Wednesday, February 23

We went on a diet and it was hard and I barfed

Yup. So don't read this if you don't want to hear details about puking (because I think it's hilarious).

Also, if you are one of my friends who is vegan you might come kill me in my sleep after reading this (although that wouldn't be very vegan of you), so carry on with whatever you were doing before this.

And also any people who are offended by the idea of evolution, adiós for now. Unless you want an anecdote to have handy when arguing that believing evolution makes you barf. 'Cause it did.

But this post also has praying in it, so good times can be enjoyed by all.
Except the vegans.

I'm going to tell the whole story with disclaimers before I even tell the whole story. My bad.

So before anybody stages some sort of body-image intervention, we WEREN'T trying to lose weight. Actually, if I lost any more weight (post-Sweden jet lag was hard on me) I'd have to start buying bras from the little kids' section again, so No Thank You Very Much.

Our gym (Crossfit, which we looove, love, lovelovelove) suggests everyone try the "Paleo Diet." It's definitely not mandatory, but they recommend it for more energy and better athletic results. The basic idea behind it is to limit your diet to things that were available for the majority of human evolution (before we invented cooking and agriculture), because theoretically we should digest those things most easily.

Like most diets, you can eat whatever you want to eat. Except grains. And legumes. And potatoes. And dairy. And processed food/food additives. This kind of made sense to me, since people have trouble digesting many of these things anyway (gluten, lactose, those magical little fruits known as legumes). The sciencey-side of us was intrigued. Time for a little experiment... on ourselves.

If you want to know more, here's a little propaganda video for ya.
For more sciencey explanations of why the forbidden foods are bad for you, this is a cheesy yet interesting video
Or if you'd rather read about it, a great article from Runner's World.

The bag of banishment
We cleared our cupboards of all the banished foods and put them in this giant bag. We went to the store and filled our cart with free-range meat & eggs, nuts, and colorful produce. It looked delicious. I looked forward to the challenge of cooking new things, and smugly doubted that I'd experience any willpower issues.

In those first few days, I learned something about myself. I LOVE LEGUMES. I was hardcore missing-- no, mourning-- peas, hummus, tofu, fake "chicken" nuggets (I'm not a vegetarian, but I love strange, processed soy foods), and for the love of all that is edible, refried beans. Black, pinto, I didn't care. I just needed a big pile of smooshed-up beans.

Also, I realized that unless we ate a LOT of veggies, we were going to have trouble getting enough calories from carbs to not lose weight. And protein was out of the running for a main caloric source-- not only is protein expensive, but my conscience has a bit of a problem with eating that many animals. So, I resolved to get my calories from fat. Cashews, raw coconuts, olive oil, eggs, bananas fried in coconut oil... I ate a lot of fat.

By the fourth day, we'd started craving starches (bread, potatoes) like Edward Cullen wanted to shred Bella in that first Chemistry class. No friendly amber-colored vampire eyes here, amigos. F***ing RED. Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. We were strangely hungry... our stomachs burned, but all food sounded gross other than, basically, waffles. We forced down taco salads instead, literally scowling like four-year-olds. I had gained a huge, huge respect for those who have to diet and still manage to have friends. ...Also for "vegetarian" vampires.

Other than that, though, we definitely felt more energetic & were having great workouts. Maybe there was something to this Paleo Diet business.

That night, we had salmon patties and asparagus (dipped in lemon juice & olive oil for the extra calories). Sounds pretty awesome, right? Not after 92 hours of this stupid, STUPID diet. Bitter much? You bet. I was literally having olfactory hallucinations of cake.

Why do you need to know what we had for dinner that night? Foreshadowing, my dears.
the best late-night barfing companion

I woke up around 1AM that night with a horrible burning in my stomach. And thanks to high school anatomy class, I knew that it literally was my stomach: a J-shaped pit of mortal agony on the left of my torso. I turned the lamp on and started reading to distract myself, but it got worse. WAY worse. I hadn't experienced this much pain since I broke my tailbone a decade before.

I started getting a weird feeling all over my body. I thought it might be nausea, but I'd only thrown up three times in my life so I wasn't really sure. I moved myself and my book to the bathroom just in case. An hour passed, then two hours. I started crying from the horrible, tight, searing sensation in my stomach.

Now, I'm not the most religious person, but I do pray pretty often. I never ask for specific things to happen, because I trust that God knows what he's doing; I usually just say, "This situation sucks so I'd appreciate if you'd reveal whatever lesson I'm supposed to get out of it," or, "Thanks, the world is awesome and I'm really enjoying being here." (And then rainbows and little heart-shaped bubbles start floating around my head.) (Kidding.)

But that night, I just felt stuck. I felt stuck in this horrible pain; I was tired of sitting there feeling it get worse, and I wanted it to be over with. (The agony, that is, not my rainbow-and-heart-shaped-bubble Carebear life.) I tearfully begged God, Please give me peace, fix my writhing stomach, let me know what to do to make it go away.



And then as if given a shove from behind, I lunged over the toilet seat and started hurling my guts out. HARD. It sucked.

Dear God, 
   You're a funny, funny fella.

And since you really must know, this was some weird barf. There was no stomach acid, no liquid, just chewed up, undigested, pink and green dinner. My sister told me not to write this, but I think it will really benefit you to know that it was so thick, I seriously felt like I was pooping out of my throat.

And because this was only the fourth time I've ever thrown up, ever, I slumped against the toilet for a while feeling confused and violated by whatever the hell kind of trick my stomach had just pulled there. Then I climbed back into bed, shivering, wrapped Jason's arms around me and finally fell asleep.

In retrospect, I'm somewhat embarrassed to tell you that the following morning I continued on with this dieting business. I did some online sleuthing to figure out what had caused the weird stomach pain and the whole little regurgitation trick. Apparently, I learned, fat requires a lot of bile to be digested. If you eat too much of it, you can temporarily run out of bile.  Basically, my stomach had said,

"We're sorry. Please try again later."

Then I looked up the Crossfit workout for that day, and I swear to rainbows and heart bubbles I am not making this sh*t up:
Run 1 mile.
Complete, in any order and any increments:
100 pull-ups
200 pushups
300 air-squats
Or, you know, DIE. Whichever happens first.

So we went. And I did it. And it sucked, but I didn't die. Plus I got to tell people my awesome barf story.

And then, in our sweaty workout clothes, we drove straight to our favorite Mexican restaurant and I ate THE BEST PLATE OF BEANS AND RICE I've ever had. And it stayed down.


jenne said...

LOL!!! loved this post. i also love how it seems that most of your posts involve some information that goes towards a "TMI" tag. :P

it was probably TMI, but i laughed SO HARD at the "pooping out of my throat" part. holy. sh*t.

god, that crossfit workout sounds insane, but awesome. so, in what order/increments did you do that outrageous number of pull-ups, push-ups & air squats? i need to know that it's possible.

& one other question, what's your favorite mexican restaurant? always have to make sure i've tried every one. :) glad the beans & rice were so good, & glad you're feeling better! i'm the one puking today! uggghhh.

April said...

Jenne, you have no idea how much self-restraint it took not to repost this picture next to the "pooping out of my throat" detail. TMI posts are definitely my favorite : )

Most people did 5 pushups, 5 pullups, 5 more pushups, then 15 squats, & repeated that 20 times.

Favorite Mexican restaurant is definitely, definitely El Torito next to McGrath's & the Valley River Center. What's yours?

Markie said...

This is one of the funniest stories I've ever heard.

Holy cow. I laughed a lot.

I have the craziest diet ever, so I can commiserate, compadre. (Also... not a diet to lose weight... a diet born out of many allergies.) Oh, the raving mad things you can do when you are craving something that you can't have. I sometimes hear brownies calling my name.

danielle @ take heart said...

bahaha. you make me laugh, friend!!

Mom Matthews said...

Now that I've dried my eyes and caught my breath from laughing so hard(yes my stomach hurts at this point:), I can actually see to type. It took me forever to just read the post - the laughs just kept coming. I read it outloud to BobFather which made it even funnier!! I am so glad you went to El Torito and feel better now - YUM!!

dulci said...

Glad you feel better!

Check out my Nanette Lepore giveaway!

Mandy said...

I saw your post on 20SB. A lot of my friends do crossfit and talk about the paleo diet. I have been reading up on it, but I like your critique the best. I probably won't try it any time soon...

Beautiful Little Fool said...

OH sweet chubby baby jeezuz. I hopped over here after reading all your hilarious comments.

I had something to say but my brain...
due to puke fear.

I'm getting all my calories from liquid from now on. Done deal.

PS - I'm glad you figured it out and you're all good. I'll commence stalking you in return now while NEVER READING THIS POST AGAIN. Ahem.

Kristie said...

You seriously have the best TMI bodily function stories ever. I will never tire of hearing them.

I'm impressed you were able to pinpoint exactly why your body reacted the way it did to what you ate. Nice!

But man, life with no beans... D:

Rhiannon Nicole said...

OH my gosh the pooping out of your throat part had me dying over here!! You are a super trooper girlfriend!! I have been thinking of doing a diet thingy that my yoga teacher suggested. However I skipped yoga today. That goes to show how serious I am huh? Sigh.

Kristie said...

Wait wait wait-- does this mean you can't eat bread on your diet?? How do you live???

Kristie said...

I cannot seem to leave this post alone. Ah evolution, that wonderful wonder that can make daily biological functions so much more facinating.
On that note, I see your Paleo Diet propaganda, and I raise you one argument for cooking as a human evolutionary biological trait. I'm not sure that the timelines of Paleolithic man really line up with what this paper proposes (linked in the article), but it does say that cooked food is evolutionarily part of human nutrition. So yaaaay for cooking :)

Kristie said...

Waaait I forgot the article.
(Picked from a vegan nutrition site, since you called out vegans by name ;) )

My posts are gonna get counted as spam if this goes on any longer.

Kristie said...

Okay, now I'm spamming. But one more thing.

Check out the part titled "humans are natural omnivores" for more evolutionary goodies.

(To be clear, though this is from a vegan site, it is not promoting vegetarianism or veganism as any kind of evolutionary diet, but the difficulties in using a hunter-gatherer diet as a strict basis for our diets today. If your diet stops making you puke, go for it!).

Kristie said...


I'm stopping now for real.

Yadie said...

LMAO. I love this post, like hardcore love it XD

And to make things even funnier for me, the word verification to post this comment is "YACKWEL"


April said...

Kristie, it cracks me UP that you left your first comment... then you realized I COULDN'T EAT BREAD... and only then did you provide the vegan counter-argument articles! hahaha!! I'm going to read your links, check my spambox for any further correspondences from you ; ), then get back to you via facebook.

I appreciate your scholarly interest, looking forward to geeking out with you about it on the fbook!

Noodles and Waffles said...

Hilarious. What a great story...even with the throwing up details. Count yourself luck on that front...four times sounds like you pulled the Ace card in some magic trick or something.

Nanoinfinity said...

Who are you and why have I not been following your blog from the beginning?


DaShannon said...

this paleo diet is popping up everywhere ... or should i say pooping up now?? i'm afraid you didn't sell me on it but i'm tagging the post as honest and hilarious. and the fact you got up the next day and continued? HA!

Not who I will be said...

I have a friend who is IN LOVE with Crossfit. She wanted me to get into it. It scares me a bit, not going to lie.

Applause for staying motivated though!

Wandering Gypsie said...

This is one of the best blog posts i've ever read! I laughed just about the entire way through. This post could totally give Jenny @Bloggess a run for her money on some of her posts. Fantastic! ^_^

wow..only vomited now 4x in your life? that's gotta be some kind of record somewhere ;) i hate vomiting. ugh! i'm glad it doesn't happen often.

Congrats on sticking with the program! Yay for mexican food! ^_^

Anonymous said...

This made me miss you guys so year of Hawai`i is almost over, & I sure hope I can see you guys within the next year or so...aloha.