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Primal Journal - ven

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  • Primal Journal - ven

    My Primal Project:

    I am a rather private person, and I tend to keep this kind of project to myself, but after trying (and failing) several times to take the "Primal Leap", I decided that it was time to change some things. This time, I will state specific goals in a public place, and I will consider myself accountable for them. I will be more organised regarding the process, and I will keep better track of my results.

    I started by going back to the basics. I read somewhere that when you start a project, the first step is to ask yourself why do you want to do it. So, I asked myself: why do I want to adopt the Primal way of life? Well, mainly because I want to:
    - Feel more comfortable with my body
    - Be healthier.
    - Have more energy.
    - Be stronger.
    - Prove to myself that I can actually change habits that are bad for me.
    - Stop my unhealthy dependency on food. (food as a reward and/or food for comfort).

    How will I achieve that? I challenged myself to a six week trial period:

    - The first three weeks will be focused on eating Primal food. I started this Monday. I am making the transition slowly, and I have succumbed to the temptation of sugary treats a few times (specially today, I usually eat worse on the weekends...), but my goal is to be at least 80% Primal by the end of this period.
    - During the last three weeks I will focus on exercise. My goal is to do a yoga session, a body-weight workout, and a HIIT session weekly.
    After the six weeks, I'll see how I feel, and plan accordingly.

    Measures of progress:
    - Weight: Current weight: 65,5 kg (144,4 lbs). Goal weight: 58 kg (127,9 lbs).
    - Monthly pictures.
    - Weekly updates on my Primal Journal
    - Mood: Moodscope (I have a hard time following through with this one, for some reason)
    - Exercise: I will probably use Fitocracy.

    There. I have taken the first step. And if I have it my way, many more will follow.

  • #2
    Hi ven, welcome!

    Sounds like you're off to a good start!
    Good luck!


    • #3
      Traveller - Thank you for your kind words I do hope that I continue in the same way that I started

      Now, for my weekly update:

      I am fairly happy with my food choices. I still should eat more vegetables, but I am getting there.

      Now, as a college student on a budget, I feel sometimes like I am limited in my choice of foods, but I'm trying to convince myself to see it more like a challenge : how many different meals can I make with eggs and/or tuna? Are there any good and cheap veggies that I haven't tried yet? Can I just add bacon on everything? I have also been trying a few new recipes (from the Fast Paleo website) with nice results.

      Speaking of results...

      On the positive side, my acne is slowly fading away, my belly seems a bit smaller (although that may be just wishful thinking) and I feel like I don't crave carbs so much.

      On the not so positive side, I feel bad most of the time. If I am not tired, I am slightly nauseous. Usually I am both. I've also gotten some headaches (which is not usual for me), and gastric reflux.
      I feel like I must be doing something wrong, that carb flu shouldn't be so bad, but apart from eating more vegetables and stop eating the most common triggers for gastric reflux (coffee, fruit salad, red wine, and too much food in one sitting, according to the forum), I don't know what I can do. From now, I'll continue trying hard to eat well, and I'll start tracking what I eat, since I find that it helps me reduce emotional eating.

      All in all, it has been an interesting week. We'll see what the next one will bring.


      • #4
        Second Week Update - Getting Better

        This week I ate more vegetables, tried some new recipes, went to a yoga class (very demanding, yet incredibly relaxing, even if all the stress came back 5 minutes after it was over), and asked my boyfriend for some eggs from the chickens his mother is raising.
        I also walked 20 minutes with 2 bags full of groceries from the shop to my house. It sounds silly, but it felt like such an accomplishment (I almost called my BF for help, those bags were heavy!). My arms hurt the next day, but that made me feel like I am getting stronger.

        Now, for the "results": it seems like the results that I reported last week have mostly reversed themselves...

        On the positive side, I'm feeling much better: less fatigue, less nausea, less headaches (although I did have one HUGE headache, huge as in "I better stop what I am doing and go lie somewhere quiet for a while", which had never happened to me before), and no gastric reflux.

        However, my cravings came back with full force. I caved in to both peer pressure from my friends and the temptation of belgian fries. That, plus some alcohol, made me remember how awful I feel when I don't eat well. Thankfully, feeling unwell helped get back on track, because I was in danger on falling on a slippery slope: when I eat some junk food, I usually feel like I failed, like my "diet" is over, so why shouldn't I keep on eating all the junk food I can find? I already ate one bag of fries, is why should I stop from eating a second one?
        Well, stomach ache and a bloated stomach are good enough reasons (at first). Then I start remembering all my other long terms objectives, my primal challenge, the blackberry pork loin and feta roasted broccoli recipe that I was planning on trying, and the 80/20 principle. After that, it no longer feels like I have failed my challenge, and the cravings seem less powerful.
        My acne is also slightly worse than last week. It might be because of the cheat meals or because of my make-up, but it is still better than before the start of my primal challenge, so I'm not too worried.

        Next week I'm planning on visiting some "healthy food" shops to look for new ingredients (like coconut flour). The problem is, most of the shops I've seen sell things like organic rice crackers, low-fat snacks and diet muffins, so I'm not sure that I'll find something worthwhile. I'm still hoping for the best.

        I find it hard to believe that in one week from now, my first challenge will be over. I am already excited about it, like if I get to the end it will count as a "small win". I am also a bit nervous, since it will mark the beginning of my "sports" challenge, but I think it is a good kind of nervous.


        • #5
          Third week update - Bleh

          I know that I've cheated a lot (I've been mostly 70/30, sometimes even 60/40). I know that weight isn't everything. I know that I set my "goal weight" in a somewhat random manner, and that I'm not very far from it anyway.
          And yet, I couldn't help myself from feeling like a huge failure when I saw that I had gained weight. I am 1 kg heavier than 3 weeks ago.

          Just... ugh.

          After I weighted myself, I just felt disappointed, which led to feeling like eating a lot of junk food. So I did. But I felt ashamed about it, so I waited until I was home alone. It really felt like I was some kind of sugar addict getting her fix. While I was eating some sort of chocolate spread (which probably had no real chocolate in it), I realized that it tasted disgusting, that it had a bunch of bad vegetable oils, and that I didn't want to eat it anymore. And yet I kept on eating it. It was like I had lost control over my body.

          Afterwards, when I had calmed down, I realized that this is (part of) why I'm fighting. I'm fighting to regain some control over my body. I'm fighting to stop this addiction, to stop eating disgusting things that I do not want or need. This is why I want to embrace the Primal WOE.

          Anyway, I lost my motivation for a few days, but now I am (mostly) back on track. Besides knowing that I feel better and have more energy when I eat primally, reading MDA's success stories helped a lot.

          I know that it won't be perfect. I'll probably continue on eating too much fruit, maple syrup and honey for a while. But if it's to become a way of life instead of a temporary diet, I am at peace with making small steps for now.

          Now it's time for my 3-week exercise challenge. I have been reading about mindfulness, and decided to add weekly meditation practice (about 15 min) to my other exercise goals (weekly yoga, HIIT and bodyweight routine). I also want to stop eating my meals in front of my computer (which I do only sometimes), so that I can enjoy my food more.

          To end on a positive note, I did find some coconut flour (it was well hidden behind the wheat flour, the corn flour, the rice flour, the quinoa flour, and all kinds of weird flours). I tried some primal pancakes, but they ended up looking like a hybrid between pancakes and cookies...and breadcrumbs. At least I had fun trying something new. I also tried whipping the cream for my coffee... it was much harder than I thought, but I was so proud when I finally managed to do it (and it was sooo good with my coffee).

          I guess that that's it for this week. Hopefully it'll be better next time.


          • #6
            Fourth Week

            I am fairly happy about last week. This is what I did:

            - I tried meditation for 15 minutes. I didn't expect it to be so hard, but it was relaxing to concentrate only on my breadth.
            - I went to my yoga class and enjoyed the calm it brings me.
            - I went to a nearby "forest". It's really small and it has an artificial lake (which I don't like), but it is nice enough when I want to go outdoors, and it was fun to do my sprints there.
            - I didn't do a bodyweight workout, because I left that for the weekend, and I didn't feel well (and I still don't)

            I've been having low energy, nausea, vomit, and/or headaches since Friday. I had to do some fasting on Sunday (I just ate a hard-boiled egg) because it felt like my stomach couldn't hold anything down . Thankfully I am feeling better now, although I don't feel completely normal yet. I hope I feel good enough tomorrow to go to yoga.

            I still ate too much junk food this weekend (but I started feeling sick before that, so I don't think that they're necessarily related). It's hard because during the weekdays I am at my student residence, where I buy my own groceries and I cook my own food. So if I feel like I want something sweet, I'll reach for the 70% chocolate, or I'll fry an apple in coconut oil and add some cinnamon and maple syrup. Instead, on the weekends, I go back home, and it's just sooo easy to eat junk food, to fall back into the old habits. Dinners are usually very primal (salads, some meat, various veggies) with some carbs added, but breakfasts are usually either cereal or bread (tartines), and lunch is usually a sandwich, sometimes with homemade soup.

            Anyway, I'll hopefully get better soon, so that I can keep on exercising (and start studying, since finals are coming!). But I am fairly happy about having done most of the things that I said I would do Let's hope that I can keep this up.


            • #7
              Fifth week

              This week:
              I felt sick, I think it was the flu. I didn't exercise much, except for yoga (I took a pill before going, because my head was killing me and I had a runny nose, but I really wanted to go). I didn't do the bodyweight workout, the meditation, or the sprints. I rarely eat my meals in front of my computer anymore, but I do snack in front of it from time to time. I did take my monthly pictures.

              A funny thing happened during my weekly call to my parents. When I told them that I was sick, my dad (who apparently didn't pay much attention when I explained the Primal WOE) said: "I know that you like that diet that you're doing, but maybe you should stop for a few days and eat a lot protein and vegetables instead". Well... it's been a long time since we've talked about my eating habits, so maybe the only thing that he remembered was that I was trying some weird diet. But it makes me happy that his definition of healthy eating and mine are pretty close (although he still likes his carbs).

              Positive things:
              - My legs and arms are getting more defined. And I think that my stomach looks smaller (maybe I should buy a measuring tape, so that I can know if it's wishful thinking or not).
              - The acne on my face is almost non-existent (although I still have some on my back, but less than before).
              - I am getting used to preparing my own meals (although I still buy too much food, because I'm not used to being less hungry yet).
              - I was reading my last posts, and saw that I was complaining about gastric reflux before. I then realized that I had completely forgotten about it, because it's completely gone!

              Not so positive things:
              - Being sick is really annoying and makes me cranky.
              - Feeling stupid when I eat non-primal food, not only because of the guilt, but also because I know that it's going to make me feel bad, bloated, and make my acne come back. I just can't enjoy it like before. Well, now that I think about it, I guess that this can also be a good thing.
              - I'll admit that one of my primary goals for trying this WOE was losing some fat and looking good. The problem is that I associate the idea of "wanting to lose fat" with "dieting". And I still think of girls who go on diets as shallow and superficial (I still haven't gotten my brain to really understand why this is not necessarily true). So I feel weirdly self-conscious when someone asks me why I don't ear sugar/flour/potatoes/whatever, because I am afraid of being perceived as a shallow girl.

              About the challenge in general:
              - I've pretty much decided to ditch the weight goal. I did lose some weight (1 kg), but since I don't really know how to calculate my ideal weight, I've decided that unless my weight goes up again (and it's fat instead of muscle), I will not measure my progress by the changes on the scale.
              - I'm probably going to have to repeat my last three weeks challenge, because I really want to commit to an exercise routine before I start trying other things (like intermittent fasting). I was thinking of continuing to post in Nerd Fitness rather than here, but I'm not sure yet. I am intrigued by their system, so I want to give it a shot. If I do, I'll probably be on MDA forums all the time anyway, to read and re-read all the success stories, and to look for some yummy recipes.

              Well, this is the start final week, so I'll do my best to end this challenge on a positive note


              • #8
                Wow Ven you sound just like me this week. I tried using equal for a sweetener so I won't gain weight but I know it's bad for me so I used honey which I love and gained. I got disappointed and ate what I wanted for a few meals. Bad idea. My face broke out, I was exhausted, etc. I like your idea that you may overdo it for a while with the honey or maple syrup but its about the fight to be healthy. We can decrease those sugars later as we progress. The honey at least has some nutrient value right? Keep it up! You aren't alone