Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A hiatus

Yep, I took a hiatus for about 2 weeks. I finally figured out that my scale was set to KG instead of pounds. Thanks, Grokster. So 102 kg converts to 224 pounds. A grand total of 3 pounds lost in a month. Not so good. I had promised myself a cake for my birthday, so I made a luscious chocolate coconut "Mounds" cake, whose recipe had been in my collection since I was 16. I won't lie. It was yummy, yummy, yummy! I made half the cake with a coconut filling, and left the other half with just a chocolate frosting between the layers, for Mr. Grok, since he hates all things coconut. It took me about 3 days to eat half the cake. I think it was the "diet" mentality that's all too common to dieters. "I'm going to do this for X amount of time, then I can eat normally again!" Well, normal ain't good. In the 2 weeks, I gained back the 3 pounds I had lost. *sigh* So much for that experiment. Although I did learn a little bit. Namely, that I needed to try something different than just plain low-carb. Over on Mark's Daily Apple, they were running a 30 day Primal Challenge. I like the Primal Blueprint, hence the name Grokette. So I decided to jump in with both feet. I ordered their 30 day Primal Leap Kit, for a pretty big chunk of change. Most of what came in the kit was redundant to what I had already read and knew, but the workbook was pretty neat. It was broken into 4 chapters to read, 1 for each week, and 4 chapters for journalling. I kept a daily journal on the website for the Primal Leap, but to be honest, I was disappointed in the site. It was restricted to those who paid for the PL program, and thus, it wasn't populated by very many people. It was more like writing a diary, and there was no give and take on the other forums. There was a promise that Mark would do podcasts, but apparently, he did 2 and stopped, and that was several months ago. I posted a question about some elbow pain, and never heard back from anyone. So overall, I'd say the workbook was good, but the whole package is way overpriced, especially considering that you don't get any one on one support, like they promised. But that said, I'm going to do the PL month again, because I did get some good out of it, and I also didn't focus nearly enough on weeks 3 and 4 because of company. I did stick to my program, and I'm very happy about that, but there's more to be gained. So this time around, I'm going to journal and give my opinions here on my blog.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day 31 - August 31 - The end of the month!!

I hardly even realized it was the end of the month until halfway through the day yesterday.

This morning, I got on the scale. I was a little bit worried about what I'd see. What if I gained weight on this diet? That would be bad. Instead, my scale showed that I weighed 102 pounds. Ha! I think I need new batteries. Yeah, no way that I lost over 120 pounds in a month. If that happened, I'd be dead.

When I had my physical a couple weeks ago, my weight was down by 5 pounds, and that was wearing my clothes. of course, no way of knowing how closely calibrated the physician's and my scales were, so no idea if I actually lost 5 pounds or not.

Part way through the month, when I was having major sugar withdrawl, I promised myself I'd make myself a birthday cake at the beginning of September, as a "reward" I guess for going the whole month of August and being good.

Well, I did have that piece of cheesecake, and it was good, so maybe I should just count that as my birthday cake. Although I did have my heart set on something specific.

But I'm finding something sort of funny. The urge to make a cake for myself is severely diminished now, two weeks later. Even if I give myself permission to do it and to eat a great big piece of it, maybe even two pieces of it, I'm not really wanting it. I'd rather spend my time painting my kitchen cabinets that trying to bake a cake. Of course, my kitchen is an absolute, chaotic disaster at the moment, so maybe that has something to do with it.

I'm also sad that I'm not seeing a major weight loss in my clothes. They don't seem noticeably looser. Have I been eating too many calories? Has that chocolate - coconut milk - almond butter thingy been doing me in. I only eat about 1-2 tablespoons a night, but yeah, it's high in calories. I haven't been faithful in my exercising, but I never meant to start whole hog exercising along with whole hog diet change. One thing at a time. I'm not getting enough sleep. Rob Wolf said that if you're not sleeping enough to where you wake up without an alarm clock, you can forget about losing weight. Hrm...

In fact, there's several things in Mark'S Daily Apple article about 17 reasons why you're not losing weight. I think I'm staying relatively stress free, but I know there are times when I feel like I never have enough time to do everything I want. I try to take whole evenings and read a book or magazine, or watch a movie, but my kitchen is still torn up, my garden is dying of heat and drought, my kid always wants attention, and I just fired my lawn crew and now have to do my lawn myself. And Mr. Grok doesn't really help with any of that. He takes care of Grokster during the day, and the rest of the evening and weekend he's mine. Yeah, I love him, but he takes so much energy, and sometimes I just want me time! Ah, the joys of being a modern working mother.

Okay, so maybe not so good on the stress. Definitely need to work more on sleep. I'm about 40% successful going to bed when I want to (ie early). Will aim to improve on that next month. Not doing sprints. Why? It's uncomfortable having all that excess body jiggling and flopping around when sprinting. Sports bras can only do so much! And that's all I'll say about that!

Too many calories? don't know. Don't track them. Been keeping my carb grams to 50 or less, but otherwise, not tracking my fat grams or anything else. Eating a lot of fruit. Is that impacting it? But I love summer fruit.

Lift heavy things? Only started that mid month, and having trouble sticking to it.

Move regularly at a slow pace? In spite of my office job, I do try to stay busy at home and on the weekends. Just keeping up with Grokster, keeping the house cleaned and picked up, going shopping at the farmer's market and such. It's been too, too hot to go outside and play very much. I'm hoping September cools off considerably.

Do I just need more time to repair the 40+ years of damage I've done to my metabolism? I heard of one person who switched to primal/paleo, and for 4-5 months (maybe 6) no change. Then boom, something happened, and they suddenly started losing weight.

Am I wheat sensitive? Last night I listened to a Rob Wolf podcast and they had a guy on talking about Wheat Belly, and how modern wheat seems to have a super deleterious effect on some people, and it's not until they get rid of all gluten that they start seeing improvements. I know I haven't gotten rid of all gluten. I'm still having some sauces with it, or a bit here or there of bread or something, in spite of my best intentions. I'm not sure I can really handle a 30 day no wheat challenge yet. I'm not sure Mr. Grok could handle it cooking for me either. I sometimes feel like he's only humoring me, and I'm not getting any results to show that this is a good thing. I'd like to convince him to try it too. He's got high blood pressure and could stand to lose 40 pounds, but he's not interested. I feel like until I can prove it works, I don't have much to say to convince him.

He's not happy that I give Grokster raw milk when I can get it, or that we made a sugar-free ice cream with raw pastured eggs in it. So I tread carefully.

Oh, and next month, I have a lot of visitors. My in-laws are coming for a week. They live in Virginia, and my MIL was diagnosed with cancer recently . She's in chemo now. I'm going to be very selective in what I offer them. I'm convinced that sugar feeds cancer, so I'm not going to make any cakes or cookies or anything, even though that's a huge break with how we usually eat and cook when they visit. Then my best friend is coming to visit the week after. We have great times and we both love to cook and bake and eat sweets, so it's going to be hard to be completely compliant. I do plan to make the best choices I can while they're visiting. Then I'll try to do another 30 day challenge with my friend leaves. It'll go through Halloween, which will be tricky for me. I always love the Halloween candy. But I'm hoping that every day will slowly reprogram my body and mind away from carbs and sugar.

Overall, I'm pleased with my progress this month. I don't know how much weight I lost, but I definitely feel better, and my sugar and carb cravings are much less, even if not completely eliminated. I'm planning to continue this path, and I'll keep you updated on how I'm doing.

Wish me luck!

Day 30 - August 30

Not getting enough sleep. Was up too late playing a video game, and regretted it in the morning. Overslept, no time for breakfast. Grabbed some pemican I'd made a couple months ago, and it's been sitting in the frig. Was a little afraid it'd be moldy or gone bad, but if you do it right, it's supposed to have a shelf life of months or even years.

Honestly, I don't like the texture of the fat in my mouth, and the ground beef I used is like pebbles in the mixture. I put it through the food processor for ages, but could never get it "powdery" like is described in the recipes I read. Still, with a bit of salt, it's edible. That and an apple make up my breakfast at my desk. Pink Lady organic apples are very sweet and tasty.

Didn't grab my exercise clothes, so I go off to do a little shopping instead. I know, I'm such a girl/consumer. Picked up a couple of puzzles from the local thrift store. One for me, and an alphabet floor puzzle for the Grokster. Lunch is a piece of cheese and another apple from the grocery store.

Hubby lets me sleep an hour after work. He's so great. I needed that nap so badly. Dinner was hatch salmon patties on the grill, and I made some peas to go with it.

Day 28 - August 28

Sunday morning. Friday night and Saturday night had seen me consume copious amount of carbohydrates and sugar. I can't tell you how hard it was to stare at eggs for breakfast when the donut shop was just down the street.

I had an internal conversation in my head for a couple of minutes. It seriously sounded like the good angel and bad angel sitting on my shoulders:

"Go on, you already had something the last two days. Why not just have a donut this morning. You can have just one."

"No, you have to start sometime. It's going to be hard no matter what day you start, and it's only going to get harder to say no the longer you take. Besides, you don't want to throw away any gains you've made so far."

Good angel won out, but he had to talk a while. And honestly, getting out in the heat didn't help the bad angel's case, either.

I don't remember what I ate, but I know I was compliant. Made up another batch of my chocolate - coconut milk - almond butter stuff (I need a name for it). Made a small bit without the almond butter in it, and it came out like a ganache. Tasty. Need to be careful of it, because it would be really easy to over eat that. Had a lot of grapes, too. Probably not the best paleo fruit, but they were nice and plump and sweet.

Day 27 - August 27

The day after.

Ye gods, it's hot outside. It's supposed to be 109 today, and we have tickets to the Salute to the Space Shuttle at the NASA Johnson Space Center tonight.

I still felt a little hung over from the excess of rich food last night. I skipped breakfast in the early morning and went to the farmer's market. When I got home, I had a single bite of Mr. Grok's potato paratha and then some cheese. Lunch was more leftover roast pork. I'll be glad when that's gone.

We waited until 6:00 pm to leave for the event, even though gates opened at 4:30. No way am I going out in that excessive heat until the sun is going down. You know what? It's still miserable.

Our tickets give us a free meal. My choices are bbq brisket (full of fat, the white gristly kind, ick!), bbq chicken, hamburger, or hot dog. I go with the hamburger. Probably not very high quality, but it's easy, and the lines are long. Grokster does not like standing in line in the heat. I don't blame him, but it's not socially acceptable for a grown woman to pout and run around and cut in line.

Included with the burger is a bag of chips. hrm. Okay.

Drinks are free but they're at a separate cart with another long line. I don't see bottled water there anywhere. You're kidding me. It's 109 degrees and no water? I can't even find water stations. (Later, I did find the water stations. They had cold water and those itty bitty wimpy paper cones. No cups you could actually carry around and sit on the table to go with your meal). So I picked the lemonade to drink. At least it was cold, and right then, that's what mattered most. My other choices were sugary sodas and a diet coke. I despise diet coke. Can't stand the taste of any colas. So I grimace and drink my HFCS lemonade from a can.

We walked around a bit afterward at the exhibits, got our picture taken in front of a space shuttle backdrop, and let the Grokster run through a tunnel for about 30 minutes. It had maybe cooled off to 102 when the sun went down. We're not cut out for this heat.

So we all broke down and got an ice cream together and sat down to eat it. It was funny watching Grokster try to eat his ice cream bar while it was melting and dripping. He did pretty good. Only a little bit ended up on his shirt. THat's when we finally found the water coolers with the itty bitty paper cones, so we could at least wash his fingers and face.

I think my body was still in sugar burning mode, because eating the bun and sugary drink and ice cream didn't bother me at all. No sugar rush, no sugar crash, no real indigestion or heart burn. That's probably not a good thing. Means it's really easy for me to fall back into bad habits with no immediate consequences.

So I ended up with 2 non- paleo meals for the month, when I meant to have zero, or at most 1, after I found out about the (mostly mandatory) office dinner party.

Maybe if my blood work had been scheduled for the week after this weekend, instead of earlier this week, I would have found the will power to resist the bread, cheesecake, wine and ice cream. I suppose I could have. It seems like once I make one allowance, it's all too easy to keep making allowances, to tell myself that I already fell off the wagon, so why not have a donut for breakfast today, and I'll start again tomorrow. (That was seriously my thought for Sunday morning, but I resisted.) I guess I'm an all or nothing kind of girl. Makes it hard when you can't stick to the all part.

Exercise: running after Grokster in the heat. Ugh. Okay, so maybe sauntered after him would be a better description.

Day 26 - August 26

Our office is having a huge dinner party tonight for the Taste of Houston event. We're getting together with our contractors to go to Perry's Italian Restaurant for their special menu. So to get ready, I'm being good and had a good breakfast and lunch of paleo. Eggs in the morning, and leftover cauliflower for lunch. They want to eat dinner so early that I don't want to eat much for lunch and then be too full to enjoy dinner.

The Grokster is spending the evening at a neighbor's house with a playmate, so it's just the two of us. Perry's is not the sort of place you bring a 2-year old. Nope.

We get there, and I just know it's going to be a bad night. They have fresh bread and seasoned olive oil on the table. I already know I'm going to let myself have dessert because the menu is prix fix and consists of salad, entree and dessert. So I figure I can have a slice of bread. I have 2 and a half slices.

Then a friend and I agree to split a bottle of wine. I had only thought about getting a glass, but we got there early enough that it was still happy hour, and the bottle was half price. For the cost of a glass, I got a half bottle, and it was a great wine. Conundrum, a semi-sweet white California blend. I'm not a big wine drinking, but this was nice.

I could tell that I haven't been drinking in 6 weeks, because the wine hit me big time. I was completely toasted after 2 glasses. How sad is that?

Anyway, dinner was fantastic. I had the pear salad, and then I tried to pick the least carby entree. I selected the filet mignon with gorgonzola sauce and roasted potatoes. I only had about 5 pieces of potatoes. But what did me in was the dessert. I ordered the white chocolate cheesecake. Oh, wow, was it delicious. It's the sort of thing where you're full. You know you're full, and you're getting uncomfortably full, but it tastes so good that you can't stop. And the fact that I hadn't had dessert in over a month (a real dessert, not a paleo knockoff with coconut milk and almond butter) made it impossible for me to stop half way through.

It was delicious. But I paid for it. I couldn't drive home, and sitting in the passenger seat, I felt almost nauseous with the amount of food and wine, and I guess the sugar crash hitting me. I really felt uncomfortably full all evening long.

I won't say I regretted it, because I didn't. But it really pointed out to me how unhealthy a typical meal like that is. And how really unhealthy it is to eat like that every day. Now I didn't eat a big meal like that, and I certainly never drank very frequently. But I did have some sort of dessert almost every day, and sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. Now I just have to remember how bad it makes me feel to eat that way.

Day 22 - August 22

Blood work day. I have my annual physical scheduled for today. That means fasting for 12 hours. With the paleo diet, it's not so bad fasting. I get a little hungry, but it's not the horrible, stomach-gnawing, nauseous hungry I used to get. Had my blood drawn, but I have to wait a whole month before I can see the results. Boo.

(Yes, I'm writing this 2 weeks later, so I can't remember what I ate. But I do know it was at least 90% compliant. I use that because I may have allowed myself a single bite of toast with local honey, or a taste of the sourdough croutons I was making this week, but I only had one bad meal the whole month. I'll admit to it when I get to it.)