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Lazy, depressed, and anxious... time for change!

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  • Lazy, depressed, and anxious... time for change!

    Hello, I wanted to make a custom intro post for myself, as I feel like I have a lot to say! I'm 23, I'm lazy, and I always have been. I was underweight for my whole life up until this past winter, when I suddenly when from the 110-120lb range to 135 at 5'6"! I know this is not overweight, but I have never had any kind of strength, muscle, or exercise routine, and I want to feel healthy. Along with being lazy, I have struggled with anxiety and depression for the last 10 years. I was on medication for both for about 4 years, then stopped and felt better in many ways, but realzied I was still not handling my anxiety. I am now on Lexapro. It definitely helps, but I would love to find a way to teach my body to regular its chemistry on its own, if possible.

    This seems like a really fun, and potentially easy (a word I LOVE) way to be healthy. All of the recipes I've seen have looked absolutely delicious, and I love the idea of eating more bacon and eggs (always been a meat-lover, though I did try vegetarianism for a while).

    Favorite exercise: Swimming! I spend 20 min at the local gym a couple mornings a week. I have seen some fat come off, but have not seen a change on the scales. I know I am probably gaining muscle, but I am lazy so not seeing results is frustrating. I only started a few weeks ago though. I am NOT a morning person, so I don't really like to go more than a couple times a week, but I would like that to change as well (though showering at the gym SUCKS, the water is so cold). I hate, hate, hate gyms, and I'm awful at running (weak knees), but I would like to start running. It's just an ability that I think would be great to have.

    Fears/anticipation: I think the hardest part of the transition for me is going to be groceries. I'm pretty limited to where I can store food right now, since I don't have a place of my own and any food I leave in the kitchen will get eaten by others in the house. I'm not a creative cook so I depend heavily on old stand-bys and easy recipes. I don't like to spend more than an hour preparing/making dinner! I know I'm going to have to plan out meals so I can get enough at the grocery store, but I'm worried about the affect on my grocery bill too.

    I am also concerned because I live with my boyfriend right now, and don't know if he would be in on doing a paleo lifestyle with me. I think he would enjoy it, he certainly likes eating meat, but he's not terribly motivated to change anything since his body stays in the appearance of healthy/in shape no matter how badly he eats. He recently started swimming with me though.

    I am VERY tempted to go with this expensive (for me anyway) jump start guides, since I have a hard time getting started with anything like this, but I'm not sure if that will be the best way for me. I don't want to worry about food, but I need to train myself to get to the point of not having to think about it! I want something sustainable, I want something that could work for the rest of my life!

    If anyone has any experience with anxiety, depression, or converting to Paleo from a very lazy lifestyle/complete lack of knowledge of proper nutrition and exercise, I would love to hear from you! Hopefully I can do a lot of reading around here and decide whether I'm going to go with the Primal Leap Kit to get my started (I get paid tomorrow at least).
    Depression Lies

  • #2

    My advice regarding the jump start guide would be: don't bother. Also, try not to stay on here too much at first - with it being a forum there is a huge amount of conflicting and confusing information. Just get the PB book, if you haven't already, and stick to this: eat meat, fish, and a massive amount of vegetables (not white potatoes). Eat some fruit but not loads. Make sure each meal has a chunk of protein (meat/eggs etc) and a load of veg. That will keep you going for a good while, during which you can absorb some of the info on here (though I would advise against acting on it for quite some time).

    With regard to depression, I found that going Primal did have an effect on mine (a positive one) and I know others who can say the same. One thing I have noticed, however, is that I have to watch that I'm eating tons of veg - hence me repeatedly mentioning this above - or I quickly lose energy and my moods tend to be very low. So learn from my mistake!

    Good luck.
    The Primal Journey of Mr and Mrs Fist


    • #3
      I just bought PB on Amazon for my Kindle (so cheap!), so I'll start reading that soon. I definitely need to vary up my veggie intake, as right now it's pretty limited to the only ones I've known (broc, asparagus, carrots, do peppers count even though they're technically fruit?). I just realized that I'll need to switch to Almond butter from peanut butter and learn how this low-carb business works (are egg noodles okay?).

      So much to learn, it's pretty intimidating, but I want to do it, so I'll have to figure it out. At least I like reading (I was an English major)!

      Thanks for the input on how your food changes have affected your moods. I guess I'll just have to monitor and see what happens.

      I forgot to add earlier that I've just recently started having symptoms of acid reflux. I am constantly having heartburn and the feeling of acid in my throat, ugh. The only thing I eat fairly regularly that I can imagine would exacerbate it is tomato sauce. I am again reluctant to go on medication for this, but obviously, relief would be welcome.
      Depression Lies


      • #4
        My acid reflux went away within 3 days of starting the PB and cutting out grain! The only thing that triggers it now for me is if I have more than two squares of dark chocolate.

        Re. the egg noodles ... if they have flour in them (and I think they do) don't eat them! You can eat spaghetti squash or those new funky noodles made out of yams if you crave something noodle-ish

        Good luck!
        Newcomers: If you haven't read the book, at least read this thread ... and all the links!

        Jan. 1, 2011: 186.6 lbs PBSW Mar. 1, 2011: 175.8 lbs
        CW: 146.8 lbs
        GW 140 lbs
        A proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals


        • #5
          I always thought I was lazy, too...until I changed my diet.


          • #6
            Welcome. Yes, it can be fun!

            Swimming is good. Throw in some sprints once or twice a week. I.e. going as fast as you can for 30 seconds. Recover for 90 seconds. Repeat for a total of 8 times. Each sprint should leave you out of breath. If you can close your mouth, you are not doing it hard enough. I know, doesn't sound like fun. But it's only 20 minutes total. If you can't move fast enough swimming. Jog in place in the water.

            There are lots of interesting Primal recipes. But many people go very simple. Mark has a quick and easy cookbook but you can get all the recipes you need on line. Sometimes I spend lots of time in the kitchen but other times I'm done in 20 minutes.

            Primal eating can be very cheap. Search for "budget" in MDA.

            Yes, Primal can help your emotions.
            Ancestral Health Info

            I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

            Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.


            • #7
              Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post

              I forgot to add earlier that I've just recently started having symptoms of acid reflux. I am constantly having heartburn and the feeling of acid in my throat, ugh. The only thing I eat fairly regularly that I can imagine would exacerbate it is tomato sauce. I am again reluctant to go on medication for this, but obviously, relief would be welcome.
              I had a bit of acid reflux when I first switched to primal, but it went away after a few days. I was surprised to learn that acid reflux can come from stomach acid being too LOW, not too high, so try to stay away from antacids because you may just be prolonging the problem.

              One note about being're probably not as lazy as you think, but when you've been eating "sleepy food" for a long time, it can feel that way. I remember when I first switched to primal eating, I had this strange! I honestly didn't know what it was at And I felt GOOD. Also a foreign sensation. I'd felt run down and depressed for so long, I forgot what feeling good feels like until I started eating well.


              • #8
                Yeah I've felt run down and depressed for a long time. The moments where I have energy are amazing and exhilarating, but they never last. I haven't been taking anything for the acid, except for a 10 day course of Zantac that I was given, that only seemed to help right at the end.

                I'm going to try a trial run of going gluten/grain free for a week and see how that goes. Looks like I'll be doing a crazy veggie/fruit run at the grocery store this week. Wish me luck!

                Concerns about running: My right foot often twists outward when I walk, as in, during the process of stepping/contact. When I try to keep my foot straight, it's very uncomfortable and makes me feel uneven. My chiropractor straightens it out every time I go and it feels great and normal for a while, but it eventually goes back. I don't know if it will take longer for the adjustments to last longer, or my leg is shorter than the other so it's going to happen no matter what (a doctor once told me this, but it could have been from the twisted hip). This all results in me running very oddly. Everyone who has ever seen me run has said that I look weird when I run. I can't manage anything "normally" that's faster than a jog when my hip is out of place, I feel like I'm going to fall over to my right when I go faster/try to sprint.

                My boyfriend said I don't lean forward enough when sprinting. Maybe with his guidance (he was in the Army, so he knows how to run heh) my form will improve and I won't feel as odd. Maybe swimming will help strengthen the muscles to keep my hip from twisting (I feel it while swimming too, but it's easier to keep my legs straight in the water).
                Depression Lies


                • #9
                  Don't forget the protein and fat on your grocery store run :-) Those are super important. You may want to make fruit a pretty minor part of your diet at this point, since you're trying to lose weight, and just focus on fat, protein, and vegetables. And good job losing the grains...they only make you sick.


                  • #10
                    I stopped eating my steel cut oatmeal in the morning a few days ago and the heartburn is almost completely gone. I started eating that after the heartburn started though. I slipped up and had a bun with my burger last night, but I'm going grocery shopping today so I should be able to get more non-grain foodables.

                    I bought some slivered almonds at Trader Joes the other day; man, those are great fillers! I will definitely be bringing those to work (Help Desk Specialist in an office, lots of sitting and typing), maybe along with the banana chips I got too.

                    I spoke with my dad the other day about his fitness regimine for the summer. He usually picks up running every summer, loses some weight, and then gains it back over the winter. This year, he is also biking to work 5 days a week. Several years ago he did a low-carb diet that I realized was basically some kind of primal diet and it worked really well for him. He's thinking of doing it again and I am trying to subtly encourage him.
                    Depression Lies


                    • #11
                      Just wanted to add: "sprinting" doesn't have to mean running. It just means pushing yourself to your limit. You can "sprint" in the pool or on a bicycle or even walking.

                      It sounds like you are on the right track. I was also a lazy one. I'm new to this and haven't lost much weight yet, but my energy has soared since I went primal, and I'm no longer lazy at all. I have a hard time making myself rest! I wish the best for you.


                      • #12
                        I opted not to go swimming today so maybe I will do some jogging this evening. Thanks for the thoughts.

                        I've felt slightly more energized these past few days just from increasing my fruits and veggies intake. It's a nice feeling. I bought tons of veggies for lunch for this week and some chicken that I'll be grilling up for lunch and dinner. I love finger food.

                        How did I not know that almonds are absolutely AMAZING as a snack? Even just a small handful is enough to take the edge off my hunger.

                        I realized that my goal of not getting on the scale until I'm happy enough with my body to get my navel pierced (a reward, heh) is going to be dashed on Wednesday when I go to the doctor for my annual. My body has definitely been changing with swimming and eating differently though, so maybe it will be good to get an idea of where I am now. From what I can tell, there's more muscle underneath, but the fat hasn't moved. I've only just started with the food changes, so I know I have to give it time.

                        I stopped having yogurt for a couple days and the heartburn is practically gone. Looks like I might have some lactose intolerance, which is unfortunate since I just bought some greek yogurt over the weekend.
                        Depression Lies


                        • #13
                          Sigh I'm having such a hard time figuring out what to eat. Raw broccoli is bitter and gross, but I enjoyed the rest of the veggies I packed for lunch (cucumber, carrots, also had green grapes). I didn't think that reheated cooked broccoli would be very tasty (too mushy) so I thought I'd try it raw. I forgot my chicken so I had some almonds to try and fill up, which gave me a stomach ache. I am going to scarf that chicken down when I get home and hope that it's not too soon before I go swimming to give me yet another stomach ache. This one hasn't gone away yet though. Hmm I didn't have breakfast this morning though and I am always hungry in the morning (didn't make time for it today).

                          Wow I can't even think or type properly today, I type very fast and generally very accurately, but had to go back to correct many typos in this post (including words in the wrong order, not just letters). I'm very sensitive to noting these things because they tend to be signs of fatigue (I don't feel tired) or just some kind of "out of it" with my brain. I have no idea what could be causing it today, but even my eyesight is being affected. Sometimes I hate my brain.
                          Depression Lies


                          • #14
                            You have a headache today because, as far as I can tell, you haven't eaten enough today. You skipped breakfast and ate raw veggies and a couple nuts for lunch - this is not primal. That's not actually eating.

                            Take responsibility for your meals and plan ahead. I'd recommend keeping it as simple as possible right now as you figure out how to take care of yourself, cook for yourself and move. You don't need difficult recipes or special or unusual foods to live primal but you do need to shop and cook. You need to eat breakfast - as your body has been fasting for 8-12 hours. Breakfast and lunch are your fuel for the day - without which you lose focus and get headaches. There are arguments here against breakfast but considering your headache and lack of focus this afternoon, I strongly recommend you focus your food efforts on these two meals. Try it for one month - see if it helps. Here are some thoughts ...

                            Breakfast - there are tons of recommendations for what to eat for breakfast in threads here. I recommend committing to three go-to variations for now. I'm suggesting three easy to make options - if these don't appeal, find three that do. Variation 1 - two hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruit (try melon as it's in season and inexpensive), cucumbers and or tomatoes, and a slice of ham. (boil six eggs tonight and you have three breakfasts waiting for you). Variation 2 - Mix of walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts & coconut flakes with full fat greek yogurt and fresh berries. Variation 3 - leftovers from dinner- meat plus grilled veggies - reheated in microwave. If you are in a hurry, wrap leftovers in a large lettuce leaf like a burrito.
                            Lunch - Don't vary this one - this is an easy time of day to be routine. I recommend you make a huge ass salad every day -- it's easy to make, easy to carry, easy to eat. Toss lettuce with a homemade vinaigrette, chopped cucumbers, peppers, onions, cabbage, tomatoes (whatever you like) and half an avocado, some sliced leftover meat or a can of tuna or salmon. You will go though a ton of lettuce. Plan on buying one head every 3-4 days. Bag it up after dinner as a part of post dinner clean up - 10 min work max - and you are ready to go the next day.
                            Dinner - should be easy. it's been a long day and you probably don't want to work too hard. Grill or roast meat and add veggies. Meat can be steak, chicken or fish - whatever you like. Keep veggies simple - steamed or another salad. Serve meat on top of veggies. Don't worry about marinades, or seasonings unless you feel inspired - stick to oil or butter with salt and pepper for seasoning.
                            Desert - fresh fruit, if still hungry. Explore what's fresh and in season if you can. Strawberries are inexpensive now. Look for peaches and plums prices to drop.

                            On Salad Dressing - keep them simple vinaigrettes for now. Mix 2-3 parts oil with 1 part vinegar (apple cider, white or balsamic all are fine) or fresh lemon juice. Add fresh pepper directly into salad. Toss with fingers (feel a bit like Nigela) and eat.

                            Keep up with your regular swimming routine. Swimming is great low-impact exercise and well worth continuing. 20 min at a time is not enough for weight loss but good for general fitness. Do it because you enjoy it.
                            Once a week try sprints in the pool. It sounds as if you shouldn't be running on your ankle right now - basically push yourself in one lap to go as fast as you can, then drop back to a slow crawl for 1-2 lengths and repeat.
                            Walk 30 minutes after lunch and after dinner - as many days as week as you can. Moving after a meal is worthwhile - you'll not feel so tired after your meals if you move a bit. Try to make the walk lovely so you'll want to do it again. Find somewhere pretty or interesting to walk and enjoy the day (even if it involved galoshes and an umbrella - splash in the puddles like a kid!)
                            Try out Mark's five essential movements in the Primal Fitness e-book. Do these twice a week if you can. Do them at least once a week.

                            Do take Vitamin D suppelments - this can improve your mood and energy levels. I can't recommend this enough.

                            Repeat for thirty days. Check out how you feel. Analyze what worked and what didn't. Revise and repeat for another 30 days.

                            Oh - don't eat broccoli if you don't like it. Don't eat anything you don't like. But, for the record, you should eat broccoli 1-2 days after you buy it - just like fish. If it tastes sour, it's going off.
                            My primal journal that I don't update enough:


                            • #15
                              When I went gluten free in January 2011, my anxiety disappeared. Acid reflux too. Depression is much better too. Best of luck and much success to you!!!!