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    ampespidi's Avatar
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    It'll Be A Cold Day In Hell...

    Primal Fuel
    ...before a lot of things happen.

    Before I become a vegan.
    Before I admit soccer to be the superior sport.
    Before I re-join Facebook.
    Before I think denim on denim looks good on anyone.
    Before I am caught up on my laundry.
    Before I go back to eating the same way I did for years.


    I don't believe you can change people. Change - real change - all comes from within. Self-improvement requires change while complacency maintains the status quo. I have, fortunately, always felt I can improve myself as a person. I don't understand those who resist change, and those who don't bother to self-improve. I do not believe I am perfect, and I think of myself as a realist. I have the goal of who I want to be, and who I am now. I believe in self-improvement. But, I like to know exactly where I stand and I like to know my limits.

    The Backstory PT 1

    I grew up in the height of the low-fat craze. I also grew up with allergies. Around my kindergarten/1st grade years, my mother's friend offered me a Red Vine licorice. I, being the little sugar-grubbing kid that I was, took it greedily. Apparently, based on my mother's facial expressions, I had grown a second head. Or I had blown up with hives. It was the latter. I don't really remember how it was deduced, since no tests were (or are) available, but I was diagnosed with being allergic to artificial food coloring. I became fantastic at label reading. I would find the ingredients I was allergic to in seconds, even after others had completely read through the list and deemed it okay. Now why was I reading through a bunch of lists? Oh, right, because it was the pre-packaged food era. Time went on, and I didn't eat artificial food coloring.

    In my elementary school years another thing happened that changed my life forever. My mother had a stroke in her early 40s. She survived it, and without going into too much detail, suffered brain damage. It was very tough on our family, to put it lightly.

    I started making my own food at a pretty early age. Leave it to a nine year old to fix food, and what do you get? Pizza bread. Yep, sourdough bread, Ragu sauce, and grated cheddar cheese. Microwave, and bam, dinner. I don't remember preparing a lot of meat. I didn't like to handle it, or wait for it to cook, so I veered away from it. My dad, a former chef, didn't really like preparing "gourmet" meals. It was a lot of Minute Rice, and those frozen chicken breasts from Costco. The ones that don't even look like they came from a chicken. I guess I ate those sometimes. Mostly I enjoyed my pizza bread, chips, pasta with sauce and cheese, and any candy or baked good I wasn't allergic to. I became the chubby kid (I wasn't the really rotund one, but I was heavy); add chubby to weird and you get social outcast.

    My body image was terrible, due to a number of reasons I won't go into. I wasn't skinny, I didn't have good skin, or nice hair, or style, or social skills. I counted the days until I could graduate high school. Sure, I had friends - fellow outcasts, but I don't think I was popular, even amongst them. During my final year at high school and into my first few years of college, I was at a low. I was overweight (like always), I wore baggy, oversized t-shirts, jeans that were too big, and pulled my hair back into a bun or ponytail, and wore glasses that didn't flatter me. I rarely wore makeup, except for foundation to cover up my constantly broken out skin. The summer between my junior and senior year of college I was shamed/forced into losing weight. I was 20 years old. I lived off of Lean Cuisines (but was shamed into eating only once a day). I worked out 5 days a week. I used the elliptical for at least 30 minutes, then did a round of weight machines. Sometimes my meal of the day was steamed vegetables with mustard. Yum.

    Well, it worked, essentially. I lost weight, and was at my lowest adult weight - around 150-155 lbs. I'm a 5'9" woman, and I was skinny-fat. There was no definition and plenty of jiggle. My parents bought me a new wardrobe once I fulfilled their expectations, and my senior year of college was a bit different. People I knew before noticed my weight loss and asked me if I had given up the Lean Cuisines. I told them, no, that's what I eat all the time. When asked how I did it, I gave the platitude of "I ate less and exercised more." I was clearly an encyclopedia of information. Still, my far skinnier and cuter roommates put me to shame. Why didn't I look like them? I struggled to stay in the 150s. I mean, I could not eat if I wanted to stay in the 150s. I figured this may just be what I look like, forever. I tried this one site called Personal Dietician. You answered a questionnaire about your eating habits and they gave you a "personalized" plan. Basically a sheet with food category bubbles to mark off each day. Not-so-amazingly, it told me to eat MORE servings of bread and pasta. You know, those healthy whole grains. I thought I was eating plenty of them. I would fix myself whole wheat pasta, with different types of sauces, and maybe a few vegetables here and there. Can you guess if Personal Dietician worked? I thought I'd give Weight Watchers Online a try. I signed up for a good 3-4 months. I logged everything, I stayed within my points. I didn't lose a damn pound. I still kept with my exercise regimen. I eventually settled into the 160s. It was easier to maintain here, and I did, for a while.
    Last edited by ampespidi; 05-05-2014 at 11:52 PM. Reason: typos
    _________________________________________________
    "We really shook the Pillars of Heaven, didn't we Wang?"
    "No horsesh*t, Jack."
    "No horsesh*t."

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    The Backstory PT 2


    After college, I moved to Los Angeles. I got a job as a PA in post production (at a trailer house). I started saying all the things that I used to only think. Things were looking up. I went out all the time, I made more friends, I drank, I ate. I got promoted to being the Lead Machine Room Tech. The hours got longer, the work got harder, the company got more bureaucratic. I gained weight. I sat comfortably in the 180s. Work took its toll - I became depressed. I didn't know how to leave, since it was the only job I'd had in the business. I became an Assistant Editor there. I made some good friends there and my personality developed, but everything else seemed to devolve. I began to hate my job, and I ate to comfort myself. I still stayed in the 180s. I had stopped working out long ago. I hated gyms with a passion, and I worked such long hours that I rarely saw daylight. I made feeble weight loss attempts. I had loathed my big weight loss transformation so much, I couldn't do it again. I couldn't work long hours, commute long hours, be exhausted all the time AND not eat. I used Lose It! on the iPhone. I lost a few pounds here and there, and always gained it back.

    Then something happened. When I was 25 (almost 26), my mom died, from complications related to a food borne illness. It was devastating. If I wasn't depressed before, I was certainly depressed then. I had had enough of the company I worked for. I was a good employee that they screwed over one too many times. My co-workers and I trickled out the door. I was the second one to leave. Life is at once too short, and FAR too long to be spending all your time at a place you hate. I had no job lined up. I left unceremoniously. They hated me for leaving. I said "I'm going to work in television." I got condescending nods, "Yeah, sure you will." Three days after I left I was hired on a TV show.

    I was working the night shift. I was all alone in the building, but it was an easy job. I would break down crying (this was in the few months after my mom's death), and I was thankful that no one was there to see it. I routinely stopped at The Coffee Bean on my way to work in order to stay awake. The barista knew me by name. I would order large mocha something-or-others. Despite my depression, I was able to maintain a happy outward appearance at work, for when I did run into people. I worked with a vegan. He had apparently lost weight from it. His arguments for it were horrible, and illogical. I wanted to lose weight. I have a natural proclivity for travel and adventure sports, and horrible sea sickness and two severe herniated discs in my low back. Being overweight is not conducive to traveling or adventure sports. I started googling "diets that work long term." Mark's Daily Apple popped up. A few years before I vaguely remember coming across this site. It was preposterous! Don't eat grains, and eat a lot of fat? I thought it was interesting though. The few years before I think I mentioned it to my dad and he said "yeah, but that guy is ALREADY fit." Apparently I thought that was a legitimate argument. Fast forward to when I found the site again, and I was intrigued. I had dabbled in vegetarianism, but never thought veganism was a good idea. Something about it seemed off, and arguments always appealed to emotion, not logic. I'm incredibly logical (these days). This "primal" thing was crazy. So crazy it just might work. I read about it for a few weeks, and decided I was gonna do it. The vegan scoffed at me. Then, something happened. I had no idea what to eat.

    Once before I had done the Standard Process cleanse. It was at the behest of my chiropractor (whom I went to for intense daily headaches and my low back problem). It requires you to eat nothing but vegetables and fruit for the first 9 days, and on day 10, you can incorporate small amounts of protein. Yeah, I certainly lost weight in those first nine days, mainly because nothing I could eat was appetizing. I felt depleted. On day ten, I added in eggs and beef. I couldn't eat fish because I thought I was allergic for three years (this was during those three years). At the end of the 21 days, I had lost weight, and I completed my challenge - not to eat crap. Well, when I decided to eat primally, I first decided to do another Standard Process Cleanse. I was better prepared this time, and I think I incorporated my protein sooner. My chiropractor had lent me a book about food. I devoured it. She was a vegan, but the book was not about that. It was about properly preparing food, emphasis on protein, fermented vegetables, and soaking beans and grains. It was my first foray into the food world, and my chiropractor was the first person to listen to my health concerns. While I was doing my second Standard Process cleanse, I told her I wanted to try this "paleo thing." She said, "Okay, yeah, I like that diet." It was interesting.

    So, at the end of the Standard Process cleanse, I cut the crap and dove into primal. I had no idea what to eat or make. I was not well versed in cooking meat, but the first thing I made was ground beef with chopped jalepenos and onions. I just ate....that. It was going to be a long journey. With the Standard Process cleanse, I'd lost about 8 lbs. This put me into the high 170s with my weight. I took another job with the same people (an intense job, but one that paid me well for the first time in my life). Fortunately, it worked out that I was on the day shift. I took food to work. I made a BAS every day. I liked it. I tried different things. I really was only losing a few pounds. I was disappointed. I was on target with the exception of maybe one or two Justin's nut butter packets a day. I avoided grain like the plague. The hours got to be long. Really long. Really, really, really long. I succumbed more than a few times to eating catered dinner. I'd try to be good, but sometimes a few corn tortillas were calling my name. I should mention I've suffered from IBS since I was a teenager. I tend toward IBS-D. Even when I was pretty primal, I had massive digestion problems. I didn't really understand it, and I don't think I had all the right information yet. When the crazy job was over, I went to New Zealand for a month. I ate what I wanted. I mean, I hadn't lost much weight anyway - I was at 174 and nary a pound lower. I thought "Oh, well, you know, when I went to England I ate what I wanted and I LOST weight! I was walking all the time." Yeah, this trip was not the same. I was on a bus for most of it. There was walking, and hiking, and all the adventure sports I could get my hands on, but when I went bungy jumping, they wrote your weight on your hand. ON YOUR DAMN HAND. IN FRONT OF EVERYONE. I did the conversion from kgs...and I was 196 lbs. Yup.
    Last edited by ampespidi; 05-05-2014 at 05:23 PM.
    _________________________________________________
    "We really shook the Pillars of Heaven, didn't we Wang?"
    "No horsesh*t, Jack."
    "No horsesh*t."

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    The Backstory PT 3


    After a few months, I normalized into the 180s again. I took 4 months off total, and had agreed to go back to the crazy, good paying job, but for 10 months this time. When I started it, I was around 185. I guess my disappointment in not losing more than 5 lbs over 6 months doing primal was my reason for not pursuing it again. In the first couple months on the job I ate from the food trucks every day. It was delicious. I changed my living situation, and got a new roommate, and subsequently injured both my ankles in the move. My pants were uncomfortably tight. When I finally got settled in my new place, I stepped on the scale. 202 lbs. I couldn't believe it. In all my years, I had NEVER seen those numbers. I was scared. I knew my ankle injuries were probably weight related. I was afraid I was not just chubby anymore, I was fat. I was borderline obese, technically, if you want to go by CW numbers. Looking back, I'd estimate my body fat at about 35-40%.

    I started reading about primal voraciously. I believed in the concept, and I knew I just needed to dial it in for me. I stopped eating BAS (I hate lettuce with a passion - I'll eat it, but I hate it). I think I didn't lose weight because I couldn't process raw vegetables in the quantities I was eating. I started eating a lot of bacon and eggs. I got pastured eggs and the best bacon I could find. I ate olives, cheese, and cooked vegetables. I made steak. I researched in every spare moment I had. Something just...clicked. My brain finally recognized I was not someone who could just eat whatever they wanted. My family's history of illness suggests that I may not live too long. For me it's not about longevity, it's about enjoying my time here. I wasn't. Even on Depo Provera (birth control shot), even with crazy long hours, even with my back going out horribly, even with lack of exercise, even with a poor sleep schedule...I managed to lose 40 lbs by the end of the show's run. I started in late May 2013 and the show ended just before Christmas 2013. I was down to about 160 lbs. My lowest recorded has been 158. I was unemployed for a few months after the show was over (much needed rest), and while I was able to maintain, I did go on a bit of a bender for a month and gained about 10 lbs. Ugh. Too much gluten free pizza, and alcohol. I still made primal meals, but I was far closer to 50/50, than my previous 90/10.

    I'm slowly trying to bring my dad on board (he was pre-diabetic for a while...still might be I think). I didn't see much of anyone while I was working (roommate included), so it was a surprise to many people when they saw I'd lost the weight. They wanted to know what I'd done. They thought it was just "gluten free," but I tell them it's much more than that. My dad is starting to listen. My sister hates fat in any form. We'll see how we go.

    During the show last year, my dear dog died. It was another loss I didn't need, so soon after I lost my mom. I got to see him the day before we had to put him down, and I made a promise to the dog. Yes, a promise to a dog. Call it silly, call it stupid, I don't care. But it wasn't just to my dog, it was to my mom, too. I promised them both that I would find an answer. That I would succeed where I had failed. That I WOULD become healthy and fit. I would become the warrior I wish to be. I have lofty goals. I don't care who tells me I can't do it. This is about truth, about knowledge, about finding that delicate equilibrium between feeding my body and feeding my soul. Also, it's about pointing out my stupidity and laughing at it.

    This is my quest.
    _________________________________________________
    "We really shook the Pillars of Heaven, didn't we Wang?"
    "No horsesh*t, Jack."
    "No horsesh*t."

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    You. Go. Girl!

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    Wow! What a story! Welcome -
    My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread53052.html

    "Freedom from fear" could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights. - Dag Hammarskjold

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    ampespidi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atlantabebe View Post
    You. Go. Girl!
    Thank you, kindly!
    _________________________________________________
    "We really shook the Pillars of Heaven, didn't we Wang?"
    "No horsesh*t, Jack."
    "No horsesh*t."

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    It sounds like you are on the right track - best of luck!

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    Thanks for the encouragement!

    Last week I did a 30 hour fast at the worst possible time. I was double dipping jobs (working day and night, basically) for a couple days, and staying true to my character, this was when I chose to fast. Incidentally, I made myself pretty sick (but I think I picked up a stomach bug). I was in a lot of gastrointestinal stress, and I was exhausted. On Saturday, I was feeling okay, though still recovering, and was going to a party that night. I said to myself, "This is the party I am going to drink at. I'll just have a couple glasses of red." Cue walking to the bar, where I promptly order a Redbreast Whiskey on the rocks. THEN, the drink of the evening was a Mint Julep (in honor of the Derby). I had never had a Mint Julep - I just never usually order fancy cocktails because there are a lot of liquers, syrups, garnishes with food coloring. This was mint, sugar, and whiskey. I wound up having three. SMART. Cue spending more time in the bathroom the next morning.

    I decided to get a massage yesterday, since my entire body hurt. Well, I went with a new person, as my usual person is on vacation. I said, "Swedish please, unless you find a knot, then go to town." Apparently, my entire body was a f*cking knot. This lady was crawling on me using her knees. It was ridiculously uncomfortable. I asked her to ease up on certain areas, where an arm would have sufficed. It was definitely deep tissue, so I'm a bit bruised and sore today. Still feel better than yesterday, though.

    B: Keurig Breakfast Blend Decaf Coffee, 3 International Delight Mini Half 'n Halfs, 1 packet Sweet 'n Low, Artisana Raw Walnut Butter packet

    L: Spicy Quinoa salad with Salmon (from a pretty damn good restaurant near work) - contained quinoa, cucumber, serrano peppers, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, goat cheese, parsley. 4-6oz salmon filet (I believe they use wild caught). Olive oil as my dressing on the side. I don't eat quinoa too often, but I had some today, obviously. I also bought frozen salmon and quinoa for home...

    D: 4 oz grass-fed rib eye (leftovers), spaghetti squash with butter, sprinkling of parmesan, daikon radish kimchi, blueberries with drizzle of heavy cream, glass of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (Whole Foods brand)

    Weight: Didn't weigh myself today. Will give full stats when I do.

    Exercise: None. I'm still recovering from my illness last week, and waiting for my body to recover from the massage. I did walk for a couple hours yesterday while out and about with a friend.
    Last edited by ampespidi; 05-05-2014 at 10:19 PM. Reason: addition to dinner
    _________________________________________________
    "We really shook the Pillars of Heaven, didn't we Wang?"
    "No horsesh*t, Jack."
    "No horsesh*t."

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    A little over 4 years ago, when I was only 24, I was sick with a cold. I was making some tea, and got up out of a chair to get it when...boom, my back went out. AT 24 YEARS OLD.

    After 2 days of not being able to move, I somehow got downstairs, into my car and drove to an urgent care. The doctor there just said "Well, you have to move it. It's like it you injured your arm, your inclination would be to move it." I got muscle relaxers, pain killers I wasn't allergic to, and was sent on my merry way. Little did I know this would become a chronic problem, that very may well follow me the rest of my life.

    Doctors didn't really take me seriously about my back. I saw a chiropractor for about 3 years, initially going in for debilitating headaches that were happening on a daily basis. It helped my headaches, and I think it was helping my back as well.

    Late last year, while working the crazy job, my back went out. It's gone out a few times over the past years, usually once per year, but this was as bad as the first time. I was given pain killers, but the pain went on for months. I was finally prescribed Physical Therapy. In November and December of 2013 I did PT. It consisted of strapping me to a table to do "traction," and electrodes/ice packs. I felt no real benefit from it. I was getting better on my own, and because I know my body, I was sure it was just another "good" cycle. In January I finally got approved for an MRI and found I have two severe disc herniations. One of them is 14mm. Or WAS 14mm. I was sent to a surgeon, who (you guessed it) wanted to do surgery. He called me stoic more than a few times. I'm good at dealing with pain, since I've had chronic pain for many years. First was dysmenorrhea, which Depo helps a lot with. Then it was chronic, debilitating headaches. TMJ (ongoing). Back injury. I did not and still do not want to do surgery. I have some sciatica symptoms, but they are intermittent. Generally, surgery alleviates sciatica, but not necessarily back pain. I know my hamstrings are tight. They almost always have been. I can stretch and stretch and stretch and they'll still be tight. I'm working on it.

    I've been approved for steroid injections, which in this case would be "aggressive" - basically three weeks in a row, injecting around the nerves, not in the spinal canal. I want to try it at least once, just to see if I get relief from it and for how long. The problem lies in being able to have someone drive me, during the week, and having to take 3 days off from work. I'm freelance, and I don't work = I don't get paid. Also, they generally won't do that on a short term gig. And good luck finding someone to drive me.

    I did a round of pool PT, which was such a big difference. I did traction in the pool as well, but felt an enormous benefit from that. Too bad this place is really far from me and my visits are up for the year. Since then I've been doing a lot of cobra poses, since I get great relief from spine extension - I just wind up arguing with yoga instructors who don't seem to know much about disc herniations. They are all about flexion (bending forward) which is what got me here in the first place. They say, "I'm trying to prevent people from your situation." I think, "Listen, bitch, I AM in my situation. I told you I can't do flexion and I asked for a solution when everyone else is doing forward bends." I do a little of it with cat/camels, but mainly extension. It seems to take pressure off the nerves. I haven't been to a yoga class since, since it was making my back pain worse. I am still in pain daily, but it's manageable. Being a desk jockey doesn't help. I am better about taking breaks, walking around and going outside at least once.

    I joined the Health Club at my work, which is super clean and always empty. I can only use it while I work here (so maybe the next couple months). I've been about 5 times in the last month. I was doing the elliptical, but did not feel any benefit from it, so I am on the treadmill now. I do a one mile walking warm-up (at about 3-3.5 mph). Then I stretch my legs and do one set of Tabata sprints (currently at 6.1 mph, 1 incline). I do these once a week so far. Each time I will bump up the mph by .1, and the incline by .5 (that's the lowest I can do). If I feel it's too much, I'll go back down to where it was before. I am using the chin-up assist machine. Last week I could do 10 with it carrying 100 lbs of my weight (SO LAME), and an additional two with it carrying 90 lbs. I will try 10 at 90 lbs this week. I also did desk push ups last week (30-40 of them). I've never had upper body strength, so my goal is to do at least one pull up from a hanging position with my full weight, and at least 20 full push-ups in a row. I'm far away from this goal, but maybe I'll get there.

    Of course, I also want to keep my back pain at bay. I don't take anything for it, as I'm allergic to nearly all OTC pain relievers. In addition to food coloring, I'm also allergic to all NSAIDs. That leaves white tablets of Tylenol. I can't tell you how much Tylenol doesn't work for me. It only helps when I have the flu. So, it's basically...live with the pain. I have some pain relief gels which burn in a good way. I use them from time to time. They usually have capsaicin and camphor. I stopped seeing the chiropractor. My old one left last year and I didn't feel benefit from the new one. Maybe I should try another, but it gets expensive. I've thought about trying acupuncture. Also expensive, and I can't find one to work with my schedule. I think I'm getting my own place soon, and one of the first things I'm getting is an inversion chair. I think I will find some relief in that.

    I work from 9:30am-8pm right now, and no, I can't seem to get out of bed before 8:15am. I'm not a morning person; never have been. I need to get out of this industry. It's slowly killing me. I'm convinced that post production attracts the pale, the overweight and the angry. Oh man, does that describe me in a nutshell. I'm not as overweight as I used to be, but I still feel I'm carrying around a spare tire.


    My size 6 Old Navy jeans are fitting me again. They are slightly tight, but not as tight as they were a couple weeks ago. Progress.

    B: 2 Twinings English Breakfast Teas (Keurig), 2 packets Sweet Leaf stevia, heavy cream (I remembered to bring it!), 3-4oz of Old Croc Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Grass-Fed). Hey, I had to grab something to go.

    L: Chicken Wings from Korean BBQ truck. The sauce was kind of sweet and spicy, so I'm sure there was some sugar in there. I tried to avoid the skin on these and just pick out the meat. I did a decent job. There was a small side of pickled radish. Also kind of sweet, I'm sure there was sugar in there too - maybe a sweet vinegar. Not terrible, but not the greatest choice (but maybe the best choice out of what was there). I'm not great at planning lunches...I'll make a better decision for dinner tonight if I choose to eat it.

    S: 1 packet Artisana Raw Walnut Butter (lunch was not satisfying...I didn't get too much meat off those wings)

    D: 4 strips sugar-free bacon, 3 pastured eggs (scrambled in grease and butter - not much grease from the bacon), 1/4 c spaghetti squash, 5 boiled mini potatoes, 2 tbsp goat cream cheese, drizzle of leftover kimchi marinade, small handful of blueberries

    Exercise: 7 flights of stairs - 3 times down, one time up...you can only access the stairwell once inside (key carded) and then if you take them down you can't access your floor until you go around the building and back in the elevators. So it was once down for lunch, once down, back up, back down later.
    Last edited by ampespidi; 05-06-2014 at 10:22 PM. Reason: typos, food.
    _________________________________________________
    "We really shook the Pillars of Heaven, didn't we Wang?"
    "No horsesh*t, Jack."
    "No horsesh*t."

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    90
    Man, I feel bloated today. I feel heavier. I felt heavier yesterday afternoon, too. I don't think I ate too much, I think this is hormonal. I got my Depo shot this morning, and I know when I'm in that interim period I bloat, I can't lose weight, and I'm constantly hungry. Hopefully within the next couple days that will lift. I'm happy my jeans are fitting again, but when I hopped on the scale this morning I was a whopping 167.8! I think just the day before I started this journal I was 165. Eesh. I doubt I gained a bunch of fat, since my jeans are fitting, but yikes, that's a lot of water retention. Just about 3 lbs worth.

    Last night the Omron Body Fat monitor I ordered, arrived. I plugged in my stats this morning before showering (and I even upped it to today's weight, even though I think it's not exactly my correct weight). It says I'm at 27.2% body fat. That sounds about right. I estimated my body fat to be between 25% and 30% based on pictures. I've been struggling to lose weight recently. I can't seem to get back down to where I was around Valentine's Day (my lowest recorded Primal Weight). Obviously, I know why I gained some weight back...I was having too much "fun." And this little depressing 3 lbs up on the scale could be a combination of that alcohol from the weekend catching up to me, or it could be hormones, or both. Maybe I just need to really scale things back. I buy a bag of mini potatoes every week, and space them out with meals. That might have to go. My raw nut butter packets may have to go...I haven't really been doing sugar, aside from my Mint Julep mistakes, and that Korean BBQ yesterday. I'm just so tired lately, and I feel better after I eat (that includes a few mini potatoes with dinner). This has got to be hormonal, right? Aside from my higher calorie count yesterday, I'm generally under 1500 calories, and at 50 carbs or under. In the past that has worked just fine, and I got down to 158.2 that way. From Valentine's day to the end of March...it only took 6 weeks to gain about 12 lbs. I think I've been between 80/20 and 90/10 since the beginning of April, and I think I've only lost 2 lbs to show for it...in 5 weeks. That seems DAMNED UNFAIR. I did start working out at the beginning of April, so I'm wondering if that's slowing my progress. I'd like to think I'm gaining muscle, but I seriously doubt it. I don't feel stronger, or even faster...I just feel tired all the time, mostly in the mornings. I certainly haven't lost any inches from my mid section.

    I've thought about doing a food fast today...but allowing myself coffee/tea with cream. We'll see how we go. I did not bring any food with me, not even a nut butter packet. I may head to the gym tonight after work, but my lower calves are killing me from the stairs yesterday. I don't know how not to hurt. It was a struggle getting up earlier this morning (7:30) in order to go wait for my Depo shot. I got ready, left, waited at the doctor's office, got my shot and came to work. I'll be here until 8. If I go to the gym I won't be home until about 9:30. I've been eating quite late because of my schedule...I hate to have all my meals at work, because it's depressing to know that I live here. It doesn't leave much personal down time before I have to go to sleep (usually can't fall asleep until midnight). So I get a couple hours late at night...it feels like nothing.

    This weekend I'm having an old fashioned girl's sleepover with my friend - there will be wine. I'm cutting myself off at two. Saturday I'm going to a "Wine Riot," essentially a wine tasting. These things are not ideal, but they are rare social opportunities for me, the sleepover with a friend I don't get to see often, and the wine tasting with potential new friends. I'm not great at making friends, and it's important to me that I do. I just won't expect any weight loss this weekend. This is more for my mental health.

    So, I guess the plan is...don't buy mini potatoes this weekend (I'll finish off the 5 or 6 I have left). Knock off the nut butters. Reduce cheese consumption (I won't buy more cheddar, but it is delicious!) to just goat cream cheese. Hopefully my shot will balance out my hormones, I won't feel bloated, and maybe the wine this weekend won't be such a hard hit. I will just do walking on the treadmill this evening (I think I might injure myself doing sprints tonight), and some upper body work (chin-up assist machine!) and some girly push ups. Maybe I'll check out one of those other fancy upper body machines.

    I guess I have some questions I haven't exactly figured out yet...should I be eating before or after my workouts? Do I HAVE to? I work out after work, from 8pm-9pm (when I get out of work to when the gym closes) once or twice a week. I don't like to eat so late, especially carbs. I have, but I don't like to. I don't really have access to food from 2pm-when I get home. Sometimes, if I really plan ahead on a lazy weekend, I'll make frittata muffins to bring for lunch. Otherwise I either skip lunch, try to find the best available option from food trucks that stop by from 12pm-2pm, or occasionally, if I'm able to take more than 30 minutes for lunch, drive to go grab a salad from a nearby restaurant where I can make it pretty darn primal. I only get to go shopping once a week (usually on Saturday). A BAS every day just isn't right for me. I don't process raw vegetables well in that quantity, and I don't find it appetizing. I had a hell of a time dropping more than 5 lbs with eating salads, which caused me to go off the rails. No thanks. I only have access to a microwave, and since really committing to primal, I don't like most things that come out of a microwave except heating up frozen rice or quinoa for convenience when I eat those things.

    So, I don't eat breakfast...I'm not usually hungry until the afternoon. I do have coffee with cream usually. My options for lunch are...as above. Dinner doesn't happen unless I eat late. I haven't been getting home until about 9, then prepping my food takes about 30 minutes. So I'm eating from 9:30-10pm. That seems awfully late. I can't fall asleep until midnight, then I have to get up at 8-8:15 if I want to be ready to leave by 9:15 and be at work by 9:30-9:45am. Doesn't leave much time for anything really. I generally need more sleep than 8 hours...but I'm not sure how to get that in without cutting into my unwinding time (which I need mentally).

    Well, I keep writing novels apparently. This one has a lot of bitching in it. I sound horrible. Guess I'm grumpy today.

    Female, 5'9", 28 y/o
    Starting Weight: 202 lbs. (May 2013)
    Current Primal Weight: 167.8
    Current Body Fat % (according to my new Omron): 27.2%
    Primal Low: 158.2 (Feb 2014)
    CW Low: 150 (2006)

    Goal Body Fat: 20-22%
    Goal Weight: Unsure. I've never been fit, so I have no idea what weight range that would look like. I would say maybe 135-140 to look fit for my body type, based on how I looked 35-40 lbs ago to what I look like now...I'm probably half way there. I still have more than plenty of fat to lose. More than plenty.

    Using this: Body Fat & Goal Weight

    I'm probably closer to 29-30% bf. If I go by my current weight, and bf of 29% and my goal of 20%, that puts me at about 148.9 lbs as my goal weight. Something is off I guess. Either I have more body fat than I think, or there's more water retention going on. I'm not sure, but even at 158.2 lbs, I still had a big ol' gut. Seems silly to think that I was only 10 lbs away from being fit. If I used today's numbers, my goal weight is 152.6. Body composition obviously comes into play here, too, but I'm skeptical. Maybe I'm just a higher bf % than I think. I could stand to lose about 5 inches off my waist, so I'm not sure how to really calculate things properly. Maybe 148 is my goal, and I'll just be putting on muscle, too.

    Measurements on some other day when I don't feel bloated, and have more time.

    Goal Waist: 27in
    Goal Hips: 37 in
    Goal Lower Abdomen: Flatten that sh*t out.
    Goal Bust: Not to lose my boobs, but still lose back fat. I like my boobs. They are the one feature I like.

    B: 1 Keurig cup regular Breakfast Blend coffee, heavy cream, 1 packet Sweet Leaf Stevia (I don't usually respond favorably to fully caffeinated coffee, but sometimes it helps with bloating. We'll see.)

    L: 1 Keurig cup regular French Roast coffee, heavy cream, 1 packet Truvia, 1 small bottle Perrier
    Last edited by ampespidi; 05-07-2014 at 02:53 PM.
    _________________________________________________
    "We really shook the Pillars of Heaven, didn't we Wang?"
    "No horsesh*t, Jack."
    "No horsesh*t."

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