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Thread: In Pursuit of Happiness and a Flat Stomach (TheEscapeArtist's Journal)

  1. #71
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Europe
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    Tuesday's feed
    I bit late to be reconstructing now, but I think it was:
    B goat's milk latte, 3 egg scramble w/ half an avocado, tomato and green tomatillo salsa
    L BAS w/ bell peppers, tomato, red cabbage, radishes, mushroom, smoked salmon
    D walnuts, pork sausage and I partially gave into a craving and got some sugar-free dark chocolate which I ate melted w/ my goat/sheep yoghurt. Tasted really delicious at the time, but then I felt sick and bloated for a long time. Note to self: It's not worth it!

    Wednesday's feed
    B (pre-workout) goat's milk latte
    B (post workout) blueberries w/ sheep/goat's milk yoghurt
    L 3 egg omelette w/ spinach and chorizo
    D small sweet potato w/ butter, and paleo pancakes w/ raspberries

    Wednesday workout
    Mr. Clean's metabolic catastrophe workout - 30 minutes of intervals: 40 seconds of as many reps as possible and then 20 sec recovery. Did deadlifts (40kg/88lbs); chest presses w/ 14kg dumbells; rows w/ the TRX; ball slams; lots of kettle bell work: weighted squats, swings, walking lunges, cleans, overhead presses, more rows. Afterwards I actually had to go lie down in the locker room before I had enough energy to leave. I made it home, got into bed with all my workout clothes still on (I did manage to take off my shoes) and slept for two hours. So I guess I'm not quite fat adapted. Ate fruit and a sweet potato and paleo pancakes in the hopes of feeling better...not sure it really helped.

    Today's feed
    B goat's milk latte, 3 egg omelette w/ 2 slices of bacon, spinach, goat's cheese
    L BAS w/ purslane, swiss chard, purple carrots, bell peppers, purple cabbage, radishes, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, beets, broccoli sprouts, roast beef, homemade vinaigrette
    S walnuts
    D pork bratwurst and sauerkraut

    Workout
    45+ min walking

    Observations
    So energy and mood have not been great this week - I think it's mostly stress. I have a lot of work to catch up on and the more I try to push myself, the more overwhelmed I feel and the less energy I have. Guilt takes a ton of energy; if only it burned calories too! Have been having some cravings, which I've mostly managed to avoid giving into. I did buy a package of walnuts this week - usually I can keep walnuts without abusing...not so at the moment.
    Energy - :|
    Mood - :|
    Digestive health -
    Sinus - :|
    Stiffness - :|
    Skin - :|
    Sleep - woke up around 5 am

  2. #72
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    Shaky, white-knuckled and scared but back on the primal wagon

    My last post was over three years ago - April 2013. It wasn't like I suddenly fell off the wagon at that point - I think I just convinced myself that I was doing so well I didn't need to post anymore. And I was doing well - for nearly a year, but then I began what was to become a slow slide off the wagon until I found myself on my ass in the dirt with no real recollection of how I got there and the wagon not even a dot on the distant horizon. Basically I'm back where I was when I wrote my first post - barely able to summon up the energy to get out of bed in the morning and feeling like I can't bear to live this way anymore. The debilitating depression, the addiction to booze and baked goods, the guilt and shame of not being OK, of not being able to function normally.

    I've been trying to climb back on the primal wagon for several months, but it always seemed just too hard. I'd tell myself that l'd start on the weekend or on Tuesday (because weekends are hard and Mondays suck) or on the first of the month, but then that day would roll around and I just couldn't do it. I did start reading Mark's Daily Apple again and finally, after reading every single one of the success stories in the depression and mental health section (thank you, people who shared your stories), I managed to white-knuckle it: this is day 3 of no alcohol, no grains or processed food and only a smattering of dairy.

    Today I reread my entire journal and the hopeful message that I took away from it was that this way of eating (and living) does work for me - if I can stick with it. After an amazingly short time, I will feel better - the depression will lift, I'll have more energy, the cravings will abate. The thing that scares me is despite that knowledge, I fell off the wagon not just once, but many times. And each time it seemed like climbing back on was harder. I'm terrified of falling/failing again. And right now I still feel like sh*t. But I'm here posting. And although I haven't gotten it together yet to shower or brush my teeth today, I did manage to get out of bed and to feed myself appropriately thanks to a stockpile of frozen primal breakfast "muffins" (basically eggs, spinach and ground beef). So progress.

  3. #73
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Welcome back, lassie.
    My journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60211.html Into RPG table top games? Check out FateStorm and (in development) Vanguard! 3D printed miniatures for sci-fi RPGs.

  4. #74
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    I hear you about the tries and fails. I haven't managed to get back on perfectly but do minimize the bad stuff.

    Best wishes for a healthy life.

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by badgergirl View Post
    Welcome back, lassie.
    Thanks, badgergirl. Very happy to see you here! I remember you from three years back. I admire your staying power. What's your secret?

  6. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by perennialpam View Post
    I hear you about the tries and fails. I haven't managed to get back on perfectly but do minimize the bad stuff.

    Best wishes for a healthy life.
    Thanks for the words of encouragement, perennialpam. Are you perennialpam because you just keep coming back?

  7. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheEscapeArtist View Post
    Thanks, badgergirl. Very happy to see you here! I remember you from three years back. I admire your staying power. What's your secret?
    Bloody mindedness
    My journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60211.html Into RPG table top games? Check out FateStorm and (in development) Vanguard! 3D printed miniatures for sci-fi RPGs.

  8. #78
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    Day 4 + a reflection on love, gluten-free beer & how I got so off track

    Today Ė day 4 after climbing back on the wagon Ė was the magic day. I had more energy. Felt less depressed. Did not get hungry although I had only a few bites of leftover chicken and salami for breakfast + 4 oysters at the farmers' market, and then didnít eat again till I got home at 4:30. I keep waiting for the low-carb flu to hit Ė been there before. Iím wondering if my love for bulletproof coffee* and tendency not to eat solid food before noon (and even then usually something primal) has kept me somewhat fat adaptedÖor maybe it was the fruit and yoghurt for dinner extending my glycogen stores.

    Itís pretty incredible, the change Ė yesterday I barely had the energy to get out of bed, feed myself and walk the dog. Today I not only managed to get out of bed at a reasonable hour, shower and brush my teeth, but I also went to the farmers' market (bought something like 3kg of meat ☺), then, since the weather was uncharacteristically lovely and I felt uncharacteristically good, I walked part of the way home and even stopped in to see a friend Ė the same friend whose phone call I declined yesterday because I didnít feel up to talking. I knew Iíd feel better after a few days, but still Iím shocked at how much better.

    I have to say yesterday was rough Ė it is not helpful that thereís a grocery store and a liquor store within a block of my house. The gluten-free chocolate madeleines were calling to me but not as loudly as the bottle of my favorite Rioja, which I couldnít help noticing is on sale this week (the gods are cruel). But I did not heed its call, instead I read a bunch more success stories Ė this time from the weight loss category** having exhausted the ones in depression and mental health.

    Something I noticed in all the ďafterĒ pictures Ė no matter what the category Ė is that the people look radiantly happy. Not just ďI can fit into my skinny jeans againĒ happy, but deep down in the soul happy. I desperately want to experience that. I canít remember the last time I felt anything approaching joy, although in many ways my life has gotten outwardly better in the last three years. I fell for a great guy who adores me and my dog, I bought an apartment and have been slowly turning it into my dream home (very slowly), and I started doing less of the work that I didnít like and more of the work that I love. I should be dancing in the street but instead Iím lying in bed with the covers pulled over my head. I act like Iím fine when my boyfriendís around, but I do not feel fine, and as soon as he leaves Ė we donít live together and he travels a fair amount Ė I collapse like a kicked tent.

    So what happened to me? I was doing so well. On the food front, itís not like I went totally off the rails Ė Iím still 100% gluten free. We cook a lot at home Ė my boyfriendís a wonderful cook and because I do the shopping and recipe selecting, itís almost always primal. But we do drink Ė a lot. And we eat out one or two times a week Ė my favorite thing to do after a hard week is go to our local bar for beer and super nachos (itís two blocks from my house, super cool vibe and they have gluten-free beer!!!).

    It also doesn't help that one of the ways my boyfriend expresses his love for me is by sourcing the best gluten-free products available. I think in the early days of our courtship I didnít want to explain the whole paleo/primal thing for fear he would think I was crazy or difficult and so I told him I was allergic to gluten. He quickly found me not one but two delicious gluten-free beers*** (one of which he had to special order from Belgium). When he travels he always raids the business class lounge for gluten-free brownies and flapjacks (which I have to say are unbelievably good), and he makes sure that I have plenty of premium gluten-free bread, crackers, and pasta on hand. He says he feels guilty eating glutenful stuff around me so he wants to make sure Iím not deprived. Iíve told him to stop more than once but perhaps without sufficient conviction (seriously, my mouth started to water just thinking about those gluten-free flapjacks). Itís a problem.

    But whatís really been the nail in the primal coffin is that in the past year or so Iíve returned to an old behavior Ė I binge. I hide it from my boyfriend, but I intermittently hoard chocolate and gluten-free treats. Sometimes when Iíd be feeling stressed, Iíd walk to the store, ostensibly to stock up on healthy food for our dinner, and Iíd take the long way home so that I could eat a snickers bar or half a box of gluten-free cookies (they come in small boxes but still). Itís like the binging is some sort of pressure release valve. I knew I would feel sick with shame afterwards and sometimes even physically sick, but in that moment of consuming the chocolate or cookies or whatever it was, I would feel intense relief. And looking back on it, it was this urge to binge that landed me ass over teakettle in the dirt watching the wagon head on down the road without me my first couple of fails after going primal. Primal helps but it does not cure. Iím going to have to deal with my disordered eating if Iím going to stay the course.

    * Coffee + butter and/or MCT oil Ė as popularized by Dave Asprey of the Bulletproof Executive

    **My primary goal is to feel good again Ė happy, healthy, energetic Ė but I also do really want to lose weight. I stubbornly refuse to buy new clothes at this weight (I reckon Iíve gained 40lbs in the last couple of years) and Iím down to only two dresses that fit me Ė thank god for forgiving knits. My boyfriend is threatening to burn them so that Iím forced to buy new clothes. I finally gave in and bought a new bra after the old one broke Ė yes, I had only one that fit and it literally broke, one of the underwires snapped in half from the repeated strain.

    *** Not that Iím encouraging you to drink beer but if youíre going to indulge, you can minimize the damage without sacrificing the pleasure: Brewdog Vagabond is the best ever gluten-free IPA and Brunehaut makes fantastic gluten-free Belgian-style beers Ė the amber has won awards but I prefer the blond.

    Daily feed (Friday)
    Breakfast - Bulletproof coffee (~1 T. butter), 1 breakfast ďmuffinĒ (spinach, egg, ground beef and a little feta)
    Lunch - big ass salad Ė chicken breast, 1 T. goat cheese, greens mix (including baby spinach, kale and Swiss chard), Ĺ red pepper, 1 handful of cherry tomatoes and 2 handfuls broccoli with homemade vinaigrette (mustard, herbs, olive oil and vinegar)
    Snack Ė a few slices of Italian salami
    Dinner Ė pork chop, red cabbage sautťed with onion and 1 T. raisins, blackberries and Greek yoghurt for desert, and decaf coffee with a pat of butter (I debated about the blackberries and the raisins but the blackberries were on sale and I do love them and I do not love cabbage).

  9. #79
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    Day 5 - when will it be over?

    Day 5 started out pretty well. Had enough energy to take my dog for an extended walk. Actually passed by a Crossfit box in my neighborhood and was tempted to stick my head in - I want to get back to lifting heavy - but didn't feel ready

    Then I came home and pooped out. Apparently I haven't completely escaped the low carb flu. Felt leaden the rest of the day, like someone filled my skull with concrete. Tomorrow I'm going to try to eat breakfast earlier and have some carbs (the good kind of course) with every meal to see if that helps.

    Daily feed
    Saturday
    B Bulletproof coffee, 2 bites chicken, a couple of slices salami and 4 oysters
    L chicken breast, handful of cherry tomatoes, handful of broccoli, 3 T. pesto (organic basil, pinenuts, olive oil, parmesan)
    D Left overs from last night - pork chop and red cabbage and onion with a sprinkling of raisins

    Sunday
    B Bulletproof coffee (with butter and MCT oil), 3 eggs scrambled, 4 pieces of bacon
    L Greek salad - tomatoes, red pepper, black olives, feta, splash of olive oil
    S a few slices of salami + decaf with butter and MCT oil
    D Cuban picadillo http://www.marksdailyapple.com/cuban...lo/#more-45594 + 3 prunes for desert (I keep them for cooking - apparently even prunes aren't safe from me at the moment)

  10. #80
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    Day 6 - getting sh*t done!

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    Yesterday was a bit of a bust but feeling better today even though I spent most of it working on my administration, which always puts me in a bad mood. Itís the thing I hate most about being self-employed. My approach to filing is to dump everything into a plastic shopping bag, so itís always a slog to put things into a form my oh so picky accountant will accept. Iíve been avoiding it for weeks. Even looking at the shopping bag was enough to make me feel like life wasnít worth living.

    But today my primal-fueled self resolved to get more organized. I now at least have everything in folders except for a couple of official looking papers I need help translating Ė after all the years Iíve lived here I still havenít learned the local language (when everyone speaks such excellent English itís hard to feel motivated).

    If mood and energy werenít enough to convince me to stay the primal path, thereís also the reduction in my waistline. Was looking in the mirror this morning and Iím definitely looking less pregnant than I was a few days ago. And I notice my forgiving knits are hanging a bit looser and my bra doesnít feel quite so much like a torture device. Iím sorry I didnít take measurements before I startedÖbut to be honest, Iím still not sure Iím ready to face the tape measure. And the scale Ė forget it, not going to happen.

    Some things I learned the last time I was on the primal path that Iíve had to remind myself of this time around:
    1. I cannot do chocolate Ė not even 90% pure chocolate. Itís a gateway drug for me. Ditto alcohol in any form. Iím OK with nuts to put in salads and things, but not for snacking, and I lose all control with nut butters. REALLY: ALL CONTROL.

    2. Giving up dairy did make a difference to my sinus stuffiness. But Iím not ready to let it go yet. Iím limiting myself to butter, cheese (mostly goat), and yoghurt and then trying to use it more like a condiment. So a sprinkle of cheese on salad. Yoghurt in a sauce or marinade. And my bulletproof coffee Ė itís my reason for getting up in the morning!

    3. Mentally I do much better if I concentrate on feeling good rather than fatloss. I can get obsessed about the fatloss Ė am I losing, should I be losing faster, what size will I be able to fit into by such and such event? Ultimately I just end up getting frustrated and depressed, because itís never fast enough. I want to be thin and gorgeous tomorrow, but thatís not going to happen. Also fatloss is not a good motivator when Iím trying to talk myself out of eating something, but knowing that what I eat affects how I feel day to day, hour to hour, thatís powerful.

    4. Exercise does help Ė with mood, with motivation, with everything. Iíve been eyeing my kettlebells, which have only seen action as door stops for the last couple of years. My goal is to start with simple swings, maybe some thrusters, for 20 minutes a couple of times a week.

    My current exercise consists of carrying my 15kg (33lb) dog up four flights of stairs several times a day. We call my dog The Lemon* because sheís had all kinds of problems since she was a puppy** Ė 1000s of Euros worth of vet bills. Now, although sheís not quite 7 years old, the ligaments in her knees are shot so we were told a few months ago that she should not climb stairs. I live on the 5th floor of a building without an elevator Iíve perfected a forklift sort of manoeuvre which keeps her often muddy paws from coming into contact with my clothes. My boyfriend prefers a sort of over the shoulder firemanís carry, which I think she also prefers because if I donít pick her up immediately at the bottom of the stairs she walks up a few and then launches herself at me like Iím Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing.

    *For non-American readers, a lemon is slang for something that once purchased immediately begins to need repairs. Mostly used in reference to cars. I actually looked up the origins of the expression because I was trying to explain to a friend here Ė there are some theories but no one really knows: http://english.stackexchange.com/que...defective-item.

    **In case youíre wondering, sheís been eating a primal (i.e. raw meat) diet since she was four months old. I wonder if sheíd be an even bigger mess if Iíd been feeding her grocery store kibble all these years.

    Mondayís feed - I did terribly on my resolutions from yesterday to eat breakfast sooner and good carbs (aka vegetables) at every meal
    B coffee + 1T butter & 1T MCT
    L primal breakfast muffin
    S a few slices of sausage sort of thing Ė not sure exactly what it was but only pork and spices apparently. The organic butcher at the farmerís market gave it to me because he said heíd missed me Ė it had been some time Ė and he gave the Lemon a whole handful of steak. She was jumping up and down in front of his wagon so excitedly she started to draw a crowd. No doubt weíre now on Youtube.
    D 2 fresh beef sausages, brussel sprouts with bacon & shallots, salad of mixed greens (baby spinach, kale and swiss chard), broccoli, tomatoes, red pepper, carrot, homemade vinaigrette and 1.5 T. goat cheese. (Trying to make up for relatively vegetable-poor previous meals.)
    Last edited by TheEscapeArtist; 09-26-2016 at 01:06 PM.

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