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    Primal Journal (PrimalWriter)

    Primal Fuel
    My name is Lorena; I'm a writer in Orlando, Florida. During the day I write marketing copy/PR/etc; evenings run to romance, suspense, and, well, meditation books. Only the first has gotten me published. Not sure what that says about a) me, or b) the publishing market.

    I went primal "accidentally" a couple of years ago and lost about 50 pounds overall--about 40 of those in less than 5 months. Then winter hit. We had a nasty winter--don't laugh--if you live in the south and know what it's like to live in an older house without proper insulation, you know why this could be an issue. For me, it was a complete derailment and I've struggled for nearly two years to get back to a healthy lifestyle. I work most of the time--if not at the day job, then at writing, editing, or proofreading. Pretty much 7 days a week, 18 hour days.

    Why is this important? Well, last week as I was prepping for the 21 Day Challenge, I kept hearing myself say "I can't. I don't have the time. Hell, I don't have the FRIENDS!" (Note: I'm not isolated, but most of my friends have similar schedules and dissimilar interests. However, I do live alone, so there's no one to notice what I eat for dinner, either!)

    It rapidly became clear that I could use a major lifestyle reset.

    Because a lot of my current activities serve me well (making money, for example), I've decided I need a 10 week challenge rather than a 21 Day challenge to better integrate the primal principles. I've sent in my before picture to the "success in the making" project--that in itself was a big step. I have two health related goals this year: one, to "lose" 20 years. That is, while phenomenal, ideal health is the ultimate goal, I have a looooonnnnngggggg way to go. Like half my body weight. Improved numbers on most everything. I don't have cholesterol problems--never had, so imagine my surprise when I went primal in 2009 and my cholesterol dropped 35 points. Anyway...that's the tangible goal. The emotional goal--while still physical--is to climb to the top of the wall in the local rock climbing gym. That's not just a physical conditioning issue, it's also a mental issue: I don't like heights.

    I also suck at keeping up with these kinds of things, since I spend most my life in front of a computer writing something, I do let things slide. I'm hoping that by being semi-public with my goals, I'll also be encouraged to keep up with a journal, and thus encouraged to support my actions ITRW to get healthy.

    I believe very strongly in the primal principles/lifestyle--so I also hope that very soon I'll be visibly healthier and won't feel like a hypocrite when I suggest to others that they "grok on"!

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    Goals 1/14-1/20/12

    I hadn't really planned on posting more than once a day, but I want to set down my goals for the next week. I've been eating about 80% primal--most days, meals aren't an issue, but then I'll go out and break all the best rules and feel like crap (that would be today, btw).

    For one week, from tomorrow, I will be focusing on being 90%+ primal--with the 10% referring only to whether I can get local, grass fed, organic, etc. I do have sources--I let them slide for financial reasons over the past few months, but I do have them--I just don't know how quickly I can get orders filled. So 100% primal on the content of the food. Next Saturday (21st), I'll continue with the 100% primal food, but add in another principle. And so it goes...

    Think I'll make chili for dinner tonight, since it's gonna be cold, and that will give me a jumpstart on leftovers.

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    Welcome Lorena!

    I've only been posting consistently on this website for the last week, but it's already made a huge difference in my attitude towards eating right and exercising, so I hope you keep coming back. There's something about it that battles the "I'm going to screw up" narrative in your head really well. You start writing a new story here and you have an audience that believes in it and cares enough about its main character to hope for a happy ending. And, as a fellow writer (journalist), let me tell you eating like this lowers writing anxiety really well too. Conquer one bad habit at a time. When you're ready, experiment with taking dairy and sugar (including fruit and starchy vegetables) out. I only say that because I realized through experimentation that it was ironically easier to stay on track with those out because they gave me such powerful cravings.
    Starting weight: 225
    Current weight: 195
    Goal: One pull-up by December 31, 2012
    Method: Schwarzbein Principle II, program for insulin sensitive/burned-out adrenals
    My Primal Journey


    Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Nutrition Facts For Foods

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    That's a good suggestion--when I originally did this (back in 2009) it was in response to a blood sugar scare. I promptly dropped everything that had any kind of "ose" in it, including milk (I kept cheese on the menu because I really like what sharp cheeses do for dishes) because frankly, I figured that if my body had that much sugar already stored up, I didn't need to add more. That's logical, right? If there's a craving factor in there, that's good to know, and I'll definitely keep that in mind if focusing on slowly integrating all the principles doesn't do the trick.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    PS As a Floridian, I'm completely jealous of Californians. I suspect you get more local, fresh, organic, fabulous food in one farmer's market than we do in the entire state. My local farmer's market choices are local--but limited and local? What's local? We ship these in from Georgia! Meat, eggs, and dairy are much easier to find.

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    Post Day 1 of the reset

    Off-topic: computers are weird. I started typing in a title for this post, and my computer attempted to auto fill. Apparently I've used "day 1" to start the title of something, somewhere. Probably on my shortlived blog on my raw foods experiment. Supposed to be 30 days, lasted 3. I was so sick, I couldn't do it. And it wasn't the "hey, look, I'm detoxing" kind of sick either. Actually, it might have been the over-garlicked raw "fettucine alfredo"--but I digress. But that might be why "day 1: oh, hell" popped up to auto-fill....

    Here's the part I don't really want to say, but I'm going to--I've decided to commit to brutal honesty here so that I have no fall-back to "but, no one knows." (yup, that was a whiny-voice italics there). I'm also committing to updating this once a month (not the thread, the numbers). Since I'm terrified of failing publicly, the threat of humiliation should be enough to keep me on track when I think I don't have time to pack a lunch.

    (deep breath) I'm 5'3"-ish (yoga helps). My weight this morning was 265.8 lbs. That's 18 lbs lower than my highest weight ever, but roughly twice where I'd like to be. My dream weight is 126 lbs, but I haven't weighed that since I was 15 (30 years ago), so I don't know if that's reasonable. I think if I were building muscle, I'd be happy at 140, so we'll see where I end up. I haven't been happy with my weight since I lost 10 lbs in 3 days on a water fast when I was 12. That was to kick off a food allergy testing program where I suppose I continued to lose weight, although I don't remember.

    Because I KNOW I can't be healthy at this weight, or at least not in the way I'd like to be, this is as much about losing weight as it is gaining health. Therefore, although a lot of people say "don't step on the scale"--I'm going to. And once a month, I'll report my progress. Just for fun, I added a 'note' icon to the post so I can find these easily.

    (deep breath) Whew.

    Today's primal plans: cook a pot of chili and beef fajitas. These are going into the freezer so I have primal meals throughout the week (tomorrow I'm going to fix curry for the same reason) along with salads. My plans for food today revolve around roasted vegetables, broccoli, and some sort of grilled meat.

    early a.m.: 16 oz water/2 Tblspn cranberry concentrate--(stuff like this is giving me ideas for future posts. Hmm....)
    Breakfast: eggs, bacon, veggies: 'shrooms, peppers, spinach
    Lunch: shrimp, broccoli, shredded cheddar
    Snack: minneola (organic), 1.5 oz dark chocolate
    Dinner: Chili

    BTW, unless otherwise noted, or otherwise obvious, all recipes are primal. I got the chili recipe off MDA and adapted to add more tomatoes, which I like, and chipotle powder for a bit extra heat. The shrimp was primal coconut and grilled.
    Last edited by PrimalWriter; 01-14-2012 at 07:06 PM. Reason: Edited to add remaining meals

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    Don't be scurred

    This thread is a nice balance of going public and seeking support/not really going that public. Like, would I post my Primal journal on Facebook yet? Helllll no. But on here without my full name and surrounded by people who aren't going to tell me that all the fat will clog my arteries? Yes. So don't feel shy! The more you open up about your problems, the more help you get. And you're not the only one here with these problems by far. Make eating right a habit first and when that new routine starts feeling routine, then add in the exercise. I have to admit I've been reading about and eating Primal for months without actually dedicating myself to the exercise part consistently. I think part of it was an underlying fear of change or failure. OR, I think I have so much faith that this is the only way I'll lose weight, that if I don't lose weight on this I'll feel more hopeless than I ever have. The light at the end of the fat tunnel will be gone. But that's the fear speaking. My brain knows this is going to happen if I just do things right and I think the same will happen for you. We will both get below 140!
    Starting weight: 225
    Current weight: 195
    Goal: One pull-up by December 31, 2012
    Method: Schwarzbein Principle II, program for insulin sensitive/burned-out adrenals
    My Primal Journey


    Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Nutrition Facts For Foods

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    Yeah. I know--if anyone is going to get it, it's going to be someone here, especially given the success stories. My brain gets it, my emotions? Not so much. I recognize that there are days when I need to disengage from any emotion (good non-attachment practice!) related to this--any belief that it can happen, and just do it. That does work, believe it or not, at least for some things--if I feel a funk coming on, I just have to think about something else--completely unrelated to whatever the funk is--until it's gone.

    My new sig line is going to be "gonna, gonna, gonna"

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    Reset Day 2

    I'm giving myself a week before I completely forget about the "day" thing.

    Cranberry juice: I mix a couple tablespoons of concentrate with about 14 oz water (I open a 16 oz bottle, drink a bit to make room...you know the routine). It's very tart, but it doesn't take long to get used to the taste--kind of like adding lemon to water. I like the vitamin C boost, and the thought that I'm helping keep my kidneys happy. And it's a really refreshing start to the day. I know Mark says don't worry about water, and I've noticed that if I'm eating tons of veggies and a bit of fruit, I'm much less thirsty. I do aim for 64 oz a day, though, because I tend to dehydrate easily. If I get 16 oz out of the way in the first hour or so of the day, I worry a lot less. I've discovered that I feel fantastic if I hit between 64 and 96 oz. I imagine my water needs will decrease as my body gets healthier, though.

    I made the chili yesterday, but didn't get to anything else. I've got a ton of work this weekend (3 editorial projects, plus my own writing, plus, plus, plus--2 of those projects are on deadline by Wednesday) and so I've been bouncing back and forth. The plan today though is to get two more leftover-friendly dishes done because it's going to be a grab-n-go week, and while I don't mind leftovers, I'd rather not eat the same dish 4 days in a row! So I'll be making ....well, I'm not sure what. I thought I had more meat in the fridge/freezer than I had, so will be making a grocery store run today, too, just for this. Pork chops and roasted vegetables are on the menu for dinner, and a big-ass-salad for lunch.


    Breakfast: Niman Ranch chipotle bacon, eggs scrambled with sharp cheddar, mushrooms, and kale (Note to Lex: yup.)
    Lunch/dinner/and everything in between: chili, 1 cup cherries w/fresh cream; pork chop, roasted veggies, more cherries; 1.5 ounces dark chocolate

    headaches all day. Also, annoyed that I ate more than I wanted today. Not just more than I'd wanted TO eat, but more than I was hungry for. Not sure where the headaches are coming from, but maybe I've been relying on caffeine more than I thought--on the other hand, I frequently go entire weekends w/o sugar or caffeine, but maybe this is the first time I've attempted to do both? Obviously I got some sugar in from the dark chocolate and fruit, so I'm really not sure what it's all about. Maybe they're just good old fashioned tension headaches--my sholders are tight, too, I just realized. I've had plenty of water, too, trying to encourage my body to flush out the crap I've been giving it for the past two years....blech. Just blech. This would be a hell of a time to keep failing, though, so I'd better plan on success!
    Last edited by PrimalWriter; 01-15-2012 at 05:34 PM. Reason: add remaining food and final notes

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalWriter View Post
    Breakfast: Niman Ranch chipotle bacon, eggs scrambled with sharp cheddar, mushrooms, and kale
    Your breakfast sounds nom nom.
    Starting weight: 225
    Current weight: 195
    Goal: One pull-up by December 31, 2012
    Method: Schwarzbein Principle II, program for insulin sensitive/burned-out adrenals
    My Primal Journey


    Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Nutrition Facts For Foods

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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    New mantra: I'm effecting a lifestyle change. I say this as I'm writing between a conference call and the next thing (off a list of about 20 'next thing' items that really, really need to be done today). Work is crazy-busy, and there's more work to be done when I get home...and I just can't do everything. That sounds like I'm complaining and I'm not...not really. It's all priorities and payoffs, and the one thing I'd love to ditch I can't really afford to. It's the thing that makes buying local, buying primal--even if it's conventionally primal--possible. Blech.

    At least my headache's gone, although I'm downing caffeine at an alarming rate (I think it's allergies, actually, and stress. Shoulders tight and sinuses involved. The good thing is I know how to deal with this, and it's not going to send me screaming for sugar.)

    Breakfast: leftover roasted vegetables (zucchini, summer squash, peppers, onions, a slice of garnet yam--I roasted one and am spreading it out over a bunch of meals), fried eggs, one slice bacon.
    Lunch (when I get to it) will be a big salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumber and chicken. Conventional salad dressing, though--that may always be my 10% non-Primal unless my tastes change. I don't like vinaigrette dressings and haven't tried homemade mayo since I was a kid. Hated it then. Maybe this weekend's project: find a primal salad dressing I like.
    Dinner: leftover veggies...must figure out a way to spread these out. They don't last long as leftovers, and I always make wayyyy too much just so I can get variety in the mix--which I like. Anyway, topped these with a bit of really sharp cheddar, plus threw in leftover broccoli before it went bad. So that ended up being about 3 cups of veggies, leaving room for about a cup of chili. Yum.

    And there's an email with a deadline attached. (I look forward to seeing what my days--as well as my meals--look like six months from now.)
    Last edited by PrimalWriter; 01-16-2012 at 05:13 PM. Reason: add dinner notes

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