Thursday, September 15, 2011

5th Element and Primal Challenge

First off, yesterday I published my first solo blog post for my new blog, 5th Element Fitness. OMG it made me soooo nervous!

You'd think that after ~4 years of blogging, in one place or another, that one more post wouldn't be a big deal. But this is the first time I've blogged without a psuedonym and also declared the type of stuff I'll write about. I switched over to using my real name on this blog several months ago to help me get over the anonymity hurdle. But the stress of feeling like I need to have something truly interesting and well-written before hitting "publish" is still getting to me. I almost jumped out of my chair as I clicked "Publish Post".

Check it out if you are so inclined. :)


Also, Kelsalynn and I are attempting the 30 Day Primal Challenge via Mark's Daily Apple over the next few weeks.

In the interest of full disclosure, my current nutrition status is best described as "free for all". There was a short-lived revival of my Paleo/primal habits from Dec 2010 to Jan 2011 in order to fit into my shorts for my vacation to St. Thomas. That petered out once I returned home from my trip.

And it goes a bit deeper than just eating poorly... This past spring I began seeing a counselor because my on-off issue with binge eating (since adolescence, really) had gone completely out of control. You know the saying -- once something starts affecting your ability to live your life, it's time to get help.

My counselor suggested that I read a book -- Intuitive Eating. The book outlines a step-by-step process to follow to help retrain your behavior from unhealthy restricting or bingeing, to an intuitive way of eating. One of the concepts in the book is that placing any concept of good/bad or restriction on food is detrimental to developing a healthier relationship with food.

This concept made a lot of sense to me, and it gave me a lot to think about as I tried to implement it for myself. But since I never really went on to the next steps of the program (counseling took a bit of a different angle at my request, not my counselor being lax!), I find that I'm stuck in this mindset of "eating junk is OK, if I restrict myself it will be bad".

But I'm left weighing a lot of things in my head...

I don't want to try to start some kind of strict challenge, because I KNOW that is very likely to trigger bingeing behavior, and I do not want to cause that to happen. Things are 100% better than when I started counseling, and I do not want to have a huge setback...

However, I also am not happy with the weight that I've put on while eating "freely", which makes it really hard for me to resist the temptation to start "forcing" myself to eat Paleo again. I know that it works, and that I'd definitely lose this extra bit of weight if I started eating that way again. But even if I get the 8-10 pounds off that I am carrying, will it really be worth it in the long run if things start getting out of control again? Again and again I keep telling myself "no, not worth it".

So, back to the challenge. For me this challenge is not necessarily going to be about eliminating anything from my diet, or stopping anything, or having a list of "bad" foods that I won't eat.

It's going to be about a commitment to learn more about the practicalities of eating the way that makes me feel, perform and look great.

Of course I feel overwhelmed when I start removing foods, because as an inexperienced cook I start to feel like there's nothing I can eat. And the only way to remove those feelings of "there's no food!!" panic (which lead to bingees) is to learn to procure and prepare food that I love eating and this is healthy.

I guess the good thing is that because I never learned to cook many dishes, it's not like I'm starting over. I'm just starting fresh. Except for lasagna, I make a freaking killer lasagna. :)

This week I've done a few things to support my goal of learning and practicing how to feed myself great tasting and healthy foods.
 - I stocked up on a bunch of healthy fruits and veggies that I enjoy snacking on --  strawberries, carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower.
 - I bought jicama from the grocery store; Mel always mentions these, so I felt I should try it, just for shits and giggles. I haven't attempted to do anything with it yet...
 - I made a batch of meat sauce with grass-fed beef; sauce is a staple for me, especially since I use it to cook up my famous stuffed peppers (need to make those soon). I also got a big spaghetti squash which will be good for 2 or 3 meals.
 - I took fish oil today for the first time. 2 capsules and no weird burps yet, so I think I'll up to 3 tomorrow and see what happens. :)

Still more to do, but this is a start. My next priority is to get some more MEAT into my house. Learning to cook tasty protein sources is probably the number 1 way I could help myself eat healthier.

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