Sometimes I eat food that I know won't sit well with me, because it's delicious (lately ice cream is making me think I'm becoming mildly lactose intolerant). I felt guilt, felt like a deviation from my usual diet was "wrong", for a while after going Primal. I set high standards for myself and there are a lot of things I think I should be able to do that are beyond my ability at present. Keeping on top of good eating helps keep any inclination for self-abuse through food away (I can't skip lunch/breakfast for more than 2 days in a row usually or I will eat whatever is available and that's usually sugar or sugar in the form of a wheat product). When all is well in my regularly scheduled eating and meals, I feel very comfortable and content passing up foods that I would crave were I not (like pizza and cookies).
After giving it a bit more thought (on my 5 mile walk) I think maybe the meaning of the word cheat, can be redirected. As I understand it now, cheating refers to eating outside the Paleo/Primal realm. Off the reservation and that implies some kind of trespass or bad moral decision. Instead, perhaps, we can redirect the word to mean that we're depriving ourselves of the maximum benefit of this WOE. Right now I think of "forbidden" foods as barriers to my goals which are weight loss, hormonal resetting and overall improvement of my health (which hopefully keeps future cancers at bay). Sure, I could eat some pasta and maybe I'd like it for a moment, but it would make my goals harder to reach. Who needs that? This is hard enough as it is. So to me, cheating is really cheating me out of the body and health I could have if I stick to my guns. And if I do cheat, I have only myself to blame.
5' 9" 47 YO F
PB start June 2, 2012
Pre PB SW = 180 (no scale at home, Mom's scale January - 153lbs!)
Current deadlift 245 lbs, squat 165 lbs, bench press 135 lbs
When I started primal I'd always tell myself "I'M NOT GOING TO CHEAT" and end up doing it anyway.
Now I'm a bit more relaxed and I tell myself when I'm going out "cheating is fine." but actually ending up not cheating at all. I still make my own coconut milk ice cream where the only not so primal ingredient is honey. But basically telling myself that's it's ok to "cheat" makes it easier not to cheat
I am slowly getting pissed at the litany of x-rated ingredients. SCD kid comes up and asks if she can have such-and-such a food... I read the label, and then the recitation begins... nope, corn starch... nope, rice... nope, corn syrup... nope, wheat... nope, milk... nope, barley malt... And these are ingredients in things in places you wouldn't expect them.
Like Eckrich meats. Every, single Eckrich meat I have ever read the label of has WHEY listed. Why is whey in kielbasa?!?! (CAFO objections aside for the moment)
I think of it as feasting. You don't know how to feast until you know how to fast though. So mostly I eat in a disciplined manner, but at a friend's wedding I will eat the cake and if I'm invited to dinner I'm not going to worry about what's in the gravy. Sharing a meal with people is (at least should be) a communing with them and is not merely a gathering at the nutritional feed trough.
I'm only a month and a half in, so I do still experiment/indulge/cheat sometimes. Sometimes I feel that the diet is pretty restrictive and I wonder, "If I eat this other food, will it really make a difference? Does it really matter?" So I'll eat it, and pay attention to my symptoms. Yesterday I ate 12 pieces of california roll sushi. O_O Well, later in the day I felt pretty depressed and demotivated (which is a symptom that PB has alleviated), and my workout that night felt super lame and weak, and I also got very light headed while doing some light, basic weights which hasn't happened before and I thought I would pass out. Is all that from the sushi? Maybe, maybe not, but I definitely noticed a difference. This morning I had gained 0.8 lbs.
I'm at a point in my journey right now that if I do everything right, I lose or hold steady almost every single day. Strong downward trend on the weight. So when I cheat and it goes up, it's right away a confirmation that yes, that food does have negative consequences, and next time I want to eat it I go through a process of asking myself, "Would I rather have ____, or would I rather be thin/healthy/fit?" Turns out, I'm sick and tired of feeling fat and I'd rather be fit! I need to add to my questions, "Would I rather eat _____, or would I rather feel happy, motivated, and have energy?" It's a trap to think that eating certain foods will make me feel good. I associate them with positive feelings, but the reality is that some foods mess with my hormones and emotions, and can make me feel depressed, sluggish, irritable, unmotivated, and bleak. THAT is not worth it, to me!
The one thing I consider an indulgence, instead of a cheat, is popcorn. Both times I've had popcorn, I continued to lose the same as usual. My mom is the same way. So, I don't have it often since it's supposed to be bad for me, but I don't kick myself if I have some because it doesn't have obvious negative results like rice, sugar, and bread do. (-:
Started PB on Monday, June 4. I'm focusing on my health in 2012, including taking natural supplements, zumba and strength training, regular church attendance and studying the Bible, spending time with good friends, and reading more. I want to see what health milestones I can achieve this year!
Starting body fat - 41%
Starting weight - 170 lbs
9/4 body fat - 33%
9/4 weight - 150 lbs
Seriously don't eat anything with a label on it. That fixes 99% of all problems. Since I have been eating mostly food that has no labels, I actually really do look forward to my food. I think that not only has my palette changed and my feelings of what is rewarding, but also there's a lack of anxiety when I'm in total control of the ingredients.
Last night for dinner I made a mango salsa. Invented the ingredients for it myself: mango, cilantro, onion, red bell pepper, avocado and a little salt. Served it over pork chops. Side of sliced cold beets that I boiled up the other day and a small portion of sweet potato. A meal like this truly satisfies me. I eat like this for all my meals. I never feel deprived. I never feel anxious because nothing is out of my control. If I do eat something with a label or a few ingredients that I shouldn't have, it's not a big deal because 99% of the time everything I eat is perfectly healthy. I don't feel like I'm cheating if I have ice cream. I'm just having some ice cream. I do it so rarely that it's not even really a treat because damn, mango salsa is a bigger treat than ice cream ever could hope to be.
Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.
It's pretty much as simple as it sounds, if it has more than one ingredient, it doesn't go in the cart.
There are rare exceptions to this rule: if the only other ingredients are salt and/or water; or if it is a simple fermented or pickled item (like sauerkraut) - and by simple I mean vinegar is like the only other ingredient; or if it is a specific specialty item I can't make on my own and still really want (like aged cheese) and is invariably a small quantity and/or rare purchase for a special occasion.
I loved the thing I read the other day about a paleo guy (girl?) whose friend was bugging him to get this ap that lets you scan bar codes to get the nutrition information and s/he replied, *The food I eat doesn't come with bar codes.* That's pretty much my shopping cart. Cuts of raw meat, slabs of beef or pork fat, some ground meats, Seafood (fresh or frozen), fresh fruits, fresh veggies, single ingredient spices and herbs. Olive oil, vinegar, coconut oil, ghee.
Most of my shopping happens around the perrimiter of the store with a few forays into the aisles for spices or nuts.
Eating out I don't bother being so strict. I can't even imagine that nightmare with the limited things your kids can eat.
I don't know if I could even hope to do paleo (or keep my vegetarian daughter on a whole food diet rather than the bageltofucheese express) if I wasn't confident in the kitchen.
Last edited by brahnamin; 07-11-2012 at 09:44 AM. Reason: to add bolded sentence about eating out