Charlie Sheen and a Sno-Cone syrup flavor, that's probably a good thing.
What I did get:
Amazing sleep. AND occasional naps. My body wanted to sleep. I let it sleep. This tapered off a bit toward the end.
Weight loss- although that didn't come until super-late in the game. 5 lbs, and a 2% drop in bodyfat (according to my Tanita scale).
Lovely skin- Something I have always fought with. I had one minor breakout (yay, hormones!) in the 30 days. The rosacea has been gone since I gave up wheat a few years ago, but I still always had reddish patches around my nose and between my eyebrows, and I was religious about concealer. After about a week, those slowly began to fade into oblivion. The W30 marks the first time I have ever regularly and voluntarily, gone outside without any makeup on. Because I felt like I didn't need it. That's huge, for me.
Another crazy thing: I have a small raised scar on my right forearm: a definitive bump, about 1/8 inch in diameter. Since I got it, nearly 10 years ago, it's always been the attractive purplish color of scar tissue, and I hate it. Standing at my desk and typing about 2 weeks in, I noticed that my scar had flattened out considerably, and faded to a less-noticeable pinkish color. I posted something about it on the Whole 30 forum, and evidently, I am not alone. That blew my mind!
Cravings- gone, with caveats. My tastes changed. There were lots of things (like iced tea) that I would dump stevia into automatically. I learned to drink stuff that was more naturally pleasant-tasting, (passion tea, as opposed to green tea) or just stick with water. After the first two weeks, I was perfectly happy with the unsweetened versions of the stuff I used to add stevia to. I also became obsessed with produce.
Energy- It wasn't until the very end, but I WANT to exercise- something that has never really been high on my priority list. My gift to myself for finishing was a pair of runners and a pair of cross-trainers in fun colors. Bonus: SG wanted a FitBit, and wanted me to get one too. I lost mine long ago, so I insisted I get the new FitBit Flex: which is a bracelet. So it's much harder to lose. I guess it's just been released, and Amazon and Best Buy were sold out. After deliberating further and going over reviews, I got the Jawbone Up instead. The best part is, I had enough reward points at Best Buy to make it practically free. I am enjoying it quite a bit! (And to be honest, it looks cooler than the Fitbit bracelet.)
Perspective- All those little things add up. After saying, "What the hell, it's not like I am going to lose weight, I am just glad I am going to be healthy, yes, I'd like truffle fries with that bunless cheeseburger" I have figured out that I can still be flexible- but within parameters. If I am going to indulge, it will be with cheese, or with eating fries that aren't fried in an ideal oil (although that should be the next thing to go out the window). My ice cream fixation seems to be conquered, which is something of a miracle. Sugar is finally out, although I may indulge in Paleo treats on special occasions, like holidays.
As it was, SG begged me to make The Domestic Man's Skillet Pizza last night. The thing is full of cheese- and butter. And a ton of starchy tapioca flour. And sure enough, I cooked it, and it was delicious. But immediately afterward, I felt a strange "heavy" sensation in my stomach. That didn't stop me from eating the leftovers before I went to bed. And this morning, I feel kind of gross. Duly noted.
Friday, May 10, 2013
Thursday, April 25, 2013
I think my body is doing something different- and I am hoping that means it is healing. It also means that my previous indulgences, in the form of cheese and occasional sugar (most of which snuck in over the holidays, and stayed around as a crutch during the crazy moving and remodeling process), are just going to have to go- pretty much forever.
Confession time: I haven't been "obeying" the W30 stricture about weighing. (I do plan to do before and after measurements, though.) I know this is supposed to save frustration, etc, but since I have been living Primal/Paleo for 4 years now and not lost a significant amount of weight, I figured I am used to it, and could handle it. I wouldn't give up, no matter what the scale said.
And the scale said, "Oh Hi! You still weigh the same amount you did yesterday/last week/on Day 1!" Poop. Still, I know I feel better. And I have been sleeping a LOT- the deep, satisfying, wonderful kind of sleep. I am just doing my best to listen to my body, on the off chance that it is finally able to fix whatever the heck is wrong with it.
Last night, I noticed something odd.
I've had a raised bump of scarring on my right forearm for the last 7-8 years. It's small- about 1/8 inch in diameter, probably the result of a mosquito bite that I scratched. It sticks up quite a bit, and is purplish and shiny, and I hate it.
While trying away at the computer last night, I glanced down, and realized that my scar is suddenly closer to my skin color, and is noticeably flatter. This seemed nuts to me. I tried to google it, and got a lot of info on HOW to flatten raised scars. Most of them mentioned silicone patches, laser surgery, and unguents. Dietary change wasn't mentioned AT ALL. So I hopped over to the Whole 30 forums, and asked around. So far, two other women (with larger scars than mine) have responded to say that they noticed the same thing, and they both agree with my thoughts on the matter: that it probably has to do with the reduction of inflammation in our bodies. That's- well, it's freaking amazing, honestly.
And then I woke up this morning, hopped on the scale, and it's finally moving in the right direction. YES. I am hoping that this is the beginning of something new for me.
12 days left!
Thursday, April 11, 2013
While I was stirring the ghee, I threw some artichokes and sweet potatoes into the oven to roast. The potatoes just got stabbed a few times and thrown in on a cookie sheet: no foil, no nothing. I invested more time in the artichokes- peeling garlic cloves and drizzling olive oil on top, then sprinkling with sea salt.
While everything else worked out great, I suspect the oven temp was too high for my poor artichokes, and they had shriveled into sad little leathery pods by the time I bothered to check on them, halfway through the bake time listed on the recipe. I ended up having to throw the poor little crispy critters out- burnt on the outside, raw on the inside. I am going to blame the recipe I followed for that one.
Another Whole 30 quirk: it seems to be a well-known fact that around days 3 and 4, people complain of tiredness. Both yesterday and today, I woke up feeling great, and raring to go. Then around lunch time, I would sit down and ...Zzzzzzzzzzzzz. Involuntary naps, both days. I haven't noticed the shorter fuse that other people talk about, though. It's been relatively easy so far- but then, I haven't made a very drastic change, and didn't do the crazy "last supper" that most people do beforehand. We will see what happens this weekend: I am going out of town with one of my buddies, and I am hoping to stick with it the whole time!
Other, more pleasant side effects: my skin looks awesome. I swear, I look younger. I am also automatically paying more attention to the ingredients in packaged foods, out of necessity- something that everyone starts out with in the beginning, but after a couple of years of this, I have been on auto pilot. The only dairy I was consuming before was occasional ice cream, ditto Greek yogurt, and cheese and butter. I would also occasionally have a sugary treat. My sleep has been so much better, I am thinking that I will feel better if I emerge from this with a stricter interpretation- closer to Paleo than Primal. I hate the thought of ditching dairy altogether though!
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
SG let the dogs out for a constitutional around midnight. Usually they can make it through the night with no problem, but they began making a racket at 5AM, so he let them out again. I didn't wake up for that one. I woke up for the next one at around 9.
Evidently, the yoga mats I had laid out in order to do my situps and pushups had been defiled. Which is pretty smart for dogs- they knew pooping on the new laminate floors was verboten, so they improvised. Each used a different end of the mat. Let's hear it for teamwork!
SG was kind enough to clean it up before I got out of bed. The house smells really strongly of Method pink grapefruit all-purpose cleaner. The mat in question is still outside on the patio, after being hosed off- awaiting a spin through the sanitizing feature on my new washer. The doggies are outside too. They aren't happy about it, and are much more vocal about their displeasure than the yoga mat.
I still haven't done my situps. Can you blame me?
Day 2 of the Whole 30 is going well so far. There have been a few near-misses- one having to do with a habit I didn't even realize I had, grazing out of the bag of chocolate chips. Every time I'd see that bag, I would grab a few- which adds up. I ended up putting the bag where I could no longer see it, and voila! One problem solved. Earlier today, SG offered me an Altoid, and I almost took it- then I remembered, not ok.
Other than that, I feel good. I am glad I have a bunch of compliant food "in reserve"- I would much rather not cook or go shopping while I am getting into the groove. From what I have read about it, Days 3-4 tend to be pretty rough. Changing my habits is hard, but do-able. I am realizing just how much I relied on stevia, and recognizing the areas where I had backslid. I am drinking a lot more water too, in place of all the tea (hot and iced) that I used to drink.
Monday, April 8, 2013
|It was probably a mistake to use this picture- *drool*|
Oh scale. I didn't miss you, and the 5 months I spent without you have been lovely. But of course, SG has been losing weight effortlessly, and he wanted to program the thing and see how he was doing. Suddenly, he was in our bedroom, exhorting me to step on. "I put in your age and height- just step on, I won't look!" he promised.
I stepped on. And I have gained 10 lbs.
Cue horror. And then bewilderment because...just where the heck have I put it? My pants still seem to fit fine, and my tummy is actually flatter than it was before. I am not even going to turn to that old saw, gaining muscle mass, because it's not like I have been pumping iron. So....
Out came the measuring tape. Mystery solved. All 10 lbs. seem to have migrated south for the winter. My hips, butt and thighs, which I have never worried about (unlike pretty much seemingly every other women in the free world) have both gained at least an inch. Yeah, okay, my tummy and waist are both smaller, which is supposedly healthier. I will take it as an indicator that things are evening out. But I spent most of the evening feeling dejected. I've been so happy to just maintain, and I have to admit that a. I've been lazy and stressed, and my diet has shown that, and b. it's been time to step it up. For a long time. And I haven't done it. And it's time.
So this morning, I wrote all the measurements down, and I stepped on the scale and wrote that number down, and I went to the Whole 30 website and re-read the pertinent parts of the corresponding book. I evidently bought the thing in September- following one truly awful and stressful period of my life, only to jump into another horrible and stressful event after that. And even though I am still dealing with the aftermath of that- No more excuses. Enough!!! If I am going down in flames, I am going to look and feel spectacular doing it, dammit.
Today I made chicken soup and Curried chicken apple salad, unpacked more boxes (blessedly scale-free) and did some pushups and sit-ups. The goal is to go for a run one day this week, and get some active time in every day. I think the hardest parts will be avoiding the scale for a month, and cutting out stevia, of all things. I am also not thrilled about having to turn the Kerrygold into ghee, which is on the list for tomorrow. And I admit, I will miss cheese. ("and this ashtray....and this-") But I need to know I can do this.
Breakfast/Lunch: curried chicken apple salad, carrots, cucumber slices
Dinner: homemade chicken soup
Enough chicken for one day. I think eggs and bacon are on for tomorrow!
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
If there's a bunch of trauma and turmoil, it needs happiness at the end to make it worthwhile for the reader. While I admit, happiness has been in short supply, at least we are working our way back to a point where every day is relatively normal. Knock on wood!
So we have spent the last three months cleaning up the shambles the renters made of our house, getting back into routines after the move, and dealing with the reality of living and staying Paleo- on a rapidly diminishing budget, while we both looked for jobs.
The good part is, I love my revamped home, particularly the kitchen. We are eating out a lot less, and we are a lot more active. SG has gone from 60/40 to 80/20 Paleo, and immediately lost his seasonal allergies and a good portion of his spare tire. He's heading back into the military, to get his retirement in 6 years, and get into a field that I know he will be great at!
Since the scale is still packed away somewhere, I hesitate to make any wild claims about my personal situation, but I have noticed that my own tummy seems to be flattening out a bit, my hormones are calming down (I think all that stress did a number on me), and my face is not as puffy. And I have a promising-looking job interview tomorrow. Hooray!
The bad part: when you are faced with little money coming in, working full-time on remodeling your own house, dealing with insane tenants who claim that they cleaned, so they want their entire security deposit back, and carrying a property that isn't selling, you have to take a look at your rapidly shrinking bank account and decide that something's gotta give. Which leads me to the chicken.
Confession time: We'd stockpiled a freezer full of pastured stuff from Tara Firma Farms, which we brought with us when we moved. But as of a couple of weeks ago, we'd reached the end of it, and were at Costco. And we needed chicken.
Now, they have good quality chickens at Costco. We've bought the organic ones from them before. But they are at least double the price of Foster Farms. After a lot of hemming and hawing, I decided it was time to suck it up, and get the "regular" chicken. And yes, I felt guilty.
Yesterday, I did my usual thing: Crockpot "roasted" chicken. I used all the same seasonings. And yet...
It just wasn't the same. I know the chicken hadn't gone bad, but what typically is a delicious roast chicken odor was underlaid with something- off. And eating it was off too: it seemed really bland, but gamy. And there was a staggering amount of fat in the bottom of the crock. I thought I was just being a weirdo, until SG commented: "Don't take this personally, but did you do something different to the chicken? It tasted a little weird."
I think we've been converted. We'll just eat less meat, but the better quality stuff.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
I have been a bad blogger.
I’ve basically been in survival mode for so long, any kind of additional contact with the outside world has been enough to send me into a tailspin. In the last four months, I’ve dealt with a move, the realization that we were going to move before my husband got a job, the prospect of both of us moving back in with my parents temporarily until the renters vacated our house- and then getting the house back, and realizing that the renters had trashed it, so we would be having to do massive reno to it (out of our savings, with no money coming in, and no sure way of getting money from the renters, OMG OMG we’re all gonna die)before we could get back into it. On top of that, illness, catch-as-catch- can eating, emotional, hormonal and medical nightmares, (I’ll spare you) seemingly infinite amounts of what can only be called bad luck, and crazy-insane amounts of stress.
It was like the world’s most depressing, lengthy Russian novel- a forced march to the end, and it was my life. It seemed like every day, there was a lower level to be reached on my personal Downward Spiral of Doom. I couldn’t deal with anything that wasn’t absolutely essential to day-to-day survival. And telling people what I was going through made my heart quail within me. I am not good at asking for help. I am usually that person who is there for others. I despise being needy or flaky, and for awhile there, I was both.
My husband, who is usually my rock, was in survival mode right along with me, going through all the same stuff. Discussing the status quo sparked huge, horrible arguments, and toward the end, it had been like being in the garbage bay in the belly of The Death Star- That scene where there’s something with tentacles under the water, AND the walls are closing in, except we were too paralyzed to do anything about it. The thought of writing about this process, day by day, was mind-numbing. Who wants to read about this crap? We were obviously cursed. There was nothing to do but get eaten or drowned or crushed quietly.
But then, you know, the sun came out. We managed to make some progress on the house- found the world’s most awesome and reasonably priced contractor. We are going to end up doing a lot of the work ourselves, but that’s the only way it can get done, so we are doing it. We scraped the “cottage cheese” off the ceilings and are capable of painting and taping drywall and installing laminate and stuff like that, and hey, we have the time. We will finally have something close to the house we envisioned when we moved into it 10 years ago. So I suppose (and hope) that what was initially a horrible situation has turned out to be a bit of a blessing in disguise, in the form of giving us some much needed opportunities to attain some forward momentum.
Accepting and admitting that the last few months have been a nightmare is oddly, one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I want to own these trials and tribulations, and make them something that I chose, or the result of crappy decisions I made. The reality is, in some cases, this is true. But the worst of it is just a shining example of “sometimes crappy things happen to good people”. I have to stop beating myself up over feeling sorry for myself, because it’s completely counter-productive. I feel like it’s a story I read: something that happened to somebody else.
I finally put it all together for a few of my closest friends. I could only bring myself to talk about it if I didn’t make eye contact with anyone, because if I saw the sympathetic expression on anybody’s face, I would totally have lost it. Of course, they were furious with me, for not asking for help while I fought a crazy three/four front war. They’ve all volunteered to come help us paint. And as horrible as it was to convey what we were going through, I feel like it was a crucial step in helping me to move past it.
SG and I got up early and went for a walk yesterday AM with the doggies. (I’ve got the sunburn to prove it! Holy crap, I have turned into Dracula.) And slowly but surely, we are adapting. Cooking in someone else’s kitchen is not easy, but I am getting the hang of it. My father, a noted squash-hater of many, many years, agreed to try my spaghetti squash with bison and vodka sauce last night. He ended up eating a big bowlful of it, and pronounced it “delicious”. I am so proud!
At the bottom of it all, I am lucky. I have incredibly supportive family, parents, and in-laws. Having friends again since I moved back home makes my heart light up with joy. I missed the friendliness of my hometown so very much. SG has several job interviews coming up, after months of applying for jobs and never getting so much as a call back. I am finally able to have a productive day that doesn’t involve a nervous breakdown. I know we are on the brink of something- if there’s anything to karma, it’s something good. Fingers crossed.