After 6 weeks of eating the primal way (here's a GREAT link that explains exactly what that is; How to eat according to The Primal Blueprint), I hit the dreaded plateau. I was losing fast, 10lbs and 11 inches in 6 weeks, but then my progress stopped. Shit, I thought, I didn't expect it to happen so fast! I had dreams of steadily losing every week until I reached my ideal weight. I had made a plan and was going strong thinking I would lose 2 pounds a week and by Sept 1st I'd be in the 145lbs ish range. A girl can dream, right?? So it didn't happen how I thought it was going to happen, and I needed to look hard at what I was doing that was sabotaging my efforts. I was being a mutinous child.
So with the help of some other primal mamas we pinpointed what I was doing wrong and how I could rectify my new problem. There was no excuse, I had to be brutally honest with myself here. I had to figure things out and find a way to jump start my weightloss.
It all started with weekend functions and family gatherings. Eating out never was problem for me during the first 6 weeks because I just didn't eat out, simple as that. I didn't have to deal with temptation. And then we had a function or dinner with family every weekend for 4 weeks. I thought to myself, a few cheats won't hurt me, isn't the primal blueprint all about striving for 100% but 80/20 is ok? So what if I have a few non-primal foods, no one's going to tell me what to do (yes, I was justifying big time). So I tried a few sauces laden with starch, corn, soy and gluten. I had a few pieces of cake (it was a special occasion I said!). I ate an egg salad sandwich. And lots of beer. I think my downfall was the beer. I like beer, I like wine too, but beer makes me think of fun and summer, so I drink beer. I also had family visit so since they did not eat primal I bought bread for them, mayo too, and chips, and pop, and...well the list goes on. And then it was in the house even though company left, so darn it I fed it to my kids and had a few bites here and there.
And I admit it, I got lazy. Instead of buying primal-approved soy sauce or other condiments I bought the cheap, easy to get stuff. And again I thought, this sauce or spice mix has so little of the bad stuff that it must be ok. Not in my case. It appears that any type of "cheat" will stall my weightloss. Shit.
Add to that the fact that it has been raining non-stop for 2 weeks and I haven't done any exercise. Sure I could exercise indoors, but did you see the size of my livingroom? I tried sprinting up my stairs and moving often at a slow pace, but you could tell no outdoor exercise was taking its toll on my body and mood. I also highly depend on the weather, and for me no sun for an extended period of time and I start hibernating again. I started sleeping more in the afternoons, trying to pass the time. What a way to live!
So how did I feel after 2+ weeks of eating non-primal foods? Like crap. I felt bloated, I gained a few inches back, I slept poorly compared to how I was sleeping during the whole30 challenge. Sure I was "mostly" eating primal (meat, seafood, vegetables, nuts and fruits), but I was adding ingredients that weren't very good for me, and suffering because of it.
And here we get to Intermittent Fasting. To tell you the truth IF was still a mystery to me, and frankly I was scared to try it. But I would do anything to kickstart my weightloos since I had been working so hard at ditching conventional wisdom. So yesterday I embarked on my first IF journey.
I planned on eating Sunday night and then fasting till suppertime on Monday, giving me a good 20 hrs "food break". I had read that it could really help get you off that plateau and get you back on tract on your weightloss plan. Now I don't have experience with this apart from my own, but it's my blog so I can write whatever I want :) .
For my first fast I planned on keeping my usual routine of 2 coffees with coconut milk in the morning, but apart from that no food till suppertime. I thought I'd keep busy so that food wouldn't be on my mind all day, and it worked. Honestly I wasn't even hungry. I made primal granola with my son in the morning, cleaned my house, folded some laundry, and researched online. And I didn't cheat with the primal granola (something I would never have been able to do 2 months ago). I felt clear headed and I was able to accomplish a lot during the day. By 1pm I started having hunger pangs, the kind that makes you feel sick and makes you believe you need food NOW or else you are gonna die. I pushed through, and by 3pm I wasn't hungry anymore. By 4pm I was short-tempered and angry, so I thought it was time to prepare supper. And supper was goooood, I enjoyed it so much more than on other days. I made ceasar salad, bbq chicken and asparagus, my usualy go-to feel-good meal. At around 8pm I sampled my husband's primal granola bars and drank some tea. My first IF experience was over, and I have to say it went so much better than I thought it would!
This morning I weighed myself out of curiosity. I was down 2lbs! Well geez, does this mean I'm off that damn plateau?? We'll see. I do feel better this morning too with more energy than usual, which is a great sign. I'm also reviewing my eating habits and am now ready to get back to eating 100% primal. After the experience I had these past fews weeks I am convinced that eating a conventional diet isn't good for you.
So there you have it, I committed mutiny against myself, learned from it and moved on. I do think that a lapse is sometimes a good thing, we always learn from our mistakes.