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Monday, October 21, 2013

So I challenged myself to go Primal again. I feel like I have greater flexibility going Primal as opposed to Paleo or Whole30. I don't care who writes an article about how to make tradeoffs to make Paleo perfection affordable, I can't bloody afford it. Been there, crunched the numbers. It ain't gonna happen. I was really stressing about food and my weight the last few weeks (because I totally don't have more important things to worry about, like catching up on the MCAT class that no one had access to the materials for until last week) and sinking back into my old, "You can't even stick to your diet for a week? How can you ever expect to succeed at anything if you can't stick to a diet" mentality when I remembered that a perfect Whole30 is not the only way to get myself back on track with my food and my health. I picked up my Primal Blueprint 21-Day Transformation book and re-read it. Mark Sisson is so chill about stuff, and the pretty pictures, action plans, and "do the best you can" message made me feel much better.

I logged my food for two days just to see where I was standing with my carb and fat intake, and all was well until this afternoon's stuffed green pepper, which contains rice. Which was about 22 g of carbs by itself. After which I caught myself counting cherry tomatoes and wondering how many carbs were in them, and how many I could eat before going over 100 g for the day.

Holy obsessive behavior, Batman!

Anyway, now I remember why I don't count calories anymore. I get waaaay too emotionally invested in having all my numbers line up, and anytime I go over by a few grams here or a couple calories there, I immediately start berating my lack of discipline and wonder if I'd have lost a pound this week or that week if I'd just eaten one less slice of bread (when I ate bread) or bought fat-free dressing.

That memory brought with it the memory of life AFTER calorie counting, which was my Eat Clean stage, whereupon I was thoroughly convinced that fiber was the Holy Grail and that fat on the plate=fat in the body. I measured and weighed, ate beans and whole grain rice and whole wheat wraps, dressed my salads with lemon juice only, tore the skin off all my poultry, and threw away dozens of egg yolks, for a grand total of six pounds lost. I remember lying in bed with a bloated stomach and stabbing pain in my gut that had lasted three days, furious that my mother and fiance would suggest that this diet might not be good for me and insisting the whole entire time that I just wasn't used to the fiber and that once I got used to it, the pounds would just melt off.

Knowing my family history of diverticulitis and associated digestive disorders, I'm pretty sure I was just a few more beans, seeds, and grains away from an intestinal perforation. I love my lentil soup as much as the next person, but my days of wrapping black beans and brown rice in a whole-grain wrap with extra flax seeds sprinkled on for more fiber are as far behind me as I can make them.

Anyway, once I remembered counting individual almonds out for precise 100-calorie servings (which are not precise AT ALL), I decided that it's probably best to just avoid the carbs I know I'm not using, and if I'm going to track my food, I'm going to do it with a pencil, because I am NOT trustworthy with a calorie calculator.

That said, I have validated to myself that I've eaten way fewer calories today than I ever did while I was eschewing fat and mainlining the carbs, and I'm not hungry. Win. I'm also going to eat the roasted potatoes that my mother made for dinner to go with the pork chops, because it's what's for dinner and they're coated in delicious butter. Averages matter more than daily accountings anyway.

Anyone else have a terrible experience with dieting that they're glad to have behind them?
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  • GHK1962
    Ok...been gone for a bit myself ... that damn work thing ... sheesh.

    Anyway, sounds like you're getting the eating thingy worked out ... and I hope the classes are going well too!

    As for dieting and/or counting food values ... I still track on here. But now it's more for strategizing. I was trying to see where the bulk of my calories were coming from ... what meal so to speak. And I saw it was at lunch time and dinner time. I decided to try to switch that up a bit... to make my larger meal in the morning, and have lunch, snacks, dinner be lower intake and more even thoughout the day (unless I was going to do a heave exercise session ... then the calories after is higher.)

    But ... I'm not too concerned with the amount of calories, as I am just tending to eat more for 1 person instead of for 28.7 people. :)
    1843 days ago
    When I first joined Spark and lost 40 lbs it was all low-fat, processed foods, tracking EVERY SINGLE BITE that went in my mouth, and hours and hours on the elliptical. When I went back to school, I had the calorie counts of everything memorized. I couldn't help but analyze the trays of everyone else in the cafeteria. It made me feel like a crazy person! I'm so glad that is over with!
    1846 days ago
  • GINAV2
    Hey, welcome back to the path of Primal-ness! I'm a big fan of Mark Sisson's perspective, because he is so chill and non-judgemental. Having potatoes tonight? Ok! Extra energy for moving your body tomorrow. And getting stressed out obsessive about what you're eating is totally counter-productive, as you well know. Primal FTW!

    (Oh, and re: diets that were a big ol' fail...I went full on CW for a while before I discovered the paleo/primal blogosphere. Extremely low fat, hardly any meat, lots of whole wheat bread and rice and pasta and fat-free salads. It destroyed my thyroid and I was hangry ALL the time. Glad to have that behind me!)
    1848 days ago
    Mark Sisson is my favorite low carbish guy for exactly the reason you mentioned - he's so chill about stuff. Life is too short to be all obsessive over every detail. Glad you're back on track and have figured out a few things!
    1848 days ago
    Oh that one time I tried the cabbage soup diet. Just... don't. emoticon
    1848 days ago
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