Confession: Primal Made Me Lazy

Alright, alright. I’m the only one who can make me lazy. But I have to say, since I don’t have a dumpy butt to run away from anymore, my zeal for exercise has diminished significantly.

The funny thing is, if you had asked me six months ago why I exercised, I would’ve said, “Because I love it!” Which would have been true. But now that I’m over the illusion that exercise can manage weight and my weight manages itself just fine, thank you, it’s obvious that I clearly don’t love it as much as I once thought. My behavior tells me so.

Don’t get me wrong. I still head out for hikes, yoga (not as often as I’d like), trail runs, mountain bike rides. I like to be outside as much as possible. But without that weight-gain monkey on my back, my frequency is way down.

My husband, Brian, has noticed a similar drop in workout desire. And he’s one of those crazy people who can get three times as much done in a day than I can, which would often include a long run. Nobody would have thought he needed to lose any weight pre-Primal, but lose he has, somewhere between 10-14 pounds.

So I’ll outline some external obstacles:

  • International Symbol for "If it's raining this much, you'll need a drink. Or three."

    The weather. It will just. Not. Quit. Raining. It really starts to wear on you after a while. There’s a reason we don’t live in Portland or Seattle. But this is our second spring in a row that seems hell-bent on continuing up until July 4th. Counter-argument: Pre-Primal I would’ve been out there anyway in my rain jacket, plodding the miles away. Hmm…

  • The baby. She’s adorable and wonderful, but she requires a lot of attention. So far, we’ve been pretty good about just lugging her around with us wherever we go. We have a baby backpack, a jogging stroller that can handle the trail, a front-mounted bike seat for her on our bikes. We’ve jogged, hiked, snowshoed, mountain biked, and camped with her. I have two mornings a week of relief, which is often filled with me vegging out at a café, sipping a latte, and working on the blog. Counter-argument: We didn’t let her stop us last year. Hmm…
  • Brian is extra, extra busy right now. He has two part-time jobs and now a software venture that fills the rest of his time. His days off are no longer “off”. His regular jobs both require random scheduling, so he works shifts that start and stop all over the clock. This effs with a person, no doubt. Counter-argument: He’s never let anything get in the way before. Hmm…
  • I had a knee injury. The same week we switched to Primal, my left knee decided it was done running. This would’ve freaked me out in the old days, but the weight was coming off so I decided to truly let my knee rest and heal. It worked like a charm, and my knee hasn’t so much as squeaked at me since. Fine and dandy, but my motivation hasn’t been seen since January. Counter-argument: With previous injuries, I would find something else to keep moving: swimming, yoga, elliptical, what have you. Maybe I like being a sloth more than I realize? Hmm…

What signals are my brain receiving from my guts?

Honestly, I’m beginning to wonder something. Stick with me here, ’cause I know I drive people crazy when I get all cross-referencey, but I’ve been thinking more and more about Gary Taubes’s assertion that our bodies often drive our behavior. The more Emily Deans I read, the more I wonder. And there’s GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome), which is mostly applied to issues such as autism, schizophrenia, and depression. But. BUT. Could we make a leap here and say, at least anecdotally, that a Paleo/Primal diet could organically reduce the desire to exercise for some people? Or is it purely a psychological side effect of not needing it for weight management?

I dunno, but I have a plan. There was a time when I was a very strong lady. I could do pull-ups, I had a strong core, and I had incredible balance. All of that’s gone out the window since having my daughter 21 months ago. There’s no doubt in my mind that I need to build that back up:

  • As mentioned early in this blog’s life (here), I have always been more attracted to functional fitness, bootcamp-style workouts with calisthenics. There’s a lot of inspiring stuff out there on this front (see here, here, and here). I just saw Al Kavadlo‘s awesome video “Human Flags Everywhere!”, and I don’t know if a woman has ever accomplished one, but I’d have fun trying. I’ve been scoping out the local playgrounds for a good place to workout that wouldn’t be too disruptive to the kiddos.
  • In addition, there’s a CrossFit gym, The Den, in the next town over, about a 20-25 minute drive away. In pre-baby days, I wouldn’t have thought twice about signing up, but now? Ay yi yi. My plan is to go check it out and sign up for a once a week commitment. I love the idea of a pre-formed community of folks with similar interests and food proclivities.
  • And of course, yoga. There’s always yoga and I always need and want more of it in my life.

I try not to be someone who talks about things instead of actually doing those things. But I’m hoping putting this confession out there will get my arse in gear. Any words of tough-love encouragement? Leave ’em in the comments. Give it to me straight! I can handle it.

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10 Responses to “Confession: Primal Made Me Lazy”

  1. Thanks for the shout out and glad to have inspired you! As far as I know, there is no documentation of a woman ever doing a full human flag – I’d love to see it done though! You’ve got a lofty goal there that is going to demand lots of practice and discipline. I’m excited for your journey – don’t give up!

  2. K – I, too, have found that I have very little interest in running often and am very non-chalant in saying that I have not run a step since the Boston Marathon, nearly 6 weeks ago (yes, all training for this was pre-paleo, but I digress…). Today was the first day since the marathon that I had any interest in getting on the treadmill *gulp* and/or lifting weights. 30 minutes and I was off. :) I’m hoping to find that zest and love for running (you’ve already warned me about distance running and how paleo might change that a bit) again soon and really look forward to hearing all about your new findings and zest for different forms of exercise! Let’s go for a run when we come to OR! ;)

  3. CWs might say you lack the energy because you are lacking the carbs…

    • I think there’s something to that, but not in the way the CWer would think. I do think that carbs give your body an excess of energy that it feels the need to burn off. I also think this is why my previous levels of anxiety have been reduced by about 80%. All that energy has to go somewhere!

      But it’s certainly not a lack of energy. Just a lack of “want-to”. :)

  4. Have you tried pushing your daughter up hills in a stroller? While talking with a friend, or walking group?

    If she won’t sit, how about doing your exercise of choice during your time off and after having a latte. I also incorporate resistance exercises into all my mundane activities, I can even fit exercise into blowdrying my hair.

    I do think there’s some argument to the psychology argument. I also think the drive to exercise waxing and waning is normal. That’s why mixing it up is helpful. In my experience at least.

    • Oh yes. Can’t go anywhere in this town without dealing with hills. In general, we have a very active life. I think it’s the weather that’s got me down right now.

      It’s the incorporation of the daily stuff I’m having trouble with, for sure. Your comment reminds me of when I used to do squats while brushing my teeth. Good times! :)

  5. All this from the lady on the flying trapeze.
    How much physical fitness do you want? Need?
    Where is contentment and sense of enough?
    Just asking.

    • Ideally, three times a week of something regular. Something I can count on. But that’s just not my life right now. I imagine soon I’ll have an arrangement something like 1 day a week of CrossFit, 1-2 days of trail running, and then optional other exercise (yoga, swimming, mountain biking, hiking, etc.) when I can squeeze it in.

      Today I went on a fun trail run/hike with Brian and hopped on some boulders and did push-ups and tri dips. That was fun.

  6. Whoa, you said it out loud! Looking forward to seeing you at CrossFit TheDen!

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