Primal Eating, Update #4
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.