girlviking's Primal Burn and Pillage
I’ve been lurking on the MDA forums for quite some time, so I thought it was about time I started my own journal to have some support from like-minded people.
Intro to girlviking, in very brief: chubby little girl, stocky teenager, obese young adult. Grew up in an “eat more, or it’ll go to waste… what, didn’t you like it?” kind of family. Never felt comfortable enough to play any kind of sport seriously even though I’m outrageously competitive and love the outdoors. My mom had me in everything from ballet to diving to softball over the years but I stopped all that as a grossly uncoordinated teenager. Went to grad school and added an extra 35 pounds to my frame which it clearly did not want. At 5’3” and 229 pounds, I felt far more uncomfortable in my body than I ever had. I was having horrible stress-related digestive issues and felt pretty miserable as a result.
I lost about 45 pounds just by finishing graduate school in summer of 2010. That is to say, by having way more time to exercise (even just in the form of light swimming/elliptical/hot yoga), way less stress with a 9-5 job and a more predictable sleep pattern, and being out of the context of a student neighbourhood with seemingly infinite fast food restaurants and free soda refills a two-minute walk away. Cooking is a major hobby of mine and I started getting interested in the Weston A. Price Foundation’s ideas and shifted strongly to a whole foods way of cooking, buying local organic vegetables and natural, grass-fed/pastured meats.
I’ve been experimenting on and off with Primal eating since mid-November. I think I’m sticking with Primal now because - not to put too fine a point on it - it makes me feel like a badass. When I used to cook carb-filled dinners, I would just feel overwhelmingly exhausted in the evenings, with all my energy given over to digestion. Now I can work out, cook dinner, make my bagged lunch, clean the house and still feel like I have plenty of time (although still can’t bring myself to use that energy to get paperwork together, hmm…). I’m not hungry in the same way, with my stomach demanding a snack at 10 and 3 without fail.
I am definitely not on the hard-core, “wheat is basically rat poison” side of things. I’m not really interested in never eating pizza or croissants ever again – just not going to be making them part of my day-in, day-out options. I have noticed, though, that while pizza is still delicious, grainy items of medium deliciousness have become less appealing – I got a bagel as part of breakfast at one of my favorite restaurants the other day and was just like meh, don’t care to finish that. Once upon a time I would have finished every bite even as I felt my stomach swelling up into discomfort – although that’s related to food issues beyond just grains.
I don’t have a long-term “goal weight”. I’m at about 82 kilos right now, and my current short-term goal is the nice round number of 80 kilos (176 lbs – my scale is metric). A “healthy weight” for me would be significantly less (maybe 135, maybe less), and I have every intention to keep going if I feel good about it. But I think I’m going to pause about every 4 kilos and assess – we’ll see how things go! I lost 1.2 kilos last week and I feel more confident than ever about my ability to actually keep losing weight – today, I weigh less than I did at my high school graduation. I also can’t wait to go hiking next summer – nothing’s going to stop me.
Anyway, I’ve tl;dr’d you all already – thanks for reading… I appreciate any comments!
It hasn’t been a perfectly consistent week so far. Non primal meals have included: chicken parmesan with pasta at a family birthday, Wendy’s on a busy night, chocolate chip muffin as emergency breakfast.
Still, I’ve generally been good about making the time to get primal breakfasts and lunches ready before work, and the one day I forgot my lunch this week, I braved the cafeteria of limp wraps, Subway, pizza and fries and got a salad with freshly grilled chicken… nice. Filling. Satisfying. Then I went and ate a piece of fry bread at an afternoon event… oh well.
Right now, my Primal menu basically looks like this:
Breakfast: two free-range eggs scrambled with butter and milk. Half a grapefruit or a handful of berries. Coffee with half-and-half and raw sugar.
Lunch: Big salad with cucumber, peppers, snow peas, tomato and tuna/chicken/ salmon salad. (Still using the ½ olive, ½ canola store bought mayo unfortunately…) .I would like to have meaty leftovers with my salad instead but we rarely have any… unless I make a big batch of something (pulled pastured pork, mmm) on Sunday in which case we’re having it for dinner all week already.
Dinner: Meat or fish with sautéed greens and/or a salad. Typical examples would be, elk or bison meatballs in homemade tomato sauce with parmesan and kale, salmon baked with lots of butter and stir-fried baby bok choy. This week I went to the Asian grocery and stocked up on curry pastes so we had green coconut curry mussels with a salad on the weekend and tonight I’m going to make a red coconut curry with shrimp. I am eating a bit of white rice (like ¼ cup cooked) with dinner some evenings or a very small serving of roasted peeled white potato, but otherwise, trying to stay pretty low-carb.
As for exercise, until recently we were having unseasonably warm weather so I was bundling up and walking outside for an hour at lunch almost every weekday, which was great. The sunshine makes a huge difference for me in terms of mood and energy. But now we’re dealing with temps in the -30C, “exposed skin will freeze in less than a minute” range that’s normal here, so outside is a place to go only in transition between inside places. So now rather than walking I’m doing different exercise video games pretty much every day for at least ½ hour. Yes, I am unfit enough that exercise games are still meaningful exercise. Strength exercises on Wii Fit Plus are great, hadn’t discovered them before now (only played the “fun” games). This is in addition to 60 min hot yoga 3-4 times a week, which is standard and “play” for me.
Anyway – feeling good. Thanks for reading…