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Stellar's Six Month Primal Journal

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  • Stellar's Six Month Primal Journal

    It's a six month journal because six months seems like long enough to set up new patterns but short enough that it won't go on forever. I've done Whole 30 before and felt fantastic... lost weight, felt more emotionally stable, felt fantastic physically -- but never have I managed to do it for a whole thirty days because as soon as I get stable and calm and "together" I just spiral out into binges and drama and self-sabotage. So I'm going to go with Primal principles and see if I can build some success.

    Stuff about me

    I'm a 5'6" 208 lbs graduate student in my mid-twenties, studying engineering. I'm a Marine veteran and was 135 lbs and buff at my best. I'm 208 now, down from 220 on January 1st, and completely stuck at this weight. It's all a mind game with me and the big 2-0-0 keeps throwing me for a loop. I'm a compulsive eater (not offically diagnosed) and I'm dealing with a lot of binging, anxiety, and guilt. I want to be fit, able to run and jump and climb on things, and to feel mentally clear so I can geek out with a proper attention span.

    My one-month goals for August 1st are:

    1. get the primal blueprint
    2. switch to primal eating and build up a 'coping bank' for the inevitable binge desires.
    3. weigh 200 lbs
    4. squat/bench/dead/press: 145/90/80/75
    5. hike three 12+ mile hikes with 20lb pack
    6. repair my sleep schedule

    Sleep particulars...

    I always fall into that "well, I'll do more work..." habit where I use that as an excuse to screw around on the internet from nine pm til midnight. Instead, I recently rented an office near my house and I'm getting up at 7am to go there to work. I'm going to reset my sleep with a combination of judicious use of melatonin (it's worked before well in the very short term) and no internet after sunset.

    Food particulars...

    I was raised vegetarian and I've added fish into my diet but I'm repulsed by beef or bacon. I avoid fake meats. I'm going to keep Greek yogurt in my diet because of the protein and because I haven't had issues in the past. I do have some gut issues so I'm cutting out all other dairy and the legumes/grains... if that's not enough, I'll try the yogurt, but really 20g protein in one serving is awesome.

    I also get a CSA box full of veggies once a week so I'll focus on eggs, veggies, fish/seafood, and some nuts/seeds.

    I'm going to focus on using fruit to satisfy my 'dessert' cravings. I've used Starbucks chai lattes and pastries as a way to study for something like ten years now so recently I've been able to replace chai lattes with unsweetened iced passion tea. The trick will be the pastries!

    I know I need to meal plan or it's not going to work but I'm going to give it a couple days to get my head on straight. I'm gonna use DashFire's journal style for update. Finally, I'm not going to be down on myself at all for missing meals for the first few days. I'll eat when I'm hungry and choose to say "no" rather than make a bad choice, just to break the "EAT THAT" urge that hits me. I found IF to be hugely reassuring last time around.

    tl;dr: Here's to six months!
    Last edited by Stellar Jay; 06-29-2012, 11:20 PM.

  • #2
    Coping bank

    I reach for ice cream and Voodoo Doughnuts when I get all stressed out. Instead, here's a list of cool things to do that are a break, kind of fun, and could take my mind off things.

    1. Get an iced tea
    2. Work on the huge bug puzzle of doom
    2a. bonus challenge: finish it and find out if the cats really HAVE stolen any pieces
    3. Go for a long drive
    4. Work out: fifty pushups!
    5. Go for a walk in the arboretum
    6. Eat a piece of fruit
    7. Go read a book in the park
    8. Admit that no homework will happen and That's Just Fine.
    9. Journal it. Examine the underlying issue like it's the dead horse du jour.
    10. Write a completely unrelated story.
    11. Call someone.


    • #3
      Day 3

      I've been able to make primal choices for my main meals but I'm still snacking on Starbucks a ton - which is still me reaching for the emotional foods. I've been so stressed that deciding to make better food choices on the go just made me more stressed out, so I decided my week one would be a totally different focus: sleep and work habits.

      So I'm on my third day of turning off my computer, iPhone, and iPad at sunset. It's more natural for me than a fixed time, which I can negotiate with myself about. ("Why'd you pick 8pm? Why not eight thiiiiiiiiirty?" It's like I'm my own teenager.) I'll have a much more gentle lamp on in the corner for reading and stuff after dark but no computer, which means I haven't been able to waste hours on Reddit... so it turns out I'm reading a bit, getting naturally tired, and hitting the rack. That started with 11:15pm on Sunday and was 10:30pm last night. I'm totally not stressing and it feels really satisfying.

      The other benefit is that it's 8am and I'm up! I woke up at 6:30am, well before my alarm, and felt all right. I'm just in the habit of going back to sleep so I did, til 7:30. I got out of bed, was awake for a phone call I hadn't expected right then but have really needed, grabbed a non-primal protein bar and one of those protein Odwallas, and now I feel like I could do a full day of work.

      The thing that took me out to the neighborhood grocery was not having anything cold to drink in the house. No ice, no water, no nothing. Okay, so note to self: put those two water bottles back in the fridge and keep one in there all the time.

      So my working logic is this: I emotionally eat because I'm stressed and anxious, a lot of my stress and anxiety comes from projects at school and work that are unfinished and on deadline, and previously I'd always procrastinate all day and have a lot of work still that I "should have done" at night. Instead of doing it or just going to sleep, I'd mess around on Reddit and social sites for hours, go to bed really late, feel crappy in the morning, and rinse/repeat ad nauseum.

      So if I can get on top of the work, which I already can see/feel a huge difference, then as the stress/anxiety abates, maybe it won't be "YOU MUST MAKE BETTER FOOD CHOICES" but "hey, let's make a plan and do some food prep so you've got good stuff" and go on to "I'm tempted by French toast but you know, I'm totally happy with those eggs instead."

      And I did opt for the root vegetable hash over the rhubarb strawberry pizza with whipped cream on Sunday morning, so there are baby steps occurring.
      Last edited by Stellar Jay; 07-03-2012, 08:34 AM. Reason: Clarification


      • #4
        Day 8 ... hey! that's a week!

        What an awesome weekend. My sleep schedule's repaired! Woohoo! So now the problem isn't not waking up, it's how to get out from under two heavy cats in the morning once I have woken up. I swear they've got little expandable inertia fields. They lay there with their eyes closed tight and start purring really loud and ... well, I'm weak.

        Went to the zoo yesterday, took the little zoo train over to the Japanese garden, and generally spent a lot of time outdoors in Washington Park. Started carrying a cold water bottle with me everywhere.

        I'm not having any trouble turning off the laptop at sunset and reading for a while. I've just finished American Gods by Neil Gaiman and really liked it. I guess I need to hit the library...

        I've also cleaned my fridge and went shopping in the produce section. I had a melon with greek yogurt this morning and it looks like dinner's tuna/quinoa salad (maybe patties? could throw almond meal/an egg in it) with a veggie stir-fry. I have an artichoke I'll steam up. Dessert's local cherries. My tastebuds are adapting.

        My goal this week is to start commenting around here, and to Say No To Food Carts.
        Last edited by Stellar Jay; 07-08-2012, 01:28 PM.