Thursday, December 17, 2009

Lovely Ham! Wonderful Ham!

Ham for breakfast, ham for lunch, ham for afternoon snack... Then the plan was to have roast beef for dinner, but it had gone bad, so we had lamb chops, eggs, and ham!

No more ham left. And Christmas is still a week away! No more ham til at actual Christmas parties. It was so good though! And totally unprocessed. You can only get good ham in December, it would seem.

Tomorrow is the last day of work, and all it involves is going in to share in Christmas lunch, Kris Kringle giving, and farewelling various members of staff. Should take a couple of hours (and here's hoping there's some plain meat for me!) and then it's party party party! And then sleep! :D

The best part of Christmas to me? Giving gifts that encourage the recipient to make positive changes in their lives. I'm giving most of my younger cousins toys that involve solar power or hand-generated power (wind-up torches, etc), inspiring and fun books about sustainability and politics, hand-made items... I told this to my Mum and she said "So you're focussing on educational gifts, hey?" My response - "I'm imposing my values upon others through generosity". The severity of my linguistic choices was for ironic effect, but the message is still true. Much more effective than an awkward discussion or criticising of current activities, etc. I really hope I can help my family make more positive life choices. Even if my little cousin doesn't really appreciate a grow-it-yourself radish pack (I didn't get to pick the plant, sadly), it will remain meaningful for longer than the typical stocking full of chocolates. I feel bad enough that most of the gifts I'm giving colleagues are chocolates - re-gifted from the immense amounts given to me by my well-meaning students and friends - but these are people who continue to scarf garbage every day even though they've seen the changes I have made to myself and know how I did it. So they can continue making poor health choices. But I refuse to effect the lives of my family in negative ways. My Mum is making positive steps. My Dad happily lives on red meat anyway - just have to make sure he isn't snacking on garbage...


Anonymous said...

i found hog jowl at the market on sale this week! im gonna try it tonight.... sounds so good

caroline said...

Hi there GGP, congrats on your weight loss and good health. You really are inspiring. I know it's nosey, but what do you weigh now and how much weight have you lost in total? (I know it's rude to ask women about their weight and will understand if you're not prepared to say). Did you have a goal weight and if so have you reached it? Are you likely to post a very recent picture of yourself soon? One more thing, did you ever feel emotionally very down when doing low carb? I find I feel healthy and not bloated, but at certain times of the month I become incredibly depressed about life in general and can't seem to get over it without indulging in food that's higher in carbs than I'd like (eg, nuts, strawberries and cream etc).

Jezwyn said...

Hog jowl??! Sounds delicious! How did you prepare it?

Hi Caroline! Thank you so much for reading! :D I've been eating salty meat (HAM!) a bit too much this week, so the scales show a bit of an increase since my lowest weight thus far - 76kg. I've been hovering between 76-77kg for most of the month, gaining a bit due to stress and lack of sleep, and now I'm closer to 77-78kg thanks to fluid retention. I've been monitoring my measurements and nothing has changed, so I'm not worried :)

On the 1st of Jan, 2009, I weighed in at 90.5kg. Admittedly, this was after a big, binge0ful Christmas, but for most of 2008 I sat at 88.7kg exactly. So I can say that I've shed 14 kg if I look at the extremes, but I'm more likely to put my loss at 10kg since that's how I have affected my body's comfort level. My body will happily sit at 78kg or less if I eat primal food. I'm aiming to knock another 5kg or so off this since I still have some flab - love-handles/muffin-top, chunky thighs, and some softness on my upper-arms and calves. I didn't start out with a goal weight in terms of a number - I knew that, as a strong, big-boned lass, I would have to reassess based on what I saw and how my clothes fitted, rather than what the scale said and what dress size I could squeeze into.

If there's a good photo taken of my at Christmas, I'll upload it :)

I haven't felt depressed at any stage this year - during TOM I sometimes find myself behaving irritably and having little patience for others, usually because I'm dealing with cramps, so I turn to 100% cacao which gives me the hormonally-stabilising goodness of chocolate without the sugar (or dairy). One of the benefits of learning so much about how food affects me is that I've found replacements for those moments where emotional eating is tempting - I get out in the sun (which I seem especially sensitive too now, in a positive way), read a book, play a computer game... Something mindless, distracting and relaxing. The fact that there's no guilt afterward helps consolidate the change in behaviour.

Lately I have become more respectful of 'the gut instinct' and listening when your body (not your brain) calls out for particular foods. For instance, if I find myself hankering for a big pile of crunchy cos (romaine) lettuce leaves, I know I'm probably dehydrated and/or have been consuming too much sodium, so I bump up the water and fat intake. I also recognise the reason behind other psychological cravings - if I've had less than 7 hours sleep, I'm going to want to keep eating all the time, so I have a really big meat meal with lots of fat so that the idea of eating turns my stomach even though my brain still wants me to nibble.

If you can't find a workable solution to help you get out of your funk, then turning to primal foods isn't really a bad thing. Maybe portion control will help ensure you don't feel bad about eating nuts/fruit/cream etc. Your mood could be caused by an external factor rather than diet, I don't know, but I do know that for some people low-carb can negatively affect their digestive bacteria balance, which then has further ramifications on other system balances. How long have you been LC?

Let me know how you go!