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Primal Journal ~ Merryish

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  • #16
    Hey Merryish - Just read your journal and it's so inspiring. I love stories where people have regained their health and now have belief in a great furure. Keep it up - you are awesome!

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    • #17
      Thanks, @mudflinger! I'm trying to keep journaling to keep myself in line.

      Today is... not awesome. Yesterday also definitely not awesome. I'm trying to keep my spirits up, but I'm having a bit of a health scare so my nerves are jangling. I've got a patch on my tongue that's gone a little weird - it's either some sort of fungal thing (it looks nothing like thrush; it's an almost perfect 1cm "erosion" at the tip of my tongue) or it's "geographic tongue." The joys of being immunocompromised, right?

      I have antifungal lozenges from my PCP, and I'm seeing an oral surgeon for a second look and possible biopsy on Monday. But in the mean time I can't keep myself off the internet, and I keep googling things that scare me. Like the fact that oral thrush (it looks nothing like thrush, I remind myself) can get into your lungs and cause interstitial lung disease if you're immunocompromised. My mom died of COPD at 73, and I have an absolute terror of lung diseases in general.

      I just keep reminding myself of things like: 1) it really looks nothing like thrush. 2) it looks pretty much exactly like very mild geographic tongue, which is totally benign and transitory. 3) My PCP said it also didn't look at all like cancer and would be shocked if it turned out to be. He said the edges were too regular and it was too perfectly round. The biopsy is to find out if it's fungal and if so, what kind, since the possibility of it being cancer is so very low.

      I just get wigged out by all things cancerish (thanks to dermatomyositis) and lung-ish (thanks to dermatomyositis and my mom). So keeping my stress level under control is my big challenge for the next few days.

      On the bright side, I'm certainly getting my fair ration of coconut oil now, and that's cheering. And it's been a good launch for my whole30 for September - I've cut out dairy early, because I don't want to expose this to any sugars. Plus, I'm waaaaaay into ketosis again....

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      • #18
        My primal compliance has been rocky lately, which is a little frustrating, because I'm usually pretty solid. I got sick last week, which basically sapped all the willpower I have (I'm a big baby when I'm sick), and I'm just now starting to recover. So I thought it would be a good idea to update just to note that a) I need to be even more vigilant when I'm sick or recovering from being sick, and b) even my "bad" days are actually not all that bad anymore.

        So, uh, I ate a little ice cream, which was magic for my sore throat. But I kept it minimal, and I don't feel terrible about it.

        I also ate a LOT of sushi, including the white rice. I know there are differing views around here on white rice, but I tend to avoid it more for its carb content than anything else. Sushi is my go-to comfort food these days, and all things considered, I could do a lot worse. However, I don't feel good about the soy sauce. It was gluten-free soy sauce, but it was soy sauce, which I'm usually really good about avoiding.

        I also ate some chicken fried rice a few times - again, it's the soy and the seed oil that makes me feel bad about that indulgence.

        Then there was the dark chocolate, which I did not skimp on, and a bunch of nuts when I usually avoid most nuts, and some bananas and pineapple which are fine in moderation when you're trying to lose weight, but I ... was not moderate. At all.

        It wasn't a great week/week and a half for me. It definitely knocked me out of ketosis. But there are some good things to report, too.

        First, it could have been so much worse. I know I harp on this a lot, but before I started eating Primally, my "bad days" were catastrophic. There would have been fast food runs, PILES of ice cream instead of a scoop here or there, ordering out every night, bags of chips, Starbucks galore. When I think about the crap I ate once upon a time, and compare it to the things I feel a twinge of guilt about now, the difference is almost laughable. So, I'm out of ketosis - so what? I've been "back on the wagon" for a couple of days now, I'll probably be back in ketosis by tonight. And at least I didn't spend the entire week I was sick eating poison. I tripped a little on the straight and narrow path; I didn't fall all the way off the planet.

        I was hoping to do a Whole 30 for September, but I'm using this as yet another reason to postpone cutting out dairy. Why is this ONE THING so freakishly hard for me to give up? I can lower my dairy intake - I eat a ton less than I used to, I don't drink milk ever, and I only eat a little cheese here and there these days. But the heavy cream in my coffee is like LIFEBLOOD, I cannot seem to make myself live without it on a regular basis.

        I did try using coconut milk instead of cream yesterday, and it wasn't terrible. The taste was different, but it wasn't bad. I just need to figure out if I can live with it for 30 days....

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        • #19
          So, getting back on track went great during the week, and then there was this weekend.

          My sleep has gone completely wacky, and I couldn't figure out why. I knew I wasn't getting enough of it - late night reading combined with early morning contractors in the house every day had me at three hours Thursday night and barely six hours Friday night.

          Then - possibly because of the lack of sleep? I don't know - I lost my mind with regards to eating over the weekend. I went overboard on the dark chocolate this weekend, went to Starbucks twice and had sugary coffee drinks, and had sushi and fried rice for lunch Sunday.

          All that would be bad enough. But I determined I'd go to bed early Sunday night, get myself back on track, right? I turned off the light at 9pm. And then I just lay there for an hour and a half with my brain and heart racing.

          After that I got up and went downstairs. I tested my blood sugar, fairly sure of what I'd find, and it was really high for me -- 125, and it had been at least 4 hours since I'd eaten last. No wonder I felt weird. I was buzzing inside like I was full of angry bees.

          I did some exercise to see if I could burn some of it off, then took a long cool shower, and dropped down to 118. This morning I was only down to 113.

          That's about as clear a signal as I'm going to get that it's time to get back to basics. The start of the 21-day Primal Challenge is oddly well-timed for me. So here I am, recommitting to a sugar-free and RICE-free existence. (Weird that it's the RICE that gets me. I don't miss bread or pasta at all, and it never tempts me!)

          Today's breakfast was 3 eggs cooked in butter. Lunch will be humanely-sourced sausage, and dinner likely to be broccoli and a bunless grass-fed burger or two. Hopefully I can yank my sugar back down enough to actually sleep tonight.

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          • #20
            Merry- thank for your posts and journal I enjoy. Reading it. I am doing better with the insatiable hunger monster and have lost about 3the pounds. Its still slow going but I am making a greater effort to count my food. Its amazing what food is made if that can throw you out of wacky so easy. I am Hispanic so beans are a huge issue for me. I ate a cup thinking they weren't bad but they were like 22I carbs. That sucks. But I guess if I cheat wth a cup of fresh beans it really ain't so bad.

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            • #21
              Obsessed - that's how I get myself into trouble with rice! It always seems harmless, until the aftermath hits me.

              Today's been a lot better. Yesterday I ate completely clean - dinner ended up being a LOT of steak tips cooked in coconut oil and garlic, and no actual veggies, but the day was more important for what I didn't eat than what I did. I avoided sugar entirely, dairy almost entirely, and definitely stayed far away from carbs. I also hopped on the exercise bike for a relatively slow 30 minute spin after dinner. My blood sugar was at 83 when I went to bed, and at 86 when I woke up.

              I also got a solid 7.5 hours sleep. I woke up without the alarm, "naturally" -- if naturally can be described as "when my room mate got loud enough to wake me up." But I slept hard and woke up refreshed and not tired, so I count that as a good night. So much better than those two nights when my blood sugar was jangling around 120ish.

              Today I had 3 eggs for breakfast, cooked in butter. Some black coffee throughout the morning. Lunch is a boiled egg and all the leftover steak tips from last night. I think tonight will be sausage and the broccoli I meant to have last night.

              I'm in ketosis again as of this morning. I did check my weight - I'm trying not to do that as often now - and while I'm up 3 lbs, it's not as bad as I thought it would be. I feel like I'm solidly back on track now.

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              • #22
                Fun fact: Checked my first journal post here, and I've lost 10 lbs since then. That was 7/17. Today I'm at 283. Not exactly the swiftest in terms of loss these days, but heading in the right direction. I had about two weeks of eating carbs (fairly clean ones, but still carbs) in there, spread out over the two month period, which probably accounts for the slowdown.

                Things I've been doing well with lately:

                1. Sleeping! Generally getting 7 to 7.5 hours a night. I'd prefer more, but I have to work for a living, and there's so much in the world to read!!!

                2. Exercise. I've been getting in half an hour on the recumbent bike every day this week. Today I probably won't use it because I went out on my real actual BIKE BIKE BIKE today. CRAP my legs hurt! =D But I feel kind of awesome. I was around 310 the last time I was on that bike. 30 lbs can make a huge difference.

                3. Medical care. I'm finally in a decent PT program for my ankle and my knees, one that actually gives me hope that I can get a decent chunk of mobility back. Also, thanks to getting strict with my exercise and low carbs again, my blood sugar is back in the 80's most of the time (after skyrocketing last weekend due to, uh, extreme badness.)

                Things I need to work on:

                1. I'm overdoing the dark chocolate again lately

                2. I'm in danger of overdoing the sweet potatoes

                3. I need to eat more greens/vegetables

                4. I need to consume less dairy

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                • #23
                  Hey Merry... 3 out of 4 of your things to work on i am trying to work on as well... I have been out of ketisis for a week now and have been lazy about getting back.... the strawberries have been on sale and I have a hard time resisting A LOT of fresh strawberries.... its definately enough to throw me out of ketosis as my breath is not so bad any more.

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                  • #24
                    Kind of winding my way through a stall here, though I use that term very loosely. In my mind, a stall is something that hits even though you're working your program as usual. In this case, it's sort of a fortuitous stall -- since I've been off-plan for a couple of months now and would have expected my weight to go up a lot more than it has. I've actually lost a few pounds recently, but I suspect I would have lost more if I'd been more choosy in my choices.

                    I mentioned that to my room mate this morning, along with the fact that I've never really been a big fan of losing weight when I'm not actively trying to. There's been a lot of diabetes and cancer in my family; unexplained weight loss is just not my favorite thing. But she pointed out to me that even when I'm eating "badly" this year, it's "badly" by strict primal/paleo terms. Still great in comparison to my old lifestyle.

                    For instance, I haven't actually managed to cut back on my dairy, I've been eating a lot of nuts and dark chocolate, and probably overdoing the high-sugar fruit (bananas and apples) too. A bad "splurge" night for me is having rice with my curry, where once upon a time it would be having rice and a giant bag of doritos along with my curry.

                    I guess it would be more fair to say I've been slacking off on things like avoiding seed/soy oils and not avoiding sugar hard enough. I haven't been in ketosis, but I've stayed generally low-carb. It's just that I haven't been sourcing the oils very carefully; getting lazy, eating out too much. I'm still trying to yank myself back into line, but there's been a lot of temptation lately, and I haven't tried all that hard to resist.

                    Still, I'm hanging in. I don't feel guilty or bad about it, not really. I get twinges. But I sort of feel like my brain/body needs the break from hypervigilance. I've been doing better with sleeping - 7+ hours most nights - and I've been a lot more relaxed lately. Maybe I'm making excuses - to some extent I know I am! - but this doesn't feel like "falling off the wagon" to me, and I say that from a wealth of experience at falling off of wagons.

                    Maybe my head just needs a break every 100 lbs or so?

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                    • #25
                      Still wobbling - I can resist anything but temptation, these days. Had an apple and a banana with coffee (and some coconut butter) for breakfast, and was predictably ravenous by lunch. Lunch was a nice batch of primal chili, made by my housemate. Then after lunch, more tea (I'm drinking a ton of tea lately, black or herbal, no doctoring) and a couple of squares of dark chocolate.

                      All perfectly primal, but not as low carb as I should be. On the other hand, I'm still losing weight. So while the wobble is still there, I'm doing a little better than I was over the last week or so.

                      10 lbs from now I'll be at 100 lbs lost. WACKY to think about that. Every time I lose a couple more lbs I wonder how much more I need to lose before my knees get better (they damn well better get better, at least a little). Not that I mind at all looking and feeling and BEING better every day, but I started this for my knees, and it would suck if they were the only things that didn't improve.

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                      • #26
                        So, weirdly, until this morning, I hadn't done the math on the difference between my starting weight and my goal weight. I think I may have had a mental block about it - like if I didn't look at that number directly, it couldn't get me.

                        At first, I just needed to look at it in little bits I could accomplish, not one big terrifying block. But now I have confidence that I actually can get to (or really close to) my goal weight, so the number isn't as terrifying as it was. When I reach my goal weight, I will have lost approximately 240 lbs.

                        That's kind of wild, isn't it? You could make an entirely separate, morbidly obese adult person out of that!

                        As of today I'm down 90 lbs. That means I have 150 to go. In 30 more lbs and I'll be at the half-way mark. (I'm all about the math today.)

                        Some of the milestones I've marked:

                        + My LDL and triglycerides are way down; my HDL is up. My blood pressure and blood sugar levels have hit normal, even though I'm still taking (a very low dose of) prednisone for an autoimmune condition. My WBC count is way down, indicating less systemic inflammation.

                        + I started out wearing size 32 pants. Now I'm in size 22.

                        + When I went car shopping in February, I had to push the seat back all the way to fit behind the steering wheel. Now it's two clicks forward, and I have room to spare.

                        + In February, if I sat on the recumbent exercise bike in my living room, my hips pressed uncomfortably against the handles to either side of the seat. Now, there's at least an inch of clearance on either side.

                        + I have three "aspirational" jackets bought last winter that didn't fit, that are now in permanent rotation.

                        + I bought a watch last Christmas and I had to use the second to last notch to make it fit. Now I regularly use the sixth notch, sometimes the seventh.

                        + I can wear necklaces of a normal length now. (And my room mate reports that she can now close her hands all the way around my neck, in case she ever needs to strangle me to death.)

                        + In August, for the first time in about five years, I got on a plane and did not need a seatbelt extender.

                        + People at work regularly notice my weight loss and comment on it.

                        I feel really good about all this, obviously! I have a long road left to travel, but I don't have any doubt that I can do it. The only thing that keeps me from being 100% happy about my health is the fact that my knees are still just incredibly painful. That's my main motivation, now - getting my knees back in shape, or, failing that, losing as much weight as I can prior to any surgery I might need.

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                        • #27
                          Good job Merryish... keep up the good work!

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                          • #28
                            Still on the way down! I saw 275 at the beginning of the week, but I always see a new number before I officially "hit" it. Today I was 276.

                            It's weird how things go in waves. I had a couple of months where no one was commenting on my weight loss, but this week everyone has mentioned it. I admit, I love the feedback. And it's especially cool because I get it from such unexpected sources. A guy I only see every now and then around the office said yesterday, "Wow, you are disappearing. You look fantastic!" And today one of the company Execs (someone I used to work really closely with, and now only see sometimes) said, "I love watching this evolution, I'm so proud of you. I just look at you and think, look at those little shoulders!" (She is a doll.)

                            These things are especially nice to hear after a Halloween Night that involved way more Almond Joy than it should have.

                            I have some weird mental things going on now. It seems too early - I mean, I'm still 276, right? But I sometimes catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror in passing, and I think, I'm getting so small. I'm clearly not small in the slightest, but in comparison to where I was, wow. The difference in my face is really striking, and weirdly also in my wrists, and my legs around my knees. I've FINALLY gone down a blouse size - before, my jeans size and bust size were shrinking but the blouse size remained resolutely the same.

                            Or I'll be sitting in a chair watching TV, and think, wow, my stomach is really small. What on earth would it look like if it were actually flat? If I reach my goal weight, how much less of me could there actually be? After decades of being hugely overweight, I'm used to feeling like I could easily damage most of the things around me by lumbering into them, knocking them over, or just sitting in them.

                            Now, even though I have so much further to go, I sometimes get a glimpse of what it will feel like to be the other way around. I feel weirdly fragile sometimes, if that makes sense. My wrists look tiny to me. I'm 5'3", and I've lost over a quarter of my body weight. It feels weird, and not entirely good, to think that if I hit my goal weight I will actually be really little. I will be 1/3 of my highest weight. It feels a bit unsafe. How odd is that?

                            I've also started paying so much more attention to myself in terms of clothes and makeup. I've never been a make-up person - before this week, I probably wore it once in the past three or four years. I usually go without a trace of anything. But I'm up for a promotion at work, and trying to step up my wardrobe, so I'm dressing with a little more thought and style. I've bought actual necklaces and bracelets. I'm thinking about getting my ears re-pierced. And I picked out some tinted moisturizer, powder, eyeliner and mascara last week, plus a tinted lip gloss, which I've been wearing every day. It's very minimal, but it seems to make a big difference.

                            The odd thing is, I always felt too ugly and fat to bother with these things before. And I mean always. Even at far lower weights than this one. I remember being 180 and thinking I was a whale, that no one would ever want me, that I was too ugly and too fat and putting on makeup or trying to dress nicely would be like putting lipstick on a pig. (I was really horrible to myself on the inside, for a really long time.) I think on the way down, I have a better perspective and outlook. I can feel good about my appearance now because I know where I've been, and I know how to get through this process.

                            So, that's me, almost 100 down and about 140 to go, discovering that I'm actually a bit girly at age 41. Who knew?

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                            • #29
                              New profile pic in honor of 95 lbs lost!

                              Here's before, for reference:

                              IMG_0393.JPG

                              And here's now!

                              photo copy 2.JPG

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                              • #30
                                I'm at 97 lbs lost today. I've got a mini-goal in my head - I'd really like to hit -100 before November 30, the day I'm flying home to visit my dad for a week. And I think at this point, I can probably do it. Three more pounds in two weeks - if I keep up with the regular slow movement on a daily basis and stay off the sugar train, I don't anticipate any problems.

                                It'll be good to see him because he's my dad. But it'll be good for him to see me, too, because he hasn't laid eyes on me since I started eating primally in February. He'll have about 100 lbs less daughter than he did on my previous visit!

                                There's one thing that's a source of deep regret for me in life, and that's the fact that my mom passed away before my life changed. When she died, I was unemployed, unhappy, and at 370 lbs/38 years old, I had given up any hope of ever feeling healthy or having a normal life. Not long after, I found a great job I enjoy where people respect my abilities and care about me as a person, and then last year I discovered the primal way of living and started to feel in control of my weight, my health, and my life again. She would have been really happy, and really proud of me. So it really means a lot to me that I can show my dad how well I'm doing.

                                I can't wait to see him!

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