Saturday, November 01, 2014
I haven't had the luxury of time to blog for a long time. I guess checking in every day on the Maintenance Team's daily check-in has substituted for blogging. However, today I need to take a few extra minutes and put my thoughts, goals, and plans into writing.
In the past few weeks, I have let myself fall back into sugar and carb addiction, in a way I'd hoped would never happen again. Once it takes hold, it is like a monster that grabs me and won't let go. I say to it NO, I know how bad it is for my pancreas and my body and all that insulin it has to produce and all the different ways it ruins my life, and it says back to me, BUT IT TASTES SO GOOD! YOU NEED JUST A LITTLE MORE! (Even if I'm already so full I'm uncomfortable.)
Fortunately, I know what to do to break out of this bad pattern, and SP gives me the necessary tools. And I know how wonderful I feel when I eat clean, and I know how the sugar cravings disappear after a few days of avoiding it. So all will be well. I am not even going to get on the scale today, the start of my Thanksgiving Challenge, because I want this to be not about exactly how many pounds I gained and how many I will lose, but about breaking out of this bad pattern I've fallen into over the last month or more. I will not weigh myself until the morning of Thanksgiving Day. I will be working hard towards seeing a number at least very close to my maintenance goal weight by then.
I will continue to do 60-90 minutes of exercise each day. That is already my habit, and thankfully I haven't quit that. I will swim 2x a week, do weight machines at the gym 3x a week, run on the elliptical 1x, and ride my exercise bike 3x. I will take my dog on a hike every day, unless the weather is so bad it would be dangerous to do so. The new thing I will do this month is sign up for some private swimming lessons. I've improved my stroke a lot over the last few months that I've been swimming, but I still can't breathe on the side. I need to try to overcome that fear and learn how to do it correctly.
Okay, so there are my November goals. No excuses! I will end this year without having to make any resolutions about losing X amount of pounds!
Monday, August 11, 2014
Wow, it has been a long while since I've had enough time to myself to even think of blogging. Summer school is now over, though, and I have three blissful weeks until the regular school year starts. Today is supposed to be over 100º, so I got my gardening and exercise done with early, and am now inside enjoying the breeze from the fans. I can afford a few minutes to blog before tackling the housework I am so behind on.
I have not accomplished what I thought I might accomplish this summer, which was to lose another 10 pounds. I have still maintained my original weight loss, however, which is awesome enough. I haven't been as disciplined as I would've needed to be to lose more weight. I have, however, had quite a bit of good experience seeing what works and what doesn't for maintaining without tracking. I have found that every time I eat things from the non-primal list (grains, dairy, legumes, sweeteners) I inevitably gain weight. When I don't eat them, the weight comes back off, and quickly. This is a big relief to me, because tracking every single thing you eat takes quite a lot of time. It was super helpful while losing all that weight, but gets really old when you're just trying to maintain for the rest of your life.
I also had several experiences that were good reminders of how BAD some of those non-primal foods can make me feel!! Gas pains, bloating, headaches, yuck! I'm learning that it's just not worth it to really binge on the non-list foods. A bit from each of those categories now and then, but not too much. It's better to feel good.
I also discovered how much difference it makes when I walk more throughout the day! During the regular school year my job takes me all over the school. I'm always in a hurry to get to the next place, so I walk briskly, and am up and down those long hallways several times a day. In addition, I started walking around on the playground while on recess duty, instead of standing more or less still in one location. Well, at summer school my job was much more sedentary. I was sitting at a table for most of the time, and the half hour on the playground I was unable to walk around much, due to circumstances beyond my control. I still exercised nearly every day--went to the gym after work, etc.---but those extra steps just walking at work made a difference in how much I could eat. I found I gained weight much more easily, even when I was eating strictly primally.
I've also discovered some new favorite things to eat this summer. At first, I had such a hard time giving up my favorite breakfast of plain Greek yogurt with blueberries, almonds, and Grape Nuts. Now I find I get really excited about a breakfast of a mango, and tilapia fillets, "breaded" in ground cashew nuts. I've also started positively craving salads with just balsamic vinegar as a dressing! And my big electric skillet has become my best friend for making dinners. I chop a huge bowl of a variety of whatever veggies I have on hand. I cook some meat (sometimes beef, or chicken, or sausage, or pork chops), throw the veggies in, add some spices and herbs, maybe a can of coconut milk, and at the last minute, a handful of cashews. Serve that, and fruit, and it's a great, filling meal. I try to make enough to have two servings left over, for our lunch boxes the following day.
I've also found that my devils aren't dead, just caged. If I let them out, they are still very powerful. If I get started on sweets, I may still get out of control. I have done that a few times, but not let it continue on indefinitely, so that is at least a big improvement. I've tried to really notice how bad I feel physically when I go on a binge, and how good I feel when I eat healthy. But unless I have a specific plan in place, for how much and when I'm having a sweet treat, if I get started it's sometimes impossible to stop myself for at least the rest of that day. I don't know if that will ever go away, but I kind of doubt it.
Changing up the exercise routine is also a really key thing. The more variety, the better. I've learned to be really flexible about time, place, and what exercising to do. If I can't do it early in the morning, do it right after work. If that isn't possible, an evening walk or stationary bike ride while reading a book or talking on the phone. I try to keep moving as much as possible, and doing a variety of things to keep my body "on its toes" and to get different muscles in different ways. This is so different from how I used to do things. I had this certain routine I did the same way every time. Boring, and ineffective over the long-term.
So, as for my goal to lose 10 more pounds by the end of the summer, I'm not so sure anymore. I am eating almost 100% primal for the month of August (planned in a very few deviation days), and we'll see what happens. If I'm not under 130 by September, I am going to scrap that goal and just continue with maintaining 135 like I was before. I am really fine at 135, and don't NEED to lose more weight. I just wanted to see if I could. I am just happy I've found a way to quickly take off excess pounds after celebrating or going on vacation. Most of all, I'm happy I've found a way to feel good, physically, most of the time.
Friday, June 20, 2014
I've been getting very creative the past few days, and cooking things that turned out oh-so-delicious! I'm on vacation from working at school, and my hubby took 3 weeks off, and my son is home from university for 2 weeks. So I'm making 3 meals a day, and really enjoying it. My son is the one who got me started on eating Primally, and that is how I have been cooking. I am finding that I need to control my portions, however. Being around the two hungry guys, I have been eating more than I really need. I don't need to eat as much as they do, or get as full as I have been getting. For the first three days this week I kept my weight the same, but today I'm up about a pound. I have reset my goal from maintaining 135 to losing another 10 pounds, down to 125, but this week I have not been making progress toward that goal at all. I'm still under 135, but barely. So, portion control is the name of the game here!
Other than that, how is it going with the Primal eating? Some days I find I really miss the grains. Some tortilla chips, or a slice of toast with my eggs sounds great. I don't seem to be missing the sugar too much. Fruit is filling that gap alright. This is such a great time of year for fruit! I miss the dairy, but not the gas, so it's pretty easy to limit my dairy intake. I'm finding that coconut milk is awesome to cook with! Makes great curry sauces for meat and veggies, for example. The main thing I miss about legumes is hummus. I love hummus! And peanut butter, but almond butter is filling the gap alright on that score.
I find that I am spending WAY more at the produce stand, and I have to go every 2 or 3 days. However, I am not having to go to the regular grocery store much at all. It will be interesting to see how this all comes out, financially. I AM very anxious for our meat to come! I am out of beef, and we are keeping a side of beef from the steers we just butchered, but it'll be a couple weeks till we get to pick it up. I also ordered a half a pig from friends, but it won't come until next week at least. In the meantime, we're filling in with lots of chicken, fish, and sausage. And eggs! I started buying fresh farm eggs from friends again, and OH MY! What a difference! I had forgotten how much better they are! Future goal: have my own laying hens again, like I used to!
Eating meat and veggies (and usually fruit) at every meal, even breakfast, is different. However, I find that I like it. I haven't been using recipes, but just concocting things on my own. For example, yesterday for lunch I made a chicken salad that had the following: jicama, celery, cucumber, dried apricots, lettuce, cashews, cilantro, and a dressing made of mayo, spicy brown mustard and curry powder. It was SO yummy!
Okay, I'm rambling so it's time to quit writing for now. Lots of projects to go tackle today!
Friday, June 13, 2014
I just got done re-reading my two fairly recent blogs about eating Primally 4 out of every 5 meals. I have continued on with this plan, and am loving it so far. Except for my non-primal snack yesterday, where I went overboard and had 2 pieces of retirement party chocolate cake, 2 cups of punch, and one of sparkling cider, all of which combined to put me up 2 pounds today--except for that, it's worked very well. And even WITH that, it's working, because I didn't go on a full-fledged binge like I might have before. It was only my snack time I could have treats, and then I was right back on track. Normally, though, my "treats" are not nearly that bad, and don't cause me to gain weight. I have actually kept losing, and have gotten as low as 131.2, which has caused me to decide to go ahead and try for getting down to 125. So that is goal number one for my summer: Get down to 125 by September 1st.
My second goal is to try zip-lining for the first time. I have already booked a zip-line tour for me and my hubby, during our 3 day vacation in July. I just have to psych myself up to be brave enough to do it. I think I'll be able to. I'm very excited about it!
Third goal is to garden consistently and well all summer, including planting Fall stuff, and fixing up a plastic-covered section in my raised beds to grow some lettuce and stuff on into the winter. I'm off to a good start, having got early stuff planted in March, and Summer stuff planted mid-May. We've been eating lots of lettuce, kale, snow peas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and even an onion, so far. The first cukes will be ready soon.
Fourth goal is to do something about beautifying my deck and patio. They are full of weeds and broken pots of dead stuff. It's depressing to look at. Time to get myself in gear and make it look beautiful!
Fifth goal is to finish re-doing the photo album for 1987-1990, by the time school starts again in the Fall. That will be the last of my old yucky albums to redo. Then I'll just have to get caught up on the past 4 or 5 years!
These goals will be hard to accomplish, because I'll be working Summer School for much of the Summer. However, I'll get off work at 1:00, so if I budget my time well, I should be able to do it. Of course, I also have to fit exercise in on a regular basis, and the plan I have now won't work during Summer School because I have to start work so early in the morning. But it will work out, probably with a combo of very early stationary bike rides at home, strength training sessions on the way home from work, and evening swimming sessions (not all on the same day!)
I'm looking forward to this new, fresh start with a new, fresh schedule. That's one thing I love about working for a school: So many chances to start fresh! So, what are the rest of you planning for this Summer?
Saturday, May 31, 2014
This past week I have implemented the plan I thought up for how to eat Primal fashion 80% of the time, and I am really shocked at the results! In case you didn't see the blog last week, I'll quickly recap the plan. According to the book I am reading, "Primal Blueprint," the idea is to shoot to avoid all grains, dairy, legumes and sugar, at least 80% of the time. I decided to try it, and to calculate the 80% I thought 4 meals on, 1 meal off. Since I usually portion my calories over 3 meals and a snack, that is how I figured it. So, for example, Thursday this week was a strictly Primal eating day. Yesterday I could deviate for breakfast, so I had Grape Nuts with full fat Greek yogurt, almonds and blueberries. Today, lunch is my deviation meal, and I plan to have homemade zucchini lasagna (has cottage cheese and mozarella) and a Snickers bar my dad gave me a few days ago. Tomorrow, deviation meal will be supper, Monday it will be snack, and Tuesday will be 100% Primal.
So, what I've done is track to shoot for about 100 grams of protein daily, and 150 grams maximum of carbs. When almost all your carbs are coming from only fruits and veggies, that is not too hard to do. 100 grams of protein is a little harder, it means more meat and eggs than I would normally have. The rest of the calories come from fat, which feels weird and scary and like it wouldn't work. I can't tell you how odd and wrong it feels to be able to grab a handful of nuts to snack on, or dip my apple slices in almond butter (not peanut butter, since peanuts are legumes). Or have bacon sometimes, even! But so far, the results are very satisfactory!
I have felt terrific. If I'm hungry, I eat. I haven't had to feel starving at all. Sometimes I've even been unable to finish the amount I had tracked and planned to eat. My energy levels have stayed very level all day long--no crashes coming down off carb highs. I have had a very marked decrease in gassiness, which is a big plus in my opinion. I think it's the limiting of dairy, but perhaps grains played a part as well. I haven't ever felt bloated or painful, in spite of getting very full at times. I've had no headaches. And sorry if this is too much information, but I need to put it down for my own faulty memory's sake: I have hardly needed to use any toilet paper at all, which is the exact opposite of before.
The most surprising result of all, though, is that I keep dropping weight! In spite of eating so much food, it's just falling off! My maintenance weight is 135. I started trying the Primal experiment a couple weeks ago when I tipped the scale at 141.8, I think it was--perhaps it even got up to 142, I can't remember at the moment. Anyway, it was an upward trend that I didn't like, and eating Primally for a few days brought it right back down to target. But then I dropped even more, without trying at all. Today I'm at an all time low of 132.2!! Who knows, maybe my secret long-time dream of weighing 125 will actually come true! (Only if the rest comes off my thighs and calves, though--otherwise, I'll stay at 135-ish.)
I guess the last thing this 4-on-1-off plan has done for me is stop the bingeing. I know exactly when I can choose something special, and have days to think ahead of time as to what, exactly, I want that special thing (or things) to be. In the meantime, I don't have to go hungry, and truthfully, it almost feels like bingeing to grab a handful of almonds or cashews to curb my late afternoon hunger while I'm cooking dinner.
So, if anyone who may read this is feeling stuck, or needing to change things up a bit for variety, I highly recommend trying this experiment! It certainly is working for me.
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