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Primal Journal - Tachikomoo (cave bear emerging from hibernation!)

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  • Primal Journal - Tachikomoo (cave bear emerging from hibernation!)

    Well here goes, inspired by arty and Siobhan to track this and just put down whatever, hopefully this will be a good way to not be a band-wagoner and really commit to this way of life.

    I've been addicted to sugar and starch for as long as I can remember and I now have the joy/curse of being married to one of those naturally skinny people who can eat anything they like and not put pounds on. I've been chubby since I was a kid and after I started full time work in desk jobs (I work in IT) I just resigned myself to being fat and all the health problems that came with it. My dad's eaten himself into diabetes, my mom's had the surgery for her feet due to her weight, both have bad health generally and very, very low fitness. Food for me was a reward, a go-to when bored, sometimes a punishment (as a kid I hated onions and was made to eat a bunch for being obnoxious once!), but mostly a comfort.

    Then I met my husband and moved to England (formerly from Utah) and everyone I talked to seemed to be doing some diet or other, slimming world, atkins, weight watchers etc. Tried them all, and they always had some flaw, some key component (usually my self discipline) that made me give them up after a while. My hubby was incredibly patient through all this but I could tell after 3 years of roller-coastering and me saying 'I've been good this week, lets have a cake!' he was ready to throw in the towel.

    Then one day he decided he was going to try and gain weight and put on strength by doing the Starting Strength routines, so he did these for a while, and I started to notice a change (i.e. he no longer disappeared when turning sideways, nicely defined shoulders etc). But I was of the 'lifting weights will make me all bulky crazy amazon woman and just put muscle under my fat and I'll be a very amusing sumo-whale' school of thought. It took hubby another 3 months of this and bringing up interesting articles to get me to try weightlifting, and I am a person who honestly hates exercise. Its always made me have a headache, feel exhausted (if I had the energy in the first place), plus always being the fat kid in school never made me like sports terribly much. Running seemed like cruel and unusual punishment, though I did like walking around, hiking, fishing, camping, as long as I could sit down after a few minutes!

    So then the hubby said to me, 'Well if you're going to be fat, you may as well have more muscle to carry around your fat so you don't hurt as much'. Goodness dear :P I took it as a challenge though, and having seen some of the amazing transformations from weights by women who look nothing like crazy musclebound amazons, I got really inspired and decided to give it a go. And I loved it!

    I've been lifting weights for about 4 months now and though progress is slow, there are some really noticeable benefits. For one, my bum isn't flat (thank you squats) and my knees can go up stairs without creaking and popping in protest. I can now lift heavy things (like my tubby cat --nod to Siobhan!) no bother and I'm proud to say that this last week I can now bench press more than my husband! HAH!

    I'm happy with the weights, plus I do a 30 minute circuit every day at work (plus sprinting every few days!) and try to do at least 2 hours on the weekend of something, walking, hiking, gardening, etc. But I noticed that despite the progress with the weights, my physical weight and eating habits remained the same. I knew I needed to make a change and in fairness I was halfway there, low carb, low sugar, high protein and veg, but I needed a plan, a goal, and something to work for. I noted that many of the strength training plans recommended the Paleo diet so I picked up the Primal Blueprint on recommendation and it clicked immediately.

    It made sense; it was all about common sense, eating natural, not stressing, and doing good outdoor activities. I've been about 70/30 primal while I get merged into it (I am having a hard time letting go of fruits, and even though they are primal they seem to be where I'm getting my 'sugar carb' fix from). So here goes, hopefully I will have some good before and after pics and more importantly feel great and be healthy!

    xx Tachi

  • #2
    oops, starting stats:

    Age: 29
    Height: 5'11"
    Weight: 240 lbs
    Size: 20 (UK sizes, must be like 2 plus or what not in the US)

    biggest health issues:

    feet: plantar fascia (ditching the shoe supports!)
    back: various aches and pains, probably from hauling the gut around
    knees: snap crackle pop and pain
    weight: severe obesity and all that comes with it
    energy: medium-low
    sleeping: doing pretty OK on this front, trying to beat the alarm more often and wake up naturally!
    Last edited by tachikomoo; 07-11-2012, 05:13 AM.


    • #3
      I had 4 eggs and 4 pieces of back bacon for breakfast and was doing well. Got to work and had a few apple slices in the interim (I always crave something sweet after something salty, then something savoury after a sweet thing, etc. vicious cycle!) between lunch and had really manageable hunger. I had onions, a few carrots, and lots of chicken in a homemade curry spice sauce, with a bunch of fresh tomatoes. Now I feel overly full. Could I have had a few less tomatoes? What is it with the whole 'must finish them off now that I've started!' mentality?

      I also had another stupid moment, there's these little Cadbury's freddo caramel things which are very small and they were sharing them at work (argh). Well I thought 'it's small, I've been good, lets have one' and about 10 mins later, here I am feeling sick and having a headache. Is it the sugar rush? This isn't a coincidence! I felt fine all day, fine the last few days when I've been eating primally, and the first bad 'treat' I have, I feel awful (and not with guilt, though I do feel like kicking my own arse a bit).

      Its also strange, a lot of people say they're skipping breakfast for IF, but I find that I am ravenous from waking until just after lunch and then I'm not hungry the rest of the day. Maybe if I ate later in the day I'd skip breakfast? Does it really matter if its the first or last meal before sleep? I used to think I slept better if I had a tummy full of food but I think 'comatose' was the right word because I never felt great the next day like I usually do after a day of primal eating and a sensible bedtime.

      Live and learn eh? I hope my sweet tooth goes away or is mitigated soon, grains were the easy part but sugar is proving difficult!


      • #4
        I am very glad I inspired you, and I hope you will find journaling as motivating as I do. I'm no expert, but I think you should do as your hunger guides you and as far as I know, compressing your eating into an earlier period in the day rather than a later one is just as effective. I have done that from time to time myself, especially in the beginning - I would eat breakfast (because I was hungry), then something in the afternoon, and no late meal because I wasn't hungry. Of course my schedule is pretty much always messed up because of my work, but that just makes it more fun.

        Sugar is a huge bug-a-bear, for many of us and certainly for me. I had to give it up completely - completely - not a breath mint or a piece of gum. I use stevia judiciously, but it doesn't seem to provoke the same response as sugar does. And now sugar gives me a monster headache - I ate some gelato a few weeks ago - which seems to me to prove something horrible, like I am an actual sugar addict, just like an alcoholic can't have one drink. So for me, not only is wheat murder, sugar is murder.

        Well, here I am going on and on about myself on someone else's journal, but I look forward to seeing more of your posts and learning from you.
        My Primal Journal:

        "Freedom from fear" could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights. - Dag Hammarskjold


        • #5
          Thanks Siobhan!! Very kind of you to pop in I'm honored to have one of your posts in my journal, and I think I agree with the wheat is murder, sugar is murder verdict! It was kind of interesting how naturally I fell into IF but last night didn't go so well, had every intention of fasting and then some strawberries appeared...

          I'm also learning that I have some crazy ideas about quantity but I hope my appetite calms down a bit as well. For example, those lovely strawberries last night (about 1 cup) were reasonable but then I think I probably put another cup of heavy double cream on it after I'd whipped it. So, not as good. I thought well heck, its a sort of healthy fat, so it's okay! But then I put the calories into a food tracker that I'm using and I was like MY GOD NO WONDER!!

          I've been primal for about 2 weeks now and my weight has not shifted at all. 240 on the dot, day in and day out. Now I think that I know why! Mark says don't count calories and listen to your body, but am I listening to the wrong things? How does one re-train their brains to think the right things? I thought bacon was great so okay, lets have a pound of it! It was this 'more is better' attitude that got me into this mess in the first place!

          I think this will take some time to fully fix my thought process from thinking 'this is ok, this is not ok' to 'this is primal and healthy and tasty, and this is crap and will make me feel awful'. But I'm getting there!

          Still trolling through the various posts and recipes around here for ideas, but I think I'm going to try some spinach, onion, bacon and egg BAS tomorrow. Oh for blue cheese! I haven't seen it since I moved to England, but I remember it fondly


          • #6
            Hi Tachi !! great to see your journal and am very honoured it I and our cat have inspired you to start it yayyyy !! just told cat but he just looked quizzical ...not sure what that means but he often gives me that look - whatchlookingat ms human ???? ..feed me feed me

            I also got that headache when I ate some dark choc when stuck and lunch less ...

            - just thought I'd mention that I also use fitness pal to log what I it makes me feel so smug when I do exercise tells me how many extra calories burned and tracks carbs so I am trying to keep carb ideally 50 but at least below 100 if I got that carb curve thing right ....I am ignoring those blooming calories though as I know that doesn't work at all for me ...

            anyhow am looking forward to following your journey and will keep you updated on any feedback from the cat !!
            My Primal Journal :


            • #7
              These issues of satiety and portion size are weighty matters! Also they are intensely personal and sorting them can be quite wrenching. Is it possible to plan your food using your tracker a day ahead? It helps for me to at least think about what I am going to eat on a daily basis rather than just load up, even though it is primal. Also I can fill in where I'm lacking (usually protein - for me that is the hardest target to hit) and boy do those carbs add up fast! Anyway, keep filling us in and we will solve all of your problems for you! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
              My Primal Journal:

              "Freedom from fear" could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights. - Dag Hammarskjold


              • #8
                thanks arty and Sio Today was almost a disaster as the morning turned out hopelessly busy and I said to myself, 'Ah what the heck, its Friday, I'll just grab something healthy and premade from the shop and maybe a little treat'. Then I said to myself, whilst eating my blueberries in greek yogurt with a couple of poached eggs & bacon, 'NAY! I shall not be tubby cat any longer!' and quickly rummaged around and grabbed some tuna, some iceberg lettuce, made a super quick lemon juice and olive oil and pepper dressing, sliced up a couple of apples, and scooted out the door. Made it to work by 1 minute past and MUCH happier, knowing that I didn't blow it with a bad split-second decision.

                I also think that's really a good idea to plan ahead as much as possible like you said Siobhan, I'll scour the forums and resources this weekend and see if I can't whip up some meal plans. Another one of my many problems haha is that I love variety but I can't cook!! Tempted to look for an old French cookbook like the one you mentioned, do you recall the title or still have it laying about?

                Hope everyone is having a fabulous Friday


                • #9
                  I absolutely still have it, you will have to pry it out of my cold dead hands. French Cooking in Ten Minutes by Edoaud de Pomiane. I believe it is out of print. But Marks's PB Cookbook is very good, especially for beginners as the recipes are pretty simple, no advanced techniques at all. Also Loren Cordain's Paleo Diet Cookbook has lots of simple ideas and recipes. I too love variety, my life would be easier if I could just eat the same thing all the time, like the serious athletes and bodybuilders. But nay.
                  My Primal Journal:

                  "Freedom from fear" could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights. - Dag Hammarskjold


                  • #10
                    Amazon reckons they have a few versions but that they are not as good as the original publication that you probably have! I may still check it out

                    And today I shall go paint a fence, in the (light) rain, barefoot. Silly, or primal? you decide!


                    • #11
                      wow Pomaine ! I Dad just loved that man and used to fill our kitchen with smoke whilst drumming up some dish or another on a high heat (apparently recommended by Chef Pomaine according to Dad !) - it was like a train wreck once he finished in the kitchen and my poor Mum used to be so fed up cleaning up after him

                      - but I remember the food was guuuuud !
                      My Primal Journal :


                      • #12
                        Well what a fun if exhausting weekend, spent almost all of it outdoors in the garden, or indoors cooking primally! Exhausting but amazing, found some really neat recipes in a couple of French cookbooks... if only I were a housewife and could spend all day preparing, oh the feast I could make!

                        But alas, today was a quick smoothie for breakfast, a bunch of cherries and tomatoes with a BAS and a sliced apple for lunch. Something chicken-y for dinner I think? And then some more outdoor gardening when I get home if I'm not too stiff to move!

                        Also, lost my first pound of weight after about 3 weeks. I'm only checking out of curiosity, as I feel great, but I used to be hyperthyroid and then they knocked it out and now I'm HYPOthyroid, so trying to lose any amount of weight is like trying to shift a big bag of rocks. I'm reading some things on the forums here about it and elsewhere, upping my intake of iodine (though I eat plenty of sea-salt here in my diet which should help, as well as a decent amount of seaweed) and eating a few brazil nuts each day for the selenium. We'll see how it goes!


                        • #13
                          hi tachi really great you lost some ....fantabatastik !!

                          love your description of the those rocks which I so do empathise as I have rocks also - blooming things !! don't know about thyroid but something is hanging onto those rocks - perhaps I also have octopus ??
                          My Primal Journal :


                          • #14
                            very much agreed arty! I have a workout scheduled for today (weightlifting, I really enjoy it!) so we will see how many rocks I can shift, hah!

                            I think I have gotten the hang of this primal category stuff, dinner last night was a fantastic juicy hamburger of grass fed beef, it was enough by itself (it was half a pound like) so I finished it off with a light dessert of strawberries and cream, a British summer classic.

                            Today I think is smoothie day as I've had a blueberry/raspberry/greek yogurt smoothie for breakfast, and a protein shake for lunch (I was running late but I also know we're having another BBQ tonight... weather permitting!)

                            I don't know what it is about those smoothies (the full fat yogurt?) but they are incredibly filling! But also kind of high in carbs from the sugars for an all-the-time treat so I shall enjoy today and then take it lighter.

                            Boy I love barbequeues, I can grill the meat for an entire week's worth of lunches in one night! Pork loin, chicken breasts, burgers... too bad I can't find any sausages that aren't stuffed with crap maybe I'll try making my own sometime!


                            • #15
                              Yes! Sausages are making me so sad! My husband went to the store and read every single package of sausage there and they ALL had corn syrup in them. =( (Hi!!! I just read through your journal, and I love the way you write!)
                              Beastly musician / My Primal Blog

                              My plan for the year (July 23rd 2012-July 23rd 2013):

                              Walk to Mordor. I have walked 12.33 miles out of 1779.
                              Do Convict Conditioning / balance exercises.
                              Eat primally.
                              Take a progress picture once a week.
                              Don't weigh myself.

                              Starting weight: 223
                              Current weight: ???
                              Goal weight: 145

                              Waist measurement 08/03/12: 42 inches and three quarters
                              Goal waist measurement: 30 inches