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Primal Journal: Jacq ChocMonster lets go of sugar pot

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  • #16
    Day...12, maybe 13?: Twilight zone --> 24-hr fast

    Think I missed a day somewhere.. Anyway! It's the start of essay-writing season for my final semester of grad school (hip hip hooray!). Have 3 assignments to complete and I finished one I think yesterday? Day before? I don't know. Basically I go into this twilight zone when I'm typing away and days lose their meaning. Assignment 1 was DONE at 6.28am, that's the only thing I remember. And I remember going to school to hand it up, walking through campus like I was wading through mud.

    Sweet potato brownies happened last night though. I'm pretty sure. They were so good.

    Today I woke up, fully intent on the leptin reset, but my body was nagging for yoga. Food? Yoga? Food? Yoga? Yoga won. Grabbed my mat and went straight to class. And it was a great practice! Woot. Walked out all stretched and smiley. My strength is back! Roar.

    Fast forward story --> not hungry at all so decided to take it easy. Ended up doing a 24-hr fast. Wasn't mad hungry but decided I wanted to have a regular eating routine as much as possible till I am confident I have my binges sorted.

    It's my first 24-hr fast! And didn't stuff my face when I ended it either. Pork burgers with vege. And avo cinnamon smoothie with coconut cream and yogurt to up the fat. No desire to tear kitchen apart after that. Victory!

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    • #17
      Day 14: Sleep all eff-ed up

      Didn't get much good sleep last night. This will probably continue for another 2 weeks till all my essays are done, so I just gotta suck it up and remember not to bake anything. I tend to vacuum food up mindlessly and soullessly at these times.

      Eating primal is helping though. Had 2 proper meals today. Lunch was a pork burger with 3 scrambled eggs. I added a tbsp of coconut cream to my whisked eggs and they turned out super dense and oozy. Not sure if I prefer them that way but they sure were filling. I was missing carbs so dinner was a ton of vege (spinach, cauliflower, zucchini) with tuna and bacon. All in one big bowl. I don't think tuna and bacon are a good team actually. Failed experiment. Oh well.

      And now it's just past midnight but I feel energised enough to plough on through. That's my problem - I can't always set out regular writing times in the day because my focus is unpredictable. I just have to make the best of it when it comes, usually at night. I know it's unhealthy and I've been trying to fix it, but it's a long term work in progress. I've met people who tell me I've got ADD, but I don't think it's that severe (probably just a major lameass procrastinator). Anyway we didn't have that term growing up, and when I finally do get going (with an essay or some task), I can get it done. Just at the temporary expense of regularity. So don't think it's a biggie. Come to think of it, that's partly why I've always gravitated towards jobs with irregular hours. Exhausting but fulfilling at the same time - I don't really know how to explain it properly.

      Now I'm rambling. Back to essay-writing. Over and out.

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      • #18
        Day 15: Don't shoot the night owl

        Staying strong on the no-baking resolution. Almost caved 'coz I was surfing all these paleo baked goods recipes and saw one for cinnamon buns which made my brain light up like a Christmas tree - but thank goodness the impulse faded. I still want to put something in the oven though. Maybe I'll bake bacon. Caramelised bacon. NOOOOOOOO.

        Anyway, today I gave more thought to my nocturnal habits mainly because for the next couple of months, I don't need to wake up in the mornings. I much prefer being awake through the night. I have always been this way but periodically, I try to dial it back for usual reasons (morning appointments, classes, parents questioning for the millionth time why I just can't be normal etc). Plus the more I read about health it says I am going against the circadian rhythm, which seems anti-primal... Is it really so wrong? I'm sick of feeling bad about this. There's just something so delicious about being awake at 4am. Savouring the quiet, the crisp air - all these sharpen my concentration as well. And I get properly exhausted when the sun rises and I finally sleep like the dead.

        Long story short, I found a few fellow night owls on the forum here. Feeling somewhat relieved. Also I just started reading Alain de Botton's 'The Consolations of Philosophy', which is amusingly, exactly what the book is about Am enjoying it very much. Makes me feel less wretched too.

        Shall end this post with a quote from his chapter, Consolation for Unpopularity:
        "But it is not only the hostility of others that may prevent us from questioning the status quo. Our will to doubt can be just as powerfully sapped by an internal sense that societal conventions must have a sound basis, even if we are not sure exactly what this may be, because they have been adhered to by a great many people for a long time."
        Last edited by Jacq ChocMonster; 05-28-2012, 10:37 AM.

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        • #19
          Day 16: Stop buying peanut butter!

          Yeah. I made a bargain with myself to only buy peanut butter when it's on a major sale. Trouble is it goes on sale ever so often. Meals in the day were fine though:

          Lunch - 1 can sardines with cucumber, 2 slices bacon with avocado
          Dinner - shrimp curry with spinach. Majorly yummy 'coz I frigging cooked it myself! Which just means I had spice control. Felt like I was back in Malaysia, it was spicy enough that I had sweat beads forming on my face. Woohoo.

          But then things took a downward turn after that. I blame it on the bacon, though it really isn't the bacon's fault. See, instead of making caramelised bacon, I decided to try the primal Elvis - bacon with peanut butter and banana, no bread. This was after dinner. Honestly after the shrimp curry, 1 slice of Elvis-style bacon was more than enough. So I duly fridged the rest, turned back to the kitchen counter, and was confronted with the remaining half of a banana and half a jar of peanut butter. Eh hem.

          I really can't be buying any more peanut butter for at least 3 months, even if they go for $2 a jar. Just. Cannot. Should not. Will not.

          And I'm starting a 10-day yoga challenge! That is so much more attainable for me -_- Someone on the fitness thread initiated it, and I'm jumping on. Went for my usual class at the gym today, great as usual. Tmr I'll try this 7-day deal at a yoga studio. Can't wait!

          p.s. Also sent out my first job application today. Fingers and toes crossed.
          p.p.s. Elvis really knew how to rock his bacon, man. One taste and I'm a convert. Oh, but I can't buy any more peanut butter. Damn. See, this is what happens when you get your compulsive dumbo on *wails*
          Last edited by Jacq ChocMonster; 05-29-2012, 10:51 AM.

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          • #20
            Day 17: Transformation 2.0

            Been obsessed reading all I can on primal/paleo, and it hits me every few days that there is so much more to learn, which is pretty great. Followed a link provided by someone on the forum to Dr. Michael Eades' blog on keto-adaptation. Had an aha! moment. So this is why I need to push through it. Had the mistaken impression that once I had experienced ketosis, my body was all good and set up to burn fat. But always slipped again after a few days. Need time to adapt, helloooooo...

            Some quotes from his blog to remind myself:

            "The surest road to failure in the first few days of low-carb dieting is to listen to your body.. Listening to your body is giving the elephant free rein. If you’re three days into your stop-smoking program, and you listen to your body, you’re screwed. If you’re in drug rehab, and you listen to your body, you’re screwed. If you’re trying to give up booze, and you listen to your body, you’re screwed. And if you’re a week into your low-carb diet, and you listen to your body, you’re screwed. Actually, it’s okay to listen to it, I suppose, just don’t do what it’s telling you to do because if you do, you’re screwed."

            I like the way he writes. Makes me laugh as he kicks my ass. Another one, from a different post:

            "There is an adaptation period that takes place when starting a low-carb diet. Someone who has been on a high-carb diet–the standard American diet, for example–has to metabolize a lot of sugar. All metabolic processes require enzymes to carry them out. Our DNA codes for these enzymes, but we don’t make them unless we need them. And when we do need them it takes a while for them to get brought up to the necessary levels. So, when we’re on a high-carb diet, we’ve got a lot of sugar-metabolizing enzymes kicking around, ready to metabolize sugar. All the sugar-metabolizing pathways are working efficiently.

            Suddenly we switch to a low-carb diet. Now we don’t have much sugar to be metabolized–we’ve got fat instead. But our fat metabolizing pathways are kind of rusty. We’ve got plenty of sugar enzymes, but not enough fat enzymes. The body stays put for a bit to see what’s going to happen. Is this just a few hours without carbs or is it a real low-carb diet for sure? Once the body gets serious, signals go to the DNA, which starts coding for the fat-burning enzymes. They are soon made and start to work, and the fatigue goes away because the body can now efficiently metabolize fat, the main fuel on a low-carb diet."

            I added the italics - that was the part that made me go aha! So work through it, woman. Don't be a smart ass.

            And then some other bits about sodium and electrolytes, constant battling among our multiple selves etc. All fascinating stuff.

            Okay about my day itself. After the peanut butter disaster, I couldn't get to sleep till 7am. Which is crap because I had to wake up by noon for school stuff. The worst part of being tired is the sugar/grain cravings. Hit me so damn hard even though I had a proper lunch. I made up a support group in my head. I tried lying to my brain, "You don't have money to buy nutella crepes! You forgot to bring your wallet, remember??" etc etc. And somehow it worked! Then cruised through the evening, cravings-wise, because I headed down for yoga and was all balanced after. Whew.

            I'm going to surf for more nuggets of primal wisdom and put them down here. Ending post with pix of my egg rings. Again. Because they make me happy.

            IMG_1463_.jpgIMG_1465_.jpg

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            • #21
              One more voice in my head

              Completed Day 8 of my 10-day yoga challenge. Today was probably the toughest for me so far, my body is really starting to feel it. It's 9pm now and I'm sitting in bed already, typing this.

              Couple of updates:

              1) I HANDED UP MY THESIS. Finally! The thesis represents one year of sleepless nights and way too much junk food, so while I'm proud of my work, I'm equally relieved it's done. I am definitely a stress eater. Still trying to find my way to resolve that -_-

              2) Consistently going for yoga has strengthened this yogi identity. I don't really know how else to describe it - it's like there's one more voice in my head now. On top of all the other multiple selves that I have. It tells me two things. One, heck, I AM beautiful. Stop the self-bashing. And two, if you are really serious about being a better yogi, WATCH WHAT YOU EAT. The stress eating pisses this yogi self off (yeah it's not exactly a zen sort of voice, it's more a matter-of-fact, no-nonsense kind of personality), because when I binge and end up in class all bloated and unfocused, I get so much less out of the practice.

              I don't know. Some days are great, some days are shit. I don't know what I'm doing sometimes - I cut out the nut butters, I end up eating more chocolate. I eat more meat, I end up eating too little vege and feel out of sorts. Then some days I just want to bury myself in a sea of fresh croissants and not have to think about anything.

              Why does grain and sugar have to be addictive?

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              • #22
                Back to basics

                All these experiments with food, eating times and what not has made me realise I can't obsess over it. Ironical because I started a journal to detail what and when I eat, hoping the accountability and structure would fix everything. It helped but it also piled on the guilt when I fell short of primal. Added to that the stresses of school, and I was back to dipping shortbread cookies in Nutella.

                Somewhere in the midst of this, I went for the self-imposed yoga intensive and did 8 consecutive days of power yoga. It was supposed to be a 10-day thing but I did hatha at home for the last 2 days instead - my body was super strained and told me to stop holding on to my stupid pride. Letting go. Part of me thinks it's an excuse to shortchange, but the more forgiving part says nothing except 'just let it go'. Very humbling.

                I went back and re-read lots of articles about being primal. Why I failed at fasting, why I failed at cutting out sugar - lots of whys. Realised a couple of things:

                1. I suck at deprivation. Tell me I can't have chocolate for one week, and tomorrow I'll be at the grocery store sweeping up chocolate bars like there's no tomorrow. Then there's too much chocolate in the house, and I attack it.

                2. I suck at sticking to rules. Tell me I have to fast exactly 24 or 18 hours and I immediately feel hungry.

                The best-laid plans can always backfire if you forget the basics. Primal basics: eat your meat, eat your vege. Then if you still have room, eat more butter. Then maybe some fruit.

                My mind likes to jump to nuts, nut butters, cheese - but all that variety just encourages me to focus even more on indulgences i.e. Dark chocolate. Primal baked goods. Then gateway to binge.

                So this is a self-reminder to focus on the basics. It's not about what you are not having.

                Following that, things seem to have fallen into place. My natural rhythm: Large first meal (can be 2pm, 12pm, 4pm), small second meal. First meal can take a couple hours. I stop when I feel full, but 30 minutes later, I feel like eating again. Usually there's food left anyway. And it seems after the 2nd/3rd serving I won't feel like eating anymore. Second meal is small because I fill up and stay full really quickly. Then if it turns out to be a late night and I have a snack, I don't beat myself up.

                Just prioritise eating basic primal, and let it go.
                Last edited by Jacq ChocMonster; 06-08-2012, 06:44 AM.

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                • #23
                  Eating distractedly. And fish gelatine.

                  Since I have an auto-snack reflex while typing away on essays, made my first meal the snack, instead of chocolate and nuts. It worked today. Although I know the ideal situation is to not multi-task when you eat. Oh well. Baby steps.

                  So meal 1 (~3.30pm?): leftover beef spinach quiche, a ton of vege (stir fried cabbage and bok choy w sriracha), coffee jelly w coconut cream & honey.

                  Meal 2 (8pm): leftover vege, super small sweet potato w boiled egg & tahini, yogurt w mixed berries, a measly 2 squares dark choc (because that was the last of my stash).

                  Btw realise my carb binges a few days ago has (on top of bloating me) made my arm muscles way more solid. I was telling my friend how sore my arms were from all that power yoga so I flexed them and she was pretty shocked (so was I actually) by the muscles. Hurhur. Totally bulked up. Not sure how I feel about that.

                  Lastly, this jelly thing has been going on for 3 days now. The story is that since young, I've always been obsessed with jelly/agar agar/konnyaku - Anyway, I found a 500g box of pure fish gelatine powder at the Asian supermarket the other day and pounced on them. Going for cheap too ($9), compared to all the other 'collagen powder' gimmicks next to it. And that's it! I've been shoving down tubs of jelly like nobody's business. Day 1 was seaweed jelly, Day 2 was grapefruit tea jelly, and today was coffee jelly. Seaweed jelly was weird but tea and coffee ones are heaven. Plus it's a good way to get more protein in and it's filling, so big win all round! Happiness. Okay now back to essay.

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                  • #24
                    Where have you gone, chocmonster! Hope you're doing well!

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