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Paleo eating & exercise for the win!

Just finished my mid-day workout and thought I'd drop in to LJ for a moment before resuming grading.

Haven't done a health post in a while, so a quick update:

  • Off sugar and corn syrup since April (with a slip during the CSSF Writers Workshops).

  • Eating mostly paleo since then, too, more as time goes on, but not strictly. That is, I eat milk products, just no refined sugar.
    For example, today for breakfast I had broccoli soup (thanks to clevermanka) with sasuage and cheese, and a glass of half-water, quarter each of apple cider and orange juice - oh, and a banana; for lunch a custom concoction of chorizo, spinach, chicken, and almonds with spicy cheese. Also a half-cup of kefir for digestive health. Dinner will likely be a big salad out with the guys, and I sometimes have a beer (but two usually upsets my stomach now). Other meals include fish, lots of veggies, nuts, and so forth.

  • Down to 168 pounds (from a high last winter of 195, and an all-time high of well over 200 [wasn't weighing back then], eek).

  • Today I did my first full-on, go-until-failure workout (rather than maintenance exercise) in weeks and found I haven't lost strength despite being buried in work. Even added a couple of new movements to my routine. Hurray!

  • Musculature shows better than in my last photos (and starting to get some ab definition!). (I'll post pics again next time, in the middle of grading now.) Apparently I had fat on my arms and shoulders, too. Huh.

  • Overall: Feeling much healthier, with fewer blood-sugar drops, more stamina, no joint pain (except the shoulder, natch) and all-around more vim and vigor.

  • Had to get rid of MOST of my long-sleeved shirts, and probably ought to ditch the old short-sleeves, too.

  • Ditto old pants. Which fit like clown pants. (Sorry, weaselmom, The Pants had to go; I was swimming in them.)
    An aside: I know what you're thinking: "Boo hoo, you lost weight and had to buy new clothes." Well, still, it's something to weigh (ar ar): cost of new clothes vs. cost of lots of crap food, health problems, self-esteem, and so forth.

  • Can't eat any pre-packaged food.

  • Most fancy receptions have nothing to eat that isn't half sugar or bread.

  • If I were really strict, almost nothing in a restaurant would fit my diet.

Anyone else out there eating differently and seeing positive results? Got a new exercise routine?

Maybe not yet, but you're feeling like shedding poundage, looking better, and feeling healthier? Well, if I can give up sugar, anyone can! Just ask any of my long-time friends and you'll likely hear that I was the worst chocoholic around and used to suffer all kinds of sore joints and blood-sugar instability. However, like any addiction, it's a habit that anyone with a little willpower (and support) can kick. It just took me two weeks of staying off sugar to lose my taste for the stuff.

Geez, I'm starting to sound like an infomercial. Anyhow: Paleo and exercise FTW!




( 38 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 9th, 2010 06:54 pm (UTC)
I went from 195 to 170 earlier this year due to exercise and diet changes. I've gained a bit back lately due to life being...well, life. But I agree with you that exercise and diet changes are the way to go. Your food description sounds fantastic.

BTW... Today's Piled Higher and Deeper might be appropriate.
Dec. 9th, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
Sounds like we both had about the same results, awesome! Don't let life interrupt your health; the two are inextricably intertwined. I'm never going to let myself go again, and what helps is a group of supportive folks also doing the same.

That link - hahahahaha! OMG, I can't begin to tell you....
Dec. 9th, 2010 07:12 pm (UTC)
Noooo! The Paaaants! I hope they went to a good home.

Totally off sugar? I wonder if the stock of C&H took a nosedive.

Congrats on your lifestyle changes - I know how hard you've worked. To me, you will always be the boy who ate chocolate chip pancake Piggies in a Blanket at IHOP with us, the one who had "Sweets Keep Me Up" tattooed on his arm. But the new boy sounds happy too.
Dec. 9th, 2010 07:18 pm (UTC)
No one believes me those choco-Piggies were tasty, but I tell ya... well, they probably weren't, but it was fun :-D

I'll replace The Pants at some point - with better, more flattering ones! The old ones went to the local consignment shop, and I used the money I got for 'em and other pants to buy an awesome '70s-cool leather jacket in burnt-orange (or whatever, darkish red-brown-orange). Too awesome. I'll post pics when I get some.
Dec. 9th, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC)
I've been going to Weight Watchers for about a year and a half. I didn't have serious weight to lose, but wanted to get on top of it before it became a real issue. Mainly I stopped drinking soda and started eating a LOT more fruits and veggies. In addition to dropping the approx. 20 pounds in approx. 10 weeks, I found I was sleeping better and had fewer and less severe migraines.

Weight Watchers just (two weeks ago) introduced their "new" plan, which is still a points system but even heavier emphasis on the fruits and veggies, with all those super-refined "100 calorie" snacks given much higher points values than previously. Before, WW points were calculated based on calories, fat, and fiber. Now they're calculated on a more complex formula of fat, fiber, carbs, and protein.

I still eat more processed food than I should -- but a whole heckuva lot less than before.

My husband has been doing great on this too -- and one of his former officemates told him to buy some new clothes because he was starting to look homeless.
Dec. 9th, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC)
Go you! The other health stuff was totally unexpected, wasn't it? I mean, I don't even get sick any more (knock wood) when my students and friends are down for the count. Though my mold allergies (fallen leaves) have been as bad as ever.

Glad to hear that WW has modified their system, because their pre-packaged food that I used to see in the stores had more ingredients than the entire produce section ;-)
(no title) - amysisson - Dec. 9th, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - mckitterick - Dec. 9th, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 9th, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC)
I just posted about it, but I've lost 50 pounds so far by reprogramming my brain. The same basic biological responses that say, "Oh yum!" to the idea of a Snickers bar can be reprogrammed to say "Oh gross!"

I'm not hungry all the time, and if I really want a treat, I'll get it, though I usually only eat half and think it's not nearly as good as I remembered it being. I no longer need to eat to the point of being overstuffed, and I no longer have the knee-jerk reaction to gobble up any mediocre treat passed my way for the very temporary psychological high.
Dec. 9th, 2010 07:43 pm (UTC)
That's awesome! Congratulations!

And we truly do have much more control over our programming than we think we do. I would go so far as to say we can overcome just about anything, given enough time and mental reprogramming. I suspect we could even reprogram sociopaths if we catch them young enough....
(no title) - geekmom - Dec. 9th, 2010 07:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - mckitterick - Dec. 9th, 2010 08:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - geekmom - Dec. 9th, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 9th, 2010 08:35 pm (UTC)
A good tailor is god-sent in such situations. Also, I would like to gently point out that "If I can do it, everyone can" is a bit of a fallacy -- weight loss is more difficult for some people than others. Giving up sugar works for you, great, but it may be different for other people.
Dec. 9th, 2010 09:26 pm (UTC)
You're right, and I ought to have been more clear. What I meant was that if I can give up sugar, lots of other flks can too, though I'm pretty sure there are people out there who're fighting much worse sugar cravings than I did.
Dec. 9th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
I feel your pain. I have a very difficult eating out and I usually wind up cheating a little. I'm not paleo, but close. I'm vegan, gluten-free, no HFCS, refined sugars (I cheat here a little) and limited nightshades.
Dec. 9th, 2010 09:28 pm (UTC)
I suspect your eating-out is much more troublesome than mine! Funny how in this country where food is plentiful, finding good food is difficult.
(no title) - vretallin - Dec. 10th, 2010 01:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - joycemocha - Dec. 10th, 2010 03:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - vretallin - Dec. 10th, 2010 05:28 am (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - joycemocha - Dec. 10th, 2010 02:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - vretallin - Dec. 11th, 2010 02:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - paulwoodlin - Dec. 10th, 2010 10:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - vretallin - Dec. 11th, 2010 02:37 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 9th, 2010 09:02 pm (UTC)
I'm so proud of you!

Good thing you look so fantastic in those new clothes you had to get, eh?
Dec. 9th, 2010 09:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Dec. 9th, 2010 09:34 pm (UTC)
We do paleo, except I still do whole grains and beans. I hate most veggies, which makes it almost impossible for me to do this (turns into a straight meat-diet really quick). But my husband likes it. ::shrugs::
Dec. 9th, 2010 09:37 pm (UTC)
I do some beans, too. The key to veggies? Throwing them in with tasty stuff! I use nuts, meat, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, seeds, and cheese to tastify them. Fresh is vital, and I usually heat 'em up in a nonstick pan to pull out the flavors.
(no title) - j_cheney - Dec. 9th, 2010 09:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 9th, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC)

I've always been a fairly sensible eater and a box-food hater. Dropping wheat dropped 6lbs off me without changing ANYTHING else.

You're fortunate to have a partner who is supportive about eating healthy. I struggle with a partner who brings home standard crappy food because left to his own devices at the store, he falls back on what's familiar. But he's coming around in baby steps.

Eating out is tough, and I love dining out. Lawrence is a good town for foods that are easy on us. Oh, and fancy receptions often have bowls of nuts :)

Go you! You's done well.

Dec. 10th, 2010 12:39 am (UTC)
It's awesome, agreed.

Going out to eat opens up your eyes to just how much grains you were once eating.

Salad and naked burgers are my goto at lunch, but it is really, really rare that I can just order a dish without any omissions.

Dec. 10th, 2010 12:42 am (UTC)
Yeah, no kidding. I'm having dinner with the Boyz tonight, Panda Garden (in 20 minutes, actually, should run...), and at the very minimum I give away my rice. I'll just have to live with the starch that's likely in the sauce, *sigh*
Dec. 10th, 2010 03:25 am (UTC)
Congrats on the progress. Way to go!
Dec. 10th, 2010 04:05 pm (UTC)
Dec. 10th, 2010 03:30 am (UTC)
I lost 50 lbs in the past year. Some of it is due to metabolic changes (menopause) and some of it is due to changes in eating and in exercise. And a wee bit of Day Jobbe stress.

I'm allergic to wheat, dairy and eggs as respiratory allergy triggers. I also don't tolerate fats well (irritable bowel syndrome). Several things that made a huge difference for me, food-wise, was a.) counting drink as food (calorie-wise, it matters), b.) portion control (I got the Lose It! app for my iTouch and used it diligently until I could identify and visualize what worked best for me on a daily calorie and exercise rate) and c.) consistent exercise, realizing that my daily weight/Pilates/yoga/ballet routine was not enough to overstress me to the degree that I need to take rest days from it.

I also eat a good breakfast, alternating weeks of quinoa with almond butter and veggies, miso with tofu and veggies, and baked potatoes. I weigh myself daily because if I don't, I risk gaining weight. I've been through wild weight swings before over a seven to ten year cycle, and at my age, I'd kinda like to not have to fight to lose this weight again. Plus I like being at this weight.

Another factor is that I realized that the last time I was even close to this light in weight, the winter damp and cold caused me a lot of pain. As a result I ate more and wasn't as active, which meant I gained weight. This year I invested in scarves, good quality ski base layers, and actively work on layering and keeping myself warm. Plus an exercise regime focused on stretching and flexibility.

It all helps.

I also need to eat a certain amount of whole grains to keep my gut happy. Beans are right out; not just for what they do to my gut but because I just no longer like them. Nuts need to be eaten in moderation to keep the gut happy.

I also need a moderate amount of starch.

Oddly enough, now, food has become more fuel than pleasure. I also now will eat a wider variety of foods in smaller portions, which is what I really prefer to do. I'd much rather have very small portions of several pleasant foods at a sitting than a larger portion of one food.
Dec. 10th, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC)
Really good point about staying warm. I've discovered that the cold affects me MUCH more now than it did when I was heavier, and I just end up wearing more - even around the house!

So many foods are allergens, and it seems that I was allergic to some part of wheat, or at least it caused inflammation in my joints and such that I don't experience anymore.
Dec. 10th, 2010 11:02 pm (UTC)
I've lost 6.6 pounds this fall, while weight lifting a lot so I'm hoping I've lost more fat than that.

Odd thing is, I've been focused on increasing my bench press, but it stalled out at 264 pounds, I hope just from over training, while my military press jumped from 99 pounds to 132 over the same period as the weight loss. (sorry about the weird numbers, but I keep having to convert from the metric)
Dec. 12th, 2010 12:42 am (UTC)
Not long after quitting taekwondo to do this whole FE study thing, I realized that I had to do something or my weight would just keep going up.

Back in the summer one of my students did the South Beach diet and I could see the progress he made on a weekly basis-- so after the excesses (oh, the excesses) of World Fantasy Convention, I started South Beach.

Lost about 10 pounds, but then it was birthday/Thanksgiving/work-festivities and so progress has been halted.

If I were still getting any kind of routine excercise I figure I would be losing like crazy.

( 38 comments — Leave a comment )

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