Posts Tagged ‘paleo


The great evil

It’s been over 2 months since I started the whole paleo adventure. Weight is still down … in fact, it hovers around 200-203, which is what I would hover around when I was eating shabbily and mountain biking or riding Rails-to-Trails several times a week. Also, this is at a time when I’m not actually working out too hard, as I seemed to have injured my rotator cuff. So, I’m still kind of  psyched for the upcoming warm weather when my shoulder is better and I can start riding often.

The other day, I was wondering what I could do better in my eating habits. Technically, February was full of fail — from Valentine’s Day sweets to a Girl Scout cookie binge that left my body crushed by my stomach’s soul happy — and I found myself wondering what I could do to break this plateau I was on and get back on track.

As fate would have it, I ran into another paleo eater, and as we chatted, she posed an interesting question: “Are you pro- or anti-potato?”

To me, this should be a dumb question — potatoes would be a “whole food,” not a grain or dairy. It was already a staple of my “new” diet. But then I did a little research, and was appalled.

Not so much about the potato. About people in general.

Apparently the potato is a great source of discontent. Some say it’s fine, others say they are a starch-filled death, while a third group was like “in moderation.” Some quoted chemists. others quoted archaeologists — and it was maddening. They argued acids, talked about “toxins in the peels,” and for someone who wanted a simple answer, it was all just blah blah blah.

To put things into perspective, this would be like trying to find ways to be a better Christian, and stumbling into a forum of Catholics and Protestants arguing over the word “devout,” with one person quoting the Pope, another quoting Martin Luther, and a third saying, “You have to do what you feel is right in your heart.”

I opted to throw the whole argument out the window and stay off paleo sites, as it’s just another way for people to try and make themselves stand out or feel superior to others. I found thats a level of paleo snobbery I never want to reach — in fact, probably 9o% of these folks would tell me that I’m not eating paleo at all. Whatever. I’m happy about how I feel and am looking.

But just for kicks and giggles, I’ve decided to reduce my potato intake and eventually drop them from my diet for like a month to see what happens. I mean, it’s not like they won’t be around later on, and at the very least, I can satisfy my curiosity.

Just one more step on a long journey, I suppose …


Week 4: The Big Cheat

Because, well, they do.

By this time, I pretty much have myself in a goove when it comes to my eating.

Groove. Maybe rut. Whatever.

Paleo gets along great with my body. I eat a lot. I feel good. I miss bread and cheese, but I know it’s a mental thing, not a physical craving. And I’ve found I like some new things that I’ve never had before … like almond milk. I drink that stuff like crazy.

Now, if there’s one lesson that life has taught me, it’s that shit happens. In the paleo world, that was last weekend. It wasn’t like I had unstoppable cravings, or that I couldn’t make better choices … it was I just really wanted some bad food. I didn’t go the fast-food route (bitch please, I got SOME dignity), but I did have the worst cheat meals that I’ve had since I’ve started this adventure.

EXPECTATIONS: Honestly, I expected to hover in terms of weight. Adding muscle, dropping fat … if I dropped anything, I’d pretty much call it a miracle. So, my goals were to work out hard, eat like the new normal, and let things go from there.

CHEATS: BIG CHEATS this week. Went to Primanti’s cause I was jonesing for a giant fish sandwich. I didn’t eat the bread or cheese, but the fish was breaded, as were the wings I had with it. Next day, breaded wings (again … hey man, it’s hockey season). Late that night, a couple slices of Fiori’s pizza (the big no no — flour and cheese!).

OBSERVATIONS: From what I’ve read from other paleo people, when you cheat, your body should swell up and baby aliens should shoot out of your chest and face … and after you die, your soul goes to paleo hell, in which you are judged by a tribe of cavemen who will put you into a Dorito taco and feed you to raptors for all eternity.

Well, those things didn’t come to pass (yet). But here’s what I did notice:

  1. My sinuses almost immediately jammed up. I didn’t think about this … but I haven’t used my neti pot since I’ve gone paleo. Normally this squirrelly warm-cold-warm-cold weather should have me stuffed up and having sinus headaches galore. I only actually NOTICED getting stuffy after I ate the breading.
  2. The pizza produced the same sinus bomb, and in addition, I got a tightening in my gut that felt like a ball was there. It wasn’t agonizing or anything … just noticeable … and that feeling was gone by morning.  

Everything went back to normal as soon as I ate paleo again — but yeah, now I know why I felt so shitty for so long — keep eating all the bad stuff day in and day out, and you never get a chance to “feel right.”

RESULTS: 205.4. Dropping like a pound a week would be cool in my book. That would put me around 200 for the start of my mountain biking season, which means by mid summer, I’d probably end up in the low 190s. I honestly can’t remember the last time I would was that weight … maybe like 10 years ago, when I was hardcore riding daily.

OVERALL: I’m just in a “plugging away” kind of mode. Learned the valuable lesson that a treat here and there won’t kill you, but does have effects. But yeah, still planning on plugging away through March and into summer. It’s just too easy to eat like this, and I can’t argue with the benefits — but posts about it will likely be bi-weekly or monthly or when I hit what I feel is a milestone of sorts, like “Hey! I’m under 200!” or “Hey, I can fit into a smaller pants size!”


Week 2: Gaining my feet

With the first week of eating paleo down, I decided it was time to get back to the gym.

At first, I thought I’d stick to my normal weight-training regime … I’d start off with a week of light weights to see how everything felt, and then I’d gradually move on to heavier stuff in the upcoming weeks. On Tuesday, out of curiosity, I asked one of the gym attendants if the spinning and yoga classes had been filled up by resolutioners. She said, oddly enough, that the classes in the afternoon had been smaller than normal as of late. This gave me an idea.

This has nothing to do with this post. I just thought it was funny.

I decided I would try lifting MWF, do spinning and yoga on T-Th, take Saturday as a rest day, and possibly take a kettle ball class on Sunday. This way, I could get a lot of variety and cardio training in while waiting for mountain biking season to start. However, I am a little worried that I will overtrain. So, we’ll see how it goes.

Tuesday was also the day were I strained a tendon in the back of my neck, so I opted to hold off on all of these grand plans until next week.

The other thing I’m doing differently? I started drinking coffee. I know it sounds weird, especially since I’ve been working nights for almost 20 years — but I had a hankering for it. So, I now have coffee before working out.

Week 2. Here’s my thoughts going into it:

EXPECTATIONS: With last week’s 5 lbs drop, I don’t know what to expect. Weight wise, it’s dropping much faster than anticipated. On one hand, I am still thinking a 2-3 lb drop will be the norm — but on the other, I’m in uncharted territory. Exercise will certainly help drop weight, but I’ll be starting to put on muscle mass again, which will drive my weight up.

If I have to guess, I’ll say I’ll end up at a solid 206 by the next weigh in.

CHEATS: Nothing drastic … some cucumber sauce with my gyro (didn’t eat the pita), some kung pao chicken (probably corn starch in the sauce).

OBSERVATIONS: The coffee definitely put a much needed zip into my workouts.

Wednesday was a weirdly rough day — if I had to classify it as anything, it would be “withdrawal.” I wanted a Big Mac and some Little Debbie Oatmeal Snack Cakes in the worst way. It could have also been the plague or just simple fatigue … but whatever it was, it went away after I chugged down some vege juice and slept in. Thursday, I was right as rain.

Also, I noticed that my body seems to stay a same weight for a few days, and then drops.

RESULTS: 207.8. That’s almost 10 lbs in 2 weeks, without a lot of exercise (M, T, walking a lot on Friday, and back to the gym on Monday). Pretty pleased so far. When I was essentially counting calories before, it took almost 4 weeks to hit this point.

OVERALL: My energy has leveled out a bit this week. I sleep a lot better. I keep feeling better, too.

Very curious as to Week 3, because this is where things should slow dramatically. Initial drops are always fast.

Last year when I rode my bike a lot and watched my calories, I was down to 203, and could never seem to drop lower than that. We’ll see what happens in the next week or two.

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