AUBRETTE's SparkPeople Blog AUBRETTE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Paleo diet: the stupid and the saving The philosophy behind Paleo is a load of bull. The idea is that if we revert to a lifestyle similar to our cavemen brethren (except with iPads, coconut butter and sunscreen) we will be living The Most Natural Life Possible. This is a load of crock. Biologically, humans are omnivores and historically we thrive from our adaptability. Our bodies are made to eat a variety of goods and process them for energy. Cultures have been raised on rice, grasses, meats, berries, nuts, seeds, bread fruit, wh... Sun, 2 Mar 2014 13:48:07 EST Primal (paleo) living, the first days This week I've given myself a low bar: make water go up, sugar go down, and ensure a paleo breakfast. That is plenty of leeway to nibble breads, sweets, and less-than-paelo treats throughout the day so long as I keep my sugar in check and wash it all down with clean water. <BR> <BR> Christmas Eve I invited a dear friend over and we had a primal-style dinner together with fruit for dessert and tea. We went for walks, slept in, and read poetry to each other. My boss gave my fancy coffee beans ... Sat, 28 Dec 2013 11:37:42 EST A three month depression challenge Today I had a moment where I realized, if things keep going on like this I will need to talk about medication with my doctor. I lay face-down on my bed, sobbing and wailing. I was spitting and disgusting, a gross mess of grief and depression. I heard myself making laments so deep and terrible that I was ashamed. <BR> <BR> No one has died. Nothing is wrong. In fact, my life is getting better. <BR> <BR> I'm miserable. <BR> <BR> In the shower, trying to get the snot out of my hair (it was bad... Sun, 22 Dec 2013 16:17:47 EST Preparing for the holidays The non-stop feasting is coming. I love baking and cooking for these holidays, I love hosting meals for people. I love drinking and laughing and tasting. But I have other goals in mind, too. <BR> <BR> I joined a fitness group that will meet regularly on Google Plus to weigh-in and swap information with a personal trainer. It cost me $60 and I was very reluctant to throw that money in. But the support and the personalized nutrition/fitness look promising. <BR> <BR> We officially start on Nov... Sat, 19 Oct 2013 11:00:24 EST Now for bribery It's my favorite part of Sparkpeople, the so-called "rewards" which, yes, are celebratory but c'mon. We're bribing ourselves. <BR> <BR> My classic struggle is follow-through. I think "I cheated" or "I've still got so far to go". Well no more! This is a long-distance bribe but one that I know I'll like. My friend introduced me to and boy, is it full of pretty dresses. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://phot... Wed, 16 Oct 2013 09:07:51 EST When you're "trying to lose weight" and you find you've gained weight It could be any number of things. It could be that I'm still overeating, choosing high-sugar foods, simple carbs, etc. It could be that things are getting stressful around here. It could be that I've amped up my exercise and my body is responsively clinging harder to fat to stave off starvation. <BR> <BR> But when I started this weightloss journey I was sad to have been at the bottom 190s. Now I'm a solid 195 (I've weighed myself throughout the day and it isn't fluctuating). <BR> <BR> It's ... Sun, 6 Oct 2013 10:22:07 EST Steps to ending emotional eating <link><BR>er_body_fat.asp </link> <BR> <BR> I've been reading this resource on ending emotional eating and the first step is to take control and responsibility. They recommend doing this through using "I" statements when confronted with problems. So here it goes. <BR> <BR> My job's schedule leaves me exhausted and unprepared for home-cooked meals. The hours are making me either too tired or too busy to go to the gym. I end up slumped on the couch eatin... Thu, 3 Oct 2013 09:41:30 EST What it means to feel fat <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The truth is, it's in your head. <BR> <BR> The truth is, you *should* be paranoid. Because They *are* trying to brainwash you. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> That image should be a Fitspo because Cheryl Haworth is an Olympic athlete. She is a healthy, strong, ambitious woman; what we all claim we want to be. <BR> <BR> The truth is I know a 200-lb woman... Thu, 26 Sep 2013 10:16:42 EST Watching 365 days of weight loss <link><BR>-this-insane-animated-gif-of-a-woman-l<BR>osing-88-pounds-o </link> <BR> <BR> This girl's journey is amazing. She follows a paleo diet and 80+ lbs fall off! I'm not ready to go paleo (read: bread, beans, dairy and whole grains are more important to me than looking thinner) but I love the day at a time shots. Maybe they are only a week at a time with the same clothes, but it shows. <BR> <BR> The most resounding advice she gives is that all you... Fri, 6 Sep 2013 01:23:40 EST thought exercise Take a moment and write down or upon all the thoughts that come to mind when you think about dieting or losing weight. <BR> <BR> " I'm an eater" " I'll never be thin so I have to be happy with who I am" " dieting is for schmucks" " I'm not a dieter" "I can maybe lose twenty pounds but I'll secretly always be a fatty" "I would have been scary-beautiful if I were thin." <BR> <BR> <BR> How many of those thoughts are negative? Several typical categories of thinking emerge when people rec... Wed, 4 Sep 2013 01:36:29 EST You are already beautiful Let me start by saying that I'm glad there's a shift from thin bodies to fit bodies in our beauty culture. I'm glad we have new goals of playing with our kids or running your first 5k without stopping. But I think that we still are striving to be someone we are not. We want to be somebody better, somebody who is not this person that we are right now. And that's where the trick lies: we have to be able to love who we are while striving for something more. <BR> <BR> We have to start using th... Sat, 17 Aug 2013 13:22:48 EST Strong Fat <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm an eater. <BR> <BR> I work hard and I eat hard. <BR> <BR> I bike six miles to work every day. Sometimes, if I can pull over for thirty minutes, I'll pop into my basement gym and do weight lifting. When I go to see my therapist that is a 15 mile round-trip, sometimes punctuated by a little crying. <BR> <BR> Today I ate an entire wedge of brie cheese. I just keep putting it into my mouth, waiting for somethin... Thu, 8 Aug 2013 21:24:58 EST Technology on my side Wins of the morning: <BR> First day in a week that I didn't wake up to my cat leaving me a dead bug in the living room (or a hairball!) <BR> Perfect weather outside <BR> Not regretting the "impulse" purchase of flowers (try to reward yourself with inedible prizes) <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Put a chocolate-covered cherry in my mouth without thinking, chewed, stopped and thought, "What the hell? I'm making breakfast, this is no time for candy!... Wed, 8 May 2013 11:49:59 EST Make good art Last night I had congee <BR> which I wish was better <BR> which I wish was a sweet date with my husband <BR> where we laughed and touched hands <BR> and asked about each other's day <BR> and lingered too late at the restaurant. <BR> <BR> Instead <BR> we had congealed rice <BR> fish skin <BR> too many peppers <BR> stomach aches. <BR> <BR> I want the food to be so good I don't have to do the work. <BR> I want the food to make the experience for me. <BR> <BR> Because sometimes it does. <BR> ... Thu, 2 May 2013 12:49:10 EST In Bloom <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Be the change you want to see in yourself. <BR> <BR> I want to be a badass cyclist. I want to enjoy my own sweat and feel gorgeous. I want to wake up early and write. I want sore abs, I want to join races, I want to live. <BR> <BR> So I'm doing it now. Today I cut off over 10 inches of hair (don't worry, I'm donating it). I biked over 7 miles north to see my therapist and then decided to donate some blood on the... Mon, 29 Apr 2013 18:56:29 EST Mistakes and grace. <BR> I strain against the idea of "NO". I am naturally adverse to censorship. Yet I am becoming increasingly aware of my personal need for boundaries, for the ability to say, "No." <BR> <BR> For these to work, I must be honest with myself. Regarding food, here is what I know: I can be zealous when following a strict routine. I went 25 days with an extremely strict diet. Yet when I slacken, I fall to pieces. Within hours of "allowing" a few foods back into my diet I was fully returned to hap... Mon, 25 Mar 2013 09:37:15 EST Day 13 of the 21 day Clean I lost weight and felt thrill, fear, worry, joy. To be clear, my body picks up and puts down 5lbs in a day depending on the tilt of Saturn and the color of my shoes. I am a flux-body that averaged 184 before starting the cleanse and now I bump around 174. Part of me is thrilled, those ten pounds were all depression weight and I wanted them and their memories off me. But part of me worries. <BR> <BR> I know why I lost so much. I couldn't keep my calories high enough on their stupid liquid-sol... Mon, 4 Feb 2013 12:46:00 EST Day 11 of the 21 day Clean I lost too much weight, lost my appetite and got worried. So I'm keeping on the no-allergen list but I'm quitting the eating routine of liquid-solid-liquid for meals. I'm doing 3 square meals with minimal snacking and keeping the 12hr digestion window. Meanwhile, my appetite has returned and I feel more energetic though I cannot do much exercise. <BR> <BR> I miss my breakfast routine the most: hot oats with seeds, fruit and a side of black coffee. I'm going to try chicory as a substitute and... Sat, 2 Feb 2013 12:31:52 EST Days 3 and 4 of the Clean Yesterday, day three, I wasn't feeling great. My neck kept snap-crackle-popping and I had a low-grade headache most of the day. I was glad to be on Cashier Assistant duty since I was feeling somewhat "down". My appetite has also been mild these first days; I decided not to have dinner until I got home. Then... I went berserk. Well, berserk in terms of the Cleanse. I ate a fistful of dried cranberries with chocolatte and sunflowr seeds, and all the rest of our sliced turkey! Oooh, naughty. <... Sun, 27 Jan 2013 00:01:55 EST Day 2 of the 21 Day Cleanse Breakfast was horrible. I mean, I'm an oatmeal girl through-and-through but I have done a smoothie in the past. This... Well this was just a bad recipe. <BR> <BR> Avocado? Yeah, okay. I'm granola enough for that. <BR> Brown rice protein powder? You bet your chickens I got that protein powder AND on sale AND with coupons! <BR> Unsweetened coconut milk? Yep, sounds delicious right? Even the company is called that. Truth? Blech. <BR> Stevia? Okay, that's just gross y'all. The only way to cool w... Fri, 25 Jan 2013 00:25:03 EST Day 1 of the Dr. Junger Clean program I'm doing this because I have migraines, or at least something like them. For twenty-four hours I am crippled by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and a tight knot in the nape of my neck. <BR> <BR> I think this happens due to toxicity build-up (whatever that means!) and so I am systematically removing potentially toxic foods from my diet (such as soy, dairy, red meat and wheat) for 21 days and then gently reintroducing them while monitoring the results. <BR> <BR> I've also gone to the... Wed, 23 Jan 2013 14:40:48 EST Flexitarian (for life?) It still sounds tempting. Twenty-day detox! One-month of meal plans! The brand new diet! Reboot your system! <BR> <BR> I like the idea of discipline and a "reset", of starting anew and wiping the slate clean. <BR> <BR> But to be honest, that just isn't who I am. I don't know if it is that I lack the discipline so much as I crave variety. Buy me a box of chocolates and I will have to taste every single one (luckily I realized that I could cut these chocolates into pieces and not have to cons... Tue, 8 Jan 2013 19:06:24 EST Signs my body uses to tell me I'm unhealthy I used to think it was normal. Then I began to exercise, eat better, and drink water. I've since fallen away from my "peak" but I am working to find a sustainable medium and determine the Aubrey lifestyle. Here are signs my body has taught me over time, thing that happen when I treat myself poorly. <BR> <BR> 1) Frequent low-grade headaches, indigestion and bodyache. I feel tired, moody and under the weather. This usually happens after a half-day of refined sugars and flours. I get sugar spik... Fri, 4 Jan 2013 23:48:48 EST Desirability It's very easy for me to not feel attractive. I only have to look at the hang of my stomach, the hair that grows where I wish it wouldn't, or any number of minor aesthetics the world has taught me to be ashamed of. <BR> <BR> When I am strong I can brush off these observations as absurd. I can laugh at the fact that clothing is simply not tailored to my "complex shape". I can remember that a lot of women, even Cameron Diaz, sometimes have to shave their ass. <BR> <BR> But some days I'm not s... Mon, 31 Dec 2012 11:46:21 EST How to start when you're depressed So I suffer from depression. I don't need drugs and I don't think of self-harm (well, not physical self-harm, I don't treat myself very well when I'm depressed though) but it interferes with my life and makes me a not-so-spectacular Aubrey. <BR> <BR> This is what my depression looks like: Aubrey, splayed on her couch in her pajamas at four-fifty-seven in the evening. Thinking about pouring some honey into a jar of peanut butter and eating that for dinner. Knowing that going for a walk, doing... Sun, 23 Sep 2012 12:37:09 EST Why I try to give SparkPeople $$ There are two reasons why I want to give a little cash back to the kind folks of SparkPeople. <BR> <BR> 1) They work. <BR> <BR> They promote an integrity-based program that brings out what a wonderful person you already are and builds up your confidence, cooperation, and strength to last for a lifetime. They don't have quick turnarounds (though sometimes I think they are pressured to and do cave in a little with the monthly challenges) and they are the first to say that Healthy and Overweig... Sat, 8 Sep 2012 11:14:10 EST The stick by which I measure my progress The stick by which I measure my progress has turned against me. My weight continues upward. I feel it in all the ways: larger breasts, heavier stomach, tighter jeans. These constant reminders, even without the scale, haunt me. They tell me I'm not trying. <BR> <BR> And truly, I'm not. <BR> <BR> So I need to go topsy-turvy. I need to forget that I've done this before, that I know I can do it, and that it is "inevitable" that I'll turn myself around and lose the weight. Because really, I migh... Tue, 28 Aug 2012 09:16:46 EST Setting the goals, contacting the future I smear my hand across my face and blink at my laptop. It's morning and I'm up. I can do this. I have a story and it needs to be told. <BR> <BR> I begin typing, intermittently taking sips of espresso or bites of oatmeal studded with seeds and nuts. This is the fuel that runs my machine. My mind is both a physical and a spiritual thing, and it requires optimal health from both sides in order to function properly. I need the lubricating fats to get my synapses to recognize spelling errors or c... Fri, 17 Aug 2012 11:21:04 EST My life, stylized Wake up with me: <link><BR>iiOnzsc </link> <BR> <BR> She's having one of those dreams where she thinks she is awake. She's trying to turn off her alarm but it isn't working, and it takes two repetitions of the chorus before she realizes she isn't yet awake. With a sudden jerk she breaks into the surface of reality, seeing her phone playing a quiet, pretty song to wake her up in the morning. <BR> <BR> She wants to slap at the phone and fall asleep agai... Tue, 14 Aug 2012 11:46:00 EST Movement-->Motivation I used to think I needed two things to get healthy: motivation and movement. Now I think I really only need one of those things. It must be a sort of trade-off, sometimes working synchronously in a harmonious beauty, sometimes not. <BR> <BR> I used to want motivation for movement, I imagined it as a linear cause-and-effect. Motivation-->Movement. I didn't see that it could go the other way. <BR> <BR> The more I move, the more motivated I will feel later. The more motivated I feel, the more ... Wed, 8 Aug 2012 20:25:56 EST Dear Aubrey, Remember this post I've done the weight-loss thing before. People say there is a "right" and a "wrong" way, and honestly the lines get blurry. The "right" way is anything that leads to a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. I've done the right way before, but I feel down and didn't get back up. That was my own fault. <BR> <BR> Now I'm trying to get up again. This is a letter to myself to remember my downfalls and to not fall for them again. I'm stronger and smarter, I can live the life that I want right now. Eve... Wed, 1 Aug 2012 21:46:51 EST A Year of ____ I am praying my husband gets this job. I wish you would pray for him, too, whoever you are. It is so many things to us, so much opportunity. <BR> <BR> If he gets this job he will move 3 hours away, and I will not. I cannot ask you to understand, only to trust me in my marriage to do what is right. If he gets this job, and we both hope he does, then I will embark on a year's struggle to better myself. To become a better writer, a better Aubrey. <BR> <BR> I have a tendency to put too much on... Tue, 10 Jul 2012 15:38:18 EST Challenges I made a jar of challenges. What should I do when I complete one? I think I'll reward myself with a nice long cool yoga session in my living room. At first it will sound like work and my lazy half will say, "Nooooo reward yourself with NOM NOMS!" But I know that at the end of some yoga I'll thank me. <BR> <BR> I chose the challenge today. It is 100F out here in Chicago (what?!) and everyone is inside, with good reason. I decided to go for a run. A short run, maybe only 5 minutes total... shi... Thu, 28 Jun 2012 17:19:04 EST The Flinch: First shower Some silly men who I admire made a video mentioning a free book. I like free: <BR> That is the video, with a link to the free kindle book "The Flinch" included. I liked the video and downloaded the book but didn't look at it. <BR> <BR> Then I had an opportunity today. <BR> <BR> There was a meeting of "neighbors" in my community who were going to decide what to do with an open space. I could meet people, voice my own opinion, and have some beautiful cooperation w... Mon, 25 Jun 2012 00:15:53 EST A morning meditation on where I am going It is Sunday and I'm going to give myself a moment of grace. Look how far I have come: I am in community now, with neighbors and walking streets. I live such a life that my breakfast is a scoop of "cereal" meaning groats, oats, flax and quinoa. That is somehow normal to me. I know how to pronounce "quinoa" (keen-wah). I make my own espresso and drink it from a little cup at my breakfast table in Chicago. <BR> <BR> The scaffolding to hold up this mundane moment is incredible and must be marve... Sun, 24 Jun 2012 13:11:30 EST Movie review: Forks over Knives It's actually pretty funny how I found this "documentary". I tried watching it last year (we get Netflix every summer) but didn't like the tone of fearmongering. <BR> I came back to the movie thanks to Pandora, the music website. A beautiful song came on that I immediately looked up in order to remember it ("Welcome Home" by Radical Face <link> </link> ) and Wikipedia mentioned that it plays over the credits of this film. I decided to give the movie anothe... Thu, 14 Jun 2012 02:46:04 EST