and sprint. I find it hard to sustain more than 6mph over distances and as I enjoy doing 5 and 10Ks a few times a year, I want to be able to improve my rather pedestrian times. Yeah, I know it's not strictly primal but I don't run distances more than once a week, usually. I figure sprinting will be the best way to get me running faster.

                  As I was running, I didn't have time to buy lunch so my meals at work were all whey shakes. I did manage to resist the peanut M&Ms one of my colleagues bought (normally I can't resist grabbing a handful) so pat on the back for me.

                  Meal when I got home was a mackerel/veggie stir fry (in coconut oil). This was nice but didn't really satisfy me so I ended up eating some goats cheese and tomatoes.

                  I'm trying to wean myself off sweet foods but I am getting terrible yearnings for brazil nuts and raisins.!


                  • #10

                    Good news so far! My waist is down at a more normal 28 and I've dropped three pounds since last week.

                    I had an OK workout at the gym - used weights and kettlebells - then went shopping. I bought a lot of protein; meat, eggs, fish. A few veggies but not much of anything else. I'm going to see if I can get into keto mode.

                    I did buy a small bag of brasils for a Saturday treat and ate those yesterday, though not all at once. I'm making progress.


                    • #11

                      Rest day yesterday - gym this morning. I feel a bit floppy from the low carb but I'm not without energy. I just lack endurance.

                      My main bit of news is my butt no longer fails the pencil test (put a pencil in the crease under your butt - if it stays there, your butt has drooped). I've always had a bit of a saggy but because it gets sat on all day, but whilst there is still much improvement needed, it seems to have lifted slightly. I put this down to kettlebells!


                      • #12

                        Did my sprints again at lunchtime. Weather is still suspiciously good for an English August so I opted to run under the trees again, on the uphill trail. I made my sprints about 20m further than last time so it's improving!

                        Now, I have decided to enter a 15K. I've run a couple of 5Ks and 10Ks this year, and whilst I'm not of the chronic cardio persuasion (I do this stuff for fun - I average 6mph so a 10K takes me an hour) I fancied the challenge. The clincher was that the race is in aid of the Stroke Association. Both my parents have suffered strokes, so this has special significance to me. It's in December, so I've plenty of time to prepare. I won't be doing a long run more than once a week (by late October, it will be too dark before and after work - unless my boss fires me of course, and then I'll have plenty of time, heh). Obviously, I'll still be doing the sprints and weights. I've been lifting weights seriously for over 20 years so that's pretty much ingrained.


                        • #13

                          Wednesday was a rest day. Hottest day of the year - felt awful, weak and tired.

                          Thursday I still felt wobbly getting up, but went to the gym. Did squats, lunges, dumbell rows, push ups and dumbell snatches (I prefer kettlebells but can only take these to the gym on weekends as on weekdays I must go straight to work from there, and don't fancy doing so with a 12kg kb in my rucksack).

                          Ate well enough, but I think I'm overdoing the goats cheese. I'm premenstrual and normally would be snack crazy. The goat cheese is the only thing I have to snack on in my fridge - all carbs are gone!

                          I'll see what I weigh on Saturday and then go from there. I've made progress but am still unhappy with my bodyfat levels - my holiday is in 2 weeks.

                          Today is another rest day, but I already feel more energetic. Perhaps I've adjusted to fat burning. I'll see how I feel later today.


                          • #14

                            I love goat cheese, too. Mark does approve of it occasionally. Goat cheese doesn't appear to have the same naughties as milk does, so I wouldn't feel too bad.

                            Yeah, isn't it weird not to have these cravings around menstruation? Felt so liberating!


                            • #15

                              It's nice isn't it? It's actually a couple of days late too - I'm hoping my cycle gets a bit longer as it's been only 25 days the last couple of years. Even though I haven't been eating grains for a while, I do tend to eat things like dried fruit with nuts (I can easily wolf down a couple of thousand calories without noticing) and do sometimes indulge in chocolate and ice cream (always the gourmet stuff, but there's still the sugar content). However, for the last week I've been eating very little carbs (just a little asparagus or broccoli in the evening, and a few grams of carbs in my whey protein) and the usual premenstrual feelings of doom have vanished.

                              Yesterday was a rest day (I still have my walks to and from work and at lunchtime). I felt much better than earlier in the week and found myself sharper and more motivated at work. I think I'm over the hump, so to speak.

                              This morning I got up and went for a run. I had planned on doing about 10K but found I still had a bit of energy towards the end and did another lap of the common. I can't say the final stages were brilliant - my legs were very fatigued - but as I'm training for this 15K I need to make sure I can run that far. I figured I'd run 7.5 miles but it took me a whopping 90 minutes. Once I got home I checked the route on and it was closer to 8. Still slow, but this is the furthest I've run in several years - and without the benefit of carbs.

                              After a nice tepid bath, I treated myself to four fried eggs, two rashers of bacon and a few asparagus spears.