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My True Primal Story by SweetPickles

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  • #16
    Congrats on 21, SweetPickles!

    I'm not sure what makes people fall off the wagon. A day of cheating followed by feeling ill, I can understand. But to willingly return to the industrial food-substitute lifestyle, and the broken body that comes from that, is hard for me to imagine.

    One thing that keeps life interesting for me is the occasional carb refeed. On grueling workout days, lean protein with starch and berries can be a very entertaining change of pace.

    Sometimes steak seems boring to me too. But when I actually put it in my mouth, I am reminded of how awesome it is. Especially with butter and pink salt.

    Crossfit sounds like loads of fun!

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    • #17
      I'm closing in on 4 weeks of primal living and feeling great! Ladies and gentlemen, true, I am not in my skinny jeans yet - but I am back in all my regular size 12 pants and jeans, comfortably, and with room to spare. I can go to my closet and fit into almost all of my clothes - exception being two pairs of skinny jeans I wore at my lowest weight. This is a huge triumph for me, and honestly, if this is all I got for going primal, I'd be pretty thrilled. But wait, there's more!

      You also get great skin out of your primal package! Yes, my rosacea has hardly flared up at all, as it usually does in cold dry weather. It's a pretty effective deterrent from eating grains - if I eat them, my face gets red. And I don't want to have the red face. It's not just a little pink. It's not even just a little red. It's more like having a terrible sunburn. It glows, like Rudolph's nose.

      I keep thinking I should still be shy about my face. And then I duck into the restroom, and I wonder who that non-red person is staring back at me. And I realize that I might not need all that money I put aside for laser treatment this year.

      Perhaps I will be using that money to buy a big freezer. We sure could use it around here. Next week we are going to pick up our meat club order from Black Earth Meats. We got the smallest box because that's all we have room for right now. It will have steaks and grass fed beef and maybe some sausages. We are also trying to figure out what we will do with the organic turkey we ordered for Thanksgiving, and our little freezer is also filled with plenty of Mr. SP's produce (in addition to all of the stuff that got canned). Eeek!

      But really, it is an embarrassment of riches. We have so much wonderful food. We just need another apartment to store it in.

      Last night we went out to dinner for the first time in two weeks. Mr. SP and I used to eat out about two times a week, but lately I've been pretty bent on shopping and planning for primal meals, so it hasn't really come up. But this has been the week from hell for both of us in terms of work load. So we took the night off from preparing meals at home and went to one of our favorite restaurants, Graze and had goat meatballs with this amazing tomato coriander sauce. We also had a burger (substituted salad for the fries and just didn't eat the bun). We had a selection of different pickled vegetables for an appetizer and we ordered deviled eggs for dessert.

      I have really found that eating primally at times puts me back in touch with basic, simple delicious foods, foods that nourish, foods that put me in touch with the simple act of putting nutrients away - but yet there are times where I want to eat decadently and be swept away from flavors, and it's nice to know that being primal is compatible with a party in your mouth as well as your tummy.
      Last edited by SweetPickles; 11-12-2011, 06:12 AM.
      My True Primal Story

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      • #18
        SweetPickles, you are an inspiration. Such excellent results after four weeks, and you're still building momentum. Imagine six months, twelve months, more! You're doing your primal brothers and sisters proud.

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        • #19
          Aw, shucks! Thanks Timothy. I really am looking forward to the next stages - and I really do feel like I've moved away from being a carb-burner. It's a whole new world of appetite and satisfaction - so much better than the old one.
          My True Primal Story

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          • #20
            Day 33. I've completely changed the way I eat and fuel my body. Yet here are some aspects of primal living I have yet to explore:

            Barefoot/minimalist shoes. About two weeks before I discovered the primal lifestyle, I bought a new pair of New Balance 993's for running, probably the 7th or 8th pair I've purchased in the last 15 years. My late father always wore this model of NB and I do, too in a sort of morbid homage. When I'm ready to try minimalist shoes, I'll go with the NB version - but I just shelled out 130 bucks for these new ones on Amazon, so I need to get some use out of them. They are now my CrossFit shoes. I could probably use them for some light hiking as well.

            Cold showers. Clearly a primal notion practiced by people who don't live in Wisconsin. Doesn't going outside to start my car when it's twenty below count as a cold shower? Sigh, okay, maybe not. I have been making a effort to take cooler showers - but I may never want to give my hot water up in winter. That might be more of a warm weather experiment.

            Hair. I have been experimenting with only washing my hair every other day, but I still use regular shampoo. I have fine straight hair that can get very oily. I've noticed that my scalp is less oily now that I've changed my diet, but I'm easing in to this one.

            You know, I think that my true primal story is about two major changes I never thought I'd make. The first one is to change everything I thought I knew about losing weight and exercise, of course.

            The second one has been about becoming less prissy. Like Eva Gabor on Green Acres. I've been prissy since I was a kid. Other kids were making mud pies in their little overalls and I wore dresses all of the time and read. As an adult, my ideal Sunday afternoon used to include shopping, taking in a movie, visiting an art museum, etc. You know, stuff you can do indoors with clean hands and while wearing shoes you care about.

            This last weekend I suggested to Mr. SP that we should go out to the woods and split some wood. After he finished snickering at the idea of me with an axe, he arranged with his dad for us to go out to his family's woods and get chopping. We haven't done it yet due to brunch conflicts, but I'll report back.

            Goodbye, city life!

            I still have far to go in embracing a primal lifestyle. I may always eat primally, but I may remain a sissy at heart. Or maybe I will eventually abandon my prissy ways, dragging Mr. SP off to a dank cave with only our heated mattress pad and french press for company? You just never know.
            My True Primal Story

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            • #21
              Congrats on your first 33 days! Sounds like you've had good success thus far! It is always fun to reflect on the changes you've been able to make since dedicating yourself to do something...i'm to the point where i laugh at myself for the reckless behaviors/lifestyle I considered "healthy..ish" before Primal. I understand wanting to get some use out of the shoes you just bought...but once you make the change to minimalist shoes, you won't be disappointed!

              Thanks for keeping us updated! And keep up the good life!

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              • #22
                Thanks Prima[L] Facie! I love your name.

                Sometimes I can't believe all of the years I spent trying to lose weight and to feel better, often by religiously following CW principles. But CW diets did teach me how to be disciplined and to do things like read food labels and grocery shop, albeit for the wrong things. I like to think that I gained plenty of transferable skills for my new primal life! For example, I know exactly how to find saturated fat from years of avoiding it .
                My True Primal Story

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by SweetPickles View Post
                  The second one has been about becoming less prissy. Like Eva Gabor on Green Acres. I've been prissy since I was a kid. Other kids were making mud pies in their little overalls and I wore dresses all of the time and read. As an adult, my ideal Sunday afternoon used to include shopping, taking in a movie, visiting an art museum, etc. You know, stuff you can do indoors with clean hands and while wearing shoes you care about.
                  This is a trenchant insight, SweetPickles. I was also a ridiculous priss for years. Could not even walk barefoot in my own house because it felt like nails on a chalkboard. Now I walk barefoot on glass fragments under freeway overpasses almost every day and it actually feels nice. The end of prissiness is the beginning of freedom. Minimalist shoes and cold showers will take you there for sure. If not all at once, then by degrees.

                  Have fun swinging that axe!

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Timothy View Post
                    This is a trenchant insight, SweetPickles. I was also a ridiculous priss for years. Could not even walk barefoot in my own house because it felt like nails on a chalkboard. Now I walk barefoot on glass fragments under freeway overpasses almost every day and it actually feels nice. The end of prissiness is the beginning of freedom. Minimalist shoes and cold showers will take you there for sure. If not all at once, then by degrees.

                    Have fun swinging that axe!
                    You? A former priss? No way! Amazing.

                    But I think you are so right about the freedom aspect. For me, prissiness is so ingrained, I have always avoided even small simple pleasures like walking through brush and sitting on the grass, without even thinking about it. Becoming primal has made me relax and become aware of where prissiness is limiting me.

                    And of course, when you chase toddlers around, they have no innate sense of prissiness. So I try not to let the little girls pick up on my prissy ways when we go out for walks. I do wish they weren't so attracted to fire hydrants, though. Every fire hydrant begs to be touched, sigh.
                    My True Primal Story

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                    • #25
                      Happy Thanksgiving!

                      Thanksgiving was great. We hosted Mr. SP's family and some friends and the party went on for about 12 hours. I was up way past my bedtime but I still woke up early as usual.

                      I love entertaining. I love cocktail napkins and place settings (not very primal) and asking people to remove their shoes (more primal).

                      Mr. SP produced an amazing dinner, natch. We had wild rice and sausage stuffing, bread stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, salads, green beans, squash w/kale. Delicious. I was planning on having a bit of potatoes, but I honestly didn't have room on my plate. I had a tiny bite of the non-primal stuffing off Mr. SP's plate, and it's not that I thought it tasted bad, but it was just weird and bland. Did not compute as food. And for me, Thanksgiving was formerly all about the starch. The desire to eat that stuff has really vanished.

                      I wish I could say the same for the pie. I am usually not a pie person at all. Maybe it was the stress of having my in-laws over, maybe it was peer pressure, or maybe it was a latent sugar craving, but I went for it. We had pumpkin pie (similar to the recipe Mark posted with the walnut crust, but ours was made with heavy cream and sugar), along with gluten-free apple pie. I had a small piece of each. It was pretty good - but not great. I'm not sick, but my stomach isn't quite right, either. Nope, not right. Not really worth it.

                      Aside from the food, the most primal thing about my Thanksgiving was keeping stress at bay. Mr. SP and I are very good at getting ourselves really wound up when we entertain. We love food and we feel a certain amount of pressure to feed our guests well and keep them happy. And this was the first time we'd hosted Thanksgiving. But we agreed that not everything had to be perfect, and we were just going to relax and have a good time, and we did a good job sticking to that resolve. Go us!

                      I think this morning will be all about a nice long walk, some coffee, and some trashy TV. Sister Wives on Netflix is calling my name. Then a nap.
                      My True Primal Story

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                      • #26
                        Still eating turkey, turkey, turkey. The dark meat is long gone and so I am eating the white meat in lettuce wraps with mustard, mayo, and pickles, of course. Tonight the carcass and remaining meat goes into a soup - it's been a really good bird, but I'm really excited to move on from it. We have a chuck roast and some steaks to plow into from our meat share.

                        I did CrossFit on Saturday for the fourth week in a row and I am now a member at my local box. So far, I've only managed to go once a week, but I'm planning on going early tomorrow and Friday afternoon. My goal is to do it twice a week (on average - some weeks it might be just once, others three times). Although during the workout they yell at you like you're back in junior high gym class, afterwards they tell you that you did a really good job. I like that part.

                        The crowd has varied quite a bit, but generally I'm the slowest and the weakest person there. But I do my best. I'm not very competitive, I just don't want to get yelled at. As a result, I've made a lot of progress in a short time. For example, I can now jump on the box during box jumps, when the first two weeks I had to step up and down. I can almost do a proper push-up during burpees and I went up to a heavier medicine ball thing last week (10 to 14 lbs).

                        Other than that, I've been pretty lax about exercise during my entire six weeks of being primal. I have been taking the stairs when I think of it, and I have taken some walks. I've been doing Bikram once a week. Yet I am feeling stronger and I am visibly leaner. I imagine this is a good argument for diet being 80% of the battle.

                        I've transitioned from my fat pants to my normal pants to now wearing my skinny jeans (not skinny because they are hipster jeans, but skinny because they only fit me when I'm on the slender side). I've been wearing things in my closet that I haven't worn in ages. Mr. SP keeps thinking I'm buying new clothes.

                        I'm not really sure how much more weight I've lost, or how much more I want to lose. I would guess I've lost about 15 lbs and would probably like to lose at least 15-20 more, or get down to a size 8 or so - I'm about a 10/12 right now. I think I should lose a little more fat for optimal health, but I'm pretty pleased with how I look right now.
                        My True Primal Story

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                        • #27
                          Well done sticking with CrossFit! With the primal advantage, I doubt that you will be the slowest and weakest for long.

                          You've made stupendous progress which is one reason I love reading your journal. But as well as you've done, one month is just the beginning. I know you are pleased with you how you look now, but that is only because you can scarcely imagine how awesome you will look and feel in a year. In a few more years, you will essentially have grown an entirely new body. Many delightful surprises await you and Mr. SP!

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                          • #28
                            You know, Timothy, I'm glad you pointed this out, and I think that's why I'm a little hesitant to set a big overall goal for myself, because you're right - I really don't know how where I'll be at in a year. The changes I've already experienced have surprised and delighted me, but I guess I don't want to limit myself based on what I used to think I was capable of or how fit I can be. Because my view of that is exploding - I see so many more possibilities for the future.

                            So my overall goals are a little vague, other than to keep doing what I'm doing and to keep enjoying it! I do like to set some concrete goals, though, and so I was thinking about some I'd like to set. I'm going to work towards doing a real pull-up. And a handstand. And a full standing-split in "bow" pose.

                            The pull up has been my nemesis since elementary school. Actually, for the fitness tests, girls only had to do that hang thing - but I always, always, always scored a zero, couldn't even hold it for a second. Never, ever. To do a pull up would be an enormous personal triumph, the kind that inspires a bad tattoo. I'm going to talk to the trainers at CrossFit about working towards this goal - so far it hasn't come up in the WOD when I've been there, but I know CrossFit will help me towards this.

                            The handstand - I can do a (sloppy) tripod headstand, but a handstand just always seemed so out of the question with my weak upper body. But this is one I can start working on against the wall and so think I can practice almost anywhere.

                            The standing bow - I'm pretty flexible naturally, and I've been practicing Bikram for a long time. I can do a pretty good version of this pose - mine looks like the "real" version. But I think I've always been held back a bit by weakness and a fear of falling. I've also gotten pretty complacent in my practice, so reaching for the "ideal" will hopefully shake things up a bit.
                            Last edited by SweetPickles; 11-30-2011, 02:18 AM. Reason: typo
                            My True Primal Story

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by SweetPickles View Post
                              To do a pull up would be an enormous personal triumph, the kind that inspires a bad tattoo.
                              Well put! I would love to see that tattoo. It would probably have flames and a tiger.

                              Just hanging from a bar or tree is a good way to progress to pullups. Losing fat will also make it dramatically easier (that's how I was able to do my first one, even without training for it). Once you work up to one pullup, a half dozen aren't far behind!

                              Doing an ideal standing bow, or a two-handed handstand, would be a lot more challenging (and rewarding). But it's good to have lots of goals of varying difficulty.

                              All you really need to do is keep up the excellent diet and push yourself a bit in the CrossFit classes, and you will inevitably achieve all this and more.

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                              • #30
                                Thanks as always for your encouragement, Timothy! I hope you know that it is much appreciated.

                                Everything is better with flames. I'd like to add some flame decals to our Toyota Corolla, but alas, Mr. SP says no.
                                My True Primal Story

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