Monday, November 1, 2010

Paleo in the Real World

Tomorrow is the end of my two week experiment in Strict Paleo-hood and intermittent fasting-ness. I made it through lighter, healthier, clearer, and I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I was a really bad grazer. I would constantly eat when i was bored. I know this because i would usually grab a string cheese or an apple, or some celery or carrots with sunbutter. With the fasting part, I found out that I was only eating because i was bored, and I had a throw-back to my Zone days still lingering on. It was never required. I also found though fasting, that I operate more clearly in the mornings running only on coffee and water, than i do when i eat a breakfast. I was never a big breakfast person growing up, but had since started eating breakfast due to various cultural dogmas and social pressures. I can even remember thinking about how much hungrier at lunch I was when I ate a breakfast, compared to when I skipped. I would eat significantly more when i ate breakfast compared to not. The same goes for my lunches this last week. I didn't even realize I was fasting at 18 hours. It was only when i started thinking about the time, and putting food thoughts in my brain did I really start to feel hungry. It is a total Mind game. Plus, the cold fingers and toes was kinda neat. It's a good feeling knowing your hands are cold because you are losing your belly fat. It brings up memories of peroxide on scrapes as a kid, and complaining to your mom.
me: "Mom, it burns!!!!"
Mom: "That means it's working!"
You just suck it up, and know it's helping.

This evening was especially difficult. Generally, being this is the end of my 2 week shift with no real outside interaction or alcohol, I usually go down to the VooDoo BBQ stuck on the side of my hotel and have BBQ Shrimp (drowning in yummy butter sauce), veggies(buttered), Maker's Mark fine Bourbon Whisky, and an Abita Amber or two to cap off the shift. Also, Monday Night Football, and newfound drinkin buddies are usually factored into the equation. Tonight, I opted for a different approach. I left the camp later than normal to distract me from the long hours waiting to go to sleep and all the delicious BBQ, Beer, and Muzak Bliues, and checked into my room and stayed in there. I may have well as boarded the doors. I covered the room service menu up with other hotel paraphernalia, to overt my eyes from the tantalizing pictures of mac and cheese and Pork in all it's many glorious forms. I feel like a recovering alcoholic. Why am I going to all this trouble to avoid an otherwise perfectly acceptable caveman-esque meal of charred pig flesh? Because of BEER and alcohol in general. Beer is my deregulator. I could sneak in one, sure, but after 2 weeks of near isolation, one beer just isn't going to cut it. I would need at least three. Then I would be hungry. I would have to order BBQ -- which, BTW is probably loaded with sugar along with who knows what else -- further derailing my best attempts at keeping clean. I would most likely have a few drinks, and give up my stance on my personal challenge, and then i would keep drinking until I could convince myself I would feel fine in the morning. I, however speaking from experience, would not. So what do you crave with a hangover? CRAP. That's what. I would lose two whole days of clean eating for a measly beer. A cold, frosty, delicious, Abita Amber with drips of condensation melting the frost on it's sides. Complimenting the smoky aroma of the BBQ ever present in the air.

Yeah. This shit is tough.

So here is my newest Dilemma. I have decided I would like to try to extend my challenge another 6 days. I would say more, but I am having a party on Sunday, and I don't want that hanging over my head, so I can enjoy myself. These 6 days are going to be in an un-controlled real world environment. I will have wife and baby to contend with as well as myself. My wife is not doing this challenge, and will be consuming whatever she damn well pleases. We will also have the constant temptation of going to restaurants. This is a bad habit I hope to break, but It's hard to say. I will also be contending with dinner at my in-laws, I'm sure. So this is going to be very tough for me. In the context of Primal I do well, but the 20% has a way of creeping up on you. Tomorrow I will be tromping through Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport feeling like the Geico Caveman. You can substitute the caveman add for a picture of Jillian Michaels or one of the many Starbucks, Chick-fil-a's, or any and all of the food courts in every concourse. Cue Royksopp.

However, this is a long awaited homecoming for my beautiful little family. I can't wait to see my little girl and her momma! She grows so fast, that two weeks on shift feels like robbery of all the little golden moments. She can ask for me now, and gets excited when we video call on Skype. I can't imagine what life would be like without all the modern conveniences and connectivity. It's a blessing and a curse.

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