I’m Being Assimilated

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I’ve exercised every day this week.

Every day.

I don’t know who I am anymore.

To further the mind-bending, I’ve wanted to workout. I’ve made time when there really wasn’t any. The walk to and from school with the kids isn’t enough. I’m craving that sore feeling, the ache in my abs that the fucking Pilates workout from HELL gives me, the burn in my thighs from the floor work, my stiff shoulder from the pushups. I’m reveling in the sweat pouring off me as I push an extra 5 minutes on the elliptical.

What the hell, people?

All this added protein and veggies is obviously messing with my head. I’m starting to suspect this Paleo plan is a covert plot to create a nation of super soldiers, slowly seducing us to the fit side. It’s been days since I joked about needing a donut. (Yes, that used to be a daily occurrence and no, it really wasn’t a joke.) The pile of discarded clothing gets larger every day. An opened bottle of wine has been sitting on my counter for 2 WEEKS!

Best yet, it doesn’t feel temporary. This is just what I do now. They have me in their sinister, lean muscled clutches. Shit.

I still have work to do. My fruit and nut intake is higher than it ought to be. We’re making plans to purchase a half a steer next April, so that we’re eating grass-fed beef. Finding pastured pork has been harder – I’m still looking for a local source. And paying $17/pound for sugar free, nitrate free bacon seems more and more logical. I dunno ; probably more of the protein-vitamin molecules blocking the neurons in my brain.

Don’t send help, chickens. I’m loving the dark (and fit) side.

Mental Health

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Aside from my elliptical workouts, I’ve started walking my son to school every morning. We live close enough to the kid’s school that I should have been doing this for the past four years, but I am lazy and we live on a hill, so…yeah.

When people find out I’m doing this, they are very enthusiastic.

“What a great way to get some extra exercise!”

“Jump start your metabolism in the morning! Way to go!”

“I bet you feel awesome.”

And I do. I smile and nod and let them believe it’s entirely fitness motivated.

Which is bullshit.

I walk my son to school so I don’t have to deal with the fuck-wits who drive their children to school. The middle school parents are the worst, but after the first week of watching idiots ignore traffic rules, the safety of others and plain old common sense, I’ve come to believe the seeds of middle-school-parent-fuckwittery are planted while their spawn are in the lower grades.

Christ on a cracker. Don’t stop in the drop off loop and walk your precious little drool bucket to the kindergarten door that is approximately 7 feet from your car. Park your Lexus and tend to your offspring without inconveniencing the rest of us.

Don’t follow the car in front of you out of driveway when someone has paused their progress to let that car out into traffic, especially if you are then blocking the road. Use your god damned company manners, ass hat.

And please, for the love of all that you find holy, don’t turn left when there are cones blocking the left side of the outlet and multiple signs saying NO LEFT TURN. Now we see why Junior isn’t reading at grade level.

But yeah – I’m walking for the health benefits.

 

Wallowing

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20 pounds gone.

20 pounds is a LOT of weight to lose in 2 months. I’ve worked hard and done a great job. My outlook has changed in fundamental ways.

Once again, I’ve cracked the 250 mark (you know, the one I SWORE I would never, ever revisit? Sigh.). I’m rapidly heading for 240. I’ve had to discard 2 of my favorite capri pants because they’re simply too big for me. The shirt I’m wearing today? This is the last day I’ll wear it as well. It’s too big.

That’s awesome.

I’m trying really hard to hold on to these little victories. I need to focus on the positive. If I don’t, I start thinking about the fact that even though I’m moving in the right direction and I’ve lost 20 freaking pounds, it’s only 1/7th of what I have to lose. 14% of the way there. 86% to go. When I think of that, I get really overwhelmed. I still have 120 pounds to lose. Oye.

I want it. I want it badly. But dude. It sucks to give yourself a cheat day and feel like the table full of men next to you are snickering as you eat the cheeseburger you have been longing for. They didn’t know this is the first day in 45 days that I have indulged myself to this extent. They didn’t know about the 20 pounds I’ve lost and the healthy foods I’ll eat for the next 45 days, with only tiny indulgences like 85% dark chocolate or paleo ice cream. Does it matter? No, not really. Fact is, they probably didn’t even notice me. Any censure I felt probably came from my own head.

I hate that I’ve put in all this work, but still can’t buy the clothes I really want to wear or sport a cute River Song costume this Halloween. I’ll get there, but I want something tangible, now.

But it’s worth the wait. It’s totally worth a year of my life, a year of sweat and sacrifice, of self-denial, to be healthy. To be hot. To be River Song.

If only I could just regenerate.

Guilt, Pressure and Betrayal

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Now what?

Finishing the Whole 30 feels a little anti-climactic, to be honest. I’ve reintroduced legumes, cheese and bits of gluten, as well as wine.

Red wine now gives me a splitting headache. Apparently, my sulfite tolerance is low. I can drink white wine, but only in small doses.

I don’t like peanut butter nearly as much as I thought I did. This is shocking to me.

Eating bread makes me feel sluggish. It also put 2 pounds back on me.

I can now eat 2 pieces of thin crust cheese pizza and be totally content. This is a dramatic difference. I even wished I’d stopped after one. Dude.

I cannot have chocolate chip cookies in the house. Hello, my name is Jennifer and I am a cookie addict. I only ate one though. (Okay, two.)

When I ate the cookie(s), my husband looked disappointed. Maybe. I probably created that look in my head. But he’s been going on and on about how proud he is of me, how I have a strength of will that I’ve never had before, how great my ass looks, etc. etc. etc. I know it’s meant to be supportive, but my GOD, the pressure. I feel it all the time now. Last night, I wandered through Target, starving, torturing myself by going down the candy aisle. Not masochism, just wondering if there was a brand of chocolate in their stock that I could eat. The answer is no, by the way.

Anyway, because the candy aisle wasn’t enough torture, I hit the frozen section. I was looking longingly at the frozen burritos when the fat chick that will always live inside of me whispered, “I could really go for a Taco Bell burrito right now.”

That bitch.

But I pictured my husband’s face. The betrayed hope. The head shake that he never, ever does, but that I can see nevertheless. How much of that is me, transferring my own guilt onto him? I honestly do not know.

Instead, I picked up a package of Apple Farms salami, which wasn’t strictly Paleo, but a treat. I ate half of it on the way home.

And today, I’m down a pound. Yay, me.

But I’m still wrestling with my guilt, my feeling of responsibility and need for my husband to be proud of me. Stuffing down the resentment caused by a single look I’m not even sure I read right. My head, it is a bizarre and troubled place sometimes. I’ll work through it, I know. (I think) But for now, it’s one foot in front of the other, trying not to look back at the delicious, indulgent, comfortable place I’ve left.

 

Day Thirty One – Whole 30

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Aaaahh.

I did it.

Now comes the part where I gradually reintroduce those pesky potential problem foods into my life. The book suggests starting with legumes, so today,  my banana will have peanut butter, instead of almond butter. (I’d rather have the almond butter).

I sort of don’t want to stop. I took off 17 pounds in the last 30 days. Considering I still have 110 to go, I’m loathe to run out and scarf a cheeseburger. Not to mention the fact that I’m fairly sure a cheeseburger would make me really sick.

Yesterday

Breakfast: Banana with almond butter

Lunch: Leftover salmon and grilled veggies. (The LAST of the grilled veggies. Epic sad face.)

Dinner: Burrito Bowls. I omitted the bell pepper, because I didn’t have any and used a pound of turkey instead of ground beef. I also used Muir Glen Fire Roasted diced tomatoes. I highly recommend this modification, those things are freakin’ delicious. These were not a big hit with the littles, but I loved them. I’ll definitely be making up some of these for quick lunches and breakfasts. Maybe with a little paleo friendly “sour cream.” And black beans. Because I can have those again. :)

Are you thinking about a Whole 30? It does sound daunting, I know. When I was contemplating it, giving up more than half the things that make up my diet felt like a stupid exercise in self punishment. I’m not into that sort of punishment. (Other forms are open to negotiation however. ) The first week was hard. You read a lot of labels. You search out a lot of crazy stuff. (Coconut Aminos? Fish Sauce?) But no joke, I feel better. I’ve enjoyed almost every dinner I’ve made during the last thirty days. And I’m a little shocked at how much refined flour and sugar I had to eliminate. That’s good. It’s always good to take a hard look at your diet and habits. There are always improvements to be made.

Try it. Give yourself 10 days. If it’s still feels impossible after 10 days, stick it out for one more. And then one more after that. At some point, it stops being torture, I promise. Just read those labels! Sugar and chemicals are sneaky little bastards.

Give It Starts With Food a read and see what you think. And then come back and tell me your thoughts. I’d love to know – good or bad.

Day Twenty-Six – Whole 30

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Less than a week from the finish line and I’ve lost sight of it.

No. I didn’t give up. Actually, it’s the opposite. Eating this feels so normal now, I’m not really thinking about the end anymore. I imagined myself ticking off the days, hashmarks on my wall, à la Orange is the New Black. But no. I actually had to go back and count my days on a calendar in order to title this post.

I feel good. My favorite pants are so loose I can easily pull them off without unbuttoning them. They were comfortably snug before this, but I am swimming in them now.

It’s hard for me to sit still now. Instead of struggling to get up and do something, I find myself flitting around the house, picking up, doing small chores. It’s a change, for sure.

I’m looking to the future now. I may ask Santa for good running shoes and a quality running bra, because I want to take up running. Crazy, I know.

No pictures, this go around. I flatly refuse to take pictures of my food in public. And the rest of the time, I’m hungry and don’t think about a picture until the meal is half gone.

Day 24: This should have been a hard day. I was at a writing workshop all day. I ignored the muffins and pastries at breakfast. I didn’t even bat an eye at the sandwiches and pasta salads offered at lunch. My cocktail at a friend’s birthday party was virgin, I abstained from the sushi rolls and even chose fruit over the delicious looking chocolate roll cake my friend Andrea made. Andrea is a talented baker and to not cry when being denied one of her treats is heroic indeed.

A Lara bar and a small cup of black coffee.

Zucchini spears wrapped with proscuitto, tomato chunks and iced tea.

Sashimi and a non-alcoholic juice cocktail with a touch of basil that was magical. MAGICAL. Strawberries for dessert.

Day 25: An easy day. I stuck close to home, exhausted from being out all day the day before.

Baked sweet potato and a fried egg

Leftover almond breaded chicken and ranch dressing.

Tropical Flank Steak with grilled vegetables; mushrooms, a red onion, zucchini and sweet peppers, cut into chunks, tossed in olive oil and a bit of salt, then grilled in a grill basket. The veggies were awesome as always. I made a huge batch, because I wanted plenty leftover. The flank steak was good, but next time, I’ll add a tablespoon of fish sauce to the marinade. It needed something.

Day 26: Typical day – shoving the kids out the door, tending the baby, doing a little housework, because what the hell, right?

2 hardboiled eggs and a bowl of grilled veggies with a quarter of an avocado sliced into it.

Leftover flank steak and grilled veggies. (They are that freakin’ good. I promise.)

Blackberries and a spoonful of almond butter.

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa and a herbed salad with tomatoes and Awesome Sauce for dressing. The salmon recipe is superb. I’m glad my kids refused to eat it. More for me, suckers.

Day Twenty-Three – Whole 30

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One more week.

I’m totally having a donut next Friday. Just so you know.

Developments

* Joint pain is back, but only about half of what it was and only if I work out.

*Sleep is gradually improving. I think if I just stopped reading on my iPad before bed, it would get dramatically better.

*Black coffee is not the horror I believed it to be.

*Cucumbers and cabbage are NOT kind to my tummy.

*I can’t quit thinking about running. Which is ridiculous. But still.

*I’m totally ignoring the no scale restriction. Seeing weight loss (even though that hasn’t been my primary motivation) has kept me on track. 15 pounds gone. DO NOT BE ALARMED. When a very heavy person starts a new eating plan, it’s typical to see large losses up front. It will plateau into a more gradual loss as I go on. I am consuming plenty of food.

Have you been going through crappy picture withdrawal? You have? Well, I have a fix for you!

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Last night’s dinner. Paleo Ranch chicken from Nutrish by Lish.  Delicious, but I recommend buying almond flour and not trying to make it. HUGE pain in the patoot. Steamed zucchini and sparkling water with a dollop of blurry on the side.

 

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BLACK COFFEE BECAUSE I AM A GROWN UP. AND STUDLY. AND POSSIBLY TOO IMPRESSED WITH MYSELF.

 

 

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Breakfast this morning. Soft boiled eggs, steamed zucchini and blackberries with a bit of coconut cream.

Earlier in the week, I made Damned Fine Chicken from Nom Nom Paleo. It was fine, but I don’t know about damned fine. I’ve been eating a lot of shrimp, because I can’t stop eating almond butter and bananas. I’m trying to balance the omega 6 from the almonds with the omega 3 from the shrimp. We also had burgers, seasoned with dry mustard, coconut aminos and paprika. Very good stuff. Very good indeed.

As I continue with this, I’m starting to feel much more comfortable with creating my own dinners, branching out and experimenting. I still do a lot of internet searching for recipes, but I’m not as reluctant to take a non-compliant recipe and alter it. This bodes well for future meals. I’ve also learned to buy and cook way more veggies than I think I’ll need. The leftovers come in very handy for breakfasts and lunches.

Anybody out there inspired to brave a Whole 30?