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Miel's Primal Journal

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  • Miel's Primal Journal

    Miel='honey'. Ironic, isn't it? But it was a nickname for awhile (actually, it was Mielbug, but moving right along past high school...), and I kind of like the sugar-based irony.
    Ok. So. I'm doing this.
    Well, not right now. Right now I'm educating myself and gearing up for the sh*tstorm of denial my family is going to rain on my head with their conventional-wisdom encyclopedias of ingrained food culture. Also, right now I happen to be abroad, living with a host family that cooks for me and are big believers in grains and vegetables. Veggies yay! Grains... the fact that I had to expand my belt loop by 2 over the course of these few months screams NOOOOO!!! Add in the loss of an accessible pool *whimper* and weight room *whimper again* and I've got some quick overhauling to do.
    But as of July 7th, when I go travel on my own until the 13th, and July 15th, when I head back stateside, this Primal lifestyle is happening. I have a supporter in my wonderful boyfriend, but I can tell it will be a hard sell with family. Thankfully as of late August I have an apartment and am on the other side of Texas, so it shouldn't be too difficult. And this community seems so supportive I have a feeling it'll be even easier! At the moment, I'm defining my motivations. This is an out-there, definitive list of WHY.

    1. I'm vain. I get to be reunited with my boyfriend 3 weeks after getting stateside, and I've got 10lbs to make disappear again in that time. Starting on July 7th gives me a full month (minus a couple unavoidable days with host family eating) of primal, enough to feel ok in a bikini again! Once I get back from that beach vacation, I'd like to drop another 10lbs or so by December [I'm 5'2"; this goal would put me around 110, which I've been before healthily], unless I end up putting on muscle.

    2. I'm proud. I was a swimmer through high school & not only looked pretty decent by senior year, but was making decent times. 3 years of college has been the typical freshman 15 (25) roller coaster, which I lost last semester while I amped up my workouts and ate very little. Still, I loved the body composition change adding in weight lifting did for me and how strong I got-- the fact that primal will be that x10 (I hope!) makes the cavegirl in me psyched to kick some a**.

    3. I've got diabetes coming at me from both family lines, and dementia from my grandmother. I love my body, I love my mind. I don't want to go through that kind of pain and terror at any age, and if I could possibly save my family from it too that would be amazing.

    4. I've got a weak stomach. The poor thing's been put through the mill by several parasites and other bacteria, hookworm and giardia among them (the price of travel). My guts don't handle gluten (thankfully already cut that out). They aren't too good with legumes either. Or sugar and alcohol. Primal is a way to be nice to my tummy and still eat delicious things, AND be in even better health than before my college-age digestive system revolted.

    5. I've been a binge-eater. I like to say I'm not anymore, because I've mostly broken the guilt-restrict-cheat-binge cycle. The psychology of it isn't so strong now; it doesn't rule my world. But the fact is, in stressful situations (i.e. culture shock while abroad), I turn to food. When depressed, I turn to food. When bored, I turn to food. And every 4 hours I'm freaking starving. If there's a way to break that hunger cycle, I'm going to do it. Freedom baby.

    A'ight, that's it for now. I've taken some good steps in cutting out gluten and becoming increasingly wary of any form of sugar, but I'm ready to get this show on the ROAD. There will be another post when there's progress.

  • #2
    I can't wait another week and a half. No, I mean really. I'm not going to wait. I've started edging towards primal by cutting out gluten grains and not replacing them with gluten-free crap products. These past couple weeks I've been reducing my sugar intake too, even fruit. For the past 4 days, I let up on the sugar ban because I finally got meds for my stomach and wanted to celebrate.
    But I can't do it anymore. The carby, anti-digestive grains. The sugar. I feel *awful*. After eating a larger-than-usual daily dose of carbs, I feel mentally slow, physically klutzy (more so than usual), and fat. Bloated-fat, but also just fat-fat. And tonight, I tried to eat peanut butter. And 62% chocolate. Sort of as a farewell to my few days off of avoiding sugar and being a general nutritional slob. Took one bite of the chocolate, thought it was gross. Took one more bite with the peanut butter, still thought it was gross, threw the rest of the bar out. Got a little further with the peanut butter (6 big spoonfuls-- ok, so the past 4 days were touched with overeating.) Started to get a sugar headache and upset stomach immediately. Threw the rest of the jar out. MDA really helps with my willpower; the more I read up about what's REALLY going on in my body when I eat things like that, the more the disgust regulates my desire to eat toxic foods.
    So here's my plan of attack, since I'm working with limited food choice freedom here. Tomorrow, I'm getting a week's supply of avocados and eggs. Since my host mom isn't here week mornings, I can condense breakfast & lunch together and replace it with that. And starting this minute (not tomorrow, not in a week-- that just encourages last binges), I'm making all the food that goes into my mouth that isn't put in front of me by my host mom primal.
    I'm considering nuts to be used as ingredients and avoiding fruit too, since I have no control with either.
    Guess this is my declaration, not of intent, but of beginning. Right. Now.
    This journal will help more than I thought, I have a feeling. I can't write things like this in my personal journal, because it helps trigger the restrict-guilt-cheat-binge cycle of disordered eating. But I need to write it down somewhere, and this site seems a pretty damn supportive place to put it.


    • #3
      Welcome. I hope your plans work out.
      Ancestral Health Info

      I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

      Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.


      • #4
        Thank you! I'm psyched to DO instead of just intend.


        • #5
          Breakfast-- plain full-fat yogurt cup, 1/2 banana & chunk of avocado
          Snack-- Lots of salted almonds
          Lunch/Dinner-- B.A.S with chicken, olive oil for dressing, followed by a skewer of grilled chicken (&2 bites of sausage I couldn't resist)
          Dessert--handful raw almonds, then was given a serving of meringue over apples by host mom. at least she's good about reasonable portion sizes?

          Overall, decidedly more primal than the last couple days. And I'm SO content with actually having had protein, and lots of it. I bought avocados & eggs for brunch until Friday, so I'm going to keep up the replacing and easing up on portion sizes. I did sprints (not very fast, but on the 20/30, which is better than the 20/40 of last week) and walked for several hours around the city, including hills.
          Counting this as a good start.


          • #6
            Today was... Up & down. I realized a lot of things.
            I realized that, after getting rid of giardia (I hope; chronic can be stubbornly resistant), I don't actually [I]crave[I] sweets. Especially with enough fat at a meal.
            I realized that I'm really really good at saying 'no' in most social settings and alone, and really really bad at saying 'just a little'. If I have it in the house and it's snackable, I'll snack on it LOTS-- BUT bright side, I won't buy any more and I'm out of snacks and knowing I'm ready to go back to not eating between meals feels GREAT.
            I realized that as I'm going into this primal lifestyle, I need to make sure to think of nuts as seeds as condiments/ingredients, not meal replacements or snacks, because I lack any self control around them.
            I realized I'm getting better at respecting food for it's ability to nourish (or destroy), but need to keep up a pretty high exercise routine to remind myself to respect my body with that constant overcoming of challenges.
            I realized processed sugar leaves a disgusting taste in my mouth AND gives me an instant 'oh crap insulin freak-out' stomach-upset, headachy, jittery feeling.
            I realized I'm getting better at forgiving myself for messing up, which is a great feeling after struggling with binging freshman year (and the bad food relationship ever since). And even though I messed up pretty bad today, I feel ok about it mentally (again, crap physically, but I expected that) and it hasn't made me think for one second that I can't get these good habits all built up and loving it within the next month.
            This wasn't a very primal day, but it was a very mindful, conscious one, and that's positive.

            2 eggs scrambled w/half avocado
            rest of nuts from yesterday
            hot chocolate out with a friend
            grilled portabello and tomato over white rice with cream sauce
            1/2 jar peanut butter

            It's really the peanut butter I consider a failure-- the chocolate and white rice I consciously made a decision to eat for the sake of enjoying friends' company. The peanut butter was mindless.
            For tomorrow, my goals are: 1) keep up the brunches & avoiding the starch/carb heavy lunches my host mom leaves on the stove for me. 2) distance run. 3) not eat between meals.


            • #7
              Recently, I've been reading a lot about habit-building and breaking, and a lot about mindfulness. I'm realizing this week, as I try to shift my behavior to be in line with what I truly believe to be healthy, that mindfulness is the key to habits (smart people have told me this before; I'm just getting first-hand experience and noticing for the first time because I'm paying attention).

              I didn't do well today with my choices. I was fine until late afternoon but hunger started hitting, there was no protein or fat in sight, and I was in a group workshop that served a peach tart. *mumbles* I ate a slice. Yes, even the crust, which is extra ridiculous because I really am gluten intolerant and it wasn't even that good. So my mindfulness lesson from that is that the group mentality is a b*tch, and I should always be on my guard for it. Usually it's not even a problem when gluten is involved, but I think another aspect of choosing to eat it was that since I took pills for a parasite, I want to know how intolerant I really am without it. I tested the theory once last week, with lots of cookies and crackers followed up by a hefty dried-fruit sugar dose; predictably enough that didn't end prettily. This week I was sort of morbidly curious to know how much gluten I could have before it got to me without the extra sugar load on top of it (the answer is approximately 2 bites before I feel woozy/weird). There's a positive in this idiotic self-experiment-- now when I turn down bread at home, I'm being honest when I say I'm gluten intolerant, instead of 'just' saying it's not in my diet (although it would be really nice if a person could say that and people would accept it...)

              Poor choices didn't end there. The options for food in my host house always involve some sort of grain/veggie/legume combination, which I've just come to terms with for the next week. Thing is, I can eat a huge plate of the stuff and still be ravenous and craving something. CRAVING, grrr. I'm all for avoiding cravings. But there was a dark chocolate bar that I was hoping to bring myself to throw out and, well... down went the chocolate bar. Still hungry, so wised up and made the choice I should've to begin with: ate an avocado. Had half a banana after, which was unnecessary, but a lesser evil.

              So... positivity for today comes in the form of more lessons, more mindfulness. Again, I'm writing it here because this is stuff I can't have in my more 'creative' journal without starting to fixate on what I got wrong instead of what was learned or right. I was reminded, again, of how I have to spend awhile going cold turkey before I can have control and 'just a little' and sensitive vices. I'm learning the need for more resolve, which I get in the form of learning more about this lifestyle. I'm learning the need for more patience, the need to decrease the instant gratification drive. AND I'm learning that I might not be so minimal in dietary sugar as I always thought I was, now that I'm quitting it.

              Phew. That's a whole lot of life lessons in a day. Still though, I'm excited to take on tomorrow-- I'm trying to implement the "act as if" challenge Mark had awhile back. It'll probably work better once I'm living outside a host family, but I consider this week 'getting my brain in order with my behavior' transition period. Due to pouring rain and inadequate clothes after my meeting was done, my long walk/run got derailed until tomorrow.


              • #8
                I have a confession.
                I struggled this week with binge-eating. Stressing about making all my non-given foods primal probably contributed, but I realized I needed to sit down and figure out what else was going on. I mean, I ate a whole bunch of gluten stuff-- I haven't even been craving gluten since I got over withdrawal! So I tried to calm down and be honest with myself. It took me a few frustrating sessions of miserable self-reflection, but I FIGURED IT OUT. And I feel SO much better.
                People always told me eating disorders tended to arise or manifest from compensating for a lack of control. This is true, so I always assumed in my case it was a response to change in my life. I realized, though, that it's a response to LACK OF CONTROL OVER MY FOOD. When I'm not on a meal plan or depending on someone else to feed me, I do just fine-- I don't eat between meals, I don't stress too much about what I eat, and I feel super confident because food just isn't an issue. But when I HAVE to eat what someone else is serving, or feel as though I do, I freak out a little. I overcompensate, especially if (as is usually the case), I don't consider what they're serving to be healthy. So I overeat (usually) healthy foods between meals to 'make up for it' (in freshman year I overate unhealthy foods, since I tend to go all-or-nothing and the dining hall was so unhealthy I figured there was no saving me anyway so what the heck).
                I GET IT NOW. This might seem like such a little thing, but finally pinpointing what was triggering my loss-of-control response makes me feel SO FREE. And I felt the need to share :-)
                So until I can be completely in control of my meals again (next week and on, minus a few days), I'm going to relax. Still think and try to act primal, but try to put a pause on analyzing what's wrong with all the meals I'm served and what I should be eating instead. So that when I kick off a primal life, it can be from a positive place.


                • #9
                  Welcome! As a former binger I'm all sympathy. I had to accept I can't do sugar in any form or artificial sweetners-- this is true for several on MDA. So I hope you figure out what your triggers are and root them out of you life. All the best.
                  This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

                  Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
                  Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism


                  • #10
                    Digby, thank you so much for the encouragement-- I really appreciate it, and it certainly helped me calm down over the past couple days. Right now I'm taking a step back and trying to become more aware of my eating so I know those triggers. I look forward to continuing to learn from the great support base on this site as I move into a primal lifestyle and a healthy relationship with food!


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Miel822 View Post
                      Digby, thank you so much for the encouragement-- I really appreciate it, and it certainly helped me calm down over the past couple days. Right now I'm taking a step back and trying to become more aware of my eating so I know those triggers. I look forward to continuing to learn from the great support base on this site as I move into a primal lifestyle and a healthy relationship with food!
                      Based on what I read here, most of us had a slip or three in the early days of doing PB, old habits die hard, but eventually you realize you are only hurtng yourself--huddling round the commode for an hour by way of example after I ate a bunch of bread-- and it just loses it's sheen. There is definitely a learning curve. We each have to figure out what works for us. You'll get there if you stick with it.
                      This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

                      Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
                      Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism


                      • #12
                        It's been awhile, but I haven't forgotten primal! In fact, I'm moving more and more into it. I'm back in the states, in my own place, back to school and work and working out and all that jazz. I feel wonderful-- the first miserable couple weeks of back to weightlifting is over with, I feel totally calm about my diet, and I'm looking to add in more cardio starting this week. I'm not full primal, or even really 80/20. I'd say I usually clock in around 60/40-- if my friends or housemates cook for me, I'll eat the main dish of what they make and skip non-primal sides, and when eating out I'll settle for 'most primal' on the menu. I've also been phasing out sugar, but I'll 'fess up to being a bit of a sugar-coated Grok. Not eating fruit often helps a lot though, and it's a couple times a week nowadays and usually involves chocolate. Like plenty of people have said, the more primal I eat, the more I feel the affects of eating something like enchiladas or corn chips or a cookie. It provides some awesome incentive. I'll check back in eventually, but for now I'll keep reading and getting on with things. Grok on!