You can tell it’s the beginning of March because there’s this hint of excitement around the fringes of everyone’s conciousness, like spring is right over the horizon but we can’t really get our hopes up. Not yet. And in the meantime, life is exhausting – we’re just a bunch of static-electricity-ridden, dried-out zombie husks dragging from day to day. Sleepy scarecrows with bunches of straw where our innards used to be, crows perched on our shoulders that have been hunched against the cold for too goddamn many months now. And this winter wasn’t even particularly bad…
But anyway. Bitching about winter won’t make it go away any faster and it’s kind of nice that there’s more daylight at this point. Small victories.
I know none of you came here to read about me waxing poetic about how stupid winter is, so let’s talk about the carnivore diet! I promise this is the last I will write about it; it’s been 4 posts in a row but now that I have some brain power back I want to put some better thoughts down. Also I think it’s worth talking about how the re-introduction into normal-people omnivorous land went/is going because there were some surprises.
So: my original plan was to stick to high-protein, high-fat, low carb for a while – you know; add low-FODMAP fruit and veggies back into my diet (because that’s really what I was missing the most anyway), THEN slowly add in grains/dairy/everything else.
Best-laid plans, amirite?
Instead what happened was this: I mentioned it briefly last week but my electrolyte levels rode dangerously low toward the end of week three on the carnivore diet, but I wasn’t thinking clearly enough to identify what was going on. When the potassium level in your blood goes down below 3.5mmol/L (and I didn’t have blood work done so I don’t know where mine was), side effects include abnormal heart rhythms, muscle cramping, nausea, constipation…you know, all the fun stuff. So on competition day, my resting heart rate was sitting at about 42, and every few minutes it would have a little spazz attack like it was trying to stay on a treadmill that was going too fast. I added some supplements in but it was too little too late, and after a decidedly ‘meh’ performance at the Gordon Kay Masters, I dove back into eating all the things.
Now, I think I’m capable of some discipline sometimes – I mean, I made it three whole fucking weeks without eating anything but meat, but wheeeeeooooo did that pendulum ever swing wildly back the other way and I have spent the last week eating ALL THE CARBS. I didn’t care if I gained the weight back, I just wanted to feel normal again and I figured my body would tell me what it needed…and what it needed was AVOCADO TOAST. Don’t worry though – I’m a middle-aged woman and I already have a mortgage so I can snarf down avocado toast with reckless abandon if I damn well want to without running society to ruin. Clearly I needed the potassium. And the carbohydrates. OMG YES.
So it’s been nine days since I called it quits and I’m beginning to feel normal now. It took a long time to recover – and for most of this week my stomach hated me. Hey everyone who wanted to know about my bathroom habits when I started the carnivore diet, where’d you go? Want to hear that going OFF the carnivore was WAY WORSE? Nah, didn’t think so…
Anyway, I will leave y’all with this: the success of a diet is not in how you feel while you’re on it – when you’re doing it and seeing fast results and loving the whole world because of adrenaline and elation, of course it’s awesome. But, what about when the diet is over? Is it sustainable? When you go off the plan, do you end up right back where you were? Are you worse off because of it? That is what makes or breaks a diet plan. Carnivore gets a big old ‘F’ from me; it’s restrictive and unsustainable and the aftermath will send you right back to square one (or worse). And for anyone who doesn’t have a pretty healthy relationship with food and their bodies, that’s not a good place. Moderation and self-love and variety is the way to go – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!