Excited but terrified
I am just getting started with the primal life, and while I am excited for the life I could be leading, I am terrified to take the leap and jump in. I have been overweight my whole life and have always struggled. I was a fairly active child growing up but as an adult I have progressed into a very sedintary lifestyle. I work in radiology in a hospital, so it's not that I sit at a desk all day, however when I get home I'm exhausted and just want to sit on the couch and eat. The last 18 months have been very difficult. I got layed off from my full time job, my dad was in a horrible accident and ended up in ICU for 2 weeks (3 weeks before I was supposed to get married), and about 6 months ago, my fiance decided he didn't want to get married, or even stay together after a 5 year relationship. Needless to say, I have gained about 50 pounds though all of this. I decided that I needed to get off my butt and do something so in May I decided to get a gym membership, hire a trainer, and quit smoking. I jumped into the gym full force, seeing my trainer twice a week and doing cardio 6 days a week. Even with all the exercise, I steadily gained weight. Once a month I had the "pleasure" of getting wieghed and measured. For someone with self esteem issues, it was a horrible feeling. I couldn't understand how I was possible gaining weight with all the work.
Eating is a whole other issue. I am a carb junky/addict. I can eat nothing but carbs, sugar and soda. I don't really enjoy vegetables, but do like fruit, however I don't gravitate towards either when I'm hungary. I am really nervous to give up my carbs. They are my security blanket and the things I gravitate to when I'm having a bad day.
Long post...sorry, just trying to get it all out there :)
Can anyone give any advise on how to start the process?
Read the book.
Commit to yourself
Ditch the carbs
Grocery shop for your new foods
Begin the process to cook and enjoy vegetables and real food.
Repeat Steps Above over and over and over.
If you know anybody that might be interested in a primal lifestyle, you could work together. The online help is a great resource, but you can't beat face to face support!
Hi! Welcome. One, I am so sorry about the hard times you went through. I know how devastating break ups can be and especially under those circumstances! Wow... you must be a very strong person to keep it together through all of this! I have gained probably 50 pounds over the last few years and in May decided I just had to do something. I just jumped right in. I read the book and out those principles to work. You don't have to wait until you read the book to get started though. For the moment just cut sugar, grains, and legumes... you can tweak as you learn. I started out very simply. No fancy primal recipes, no odd foods, just lots of meat, fruit, veggies, nuts, and some dark chocolate for a treat. You don't have to be super low carb to lose weight. Stay under 100 grams which is pretty easy to do without grains and refined sugar, just watch the starchy vegetables and fruit and you should be fine. Make sure you get enough fat. I love steak, so I bought some ribeyes and ate a couple a week and it really helped keep me satisfied. The first few weeks I didn't have any dairy, but now I do. I eat cottage cheese, sour cream, Greek yogurt, cheese, and of course butter! The cravings were pretty much gone after the first few weeks and I felt really good. I have been primal since May and have list 25 pounds. As far as exercise goes, we'll I could do better, but I am working on it. Just try to walk and do some strength training. I do squats and walk push-ups. Most of all just keep going! I have NEVER stuck with any diet or exercise plan for more than a few days in my life. I have never lost any weight Ina healthy way until now. I truly believe that this way of life is the right way, the healthy way! How did the quitting smoking go for you? We're able to maintain that? I quit a few weeks ago and am going strong so far, so I just wondered. Start a journal and keep yourself accountable. I am not the best at keeping up with mine, but it still helps! I am no expert, but I am here to ask questions if you ever need someone!
EDIT: don't mind the odd auto corrects... I am not going through to fix them though, lol
The secret to giving up any addiction - and food can be as much an addiction and booze and cigarettes - is to take it not only one day at a time but one snack at a time. When you feel the craving ask yourself if you NEED that snack right now or if you can wait an hour. Repeat as needed.
This way you will avoid the terror of staring into the "OMG I'm never ever having another burger" precipice. Forever is a hell of a long time but an hour is manageable.
Finally, be kind to yourself. If you eat for comfort it follows that you will eat to make yourself feel better if you have just beaten yourself up. If you fall off it's not the end of the world.
At the end of the day, good food tastes better than junk and once you realise this the diet becomes a source of pleasure not discomfort. It's a question of letting your rational mind, palate and stomach guide you rather than that part of your brain which seeks out the feel good rush that junk food gives.
Thanks so much for the encouraging words. I have been reading the book, and then I got the 21 day workbook, so I'm hoping that will help. Today was my first day on primal food, and so far have done good. The hard part is when I get home from work and have access to more food :) I have decided to do it by the book for 7 days, and then re-evaluate and see how I'm feeling. 21 days seems a little scary, but I know I can go 7 days. I'm hoping after 7 days, I will feel good and want to continue. As for the smoking....I quit cold turkey, no patches or anything, and it has been WAY easier than quitting sugar. Good luck with the smoking thing. I think for me I was just ready to quit so it was fairly easy. I will keep in touch and let you know how things go. It's always nice to have someone to talk to who understands what I'm going through.
Thanks again :)
Thanks....I am trying to wrap my mind around one day at a time. Today has been pretty easy so far, but it's always harder after work. Being home is always harder, but I think I have the right mindset this time. I'm headed back to the gym tomorrow which always makes me feel better.
I totally understand where you are coming from /comfort. Having grown up with Eastern European and Irish grandparents, food = comfort= carbs. I never thought I could give up carbs either. But I'm doing it. For me, it helps to think of it as a life style, not a diet. Some days are going to end up being "cheat days" whether I plan them to be or not. I try not to beat myself up (much), just get up the next morning and start again.
I'm trying to lose weight too, and the three things I find help me a lot (your milage may vary) are:
1) I cleaned out everything non-primal from my pantry. It's harder to cheat if I actually have tol eave the house to fulfill a craving. :)
2) Tracking everything I put in my mouth with a food tracker. Having a visual accounting of everything's nutrional value makes me more inclined to make healthy choices. (I use myfooddiary.com and just ignore its red warnings about low carbs & high fats, but there are many many options out there.)
3) planning my meals and spending a couple of hours "prep cooking" for the week so I know even if I'm exhausted after work I'll be making a good food choice for dinner/snacks.
I love the cookbook "Well Fed" by Melissa Joulwan ([url=http://www.amazon.com/Well-Fed-Paleo-Recipes-People/dp/061557226X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349818752&sr=8-1&keywords=well+fed]Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat: Melissa Joulwan,David Humphreys,Kathleen Shannon: 9780615572260: Amazon.com: Books[/url]) Every recipe I've tried in it has been delicious. it might be a good start to prove to yourself that food can still be your friend. :)
Best of luck!
I know it's scary to give up foods you love, but you may find that you don't even miss them after the initial hump. My SO used to eat a full sized bag of tortilla chips every day for lunch, and an entire loaf of bread with dinner every night. He's been grain-free for a week now, and when we went out to dinner the other night, he wasn't even tempted by the bread basket that sat completely untouched.
If you can just force yourself to jump in, you may find that you feel so good without those foods, you just won't want them anymore.
[QUOTE=Desi13;973737]I have decided to do it by the book for 7 days, and then re-evaluate and see how I'm feeling. 21 days seems a little scary, but I know I can go 7 days. I'm hoping after 7 days, I will feel good and want to continue.[/QUOTE]
Just so you don't bail at the end of the week, be aware that you may not feel all that great after 7 days. That's usually right in the middle of carb flu, and the way you feel then is [I]nothing [/I]like how you will feel after the 21 days. It's like night and day.
My advice would be to see how well you can [I]comply [/I]in 7 days, then know that if you keep going, you will have more energy and sleep better in a week or two. As an added benefit, I notice that my moods improved quite a bit (more even, less crankiness and depression) eating this way.