Giving In

I’ve been going to my CrossFit affiliate, CrossFit Addiction, since they opened the doors.  I’ve attended through my superfit stage back in 2008.  I made it to classes all through my pregnancy in 2009.  I went back there as soon as I got my doctor’s clearance after having C-Section in 2010.  CrossFit and running helped me whittle off 80 ridiculous pounds of baby weight over the next 1.5 years.  Even though I’m currently in love with trail running and ultras right now, I still love CrossFit and try to go at least 2x a week.

CrossFit is a constant for me.  The Paleo diet seems to be a constant with CrossFit (except for that time when they were pushing The Zone Diet).  The CrossFit angle with Paleo is not necessarily to use it as a weight loss tool, but more as a tool for optimal health and energy sort of thing.  Still, if you walked into any CrossFit box and mentioned wanting to lose weight, I guarantee you would be pushed towards Paleo.

I resisted.  I really didn’t want to do it.  I feel like there are 100 ways to lose weight.  Some are more effective than others, say Weight Watchers vs insert crazy fad diet like the Banana diet.  I don’t feel like you need to give up all grains and dairy and be gluten-free to lose weight.  I am loathe to universally label any one food group as evil for everyone.  That’s why I’ve resisted the Paleo thing for so long.

I feel like I know how to eat well, and find it fairly easy to do so, when I am more of a weight lifter and less of a runner (halfs and below).  When I trained for a full marathon back in 2008, I gained weight.  In spite of my best efforts to prevent it, when I started training for an ultra, I gained weight.  It’s clear that I simply don’t know how to control myself when facing the odd surges of appetite that come with running a lot of mileage.  It is hard to lose weight when you focus on “extreme” endurance sports.  I think it is even harder when you aren’t the naturally skinny type either.  I can never not be conscious of my diet.  I just don’t have that sort of body, no matter how much I exercise.

So even though I’ve been sort of anti-Paleo for years,  I’m starting a strict Paleo challenge today.  They do it at the gym every so often as a challenge, but they aren’t doing it at the moment.  I’m going solo.  I feel like I need to hit the reset button hard.  I’ve been trying to moderately get back into my healthy habits all the time, but that isn’t working.  It’s time to go cold turkey for a while to get back to normal.  Then I can go about trying to moderate.

The program is technically called the Whole30.  I signed up for the Twisted Ankle Marathon on May 12th though, so I don’t have 30 days.  I keep waiting to find 30 free days to try the full program, but I can’t seem to stop signing up for long races!  In the meantime, the scale keeps spitting a higher number at me.  So I’m just going to do the “Whole15”, re-introduce grains for the 3 days prior to my race, and then get back on plan.

Shortening the program will interfere with all the inflammation healing that the evil grains cause.  Whatever.  I don’t really care about that.  I’m never going to be gluten-free or dairy free for life.  I can’t live that way and I don’t want to live that way.  I do want to get diet back under control as far as sugar and carb intake.  I want to eat less random junk.  I want to stop craving dessert so much.  I want eating healthy 90% of the time to not feel like such a freaking struggle.

The next week is going to be rough.  I’m anticipating having the most trouble with caffeine.  The program doesn’t allow sugar of any kind – natural sugar like honey or unnatural sugar like Splenda.  It also doesn’t allow fake food and drinks so my Coke Zeros, Diet Lipton Teas, and sugar-free Red Bulls are out.  Coffee and tea are both allowed, but I don’t drink coffee and I won’t drink tea with no sugar.

On Sunday, I made a batch of roasted chicken, roasted squash & zucchini with onions, and a sweet potato hash as a breakfast alternative to eggs.  I’ve got ropa vieja in the crockpot and ingredients for another hash type meal on tap for Tuesday’s dinner.  I also clarified my own butter because dairy is out.

I’m ready to make the next 15 days a success.  I guess I better get some sleep so I won’t need the caffeine I can’t have, huh?  Here goes nothing!

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14 Responses to Giving In

  1. Melizza says:

    I have the biggest sweet tooth and I *know* it’s the biggest hinder in losing weight. I haven’t changed my diet but I have been moving a lot more lately and haven’t lost a pound. I know it’s due to my diet but I find it harder at this age to give up comfort foods. What a pickle! But I have to do something because a scale that doesn’t move is hella frustrating.

    I hope the diet brings on changes for you. Good luck!

    I wish I was one of those people that could eat any and everything but I’m just not. I’m starting to realize too that a lot of those people that I think live that way, really don’t. Those girls coming in first place at ultras really DO watch their diets. I doubt many of them have ever been overweight in their life, but they aren’t pigging out all the time either.

  2. Courtney says:

    Hope you are successful! I have friends who like paleo, but I had the same reservations you did. I have gained some weight training for my first half, which is this weekend. I already had some weight to lose before the little gain. I am not a natural born runner and the distance is messing with my appetite. I can only imagine what ultrarunning would do. After my race I am going to drop back to 3-6 miles only and work on my diet.

    Yeah, the increase in distance plays havoc with my appetite. When I finished my 100K, I wasn’t hungry for a week. The week following, I wanted to eat everything! I don’t run nearly as many miles as a lot of people doing ultras or even some road marathon runners. But I am running more (and for longer amounts of time) than I have ever run in my life. My body is like “Huh?” and my brain is like “I ran for 6 hours, lets eat everything!” I am considering seeing a nutritionist I know who is an Ironman and understands the fueling equation.

  3. krissy says:

    Good luck with this. I’m sure you don’t need it tho
    My mouth is already watering for a Diet Green Tea. :( But I don’t have any around so I have no choice but to stay strong!

  4. Melissa D. says:

    I agree with Courtney. I do hope you are successful with it and look forward to reading your report. I have some friends who are hard-core Paleo. I can never be. I haven’t tried in quite some time. My first ever half is in two weeks and I haven’t lost the goal weight I had planned at the start of training. I have been ravenous and since, I, too am pretty curvy and need to really drop weight. I’m going back to 6 miles and really focus on strength training, diet and cross training this summer. I am planning on doing another half maybe in late Fall or early 2013 so I’ll start training again for that later.

    I was hard-core Atkins for about 3 years a long time ago. I don’t think I could go back to that kind of restriction again. I think I just have to figure out how to not go crazy with carbs and sugar in the face of endurance training. At the moment, giving it up is not an option!

  5. Clu says:

    Good Luck! You are better than me…when I am told I can’t have something it becomes all that I crave. Food and I have a very complicated relationship :-/

    I read this article on the Precision Nutrition site long ago about how naturally scrawny guys and their relationship with food. Their view on food is mostly foreign to me.

    I know that I’m going to have cravings, but I’m just going to have to work through them. Moderation is not working for me lately.

  6. Clu says:

    but OMG I had a long extra paragraph in my original comment that I deleted that kind of related to that!

    I have made it a habit to watch the eating habits of people who are naturally lean. I think the light really went off this Thanksgiving when after planning and measuring my portions for my meal my plate almost mirrored the plate of my niece’s Mother who has never had a weight problem. What was so hard for me to get was just natural for her. Once I realized everyone has to be aware of how they feul their body it became easier to accept that I HAVE to monitor what I eat for the rest of my life beacuse I am just not wired that way.

    Sometimes I have to remind myself that food isn’t going anywhere as silly as it may sound

    It kind of sucks that people can be wired so differently about something so basic as food, but that is definitely the case. And I know exactly what you mean about the food not going anywhere. Is there really a need for me to clean my plate just because it is there…even if I’m not really hungry anymore?

  7. Sportsgirl says:

    I think a lot of it is portion control. Like Clu, I’ve watched someone eat that hasn’t ever had a weight problem and they just seem to take smaller portions of things. This one lady I work with can make a little square of fudge last 15 minutes, it’s just the way she eats: small portions and slow eater.

    I definitely agree with both the portion sizes and slowing down to eat. I’ve been the type of person who wolfs my food down ever since college. I used to have 3 different jobs plus classes so I always had to eat on the go fairly quickly. To this day, it takes an effort for me to slow down. A shame since I know it takes 20 minutes for the brain to realize that it is full.

  8. GP says:

    You can do it! After the first 3 days you should be cool. Those days are the most intense cravings and hopefully nobody makes you angry cuz chile!! the mood swings are not nice. lol Good Luck!! :)
    P.S. Never run out of your food and always have something on you!

    Yeah, caffeine withdrawal + the “carb flu” are not pretty. Day 2 and so far, so good.

  9. Claire says:

    I hear you on this! I don’t see myself ever doing Paleo, but I understand the need to put some structure back into your eating plan. Sometimes its the only thing that gets me back on track after a period of time where I’m exercising a lot and eating whatever I like. Its fun for a little while, until the scale tells me to get back with a plan. I wish you luck, and I’m excited to hear about it.

    This is not something I could stick with forever, but I need to get back to basics. Eating fresh food the majority of the time. Not salads & baked potatoes from Wendy’s or the Whole Foods hot bar where I cannot resist getting a cookie! The scale has been yelling at me for a while now but I’ve not been listening.

  10. BossyGirl says:

    Girl I started on Sunday after our conversation on Friday…Day #2 I had a MASSIVE headache now I’m better! We can do this!!!!

    Alright! Didn’t know you were going to jump right on it LOL! No headaches so far. Just a little tired in spite of getting enough sleep.

  11. Mrs. Pancakes says:

    I so need to begin reading your blog for great tips!!

    Eh, I usually hesitate to get into diet specifics. What “works” for any one person is so individual. Shoot, what “works” for me changes from year to year. I think a lot of things can work but most of that stuff is so internal, you know? And no dieting for you right now lady! Just don’t eat for 3 like I did LOL!

  12. Tameika says:

    Can’t wait to hear your progress! Best of luck to you! Sometimes a dramatic change is just the shock the body needs. I had been slack on my exercise, but started back up regularly – not even the same intensity as before – but regularly and eating better and I can already tell a difference. Guess my body had gotten used to rest and this little shock was enough to get me back on track. I’ll keep making minor adjustments to keep the change rolling. I’ll keep checking in for more tips if I get stuck. Best to you!

    Diet has always, always, always been the hardest part of the equation for me. Throw in a level of exercise that I’m still adjusting to and it got even harder. I think this will shake things up without doing anything ridiculous like consuming only juices for 10 days. I don’t like to do that kind of drastic stuff.

  13. alma says:

    I’m so behind on blogs, I haven’t even had a chance to read your 50k report!
    I’m curious about this paleo stuff so please post what you eat. I eat very healthfully for meals but my weak point is planning ahead for the afternoon snack at work. Inevitably, I get hungry around 2:30-3pm and need to have the right stuff around or I eat junk food from the lunch room. Or, I come home and grab a spoonful of Nutella. Not good. Or I drink TOO MUCH WINE OR BEER. My downfalls. Anyway, I need to clean up the between-meal eating but am weak, mentally, when it comes to that.
    Tell me if your CRAVINGS ever go away after stop eating the sugar.

    I think I’ll post a weekly update about how it is going. I’m committed for at least 15 days. I’m not sure how things will shake out when I throw a marathon into the mix. One thing I’m noticing early on is that my hunger levels are evening out. I struggle more with eating out of habit or boredom than true hunger.
    br/>I am not a big drinker at all. I like a nice glass of wine while dining out, aside from that I could care less. Your beer/wine is my cake, cookie or handful of cereal! :)

  14. alma says:

    Whoa! I just looked at that whole30 site. NO BEANS & RICE?!?!?! WTH? That is the most insane thing ever! CLEARLY the people who put this thing together are purely of European descent. Or something. They aren’t native here, anyway! I mean really, this is what Native Americans (including Mexicans and others) have been eating (along with squash & corn!) forEVER. Literally. Think of the Aztec. Think of the Ojibwe. I just don’t understand how these cannot be ok? I will stick with moderation and focus on cutting out the SUGAR and refined grains. Ouch.
    No beans?
    No rice?
    No BEANS?!?!?!
    I know…a lot of people point that out! I rarely eat beans so I don’t miss them.

    To be fair, most Paleo people do not eat as strictly as the Whole30 program recommends. This program is more a boot camp intro to the Paleo lifestyle. It also serves as an elimination diet of sorts since the idea is that legumes, dairy, soy cause inflammation in the body that needs to be resolved. Since we generally consume so much of this stuff we can’t really tell if it bothers us or not without total elimination for a good period of time.

    With regular Paleo, corn is allowed in moderation – sort of like any starchy carb. So are white potatoes.

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