Thursday, April 05, 2012

Eat to Live Weeks 5 & 6

funny celebrity pictures - Sorry Katniss, But I Make This Look Good
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Quote du jour: “If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.” ~Jack Dixon

I didn't post last week, so I lumped that post in with this week's post.

Week 5 - Made it through week 5 of the Eat to Live diet. Lost the four pounds of sodium/ water retention, gained two pounds from swollen legs due to excessive exercising, lost that too. Um, where am I again? It's easy to lose track, but I think I ended up back where I was in week 3.

I think my body's having trouble adjusting. This past week, my old headache has come back repeatedly. This is a hormone-related headache that involves my face swelling up like a balloon. The upper eyelids especially become so swollen that the pressure on the eyes causes the headaches.

Week 6 -- more headaches. For two days, I went back to the non-vegan style of eating, which had three immediate results: the headaches eased off, I gained two pounds, and I got my period. This last is one of those side effects that I should have been aware of. Apparently it is quite common to stop getting your period when you first switch over to a low-fat diet. It's a reminder that what I eat has a direct effect on the hormones coursing through my body. And eating this way makes the cramps much, much, MUCH less painful. I'll take the occasional headache any day compared to that.

I went right back to eating vegan, because I really do like it. I started this six week diet as a way to tie in with Lent, but I don't feel like I'm giving up anything now by eating this way. The only thing I plan to change is to add in some more starchy vegetables or grains sometimes. Maybe meat or fish on special occasions. Dr. Fuhrman suggests using the 90/10 rule as a long-term eating plan: only eat 10% "bad" food. I like that. I've learned it's important for me to not feel restricted; if I think I can never eat a particular food, I'll feel deprived. If I think "well, not today", then I am fine with it. It doesn't matter how much the eyes and the imagination want fried chicken and chocolate-- once I've eaten the beans, greens and strawberries, the stomach is perfectly happy with the substitution. The body doesn't NEED fried chicken.

Summary: after six weeks, I've lost eight pounds and a couple inches. More important, though, is what I've gained. I feel better. I feel healthy. My nails used to be brittle and break easily; now, I've had to buy a nail file because they are growing long without breaking. I'm enjoying eating more than I used to, and I'm much more aware of everything I taste.

Final note: Since I've started eating this way, Damn Back hasn't complained once. Not a peep.I think all that pain was exacerbated by the inflammation, which was itself fueled by the high fat diet.

Exercise du jour: I've decided to go for another 30-day challenge. This month, I'm going to be doing Callanetics in the morning and evening. It's rather like Pilates, but it is supposed to be good for people with bad backs. No, I don't currently have a bad back. I want to keep it that way.

Posted from DPad on my iPad


Crabby McSlacker said...

Wow, you are lightyears ahead of me (and most other humans) in terms of self-discipline and healthy eating; I am SO impressed. Sorry about the headaches & other symptoms, but sure sounds like you've found something that (mostly) works for you and your body.

(I gotta have a bit of meat, dairy, chocolate, and wine to go with my veggies or I get VERY cranky).

Ok, now attempting my 3rd try at word verification...

The Merry said...

Crabby, if I could do HALF the pull-ups you do, I would be a smugly happy Merry. I would love to try for the One Pushup Challenge... except I don't think I would achieve success.

The Merry said...

Pull up! I MEANT the One Pull Up Challenge!

Julie said...

That was me. It went too fast, and I have no idea why.

Julie said...

Now it's just gone! My comment disappeared! Shit.

Okay, all I said was that I was glad you were back, and we are sticking with the raw, vegan thing too.

The Merry said...

Hi Julie! I didn't see your comment in Moderation, but it came through my inbox, so I'll paste it here:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Eat to Live Weeks 5 & 6":

Good to see you again! (I was getting worried.) Sorry to hear about your ailings though.

Very cool run-down on how this went. I don't know where I am in weeks, numbers are slipperly wee bastards to me. But I think I'll stick with this too. You are so right, the deprivation part is what kills most diets. When you go with what Joel (and in my case Allen as well) suggest it's simply a better way of treating your body (and the entire planet).

Raw and vegan are WAY freaking easier than I ever would have imagined. It has already become automatic on so many levels for both me and Dan.

Posted by Anonymous to Sheesh at 1:59 AM, April 06, 2012

The Merry said...

And I'm so glad this is working out for you!

Xenia said...

Great job, Merry!!

messymimi said...

Great work! Hope the hormones even out as the diet becomes your new way of life.

Julie said...

Thank you for rescuing me and doing the lovely Cut & Paste job! Jeez. And right after I JUST wrote at my place how I am ending up with odd annon comments right now too. Gah. Mecury HAD to poke me one more time.

McB said...

Good job. I'm sure with time you can find the right balance of occasional small meat or fish portions to keep the headaches, and other assorted issues, at bay.

Gina said...

The body doesn't NEED fried chicken?

jk - I'm not a big fan of fried chicken anyway.

I like the connection you made about the back pain and inflammation.

azusmom said...

I LOVE Callanetics! It feels a bit silly at first, but it's gentle and effective.
And if you buy the original DVD, you can laugh at everyone in their 1987 clothes!

The Merry said...

Azusmom, you are right twice. Callanetics is highly effective and it's STILL has a really out-of-date feel to it.