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The Story of the Past Month (part 1)

WordPress tells me that my last post was on July 27th. So that tells me it’s been  about a month since I posted here. I didn’t really intend on taking this long of a hiatus, but I was expecting to be gone for a while.  Lots of very exciting things happened, but I will focus a bit on the challenges I faced towards the end of the summer, and why I took a step back from meticulous recordings of my progress.

Towards the end of my internship, something bad began to happen. I began weighing myself every morning, sometimes more than once. Every morning the scale read 150, and every morning I started out upset. Not visibly so, but in the back of my mind that number sat. Because of this, one of two things would happen. I would either cheat on paleo (less often), or I would start to feel guilty about eating (more often). No matter what I ate, or how I ate it, I was feeling bad. I ate too much not enough, the wrong kind of meat, not enough veggies, etc. No matter what I did, I felt bad for eating.

Needless to say, this wasn’t exactly healthy. I talked with Anthony (fiance) about it the first couple of days of August, and we decided a good way to cut off this cycle was to stop weighing myself. Completely. We set an arbitrary date at which I would be allowed to weigh myself again — after my belt test on September 10th.

My friend David, traipsing around to take pictures in Chicago.

I pretty much immediately started to feel better. Much in the same way that weighing myself a day before my weigh-in during the first part of my journey would get me down that day, I didn’t really realize how much weighing myself in the mornings was putting a dampener on my moods and self-esteem for that day.  I stuck with paleo more easily, and it just became a lifestyle instead of something that was a chore.

I also stopped working out, though that had happened a couple of weeks before Anthony and I decided it would be a good idea to stop weighing myself. Much in the same way that weighing myself every day was bringing down my self-esteem, so was attempting to do TKD by myself. I find it is very similar to when I would work out, or run. If I was doing it out of obligation and there was no fun in it, then it was just a chore.  Not only was it a chore but it was one that magnified my faults. Everything I was doing wrong seemed magnified and frustrated me more than it might have normally. It ate at my confidence, and brought me down further.

I really needed to take care of myself mentally, especially since the stress of going from Chicago to DC for a seminar and then back to Atlanta was mounting. Not to mention that I had two great friends, both of which are paleo, were coming to see me. I wanted to relax and do what felt natural (which paleo does, much of the time), and enjoy my time with them.

Real women leave the crust

Finally, I gave Intermittent Fasting a try. I can’t remember precisely when I started, but for a few weeks I didn’t eat on Sundays or Thursdays (well, skipping breakfast and lunch). It was an interesting experience, but I have discontinued it for now. I would probably do IF during the periods in which I can’t exercise, if I was still trying to lose weight the next time I had such a period.  It’s up for grabs, but it is something that I tried.

With those adjustments made during my last weeks of my internship, I packed up my stuff and said a very sad goodbye to Chicago.

Goodbye, Chicago!


I’m still here.

This is me, doing pushups this morning:


So, yeah. I’m still here. I’m still paleo. Here’s the sitch:

My period hit me pretty hard this weekend, so I didn’t get a chance to write up a bunch of posts like I usually do. In addition to that, I am busy preparing for visits from friends and packing up and getting ready to leave. The consequence of which is that this blog will take a hiatus for a few weeks. I will probably still post, but it will be more casually than anything.

I’m going to use that time to do some re-evaluating. What do I want? What am I working towards? And how best do I get there? I am unsure of all of these things at the moment, and need to take some time to figure them out.

I will probably post meta-explorations as I attempt to figure this out, but if you would like to keep up with me in more detail, I joined the community at nerdfitness. Here’s my intro post to give you an idea of what I am trying to accomplish.

Just doing some thinking. No big. 🙂



I do what I want

Sometimes I think that people choose to diet because they think that, once they get down to their goal weight, they will be like the skinny friends that they envy. That is, they’ll be able to eat whatever it is that they want and not get fat. Getting skinny is a way to get back to the lifestyle that they wanted to live.

I catch myself thinking that sometimes, that I won’t have to worry as much about the kinds of foods I eat once I get down to my goal weight. That I can have chicken tenders, lots of cheese, and pizza. In moderation, of course (yeah right).

There are lots of flaws with this thinking.

First of all, yes, there are lots of people who can eat whatever and however much that they want and not get fat. But those people are fewer and farther between than we think. Most thin people generally eat less and more often than heavier people. They also tend to eat better and have a better relationship with food. It is these things that help them maintain their thinness. The idea that they eat whenever and however they want is an illusion that we create around them.

We isolate the incidences we see of them chowing down on pizza and bread sticks with us, or the time they drink a keg at a party (gross), or how much popcorn they have at a movie. We notice these incidences of over-indulgence because they match up with our expectations of how they should eat. We miss the fact they eat about half of what heavier people do, eat a lot of things that are better for them, and don’t stress eat.

So this idea of the person who can eat whatever they want and not get fat is largely an illusion. Additionally, even if there were, it is clear that if you’re a person who has gotten to a point where your weight is a problem and you want to lose that weight, then you’re not one of those people. So, when you get down to your goal weight, you shouldn’t expect to eat like you did… cause that’s what got you fat in the first place.

It seems like a really obvious thing, but like I said, I’ve caught myself thinking about it too. Being skinny does not mean you get to eat whatever it is that you want.  Thinness is a function of eating better, and so it is illogical to assume that once you get thin, you’ll have the “magic” that those fabled “reckless eating thin people” do.

This is why we make lifestyle changes instead of going on “diets.” What you are doing, and should be doing, is adapting healthy habits of thin people, and keeping them to maintain thinness.

If I sound like I’m scolding, I am. I’m scolding myself for being an idiot.


On Frustrations and Chicken Soup

I’m sure many of you notice that my daily postings were interrupted yesterday. Many of you, I’m sure, kept a tab open of this blog and refreshed it every few hours, and every few hours you were disappointed. For that, my dear readers, I apologize.

Let me explain.

As I mentioned in my post the other day, I had a really bad night at TKD on Wednesday. Perhaps it was because I had eaten right before going or the fact that I hadn’t had enough water that day, but either way, my belt test is on Saturday (tomorrow — eep!) and it was not encouraging to have a bad day right before.

So I woke up yesterday morning, resolved to eat more calories (as I was convinced that was the issue). The only problem was that I wasn’t hungry. I scrambled up three eggs, as was my usual custom,  but I couldn’t eat them. I ditched them and tried eating the soup that I had made the night before and was still unsuccessful. I also tried to search for recipes to use to make a cooking list with, and was very unsuccessful at that.

It was at this point that I got so frustrated and stressed that I started cleaning my apartment.

Laugh if you will, but I have found that cleaning things is a good distraction when I am stressed/distressed/upset. So I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. Then, low and behold, my coach popped up on facebook and asked me how things were going. After a relatively short conversation, we decided that getting up to that magic 1300 mark isn’t necessary, and that I should just focus on eating when I’m hungry.

I do feel a lot better about that, though I am still going to the grocery store today, resolving to eat meat AND fruits/veggies with every  meal, and still trying to reset my sleep clock. Just because those are generally good things to do.

For some reason, I forgot my general philosophy: “trust your body.” Other than being generally overweight/obese, my body and I have a generally okay relationship, and it tells me what it needs, and generally I listen. I am not sure why I thought this would, could, or should be any different. My body hates eating when I get up, and if I do eat, I generally can’t eat protein — either fruit or bread. So that’s what I’m going to do.

Anyway, onto food.

Yesterday, as mentioned, I had maybe an egg and a half and a few spoonfuls of a new chicken soup that I made, in the morning. Around four I got hungry so I had two cups of the spicy tomato soup, which was uber tasty. Finally, around seven or eight I had half a pound of baked chicken and a magic salad.

So let’s introduce this soup I made.


Hello, my name is...

The other night I was grumpy and frustrated from TKD, not hungry  but needing to eat something, and most of what I had left was two pounds of chicken and some veggies.  I really didn’t want to have another baked-meat-with-marinade meal (as I’ve pretty  much been doing…), so after a couple hours (no, really) of hem-hawing, I decided to try and make soup.  I found a recipe online for chicken noodle soup and decided to change it up.

8 cups fat free chicken broth
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
3/4 cup chopped onions
2 cups (about 1 lb) diced, cooked chicken

Seasoned pepper, onion powder, to taste.

Cook the chicken in whatever way you would like (I generally pan-cook mine), seasoned with the garlic powder and seasoned pepper, or however you like.


The chicken eagerly awaits...

In large saucepan, bring broth and italian seasoning to a boil. Stir in celery, onion, and carrots. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

When veggies are tender, add chicken and cook till heated.

Number of Servings: 6

What the recipe doesn’t say, because I took it out, is that I added like… 1/6 of a cup of italian dressing to the soup.

I’m pretty sure, at this juncture, that that is what ruined it for me.

That and the spongy nature of the pan-fried chicken. It’s just… weird.

I will probably try to pawn it off on Anthony when he gets here, or perhaps Darcy would like it. We shall see, but I probably won’t have anymore.

FINALLY, I have been able to locate some recipes that look pretty good, on the site everyday paleo. I’ve got my grocery list worked out and I’m ready to go. So hopefully, that will work out very well. 🙂

Sorry for the long post — I had a bit on my mind.