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I am changing my life - Primal is a major part

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  • I am changing my life - Primal is a major part

    I've tried Primal a couple of times before. The first time I managed to stay with it a full month, and I felt better than I have since I was 15. However, I love food and don't believe in "dieting" per se, preferring to savor each day and refusing to beat myself up about the usual things women do.

    But, now, approaching age 33, I'm at a point where I simply cannot continue.

    I love my life. I live in beautiful Austin, Texas, have a lovely home, a "good" job, an amazing partner, and supportive family and friends. However, for the past ten years I've been struggling with my weight, life direction, finances, and depression.

    I was formerly vegan for a couple of years, and gained weight on that diet. I also, ultimately, didn't buy into the politics and quasi-religious community that goes along with it. I've also tried Weight Watchers (wayyyy too little food!), portion control, Conventional Wisdom diet (low fat, whole grains), chronic cardio, and even Bethenny Frankel's eating disorder disguised as a healthy diet!

    The only thing that has ever worked for me was Primal. I loved it. I don't even know why I stopped, except from laziness. And sugar really is addictive. I've had a soda habit since childhood, and I have always rationalized my choice to eat too much junk food, too much prepared food, etc. I haven't regularly exercised in years, though I enjoy a few sports, as well as walking, swimming, hiking, and rock climbing.

    Depressed on occasion to the point of mental paralysis by my office monkey job, I've recently decided it's time to stop playing it safe, and move on to something I really believe in. I'm hoping to transition to the non-profit sector, even though I will probably have to take a pay cut to do so.

    Though I'm lucky that I live downtown and can walk to work, I've also decided to become a commuter bicyclist, and plan to use my car only for trips out of town or real necessities (like visits to the hardware store). A friend has recently given me a bike, and I'm going to spiff it up a bit this week and get going!

    I'm also cutting out all harmful cosmetics and household products, phasing in natural and chemical-free ones as things run out. I am switching from grocery store cleaning products to using more vinegar and lemon juice; I'm stopping using make-up as often, and transitioning to make-up without harmful junk in it; I'm hoping to switch to no-packaging, plant-based solid shampoos and other products from Lush.

    Even though I'm supposed to look "professional" for my job, and occasionally have to attend events, I am not wearing heels anymore. I always wore them predominantly because I am short and, when everyone else is wearing them (or a tall dude), it's very uncomfortable--having to look up at everyone, being talked down to like a child. However, now that I am in my 30s, I honestly don't care anymore. I gave myself a bunion on my right foot last year, when I started this job, because at that time I only had one pair of formal shoes, which were of the pointy-toed variety. I wore them every day for three weeks and am still paying the price, a year later, with occasional joint pain and an ugly protrusion that is only treatable with surgery. I also recently stopped wearing underwire bras when I realized that, because of my weight gain over the past few years, my 36Ds are cutting into my sides and the sides of my breasts, leaving red marks and pain that doesn't go away, even when I take the bras off to sleep. I was a 34B before weight gain and the Pill. I found a wonderful, quality, affordable bra from Bali and ordered six more online! It feels like I'm not even wearing a bra now. What was I thinking all these years?

    Indeed, I wonder that about my life in general, not just about bras. I think it's been so hard for me to confront these issues and make changes because, as a child and young adult, I never had a weight problem or any health issues. The worst thing I've ever had in my life was a bout of mono when I was 14. I've never broken a bone, or been to the hospital. In high school, I regularly played sports and ate whatever I wanted (including lots of Coke, pasta, and fast food) while maintaining a size 3. Now I am a 14. I always felt like dieting was something other people did. And, like I said, I don't want to diet. I'm not even doing this Primal thing primarily to lose weight. I also want my health back.

    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's (the autoimmune form of hypothyroidism) at 26 and have been taking Synthroid since. I still feel too tired for my age, and get exhausted from much exertion. I think this may also have something to do with my persistent weight gain despite walking about two miles per day and making a lot of healthy, whole foods at home (I love to cook). But the SAD is still making me sick, and fat. Sicker and fatter every year. I also plan to stop taking hormonal birth control (which I have been on since age 19, when I started on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen for very mild acne). For the past five years or so, I have had virtually no libido, whereas when I was younger it was very strong. I'm going to use the Fertility Awareness Method (read Toni Weschler's book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control if you haven't--it has changed my life). My last pill will be this Friday.

    I want to experience my body in its natural state again. I want to know whether I can have optimum health and regular energy levels through diet and exercise.

    I love Mark's emphasis on fun exercise, as opposed to the torture that is gym membership based on chronic cardio. I tried that in my mid-twenties, and, while I firmed up, I didn't lose any weight at all. I love that Primal encourages my egg obsession. And I love that it insists on getting enough sleep, enough sunshine, and enough FUN.

    So I'm starting over today. I'm not getting any younger, and my decreasing energy, increasing fat, and fears of diabetes, cancer, and other SAD-induced ailments has become very real.

    I went to the grocery store today and was pleasantly surprised, too. I bought organic meat and eggs, and mostly conventional produce, because it's 1/4 of the price. I spent $65 and came home with enough for nearly two weeks of healthy, filling, Primal eating:

    1 4 lb. pork shoulder (currently in my slow cooker!)
    1 lb. ground beef
    2 chicken breasts
    3 packets Italian sausage (3 per packet; and today was the sell-by date, so I got them for $0.66 each!!!)
    1 package local breakfast sausage (6 links)
    three lemons
    one orange (going in with the pork)
    2 heads of garlic
    1 head of lettuce
    1 red bell pepper
    1 onion
    1 lb. broccoli
    2 bags of frozen cauliflower
    1 dozen eggs
    1 bar of dark chocolate
    jar of whole grain mustard
    1 can coconut milk
    1 large can diced tomatoes
    1/2 cup curry powder
    1/2 cup garlic powder

    I can do this.

    I also plan to make use of these forums to stay motivated and trade tips. I LOVE the "Success Stories" thread. I hope to be in there soon! My goal is to lose 20 pounds by my 33rd birthday - at the end of June. One of my favorite things to do is swim, especially when it's hot and sunny out, and I can bask in the warmth, listening to the birds in the trees, smelling the air, and feeling the summer. I haven't really enjoyed it for the past four or five years, because I was uncomfortable--not just in a bikini, but in my own body. No more!

    I already have Mark's book, and I'm dusting it off as we speak.

    Thanks for all the inspiration, y'all! I'm going out for a walk now!
    Last edited by Jane Anger; 02-26-2012, 10:57 AM.

  • #2
    Primal can be many things, I think it's what you make of it. Some folks insist on only free-range goodies, while others (like me) do our best but still have some conventionally-raised foods hanging around. And some of us still struggle with every pound (like I do), and others lose weight effortlessly. And for some people it's a total life and philosophical transformation! Sounds like you're in the latter group.

    As for stopping birth control, I'm going to STRONGLY advise against starting natural family planning if you absolutely do not want to become pregnant - yes, I know, I'm being a total jerk - without using a backup method; unless of course you don't mind the idea of getting pregnant, in which case, go for it.


    • #3
      Thanks, Spubba!

      I do indeed feel like it's a total transformation for me. Spring is in the air...

      I didn't want to get too into the birth control discussion here, or venture into TMI territory, but I am in a committed relationship with a partner who insists on using condoms even though I am on the Pill. Haha! We are very, very digilent, and my partner is probably going to get the snip in the next six months, anyway. I am pretty adamant about not getting pregnant - ever. The Fertility Awareness Method is not your Catholic grandmother's rhythm method, either. It's much more exact science than that. I'd encourage you to read TCOYF. I an angry that I didn't learn the info it contains in health class in school! My body is my responsibility, and understanding how it works is the first step.


      • #4
        Meep - I'm sorry - we're all different and I didn't mean to embarrass you!


        • #5
          Try intermittent fasting- it's the primal ticket to permanent, lasting weight loss & happiness:
          PDF Ebook The Fast-5 Diet and the Fast-5 Lifestyle | Free PDF Ebooks Files @AcrobatPlanet.Com

          You might also look in to carb/calorie cycling and the Atkin's Fat Fast as a quick fix to get the fat off so you're motivated to keep going.
          Atkins Article : The Fat Fast

          Carbs truly are the devil and have to be confronted though intermittent fasting gives a big bang for the buck. I'm a Texan btw- left the state 10 years ago.


          • #6
            Hiya Jane!

            I loved your post. So honest and heartfelt. How is it going for you? It's been awhile since this post. I'm new here... I live in Austin, too. We have many things in common... I had mono, too (at 14) and I also have thyroid issues... and I feel compelled to go primal at this time in my life, come hell or high water!

            Anyway, just thought I would reach out.

            Jayden Austin in Austin, Texas