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Here we go - primal start 3/24/14

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  • Here we go - primal start 3/24/14


    I've been reading up on MDA for a couple of weeks now, and I made the decision to go primal beginning today.

    A bit about me: I'm 49 (will be 50 this summer), 5'11" and weighed in this morning at 257. A physical a few months ago showed that over all my numbers were "OK" but that my cholesterol was at 240 and I'm now on 20mg of lipitor daily. This is the first time in my life I've ever been prescribed meds for any condition, and it doesn't sit well with me. Although I'm not medicine adverse, I rarely take any medicine, not even aspirin for a headache.

    My goals are simple: While I would like this to be about losing weight, I think it's more important for this to be about changing my lifestyle and getting healthy. Weight is just a number and I don't want to be chasing a number just because some panel somewhere says this is the weight I should be at. I'd rather be at the weight my body naturally settles to (of course I am the size/weight I am due to poor food choices and lack of exercise, so my body hasn't settled into this, in fact it hasn't "settled" at all - I've pushed it way up the scale - time to change that!)

    I enjoy moving and sweating (racquetball, yard work, etc) but have never been one to embrace formal or structured exercise (I guess that needs to change). I thought I would start slow, so today I got up at 5AM and walked for 45 minutes. I'll do that for a couple of weeks and build from there to lifting heavy things and some sprints.

    I know my poor eating is primarily triggered by boredom - plop me in front of the television and I'll soon be looking for something to snack on. But if I keep my brain engaged or if I stay busy with a project, reading, or whatever, I can go all day and not think about food (given my current weight, it's pretty obvious I have been anything but engaged for a long time).

    I welcome anyone who is new to this journey and wants to partner up for encouragement and support please let me know. I think it would be easier to do this with others, but I'm willing to go it alone if that's what it takes. I also welcome ideas, encouragement, suggestions, admonishment, etc. those of you with experience being Grok may care to give.

    Having never "journaled" before, I'm not sure how interesting, effective, or beneficial this will be for others, but I want to commit to updating this frequently with weekly updates on stats (weight, measurements, etc) as I have them. I think I will need accountability - if not now, eventually - and I'm hopeful this will be a good way to remain accountable to those who are here and to myself.

    Thanks - I look forward to the life change and to the journey.
    Last edited by scooter748driver; 03-24-2014, 10:33 AM.
    The first and the best victory is to conquer self. ~ Plato

  • #2
    Here's the food items and exercise from the first day:

    Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs and 2 sausage patties.

    Lunch: Chef salad with grilled chicken with a Greek vinegarette dressing.

    Dinner: Grilled chicken breast (with a dash of hot sauce to dip it in), steamed yellow squash & onions, steamed carrots, steamed broccoli

    Snacks (throughout the day): a small handful (about 15) almonds in mid-afternoon

    Exercise: I walked at a fairly brisk pace for 40 minutes to start the day (say maybe 2.5 to 3 mph pace)

    I tried to keep busy last night at home to combat any urge to eat if I got bored. I never felt hungry until just before dinner (around 7PM which is later than usual) but I did notice a slight headache which I take to be from the lack of caffeine (soda) which I used to have at least once or twice daily.

    So far, so good. I won't weigh myself again until Monday and that will be one week in, so we'll see how it goes. From reading other journals here I hope to lose 4-5 lbs, but I also know each person is different so I won't get my hopes up too high. I'm not usually a patient person, so while I know this plan will work, I'm sure I will want to see results faster than they actually occur. I can foresee that being an issue with discouragement potentially, but I hope to be on guard for it when that happens.

    Of course today someone brought in frosted sugar cookies & cupcakes to work, so I'm avoiding the break room altogether unless I need to refill my water (trying to drink 5+ 32oz glasses a day - not sure if that's part of the plan, but I get to walk a lot down the hall to the bathroom so I'll look at it as bonus exercise. )
    The first and the best victory is to conquer self. ~ Plato


    • #3
      Welcome to your new life

      I'm a bored, stress, emotion, etc eater. One of my favorite things from a Whole30 I did this fall is when I want to eat asking myself if fish and broccoli sound good. If it does, I'm hungry and I eat. If it doesn't it's a craving and it will pass.
      Barb - Portland, Oregon

      "Everything is as it should be given what has gone before. This is not an excuse but it is a reason"
      ~ Dr G & Barb ~


      • #4
        I'd like to follow you and give you support. So I've subscribed and I will check in to see how you are doing.

        I'm coming up in a year in June and have had really great results dropping 65lbs since starting primal, but I've plateaued recently.

        To get myself past this plateau I know I will need to surround myself with like minded people. I hope to be of similar value to you.


        • #5
          I will be following as well. Just started 3 days ago. I need to be accountable thus my journaling.


          • #6
            Thanks to each of you! I do appreciate the support and encouragement! I know I'll need the accountability and am more than happy to partner with you if needed.

            diane69 - looks like we started almost the same time (I'm on day 2 today) so it will be interesting to see how we're able to share what we're experiencing/feeling/etc.

            MrDrew - congrats on the success so far! I'd love to have similar results! I'll be glad to help any way I can (and I hope to learn from you and others like you who've had such success).

            filly - great idea on the way to determine a craving vs. actual hunger! Thank you for sharing that. I don't know if I truly know what hunger feels like which is likely one of the reasons I'm the size/weight I am now.
            Last edited by scooter748driver; 03-25-2014, 04:48 PM.
            The first and the best victory is to conquer self. ~ Plato


            • #7
              Welcome! An exciting journey awaits. I look forward to seeing your sucess.


              • #8
                Primal - Day 2 recap

                Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs and 2 sausage patties.

                Lunch: Steak, Chicken & Shrimp with lettuce and a little pico de gallo (had a business meeting at Chili's for lunch, so this was the "fajita trio" without the flour shell, sour cream, cheese, etc.)

                Dinner: Flank steak with steamed veggies (yellow squash, zucchini, broccoli, carrots) and a side caesar salad. (I know, I wasn't thrilled with the choice of the salad only because of the dressing that came on it - perhaps it would have been better to pass on this)

                Snacks (throughout the day): None

                Exercise: I walked at a fairly brisk pace for 45 minutes to start the day (say maybe 2.5 to 3 mph pace)

                I did notice a significant decrease in my energy level in the afternoon. I was extremely tired and just had no energy at all. I'm not sure if that's a result of the mainly protein I had for breakfast & lunch (maybe I needed same more fats? I'm not up on all the nutritional aspect of things yet and what items - proteins, carbs, and fats - impact what). But after dinner I felt great and had tons of energy.

                Anyone else experience this? Should I have had a small snack in the afternoon (some almonds or something) to keep my energy levels up? I'll see if this happens again today. Perhaps it's just my body adjusting to PB - we'll see.

                Went to bed a 9PM and got a full 8.5 hours of solid sleep last night - awoke feeling refreshed & energized. I need to work on getting sunlight into my day if my work schedule and weather would cooperate.

                On to day 3!
                The first and the best victory is to conquer self. ~ Plato


                • #9
                  Eat lots of animals, insects and plants. (Don't forget the Plants)

                  The benefit of sharing has become immediately clear to me. Placing fresh eyes on your routine probably revelas things we cannot see ourselves sometimes.

                  @Scooter please take the following with the caveat that I am not expert but this is what jumped out at me.

                  There are probably two reasons why you felt an energy crash after lunch.

                  1st, you are probably kicking a sugar addiction. You might say, "well I never consumed much sugar before going primal." My argument to that is most of us do not realize just how much sugar we really consumed before starting primal. Even if you were not consuming sugar directly, how much of it was being consumed in the form of grains, processed carbohydrates and other foods that are a natural part of SAD (Standard American Diet)?

                  2nd. Primal Rule #1 says "Eat lots of animals, insects and plants."

                  You did great on the eating the animals part. In fact you attacked by land, sea and air on that front; well I guess chickens can't really fly but you get what I mean. You forgot the plants part until you had dinner. My guess is they mixed in onions and bell peppers into your fajitas but it may not have been enough. IMO Salad is filler, though they are a great tool for feeling satiated there isn't much nutrients or calories for your body to burn. Steak is always the best option for eating out, I always ask for it to be cooked with real butter and my veggies too.

                  Notice that you felt great after dinner and had consumed carbs via the yellow squash, zucchini, broccoli and carrots.

                  Your body will take 3-4 weeks to become fat adapted, in the mean time it's going to ask for sugar when it wants energy. Remember that Primal is not zero carb its very low carb. We get our carbs from plants and fruit (Take it easy on the fruits). Make sure you are eating snacks when you need them. Be ready for when you feel hungry or your energy crashes and use it as an opportunity to introduce healthy fats like almonds or even better avocado... Feeding your body fat when it's asking for sugar is like proclaiming "This is how we do business now!"


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the feedback. yes, I suspect a lot of the energy drain may well be from weaning myself off sugar - heaven knows I used to have several sodas each day not to mention the stuff in SAD foods.

                    One question - are you suggesting that the steamed veggies were not the best choice, or that since they had more carbs than the steak or salad they had more impact on my energy levels (I think I mentioned that this nutrition stuff may take a while for me to understand)?

                    Regardless, I certainly do appreciate any insight, suggestions, etc. I really want to do this right so any guidance to stay on track is always welcome!
                    The first and the best victory is to conquer self. ~ Plato


                    • #11
                      You are welcomed.

                      Steamed veggies are great choice. What I was trying to say is that you didn't really have anything from the plants category during lunch or breakfast. So when you introduced them later at dinner, your energy levels perked up.

                      This is how I understand what's going on so again I want to put a disclaimer here that this may not be a 100% acurate.

                      You are what is commonly referred to around here as a sugar burner, you're journey will convert you into a fat burner. Meaning your body currently expects sugar(glucose) in the form of sugar, grains and yes even vegitables (they all breakdown into glucose). When you suddenly removes the majority of those sugar sources it responds with low energy lull. (no fuel in the tank)

                      When your body adapts to burning fat for energy, your body will easily be able switch between burning energy from food in your stomache to burning energy from the excess fat stored thoughout your body. What's better is that when you skip a meal as a fat burner, you will still feel a hunger signal, but there will be little to no energy lull or that feeling of panic when your blood sugar drops. Your body has to burn energy and it doesn't care where it gets it and probably can't tell the difference. (No fuel in tank 1 - Food in Stomache, plenty of fuel in tank#2 - Fat Stores)


                      • #12
                        OK - thanks makes sense to me. Thank you!
                        The first and the best victory is to conquer self. ~ Plato


                        • #13
                          I would try to incorporate some veggies in with breakfast also. Almonds are my go to snack, especially at work. Hope your sugar crash resolves itself soon, headaches and low energy bite! Try green tea in the mid afternoon also for a pick me up. I hate green tea, makes me naucious honestly so I heat up 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk add a shot of coffee and that gets my motor running for the rest of day. I just can't have it past 2 pm otherwise I'm wide awake 1/2 way through the night. Way to stick it out and work through it!


                          • #14
                            Primal - Day 3 recap

                            Breakfast: 2 small slices of left over meatloaf.

                            Lunch: Meatloaf (2 slices), pepper steak (meat only), popcorn shrimp, side salad with light italian dressing (had another business meeting at lunch. Ugh. I probably should have had a salad looking back, but I felt the need for more protein so tried to do the best I could with the buffet eating only meats, but I think the shrimp were a mistake.)

                            Dinner: Salad with grilled chicken on top (again with light italian dressing - why don't places serve oil & vinegar? Maybe I need to carry my own if I'm going out - anyone else do this? )

                            Snacks (throughout the day): None

                            Exercise: Sadly, none. I had planned to walk in the morning at 5AM like the first 2 days, but it was 23 degrees at 5AM and I thought better of it. Looking back I wish I would have just bundled up and went, especially in light on my lunch choices. I will go today for sure, even if I have to wear snow shoes.

                            Yesterday was much better, no energy crash, no headaches, etc. Hopefully that's a sign I'm starting to adapt to PB - of course I was swamped at work so maybe I just didn't notice it if it occurred. Got another full night of 8 hours solid sleep and feel great this morning after a primal breakfast.

                            It was suggested I try to work in some veggies into my breakfast and I think that's a great idea. I had the idea of a spinach omelette which I may try next week (gotta get some spinach this w/e). I also want to make some of the breakfast meatloafs I saw in the PB cookbook this w/e as well. If anyone has any favorite foods/recipes/meals they'd care to share I would be very grateful. I'm sure at some point I will need to branch out and expand my meal options to prevent boredom or burn out with the same meals all the time.

                            Haven't even looked at the scale this week, but I'm actually looking forward to Monday to see any changes in weight that occurred in the fist week. Now there's something new - me looking forward to getting on the scale. I can't recall that ever being the case, at least not in my memory. I'd like to think I feel that my stomach is a fraction smaller and that my pants don't feel as tight, but at this early stage that may be more wishful thinking than reality. Still, I expect those changes to happen eventually as long as I'm loyal to doing my part. Certainly no one has noticed or said anything yet, and I think my wife sees this as a passing fad (like so many other things I've tried) - I hope to convince her otherwise with my results. It's not that she's not supportive, but I think the proof to her will have to come over time.
                            Last edited by scooter748driver; 03-27-2014, 05:50 AM.
                            The first and the best victory is to conquer self. ~ Plato


                            • #15
                              Primal - Day 4 recap

                              Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs and two sausage patties

                              Lunch: Chef salad with grilled chicken, with a light Greek vinegarette dressing.

                              Dinner: 2 smoked pork chops, steamed cabbage, steamed carrots.

                              Snacks (throughout the day): None

                              Exercise: I had planned to walk after work (see Day 3 recap), but given the weather forecast for today and tomorrow, and the fact that the weeds in my yard were way higher than the grass, I figured I needed to mow the lawn more than I needed to walk. I estimate that I got as much or more exercise doing this than I would have walking as our yard is almost 1 acre and I mowed it with a push mower. By the time I got it all done (mowing, edging, cleaning off driveway, etc.) I had a good 2 hours invested.

                              I noticed something last night eating dinner (which was after I did yard work) - perhaps I was just tired from cutting the grass, but I was not able to eat all the dinner I had selected, leaving about half the cabbage and some carrots on the plate. I've read that as one adapts to PB your food cravings get less and your portions are smaller. I think it may be too soon to think that after 4 days I'm experiencing this, but it did make me think about portion control. I want to be sure I am getting enough of the proper foods, but I don't want to overdo it either. I suppose the best way to do it is to eat slowly until full, but I'd like some input from those who have better suggestions or recommendations on this matter.

                              I didn't notice any weakness or lack of energy yesterday at any time and felt a good level of energy right up until bed time. I went to bed a little later than usual but still got a good 7 hours uninterrupted sleep before I awoke today at 5AM to go walking. I do find that I am a little achy this morning, especially in the shoulders and hips - perhaps from pushing that mower so much yesterday?

                              Here's a funny thing - I had a very vivid dream of getting out of the shower and looking in the mirror and I was skinny. I mean no stomach fat, no love handles, just slim & trim. I remember commenting in my dream that this was way faster than I expected and how pleased I was. I'm not one given to premonitions, but if this is one I'll be very happy if it comes to fruition!
                              The first and the best victory is to conquer self. ~ Plato