Hello, I am starting this journal to keep track of my path to a healthier lifestyle. I will record my triumphs, my failures, my concerns and frustrations. This log exists to hold myself accountable for the changes in my diet and fitness, and hopefully keep me on track.

Name: winterzodiac or Shelly
Starting date 7/31/12
Stats: F, 31, 5’ 2”, 155lbs


Diet/Weight history:
TEENS:
Starting gaining weight at age 14. Prior to that, I was neither skinny nor overweight, though my build is probably naturally a little “thicker”, I remember noticing as a pre-teen/early teenager that my legs/butt did not look the same in stretch pants or in a swimsuit as most girls. But rather stuck out like stumps, not thin and slender. My mother was always yo-yo dieting, gaining and losing weight. So when I noticed that I started gaining weight at 14, I knew automatically to watch what I ate and start exercising. I began doing workout dvds several times a week, and ate a CW diet of high carb, low to no fat and reduced calories. My family was by no means wealthy, but I of course insisted on spending tons of $ of fat free muffins, cakes, drinks, ice cream, etc. I learned that potatoes have NO FAT and throughout high school made baked French fries and baked potatoes my standard dinner for years, and frequent lunch meal too. At the time, I had no idea why I kept gaining weight, which led to lots of self-hatred, depression and even bouts with eating disorders. Through high school I stayed probably between a size 12-14.

COLLEGE/AFTER: At college, I stepped up my dieting and exercise and still did not lose weight. I somehow got introduced to Atkins, and while it did not work for me at all (I was throwing ketchup on everything) it planted the seed of low-carb dieting. During the last two years of college and my first year after graduation, I managed to get down to a size 6/8. This was due to the use of ephedra diet products, chronic cardio and lower carb diet. Ephedra was banned, and shortly thereafter, I began having a really stressful career, with no time for proper meals or exercise. I was really unhappy both personally and professional and I lived on fast food, and yo-yoed between 190-220 for years. I think at my heaviest I wore a size 22, and weighed around 230.

PAST YEAR:
Probably for the last year, I’ve known that a lower carb diet produces results, and have made an effort to limit whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice and potatoes, still eating these items several times a week, but as part of a meal with low fat veggie/meats. I would occasionally indulge in cookies, cakes, ice cream etc., but it was usually a low fat version, and I had eaten well otherwise (so I thought). In the last year, I began walking 2 hrs/day and followed this lower carb, low fat diet. I managed to get my weight down to 150/160, but have been stuck here for about 6 months. I learned about the primal/paleo movement a few months ago, and have begun to understand the insulin response more. I had never considered giving up wheat or sugar permanently, I always thought if I ate well most of the time, I could binge on these items. The more I read about paleo, the more I felt processed food were poison and I have decided that this is what I want in my life.

PAST MONTH:
I have been primal for 3 weeks, starting 7/9/12, until this weekend. During that 3 wk period my weight fluctuated several times, between 151-159. After reading the message boards a bit more, I realized that if I am seeking weight loss, I cannot just eat whatever I want under 50g carbs, and that my body will tell me when its full. I do need to watch my calorie intake. After setting up a fit day account, I was shocked to see that I was eating close to 3000 calories a day, and have been having major issues with portion size. I will now target 1300-1500 calories/day. I will eliminate dairy. I also learned that I personally cannot cook extra to save for lunch the next day or later in the week --- I will eat the extra portions.

This weekend I decided to eat around 150g carbs on Saturday and fast on Sunday. I ate sweet potatoes, apples and bananas. That led me on a crazy 3-day binge of garbage foods from the convenience store – chocolate, cookies, ice cream, candies. I don’t think I am ready physically or emotionally to eat higher carb primal. My hormones are not normal yet. After further research on the boards, I am not lean enough for a carb reefed.

TODAY:
So starting today, I will began my primal journey again, this time recording and tracking as I go along. I will aim to eat under 50g carbs, all carbs coming from veggies or nuts (for now). I will make a bigger effort to get some higher impact workouts in here and begin some sort of strength training program, not just my daily walking at a slow pace.

GOALS:
My primary goal is weight loss to be 125 lbs. I want to reduce fatigue and also be healthy and happy long-term, I want all the benefits that come from eating whole foods – though right now this is not my primary goal. I just want to be normal sized!!!

Would like to incorporate IF and carb refeeds in the future. Would like to build muscle.

OBSTACLES:
Budgetary issues, moved to the Philippines from the US and certain foods are not available, or are very expensive (I miss berries). No food labeling standards, have to be really careful. Grass fed, free range, organic, does not exist. Re-occurring ankle injury prevents exercise at times. I seem to get pneumonia every 2-3 months, and keeps me in bed for weeks at a time.

July 31, 2012
B: 2 fried eggs, small salad, 6 shrimp
L: 2 fried eggs, broccoli/cauliflower stir fry, butter
D: Squid/veggie stirfry
Snacks: 4 tea, 4 coffee, almond milk
Exercise: Walk dogs/ stop/start: 1hr


NOTE TO SELF:
BUY FOOD SCALE!!!
DRINK LESS COFFEE AND TEA

WATCH PROTEIN PORTIONS - 1lb of squid was over 500 cals!