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Warrahooyargh's 21-day challenge journal

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  • #16
    The sleep brigade is here.

    Hope it gets better for you ... I figure that after years of not sleeping well, it'll take some time to reset the body clock. Is the sleep you are getting more restful?
    Starting weight: 195.8
    Weight at end of 21-day challenge: ???

    Goal: To free myself of food obsessions and maintain a healthy weight without DIEeting


    • #17
      DAY 10:

      Breakfast: Choc protein powder shake with Greek yoghurt and almond butter, coffee, tea with milk
      Snack: Few macadamias
      Lunch: Bacon, two boiled eggs, few small new potatoes, cabbage, fried in olive oil
      Pm Snack: Walnuts and sultanas
      Dinner: Rump steak, green pepper, tomatoes, red onion, aubergine, with spinach/rocket/watercress salad and walnut oil/vinegar dressing

      Workout: CF session in the evening

      Mood: OK

      Summary Comments
      Daily energy levels 1-10: 8
      Hunger level between meals 1-10: 3
      Satisfaction level with meals 1-10: 9
      Struggles today with Primal efforts: Still not sleeping through the night.
      Benefits noticed from Primal efforts: More stamina during CF, which means I can work harder.
      Daily highlight(s): Able to keep going through CF workout with few breaks.
      Daily needs-to-improve: Use lightbox in the morning - it's seasonal affective disorder season in the UK.


      • #18
        Originally posted by SeattleSlim View Post
        The sleep brigade is here.

        Hope it gets better for you ... I figure that after years of not sleeping well, it'll take some time to reset the body clock. Is the sleep you are getting more restful?
        For most of my adult life, I was an insomniac able to semi-function with 1-2 hrs of sleep with infusion of 4 espressos in the AM heading to work, another at midday plus another jolt at 3pm. That was then. Lately I noticed that most days my body wakes up exactly after 7.5 hrs of sleep no matter what time I fall asleep at night. If I sleep before or by 1030 pm, I wake up after a full 8 hours to birds singing as my alarm clock. Plus sleep and naps are becoming more restful waking me up energized for my AM sun walks no matter the weather.
        Last edited by celestylez; 09-26-2013, 07:27 PM.


        • #19
          Whoops, didn't manage to complete my journal yesterday, but I'm still here, and still at it!

          celestylez, you're right that CF can be expensive. I think that's largely because you get so much individual attention and access to specialised equipment. Based on my own experience, I suspect you'd get similar benefits from doing the bodyweight exercises given in the Primal Fitness e-book (which you get if you sign up to Mark's e-mail list), together with the sprinting stuff. If you do decide to go to CF, an ongoing membership seems to work out cheaper than paying for individual "drop-in" sessions, but I suppose the prices will vary depending on where you are.

          seattleslim, I do think the sleep I'm getting is more restful, even if it's in two chunks overnight. I saw this article recently about how our ancestors (although not as far back as Grok) used to sleep in two sessions, so maybe I'm on to something. Your Ancestors Didn I hope to get to where celestylez is sooner or later.

          Edit: Right now I am sitting in the office, and someone has brought a cake in. It's sitting 15 feet away from me. It's going to be a long day. Begone cake, I have primal snacks!
          Last edited by Warrahooyargh; 09-27-2013, 02:30 AM. Reason: Cake


          • #20
            I resisted the cake! Go me!

            I'm not going to continue detailing all meals, as I think I've got the hang of what I should be eating now, but I'm still keeping up with the challenge. I had a lovely long walk in green surroundings today on the Capital Ring in London, then came hope and slept for a couple of hours. I snacked on nuts and sultanas on the way after a cooked breakfast to set me up for the day, and didn't feel hungry in the way I would if I'd been subsisting on flapjacks and crisps.

            One thing that's improved a *lot* since I've been on the Primal Challenge is I don't have restless legs at night any more, which is a huge benefit. I think it was caused by too much exercise, and I'm so pleased it's not happening any more.

            I'm intrigued by the idea of sleeping in two sessions overnight in the way described in the article I linked to above and in the comments beneath it. I'm experimenting with reducing my exposure to light in the evening earlier than before, to see if I can adjust to going to bed earlier and perhaps spending some time awake in the night without seeing it as a disaster. Just a bit worried I might not wake up in time for my weightlifting class tomorrow morning!


            • #21
              Chilling out in low light this evening, having completed day 14 of the challenge! I do feel so much better for it - less energy highs and lows, less sleepiness during the day, no more restless legs at night, no more struggling at the gym through overtraining. These things alone make me want to continue beyond the end of the challenge.

              I did make it to the gym on time this morning, and I did indeed wake up during the night and read for a while. I felt fine in the morning, and i'm going to continue to explore the idea of two-phase sleep. One big improvement is that I didn't feel sleepy today after a weightlifting session in the morning - usually I come home and nap for several hours afterwards and waste the day.

              Here goes for the last week of the challenge then ...
              Last edited by Warrahooyargh; 09-29-2013, 11:49 AM. Reason: I spel gud


              • #22
                Feeling good this evening, I'm still enjoying the challenge and feel content and relaxed after a productive day. I got out for a walk in the sunshine late this afternoon, which was great - we're not usually this lucky with weather in the UK at this time of year. I've moved my work stuff into the conservatory so that I can get more light during the day - perhaps that'll help with adjusting to a more natural day/night schedule. As of this morning I've lost another half-kilo or so, so weight loss is proceeding as described in the Primal Blueprint book.

                I want to start looking into primal recipes now, as I've just about got used to cooking meat again, at least in a very simple style. I do enjoy very simple meals, but it'd be nice to broaden my repertoire a bit now.


                • #23
                  Not long to go now until the end of the Challenge, although to be honest I don't feel remotely as if I'm undertaking some feat of endurance and counting the hours until it's over. I've never felt better, and I intend to continue to try to live according to Primal principles after Sunday. I'm eating my fill at every meal and enjoying my meals, losing weight, staying awake and alert through the day and maintaining a nice level of energy without any highs and lows. If anyone is reading this and wondering whether to try a future challenge, I'd say definitely give it a go.

                  The biggest lifestyle change for me has been eating meat and fish again, after many years as a vegetarian. I have to concede, reluctantly, that something must have been missing - I've never felt so good in all the years as a veggie as I do now. I was probably eating far too many carbs, which can't have helped, but even trying to eat primally and remain vegetarian didn't produce the results that eating meat has. Obviously it's a personal choice that each individual must make alone, but quality of life is very important to me for reasons too complicated to explain here, and I'm now enjoying a quality of life each day that I don't think I've experienced before. I'm very grateful for this website and for the work that Mark puts into it. Really.


                  • #24
                    So the last day of the challenge is drawing to an end here in the UK! And I've made it! It's been a really good experience for me, and one that I hope to continue - realistically I know I'll lapse sooner or later, but now I know I can feel really good on a primal diet and hopefully that'll help me to stay on the straight and narrow. So what did I learn?

                    - Holy ****, meat is expensive! As a long-time vegetarian, my food bills went up quite sharply. I had *no idea* how much meat cost, and that's not even always buying grass-fed, humanely reared, organic, etc. Organic food generally tends to be more expensive than conventionally grown stuff in the UK, although the price difference has narrowed in recent years somewhat for vegetables at least. It's set me wondering why good food should be so expensive and therefore unaffordable for so many families on a limited budget. The conventional American diet Mark talks about in his book is very much prevalent in Britain, and it's understandable - supermarkets are stuffed full of carb-heavy, cheap, sweet foods. For some bizarre reason my local supermarket (Tesco) is stocked with poor quality foods with little choice, even though it's an enormous physical space, much of which isn't used. I suspect it's actually a loss-making store which Tesco prefer to cling on to rather than relinquish it to a competitor. Supermarket politics is weird. I'll be further investigating other options including the local butcher, although I'm a complete noob about what cuts of meat to ask for and haven't plucked up the courage to go in yet!

                    - The biggest change for me was leaving vegetarianism behind. I am astonished to find I feel much better for eating meat. The changed breakdown of macronutrients might be playing a part as well, but eating meat and fish must have contributed to improving my general sense of well being. I have enjoyed eating flesh more than I thought I would, and will continue to do so, preferably from humanely reared sources. I've been donating to Compassion in World Farming in the UK for a few years now, and I'll be reading their materials more closely in future to learn more about where my meat comes from.

                    - I'm doing less at the gym, not more. It feels completely counter-intuitive, but I'm having time to rest properly in between sessions and hopefully I'm getting a little stronger. I'm curious to see how I'm doing at CrossFit by the end of the year!

                    - My weight has come down, and it hasn't felt as if I've been on a diet. I've eaten very well, sometimes some quite indulgent stuff, and my clothes are fitting better. I'm hoping to lose a little more and keep it off long-term.

                    - I'm training as a court reporter, and have been slogging through that training for four-and-a-half years now, often feeling foggy and unable to focus. Since starting the challenge I have felt more alert and able to concentrate, and my writing speed has begun to improve. It's a career field where you really need to be in good shape, and I think this could be the area where primal living has the biggest impact for me. I suspect that it will enable me to complete my training more rapidly than I might otherwise have done, and hopefully it will help me survive the rigours of the job once I'm out there. That's a hugely significant change and one I'm very grateful for.

                    So a big thank you to Mark for all the advice on the site and in The Primal Blueprint - the challenge has been a great experience and I hope other people have benefited from it too!