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Help! About to Fall off the Primal Wagon .....

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  • Help! About to Fall off the Primal Wagon .....

    I've been living the primal lifestyle for the past 2 months. I feel great, my moods have regulated, no more extreme highs and lows plus I've lost 20 lbs. (prior to going primal I lost 120lbs through standard calorie restriction and chronic cardio) So to date, I'm down @ 140 lbs.

    So here's the dilemma - I just arrived at my family's lake house to spend the next 11 days on vacation hanging out with my family. I visit them every year for a few weeks around the 4th of July. It's tons of fun, but also involves tons of unhealthy food. All day long there are donuts, bagels, cookies, brownies, crackers, chips, candy, smores, beer (lots of beer) all just sitting out.

    Every year (even through my weight loss) I always fall off the wagon while I'm here. I have the best of intentions, but it's like making an addict hang around in a crack house for 11 days and expect them to stay sober.

    This year I want things to be different, I really do. I know that eating that way will make me feel awful, and will make me gain 5-10 lbs, but I feel this awful pull, it's like a tractor beam pulling me in and I don't know how to stop it. I've been here for 12 hours. I am barely hanging on. Help!

  • #2
    Looking forward to the rush of replies from people also having family lake houses and get through this trial each year
    Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

    Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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    • #3
      fruit and avocado? cottage cheese and cinnamon? yogurt and honey? chocolate mousse made with whipped cream and chocolate and whatever sweetener? all of the above?
      beautiful
      yeah you are

      Baby if you time travel back far enough you can avoid that work because the dust won't be there. You're too pretty to be working that hard.
      lol

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      • #4
        My advice is to keep yourself filled up with whatever acceptable foods are around. If you're not eating enough of the good stuff, you'll be way likelier to cave in to temptation. Maybe choose one or two non-primal things you'd really enjoy that you could eat with your family so they feel like you're taking part in the festivities, and then you won't feel out of control and likely to binge because it's something you planned?

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        • #5
          First, congrats on the 140 lbs. that is an awesome accomplishment.

          I outsource self control when needed. Can you recruit an ally?

          Other than that, as you know, the best offense is a good defense. I'm going home in a couple of weeks and I'm not staying in anyone's houses. If you really don't want this pattern to repeat, you are going to have to break the pattern. Get your own space.
          In God we trust; all others must bring data. W. Edwards Deming
          Blogging at http://loafingcactus.com

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          • #6
            Congrats on your accomplishment. Fill up on the good stuff and pick a couple of other things that you really enjoy. Tell anyone who comments that you eat to feel good and want to avoid feeling like crap. As a former cake and donut queen, once I reformed my ways and people would try to entice me with my former comfort foods, I would ask them which part was the treat, the wheat that would give me a tummy ache or the sugar that would get me high and then make me crash into a drugged stupor.

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            • #7
              Go all out if you want, it'll prime your body for more weight loss if you have the discipline to return to strict primal. That can be a slippery slope, though, and could lead to a longer relapse. Maybe just pig out on the 4th or something, and try to amp up the physical activity.

              What are your stats now?

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              • #8
                Thanks for all the great advice. Keep it coming! Super helpful.

                My current stats:
                40 yo Female
                5'7"
                183lbs (started out @325lbs)
                I'm about 36% body fat (yikes! i just did a Dexa test) lots of work still to do. Although I'm pretty fit. I've finished 22 triathlons including 3 Ironmans in the past 3 years. I just wonder what I could accomplish if I could get down to a healthier body weight and body fat %

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                • #9
                  I don't have any good advice, as I find myself in a similar situation every time I go visit the in-laws (which is a min. 2 night stay at their house). For me it isn't a question of filling up on good stuff so I won't eat the bad. I just still WANT to eat regardless of being physically hungry or not. I usually give in and sometimes that satisfies the need and sometimes prevents me from eating bad the next day (while still there)...sometimes not. I always gain weight and always feel icky afterwards but have not come close to mastering the "want" portion of all this yet. When I started this a year ago, those "cheat" weekends did help fuel the weight loss because I'd go right back on the wagon when I got home. Now, not so much...time to alter strategies...again.


                  edit - When I said "now not so much" I mean when I cheat for a couple days and go back on the wagon, that no longer seems to spur the weight loss. (I haven't, and won't go back to the full time SAD again no matter what!)
                  Last edited by photocat; 06-28-2013, 05:23 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I too just got back from a vacation and know how hard that can be. For the first time we planned ahead, we brought paleo/primal snacks and food to eat. And when we ran out of food we stopped by a whole foods to restock. Could you do something like that?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HeatherW View Post
                      I've been living the primal lifestyle for the past 2 months. I feel great, my moods have regulated, no more extreme highs and lows plus I've lost 20 lbs. (prior to going primal I lost 120lbs through standard calorie restriction and chronic cardio) So to date, I'm down @ 140 lbs.

                      So here's the dilemma - I just arrived at my family's lake house to spend the next 11 days on vacation hanging out with my family. I visit them every year for a few weeks around the 4th of July. It's tons of fun, but also involves tons of unhealthy food. All day long there are donuts, bagels, cookies, brownies, crackers, chips, candy, smores, beer (lots of beer) all just sitting out.

                      Every year (even through my weight loss) I always fall off the wagon while I'm here. I have the best of intentions, but it's like making an addict hang around in a crack house for 11 days and expect them to stay sober.

                      This year I want things to be different, I really do. I know that eating that way will make me feel awful, and will make me gain 5-10 lbs, but I feel this awful pull, it's like a tractor beam pulling me in and I don't know how to stop it. I've been here for 12 hours. I am barely hanging on. Help!
                      I went to Europe with my in laws last year for 2 weeks and honest to god I had trouble eating paleo. I did my very best to avoid anything in sight that were not considered paleo food. As soon as I came home I ate clean and actually dropped 3 lbs.

                      My advice do your best to eat paleo at least 80% of the time. As far as the alcohol goes, I don't think you need to be drinking everyday. I think you also need to start letting your family know that you have taken on this new lifestyle and hope that they do understand and they do not pressure to eat something you do not want to.

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                      • #12
                        Visiting family is also my biggest non-primal pig out. Fortunately, it's mostly good quality stuff, even if way too much sugar and wheat. I find that I gain 5-10 lbs per week and then lose it at almost the same rate once I'm back to my usual diet. It's very bizarre, but it's happened 4 times now, so it's not some fluke.

                        My only requirement of myself is that I pay attention to what I'm eating. Does this really taste good? Do I really want more? Is there some thing better for me that would make me just as happy? There are a few things I don't bother eating any more and a few that I can't imagine ever turning down. The first time it took me almost a month to get myself back together. The last time I just hopped right back on the wagon like it was nothing. I think it gets easier.
                        50yo, 5'3"
                        SW-195
                        CW-125, part calorie counting, part transition to primal
                        GW- Goals are no longer weight-related

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                        • #13
                          Will there be grilling? If so, try to fill up on meats and salads. Insist on having bacon and eggs. Tell family your doc said to avoid grains, sugar, and dairy.
                          You might indulge a little bit with potatoes, processed meats like hot dogs and brats.

                          As for all the sugary stuff, you'll just have to exercise willpower, if you still get cravings after filling up.

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                          • #14
                            Heather, these are all good suggestions. You might also try re-defining yourself: "I am a person who does not eat unhealthy food." This is an internal mind "game", a decision. Once you've decided that's what kind of person you are, it makes it easier to avoid eating things that aren't good for you. When everyone else also accepts the new definition of you, the social food situations get easier. My family has never been a problem, and once my coworkers found I was serious about my nutrition, they've even made efforts to accommodate me by bringing veggies and fruit salads to work pot-luck lunches.

                            It's also good to mentally practice what you'll do when those unhealthy choices come up. Planning to say gracefully, "oh, I'm sure those brownies are delicious, but if I eat one I'll wish I hadn't" (or, "tomorrow I'll feel unwell") makes it easier to actually say that, and doesn't make the brownie-pusher feel rejected.

                            I've also found that saying something like "it just doesn't agree with me" and pressing my palm against my lower stomach while grimacing tends to defuse difficult food-offering situations!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by HeatherW View Post
                              ... I'm down @ 140 lbs...

                              ...all day long there are donuts, bagels, cookies, brownies, crackers, chips, candy, smores, beer (lots of beer) all just sitting out....
                              First off, hope you feel *really* proud of that 140 lb loss. In fact, keeping the time and effort required for your progress in mind during this time may be helpful.

                              Second, while we all know we are responsible for what we eat, are you getting implicit pressure from family members to eat in quantities or types that you do not want? I ask, as your starting weight combined with the food offerings makes it unlikely you are the only member of your family who has weight issues, and sometimes those who are not working on their weight unintentionally sabatoge those who are in an effort to make their choices seem valid. Not saying this is going on with you, but if it is, it is something to attend to and make sure you are prepared to dissapoint someone else in order to be true to yourself.

                              Third, as mentioned above, hard to think of a lake house without there being a grill around and meat in the fridge / freezer. It may not be grassfed, but I'd not hesitate to fire the grill up for breakfast, lunch and dinner if need be. Hopefully there are salad fixin's around as well. If you have to eat a tomatoe like an apple, salt shaker in hand, so be it.

                              Fourth, any chance there is some red wine, bourbon, scotch, etc. around? Likely better choices than beer.

                              Last, if you follow the 80/20 idea, 20% of 11 days is roughly two days. Have you considred staying strickly primal for 9 days and picking two days (Independence Day being one) where you let your hair down?

                              Good luck and let us know how it goes.
                              SW = 290, PSW = 290, CW = 228, UGW = 194
                              6'2" Male, Early 50's

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