When I last wrote, I left off at the point where I was about to return to Scotland. Unable to find a job that paid more than minimum wage and for the holidays I was very lucky to be able to come back here and complete my PhD. (Of course the inability to find a job still panics me, as I am very afraid of what awaits me in 16 months.)
When I arrived back in Scotland, Steph and I lived in a hostel for over a month. Not fun. It made eating difficult. While the hostel had a kitchen, food had a habit of disappearing or being thrown out. Some days it was easier to eat out, and when
we Steph cooked it tended to be as simple as possible. Also we couldn’t use the kitchen after 10, which kind of sucked.
A few months after we moved into our new flat and got settled we started working out at a gym in city centre and in the summer did a weight loss competition. I was weighed and measured for the competition and was estimated to be around 50% body fat. That made me feel great.
Not. I was able to lose a few pounds during the competition, but nothing that was very outstanding.
A year has passed now, and I’ve lost a total of 20 pounds (in more than a year) which is pretty rubbish. It is very frustrating to be doing all the right things and not see any results. It can be frustrating to increase your activity level, eat the “correct” number of calories and gain weight.
Despite the fact that all of this makes me feel very disordered, I do have to say I feel better eating Paleo/primal/whole foods. I very rarely have grains or flour based foods. Every 2-3 weeks I may have a scone craving and go out to enjoy one with a latte. With a few exceptions, I very rarely eat processed or packaged foods. I still use whey protein powder in protein shakes and I am currently enjoying Quest bars. (Less than 200 calories for a brownie bar with 19 grams of protein, damn right I will make an exception!)
I know I am far from the ideal when it comes to following a Paleo diet. I still consume dairy. (And yes I’ve read all the literature on it about why it may be good for you or bad for you.) If having an ice cream on a hot summer day is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.
As far as the other Paleo “rules” go, I don’t eat legumes and am allergic to soy and peanuts, so that is a no-brainer. I’ve recently found I can eat almonds, which may be my downfall (so good, yet so many calories!) Like I said before, I don’t really eat grains or flour based foods any more. In fact, I had bread yesterday and I have felt pretty gross all day. I don’t even really miss pasta (and before you ask I can’t have spaghetti squash, because they don’t sell it in the UK!). I have been eating white rice, but I think I can cut back on it now that I finally don’t feel burnt out on eating sweet potatoes.
You may wonder why I continue to keep eating the sweet potatoes/rice type foods as they can stall weight loss, as well as fruit. If I don’t eat those products in moderation 1. I will be lacking in energy especially when it comes to running, and 2. financially they are good fillers at the moment (low on money, means less fresh fruit and veggies for the time being). I eat a lot of frozen sprouts as they are cheaper; same with frozen broccoli.
So, that is pretty much where I am at right now. I’m doing everything I possibly can, and I hope that I will finally see results.
What I hope from writing this, is that someone who is contemplating (or on) a (V)LCD will make a different choice and realise that you don’t need to eat 890 calories a day to lose weight.
(I know that I may not be the ideal example, but your average 30something isn’t on Lyrica, nor has had a headache for 7 years. )