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Newbies Start Here: Primer to the Primal Blueprint Lifestyle

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  • Hi, Fisherlassie. Congratulations on your transformative weight loss! But: I'm jealous you can eat that! I'm currently on an 800-calorie-a-day severely restricted diet and am still gaining weight at a frightening pace. Yesterday my cardiologist said, "I don't care if you're only taking in 500-800 calories a day; if you're fat, and you certainly are, YOU ARE EATING MORE THAN YOUR BODY NEEDS!" I'm deeply ashamed to say he reduced me to tears of shame and self-hate. Then I got over it. I said to myself, "It's finally time for Extreme Fasting!"

    I've only done water fasts for up to 11 days before, and ended up quitting because I fainted repeatedly, plus the meds I'm on started taxing my liver and kidneys to the danger point. But I want to do a 50-day starvation fast. But I need to do this without accidentally killing myself in the process.

    Medicated almost to death by the appalling psychiatric industry (I have PTSD from extreme abuse from infancy thru until 2009), I have gone from a lean, mean, hiking, bouldering, climbing, vibrantly active BMI 18 (that's not underweight for me; the BMI scale is too general and I'm very Ectomorphic) to a lethargic, disgusting, depressed BMI of 27 (horrors! Adjusted for me that's 30: OBESE!) with: PAT, MVP, asthma, high cholesterol, thyroid trouble, "the Change," Reynaud's, advanced arthritis, fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathy, epilepsy (partly from the beatings, 25 concussions and a subdural hematoma), a MENSA-level IQ I'm only really starting to use at age FIFTY, and a host of Gastro issues too disgusting to mention that do include a brush with Adenocarcinoma, the same cancer that killed my Dad at the end of 2010; he died in my arms. My Mom had died of pancreatic cancer the previous year. Yes, I'm depressed. And I'm also FAT. VERY fat.

    I told my cardiologist that I keep fainting from hunger when I'm working or exercising. Steely-eyed, he looked at me and said, "It doesn't come from the air, honey. You're obese, so either you move more or eat less: PERIOD. THERE IS NO OTHER ANSWER." He's RIGHT.

    The only thing left is total starvation and extreme exercise. I'm totally up for it! As soon as my endocrinologist clears me (he did my thyroid biopsy and it's not cancer, just pre-cancer, so no surgery, and all levels are NORMAL!), I'm going to stop eating altogether. I will have to stay hydrated so my kidneys don't fail like they almost did on a few of my past fasts. I never made it past 30 days and that time it was after jaw surgery and on Ensure! Of course, I wasn't fat then.......

    Oh, how desperately I wish I could work out like you do! Sounds so much FUN! I adore exercise. I did five miles last night. Woo Hoo. The WIMP WALK. It was just uphill hiking with an 18-pound pack, using my cane to help; like I say, just silly wimpy kid stuff. I pushed until I couldn't breathe, then pushed beyond it. Big deal. I'm on a Holter-Monitor just now for my heart. I wanted to show that cardiologist that this old wreck isn't quite over with YET.

    But I used to do eight miles of hiking and lots of good hard climbing a day every day. Never missed a day. And occasional hikes up to 35 miles with only one or two 10-minute rest periods and no food. It was PARADISE. Like FLYING, soaring in my Soul. Then I was forced to quit it all, because first my weight suddenly dropped from a healthy 116 to a sickly 88. I was threatened with hospitalization and intravenous feeding. My late Dad (a fanatical lifelong athlete who took Third Place in a Biathelon with 6 months left to live, in agony & riddled through with cancer, at 77) would sneak me out for a little light approach-climbing now & then. Nowadays if I tried those hills we climbed, I'd drop dead, literally. Sad.

    Then, after 8 years spent getting my weight back up to 109, I was allowed to work out again, but I'd totally lost my edge. And I'd aged greatly. I ended up in crippling pain and found out I had advanced arthritis and much more. I was put on Lyrica and gained 75 pounds in about 10 months! I lost about 20 but it crept back; I'm only down 10 from that max weight now. And still on Lyrica. That teensy workout last night has me in so much pain I'm gritting my teeth. How can I have fallen so far?

    I believe my prodigious weight is making it much worse now. I'd go on a complete fast using only water, no vitamins, for about 50 days. If I could be sure it wouldn't kill me; that's totally not the idea!

    I need to lose 40 pounds. Since eating salad, Luna bars, etc. at up to 800 calories a day is still "more than your body needs" as my Doc said, the only possible answer is fasting and heavy, intense, daily exercise. I've been reading avidly about it, total fasting, combined with really punishing, Marine-style high-impact workouts (my rheumatologist has absolutely, categorically forbidden them, saying that over the decades of my life my obsession with doing them has caused massive joint and connective tissue damage, but I simply cannot resist them; for just awhile, as I'm pushing the limits of my endurance to the breaking point, I actually feel HAPPY!), and I desperately want this fat OFF of me. I'm buried alive in it!

    I wonder: what is the possible compromise? Could I one day enjoy the type of diet you have (which appeals to me) and even better, the exercises? I'm only looking To & Fro for ideas; ultimately I will compile the data I accumulate and take it to my docs and ask them, "Well, how about it?"

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    • Exercise fanatika

      I am not in favour of fasting or low calorie diets because I think it messes with your metabolism. I think it would be better to eat a reasonable amount of food, I ate at least 1200 calories plus exercise calories when I first started and had a lot to lose. I made sure that the food I ate was very dense nutritionally, no crap, Primal Blueprint style. I wanted to lose fat not muscle and I wanted to increase my health not decrease it. With the calories that low there is no room for sweets of any kind even "paleo/primal sweets". My sweets included 1 cup of dark berries every day and that was it. I weighed and recorded everything I ate and my activity in myfitnesspal. I think your doctor is irresponsible for suggesting you fast. I think you should gradually increase your workouts as your fitness improves. This all or nothing mentality is likely to lead to injuries. You sound like a sensible person. I think you recognize that long fasts are unhealthy and dangerous. I think you need to take a long term "change my life" sort of attitude rather than the lose weight fast mentality which is going to lead to losing muscle and other important tissue as well and cause a lot of stress for your body.

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      • Hello all!
        I am Briana and I am 21 years of age. I have always had a weight problem, I have been on the 17 day diet for about a year now and it was time for something new. I have been primal before when my girlfriends family made the change, but fell off the ban wagon after about 6 months. They had huge success, and after seeing that I have decided to try it again. I work for the Forest Service in my small home town in Colorado with 10 hours of hiking and lots of carrying heavy thing and swinging tools. the weight did not slide off like I thought it would over the summer so i needed to change my eating I have been primal for 2 weeks why I have been off due to the government shut down and I have lost 5 pounds and feeling great about it. Can't wait to see more to come off before I go back to school in January.
        Stay primal my friends.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by ExerciseFanatika View Post

          I wonder: what is the possible compromise? Could I one day enjoy the type of diet you have (which appeals to me) and even better, the exercises? I'm only looking To & Fro for ideas; ultimately I will compile the data I accumulate and take it to my docs and ask them, "Well, how about it?"
          I wonder if you would not be better off doing some sort of water exercise to build up your strength again. It would be lower impact on your body and would still get you a quality workout. Sorry to hear about your weight gain (I didn't gain my weight in quite that way, but I did pack on 100 pounds or so in the course of one year back when I was in elementary school- are you surprised that I am still trying to lose it? ), but I doubt that fasting for 50 days is the answer. Actually, to me it sounds like a good way to do more damage.

          When I started out on primal/paleo eating I was eating about 800 to 900 calories a day only because I couldn't figure out how to fit enough protein into my diet. As soon as I fixed that, I was able to sustain about 1100 or 1200 calories a day and I am still losing inches and weight. More than anything these past few weeks, I have learned that the quality of food and the ratios of macro-nutrients in those foods matter a great deal. So maybe if you just changed your diet up to include a little bit more protein, less convenience/processed kinds of food that would help you in the long run?

          I don't know, but the idea of a 50 day fast would scare me to my core. In fact it does. Besides, I think if you starve yourself of food for that long, I wonder if you would just be more likely to gain it all back even quicker than you put it on in the first place. So, that's what my inexperienced mind is telling me you should do- try to include more protein in your diet, less carbs, a reasonable amount of good fat and less processed stuff/grains/sugar. If you can combine that with some water exercises you might be able to start shedding pounds with relative ease. I know when I made the switch it just happened.

          Good luck!
          Stephanie
          "The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be."- Ralph Waldo Emerson

          Comment


          • Hello!
            I am new to the Paleo/Primal diet and lifestyle. I have been following it for the last 3 months, however I am not losing weight?
            I am a healthy 23 year old female. I thought that by cutting out bread, pasta, rice, etc. and eating more vegetables and healthy fats would naturally make me lose the weight, but I have not lost anything. I am eating quite a lot of nuts and diary on the diet, possibly too much, but I am finding I need it as I am no longer eating the processed grains. I still figure nuts and diary are a lot healthier than the alternative. I would love some advice on how to lose the kg's and also how to curb my nut and diary intake?

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            • Originally posted by PrimeNewbie View Post
              Hello!
              I am new to the Paleo/Primal diet and lifestyle. I have been following it for the last 3 months, however I am not losing weight?
              I am a healthy 23 year old female. I thought that by cutting out bread, pasta, rice, etc. and eating more vegetables and healthy fats would naturally make me lose the weight, but I have not lost anything. I am eating quite a lot of nuts and diary on the diet, possibly too much, but I am finding I need it as I am no longer eating the processed grains. I still figure nuts and diary are a lot healthier than the alternative. I would love some advice on how to lose the kg's and also how to curb my nut and diary intake?
              Eat more fat. If you feel you can't cut something out, it's probably what you need to cut out the most. How many carbs are you eating a day? Especially if you're active, you might want to add in sweet potatoes for more carbs.
              Most people don't realize how much energy it takes for me to pretend to be normal.

              If I wanted to listen to an asshole, I'd fart.

              Twibble's Twibbly Wibbly

              Comment


              • Hello everyone :-)

                Very new to this primal idea but I think I've been heading this way for a while. I'm really looking forward to the simplicity but I'm a "slowly slip into the pool" type person. Incorporating smaller chunks at a time lets me make the change permanently.

                I'm very fat, sick, slow, weak, clumsy ... you get the idea. I'm trying to get ideas for the strength training and sprints. I have an artificial hip, a bad back, and other mangled joints from a military training accident (which is also a large part of my fat gain). Ortho-surgeon said no impact activities and I really don't have access to a pool right now (hoping to fix that next summer).

                In the meantime, my daughter and I are going primal diet and incorporate what I can, when I can. :-)



                G. K. Chesterton ~ Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist, children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.

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                • Have you changed shape?
                  I'm only just getting started here but i do 20mins of HIT muscle work each week. I have'nt lost weight but those nice curves are returning

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                  • Hey there, gyspy here. Is this where I introduce myself? I am on day 5 ( 6, 7?) of 21-day
                    primal life. Feeling good- clear headed and looking forward to sticking to it...with a little help from my
                    forum friends of course. I live in Santa Monica, and have all of my life. Which is a half a century. Neener.
                    Thanks for the great website, Mark.

                    Comment


                    • Not losing weight - suggestions?

                      Been primal for over a month and have lost only 2 pounds (with 60 to go to get to my 'normal' range). Got over the carb flu and have been feeling good enough to keep going even without much happening on the weight front. Measurements are maybe an inch lost overall.

                      Was sort of close to primal before starting the lifestyle, but have been keeping my carbs down to ~100 a day since early November. I was already active with a pretty close to primal exercise routine that I've kept up (biking, hiking, walking, kickboxing, step aerobics, strength training). I record everything on My Fitness Pal, and have been honest. I'm averaging about 1,500 kcal/day and eating all I want. In addition to having PCOS, Metabolic Syndrome, Hypothyroidism, HBP and Adrenal fatigue, at 40 I've learned patience. Any suggestions on getting this train turned around, anyone?

                      I do love this community and this site. Thanks, Mark for putting so much work in to this every single day. I hosted a primal Thanksgiving during my 21-day challenge and everyone loved it. My family has many food allergies and it was great to lay out a spread 10 people could enjoy with something (almost everything) for everyone. I ate some of almost everything and still managed to stay under 150 carbs on T-day without trying!

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                      • since this is on the newbie page I don't feel so bad asking...how the heck do you start a new question thread. I am going bonkers looking for a tab somewhere!

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                        • Hi, I'm Denise, 50, and in a wheelchair. I can stand, but not walk without support. Can anyone recommend any HIIT exercises I might could do?
                          SW: 205
                          CW: 205
                          GW: 140


                          Measurements as of 12/23 Measurements as of 12/29
                          Neck 15.75 15.5
                          Arms L/R 15/14.5 14.5/14.5
                          Ribs 39.5 38.5
                          Hips 49 47.5
                          Diet Calculator

                          My journey

                          Comment


                          • With all the stress you have going on, I would not recommend starving yourself to death. Honestly, eat a good meal, lay off all the sugar (including fruit for now), all the grain/flour products, and do seated zumba if that's all you can do for exercise. I'd also find a different doctor than one who tells you not to eat. He sounds like a crack-pot!
                            SW: 205
                            CW: 205
                            GW: 140


                            Measurements as of 12/23 Measurements as of 12/29
                            Neck 15.75 15.5
                            Arms L/R 15/14.5 14.5/14.5
                            Ribs 39.5 38.5
                            Hips 49 47.5
                            Diet Calculator

                            My journey

                            Comment


                            • so nice i interested

                              Comment


                              • I just began eating primal a few days ago as a part of my "New Years Resolution." I know I weigh about 220 right now, but I am scared of scales so I don't have one in the house. I think its somewhere in my garage. I used to be in the military and was healthy for the most part. I was put out on a technicality. My body was too fat by military standards. At that time I weighed 150 and felt great but my waist was too big and I couldn't pass the fitness test, so I was out. With being depressed from losing my military career, going back to school, working full time for DoD, having 3 boys, a part time photographer, I gained around 70 pounds. This was only about 3 years ago. I am totally sick of this! I have been diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 35. My problem is that I can't stand most veggies or do not know how to cook them properly. I did cook the other night and made shrimp, brussels sprouts with bacon and fresh green beans. One of my teenagers wouldn't eat it. He is skinny skinny skinny and will not eat ANYTHING that is good for him. He HATES ALL veggies, more than me, and will not eat any fruit other than apples or bananas. I want him to change his eating habits as well before he gets any older and ends up with health problems. Anyway! Wish me luck!

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