Saturday, June 12, 2010

Women who stare at french fries...

I didn't go see the movie "Men Who Stare at Goats" but the title DID inspire my blog today. I haven't been posting about my wods, just because things have been crazy and honestly, it's kind of boring. I mean, really. Who wants to read about me doing KB swings and 400 m runs and jumping lunges?!? :P (It seems I've been doing a lot of that lately!) Anyway, the whole Primal thing... yeaaaaaaahhhhhh... about that.

I'm not going to lie, I'm not perfect. Not yet, but this week was a much better eating week than I've had in a long time. That's definitely an upside. The downside is that I spent a BOATLOAD of money because I'm trying to eat fresh fruit and trying to eat meat, and trying in general, just to eat healthy. The reality of the matter for this country is that it is way more expensive for us to live a healthy lifestyle than it is for us to eat french fries and get fat. It's sad, but most definitely true. But again, the upside is that I have been doing it. I have not had ANY soda since last Saturday, I have kept myself to LESS than my goal of two coffees in a week, and the only really bad slide I've had was actually yesterday when I was so tired and so cranky and PMS'y (yes that IS a word... I just invented it!) that I just said "F you!" and had ice cream and Tostitos. Do I recommend this as a part of a well balanced Primal diet? Certainly not. But I feel like even with that rather large moment last night, it certainly was a moment, I managed to stay at least relatively close to the 80/20.

I wrote down everything I ate this week, and that certainly helped me to see patterns in my eating, and it also helped to keep me legit. The only problem is that I know I forgot things, mainly because I've been so busy, it's almost be like writing an after action report. One thing I need to try to do is write immediately after eating something so I don't forget the little tiny details. Did I snag a chip at work? Did I snag a piece of the dark chocolate? Writing things down is important and that's one thing I still need to work on.

While going through this week though, I have to admit that one thing that REALLY helped me was the fact that I WASN'T in the restaurant this week. Because swim team practices run from 430-630 it's not really feasible for me to work shifts during the week right now, which leaves me with just my weekend shifts there. Not being around the food definitely helped to keep me from eating it. Last Sunday when I started my shift to clean eating, I was on a double at the restaurant. For those of you who have never been in restaurant work, it means you work the lunch shift, maybe or maybe not have a break, and then roll into dinner shift. This also means that for the majority of the day, I was on the expo line staring at the food, especially the french fries.

As an eater, one of my downfalls is that I love, and I mean LOVE carbs. If it's a potato or a piece of bread, GIMME. So, since all of our sandwiches happen to be served with french fries, it means we have a lot of those around. While standing on the expo line, I literally was staring at them and SALIVATING. I wanted to eat them so badly it was ridiculous. I had managed to escape for about an hour between shifts and had hit Trader Joe's with a baby of a shopping run, but I had managed to grab a few things I could munch on when the desire got REALLY bad. Staring at those fries was like torture. But it was also a test. I KNOW that if I'm going to do this, I'm going to be presented with all sorts of situations like this and if I give in EVERY time I just want to EAT something because it looks good, I'm never going to win here. I'm never going to be able to lose weight and accomplish my goals. So, I stared at the french fries. And I stared, and I stared and I stared. And eventually the shift ended, and eventually I got to eat the right food before going home.

Did it feel good to do what I did? Yes and no. I'm glad that I did not just begin housing french fries up and down the expo line like some sort of derranged psychotic. Yes, I feel very good about that. Did it feel good to be presented with a situation where I had to sit and stare at something I couldn't eat? Absolutely not. But that's reality. That's going to happen in lots of places, and I need to start building up that resolve and start building that determination NOT to eat things I know I shouldn't. Is it easy? God NO! I wanted to shove those things in my mouth and house those b*tches! But I didn't.

In the long run, avoiding places where you know food will be a temptation is by far the better way to go. However, having said that, you can't ignore every social invitation because you know there will be beer/pizza/cake/ice cream/chips/non-Primal/Paleo food. If you're going to go, go prepared. There are some feasible solutions. First and foremost, set limits. If you know you're going to drink or eat unhealthy items, set a limit for yourself. If it's beer, maybe it's 2 or 3. If it's food, maybe a handful or a plateful. Try to keep it sensible.

If it is a party situation, ask the host politely if you can either bring your own, or if they can provide a healthy alternative for you. I know that as someone who has tried to lose weight, this is something I would be very hip to and it wouldn't bother me in the slightest. If it is an 'outting' situation, perhaps suggest to go somewhere that has a menu with at least a few options that are ok for you, or at the very least, while not the BEST choices, are better than say pizza and french fries. If you're going to drink, go with Red wine,or spirits EXCEPT RUM. The higher the proof, the less sugar there is in a paticular spirit, but Rum tends to have some sugar added to it. Not to mention the fact that it's derived from cane sugar or molasses. *Side note though, this does NOT include the flavored vodkas. C'mon guys, use the noggin'.* Your best bet would be to do with with Cran or OJ, or water. Again, not perfect, but far better than throwing back 4-5 beers with way more carbs and way less nutritional value. At least you get a LITTLE something from those. Hey I said LITTLE.

Your best bet is most definitely to keep things away from you. You're far less likely then to go on a bender. But if you're like me and you WORK around these things, then unfortunately, you just gotta suck it up. You've got to tap deep into that resolve and become a woman, or man, who stares at french fries. It is feasible. It is possible, but just like the box, you gotta put the work in. It's not magic, and it's not just going to poof and go on it's own. You've got to put your foot down and say, enough is enough. Become a woman or man who STARES at the french fries. Whatever you do, DON'T EAT THEM!


Jessi J. Walton said...

I have the same struggle. The Paleo diet is so easy for me to follow, I am rarely hungry and I dont crave sugar anymore, but BOY do I miss potatoes!!!! I swear I could eat my weight in french fries :-( be strong!!!

Justa said...

Couple thoughts..

First...primal eating DOES cost more, but I think that can be offset a bit by eating less, and ensuring we don't waste any food. The truth is that most of us eat too much to begin with. Eating less certainly helps the food budget, as does a day a week fast.

Of course, it is easier to succeed with an eating plan if we aren't exposed to constant temptation. I had a friend that was a fidelity challenged type of individual. He often seemed to find himself doing certain things with people he shouldn't be doing them with. I told him one time that if he insisted on putting himself into compromising positions, he would continue to be compromised. Stay out of them, and the battle is half won.

Of course, if you are exposed to stuff at work, that's a bit of a different issue. I'd suggest having a good primal meal before work with plenty of protein and fats so that true hunger is unlikely to kick in. That will help make it a bit more manageable. Also, if it's going to be a long day, perhaps packing some items that really satisfy your hunger can help. The more you can do to limit the amount of time you are tempted, the less likely you'll be to cave in to temptation.

c wiss said...

OMG french fries... they are one of my super-tempting foods too. My husband tends to order foods that come with a side of fries. He'll eat his sandwich or whatever, and totally ignore the fries if he feels like eating healthy that day. And I will sit across the table from them and staaaaaare. :-| He doesn't understand that it's torture!

You should absolutely be proud of yourself for resisting the temptation and keeping yourself on the path you want to go down. Great tips for staying paleo in the face of temptation too.

I have been in that "not perfect Paleo, but OMG so much better that before" phase the last few weeks too. It is going to take a lot of practice with cooking, and a lot of willpower, for me to finally achieve 30 days of absolute Paleo. That is my goal by the end of summer -- I want to do the Whole 30 challenge and see what I learn about my body.

Oh, and BTW, I totally wouldn't mind reading the mundane details of your WODs. I love that stuff. Which is probably why I write it all out in my blog. :-D If you use beyond the whiteboard, let me know and I will look you up on there. I think this link will take you to my profile on there: