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Thread: Getting back on the horse (and showing it who's boss) page

  1. #1
    Sashi's Avatar
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    Getting back on the horse (and showing it who's boss)

    Soooo, I've been dabbling fairly seriously in paleo/primal for the past year. My journey started when I started seeing a naturopath, who, naturally, ordered a food sensitivity panel and found I had trouble tolerating several staples of the SAD: wheat, cow's milk, eggs, soy, sugar, coffee. I was traumatized, but have adapted. After some serious cleansing, I managed to heal my gut sufficiently that I could reincorporate some dairy and eggs, but am 100% gluten free, and have always kept grain consumption fairly low.

    Despite eating mostly lean-ish proteins and vegetables (with far too much chocolate in between), and working out hard 7 days each week (cardio and strength), I have always struggled with my weight. I'm 5'7", and tend to swing between 150 and 165. 145 would be my ideal lean weight (may sound heavy for my height, but I'm pretty fit already), and 150 is a more realistic, sustainable, happy weight. I maintained that fairly easily until I started having thyroid troubles. I have hashimoto's thyroiditis, which is the reason I am committed to an anti-inflammatory, gut-friendly and nourishing diet. The calmer my immune system, the happier my thyroid will be.

    Anyhow, about 6 weeks ago I decided I was tired of feeling puffy and hungry all the time (chronic snacker here!), and was going to embrace primal, including IFing. I also decided I had to get off the snack train. I lost 3 pounds fairly quickly, and then hit a plateau, although I could see my tummy flattening out. I was lifting heavier things, easing up on chronic cardio, and incorporating more fun and mellow activity, like biking and walking. Sleeping well, meditating, all good. But then some old habits crept back in. I started "rewarding" myself for my month of vigilance with some more treats around the house, the occasional between meal nibble, etc. When I woke up today and the scale read 165. Holy shit! Higher than when I started. And I IFed both weekend days! I hope and suspect this is hormonal/water weight, but I think it was the kick in the pants I needed to start holding myself accountable. Hence this journal.

    Starting now, I am committed to 95% primal. That means I can enjoy the occasional glass of wine or chocolate, but am going to try to skip all dairy for at least a month, and grains, beans, etc. Easy on the fruit. IF most days until noon, and no snacking. I will permit myself some super dark and delicious dark chocolate, because I think trying to avoid it is a slipperier slope for me than just indulging a bit. I've been known to polish off a jar of almond butter or a bag of carrots when all I wanted was a tiny taste of chocolate. So, that's the plan. And I'm going to use this journal to document my efforts, since I've been so inspired by the journals of other primal journeyers!

    Today, I woke up legitimately hungry, so I decided to skip the IF, and have tatsoi sauteed in bacon fat with two farm fresh eggs. I also finished my artichoke heart from last night with a bit of dandelion and hazelnut pate (another element of this for me is stopping eating when I'm full--I was satisfied last night after half an artichoke and some braised grassfed beef, so I saved most of the artichoke heart for this morning). For lunch, I'll have a salmon salad with celery, olives, hearts of palm, arugula, shallot, and vinaigrette. And for dinner, brussel sprouts raab with yak and wild boar sausage. Couple bites of truffle for dessert should round it out. How could anyone feel deprived with a delicious, fatty and varied menu like that?

    I just have to keep reminding myself that skipping the cheese or gluten free baked goods booths at the farmer's market is not a sacrifice. It's a lifestyle choice that makes my stomach happier and flatter, and keeps cravings in check. And, once I get a handle on this damn horse and feel like I've really embraced the new habits, perhaps I can incorporate more of the primal-friendly goodies I got so adept at making when I first gave up sugar a year ago (all those lovely date/coconut/cocoa/nut creations). But for now, they are basically crack and I'm an addict, and I've gotta get off that crazy train because nothing tastes as good as fitting in my jeans feels!

  2. #2
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    Yesterday was a good day. I ate delicious and totally primal food, including about half an insanely fabulous chocolate truffle (my planned indulgence), and got in a long workout at the gym plus a couple hours of hard labor in the yard, shoveling mulch. I have to say, I could use more manual labor in my life. It is SO satisfying to use your body to accomplish something meaningful and then get to enjoy the results. I'm looking right now at my beautifully mulched backyard, with a brand new raised vegetable bed ready for planting this weekend. Can't wait to get my hands in there and grow some good food and herbs!

    I don't know if it's the journal, or snooping around the forum and reading about everyone else's struggles and triumphs, or what, but I'm feeling hopeful and empowered (which is remarkable considering how unfriendly the scale is being right now). I have been doing this most every day for 6 weeks and feeling good. Less hungry, more in control, and gradually more excited about my figure. Body composition and shape are changing for the better, and now I just need to lose the winter insulation!

    Since I tend to be a rambler, I'm thinking maybe bulletted lists will be a good way to track my progress, so here goes, from yesterday:

    Exercise: LHT and cardio bursts plus yard work
    Food: Lean meats, veggies, and two bites of truffle
    IF: No
    Sleep: Excellent
    Fun/Relaxation: Yard work

    Starting today with an IF, and then I'm headed out to lunch with my boss before a meeting. Hoping I finish work in time to make my favorite class at the gym: kick butt bootcamp. It's usually tabatta drills, and so I get my daily dose of sprinting and lifting heavy things all in a fun hour that my husband actually comes along for. He is not a class person at all, but he has finally realized they are not just for girls, and likes how challenging this one is. It's nice to work out together for a change. I've also had him showing me some new stuff on the weight room floor lately, venturing out from behind the standard machines to do some power lifting with free weights. Intimidating, but also exciting to switch things up.

    I'm actually considering hiring a trainer for 3 sesssions to help me design a workout program. I've been pretty reliant on classes (hip hop bootcamp on monday, standard bootcamp tuesday, barre method on wednesday, turbo kick thursday, weight room on thursdays and sculpting/kickboxing on the weekends), but am probably going to have to skip most of my usual classes for the next several months while I focus on healing overstretched ligaments in my hip joints. I've been seeing a great physical therapist, who keeps adjusting my alignment, but I keep throwing it out, and gradually she has forbidden me to do yoga, lunges, biking (I need to get a cruiser that allows me to sit more upright, because not biking in the summer here is not an option--it's my favorite part of every day), and any asymmetrical exercises. I am finally ready to commit to that, because it's clear there is no alternative. So now I need to figure out what the heck I can do that will allow me to stay fit without destabilizing my pelvis. Could be a nice change, actually, and maybe my body actually needs new challenges.

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    Has anyone else read the book Switch? It's about change theory, and cites a bunch of studies about how finite our self control actually is. Meaning, if you have had to concentrate super hard at work, or exercise a bunch of restraint throughout the day, your store of willpower around food that evening might be depleted. True story, happened to me. I had a busy day of meetings where I had to be "on," and felt totally drained afterwards. Found myself grabbing some yak jerky I wasn't even hungry for out of the fridge on my way to the gym, along with a couple cocoa almonds, and then I had to talk myself out of eating more cocoa almonds after my workout. Instead, I bought some insanely tasty kumquats (pretty close to last of the season, I'd think), and binged on those. Probably ate 15 of them, which is a lot of carbs, but it was a reasonably healthy choice for an indulgence and deeply satisfying.

    So, my day yesterday stacks up like this:

    Exercise: LHT and tabata drills (hardcore)
    Food: Good, except an unplanned snack of jerky, almonds, and kumquats that prob set me back 250 calories (consider that my dessert)
    IF: No, I ate a mini meal of braised beef and veggies at 11, because my lunch meeting was not until 1:30pm
    Sleep: Good, although it took me a while to fall asleep because I tweaked my shoulder at the gym
    Fun/Relaxation: More yard work: it is so gratifying to transform some unloved winter-bleak flower/vegetable beds!

    More meetings today, so I'm trying to decide if I should IF through then 11am, and wait to eat until whenever I get home, or have a nibble soon. Will probably just listen to my body and eat if I feel the need.

  4. #4
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    I had a full day of meetings yesterday too ... and caved and had a strawberry-banana smoothie at about 9:30 p.m.!
    Newcomers: If you haven't read the book, at least read this thread ... and all the links!
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread17722.html

    F/49/5'4"
    Jan. 1, 2011: 186.6 lbs PBSW Mar. 1, 2011: 175.8 lbs
    CW: 146.8 lbs
    GW 140 lbs
    A proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals

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    Phooey! Had a complete meltdown on food moments ago. Somehow my innocent espresso, which I decided to fancy up with a bit of cocoa powder and coconut milk sweetened with stevia, turned into a flourless chocolate cake (added more cocoa powder, an egg, honey, etc. etc. until it was a complete calorie bomb and then baked it up). Was delicious, and almost primal, but I wasn't even hungry, it's 9:30am on a Wednesday, and I am full of regret. Have just thrown out all the cocoa and carob in the house (I do this periodically but then buy again when I'm feeling strong and sure I can have them around safely and only use a spoonful at a time as a responsible treat.... which I can, until spontaneous binges like this morning's occur.) Ugh. Am contemplating skipping lunch to make up for my big breakfast. Before the little chocolate incident, I also had a lovely collared greens, pesto, veggie and boar wrap. Should've stopped there.

    I guess this is why IFing in the morning is safest. Once I open to kitchen for business, it can be a dangerous place. I've tried to primalize for the most part, but my husband eats a lot of things I don't, and I like to keep the occasional sane indulgence around lest I devour a whole bunch of bananas in an attempt to satisfy a chocolate craving. Where is that dang happy medium?!

  6. #6
    Sashi's Avatar
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    Belinda, a strawberry banana smoothie sounds very reasonable as treats go! I keep telling myself if I can just get off the chocolate/sugar crazy train, I can use fruit as my sweets and be all smug and healthy. But I'm an addict. Do you avoid all sugars?

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    I have been avoiding actively putting sugar in my coffee, etc., but I put a package of Stevia in my smoothie. For no better reason than it was in the cupboard and I thought that I should be using it up because I don't like it in my coffee.

    Once in a while, I'll have half a spoonful of sugar in a cup of tea, or a little drizzle of honey on some yogurt, but that's becoming pretty rare.

    I'm not a 'perfect' primal and will occasionally have a store bought salad dressing or bbq sauce (sugar included) but I don't concern myself too much over that.
    Newcomers: If you haven't read the book, at least read this thread ... and all the links!
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread17722.html

    F/49/5'4"
    Jan. 1, 2011: 186.6 lbs PBSW Mar. 1, 2011: 175.8 lbs
    CW: 146.8 lbs
    GW 140 lbs
    A proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals

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    That sounds like a good approach. I am not willing to agonize over possible sugars in every sauce or dressing I consume, especially at restaurants, because I already have to be 100% vigilant about gluten (for my thyroid situation), and just feel like I need to pick my battles. I've actually done 5 weeks without cane sugar before, but was occasionally having coconut or beet sugar. And, lately, in my renewed attempts are primalizing, I've switched to liquid stevia, which I just use sparingly in tea (esp. when I add ACV, which I started drinking as a tonic during a sinus infection, and just really like). Probably best to limit that so I can get my tastebuds to adapt. Anyhow, I am not going to beat myself up or allow a hiccup to become a complete collapse. Small salmon and celery salad for lunch, sensible dinner, and maybe a little extra sprinting in the gym tonight. It's not a race, right?
    My primal journey involves a lot of (chocolate) slip-ups. But, I'm all about getting back on the horse!

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    Feeling good today. The scale is back down to 161, which is still 10 pounds over my happy weight, but I'm definitely retaining some water, so hopefully I'll see a couple pounds drop off next week when hormones settle down. Yesterday was not perfect, but I managed to recover after that mocha cake in the morning, and end up in a reasonable range in terms of overall calories and macronutrients. Here goes:

    Food: All good except an ill-advised mocha treat in the morning (I think I should plan 100 calories or so of treats to keep me satisfied without blowing all my other good work)
    IF: No
    Exercise: 45 minutes on the treadmill, with HIIT, and some weights
    Sleep: Good
    Fun: Zoned out in front of the TV. It was raining, and I was tired. Plus, Top Chef Masters was on. Will try to meditate tonight, since the weather is not so inviting outside!
    My primal journey involves a lot of (chocolate) slip-ups. But, I'm all about getting back on the horse!

  10. #10
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    Trying not to let perfect be the enemy of good as I go about primalizing my life! As a woman whose jeans are feeling a bit like sausage casings lately, it's easy to get impatient, right? But starving myself or overexercising is not good for my metabolism, marriage, or mental wellbeing, and it's not sustainable anyhow, so I'll just have to be content with feeling more in control of my eating, and seeing tiny incremental changes in body composition. The scale is kinda stuck, but I have been a little carbier than I should be this week, so I'm not gonna a sweat it. As long as the overall trend is downward over the long term, I'll get there, right? Wherever there is--could just be a few pounds of weight loss but a newly toned mid-section and less snack-attackia.

    Yesterday was solid. Had a delicious breakfast, healthy lunch... and our dinner plans, which originally included a tempting southern BBQ joint where I was planning to have smoked brisket and greens, turned into lao, which meant light and lovely herbacious meats wrapped in lettuce, green papaya salad, and really good basil ginger chile veggies. Happy camper! I have leftovers, but am IFing this morning. Here's the breakdown from yesterday:

    Food: Good. Had my last farmer's market truffle and two junior mints, but prob was just over 100 calories of sweets. I did also snack on a Clearvite shake (something my naturopath is rabid about for anyone with autoimmune or gut health or thyroid issues), with some nuts/coconut mixed in, but this left me full for dinner, so I ate lightly and it was probably a wash in terms of calories.
    IF: No
    Exercise: 50 minutes of weights, 30 minutes of intervals on the treadmill
    Sleep: Great--woke up at 8am today!
    Fun: Dinner out with a friend
    My primal journey involves a lot of (chocolate) slip-ups. But, I'm all about getting back on the horse!

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