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Going Primal to help recovery from Anorexia

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  • Going Primal to help recovery from Anorexia

    Hi All,

    I've been fully Primal since Christmas 2011 now, I've read the book, read the site everyday, sometimes look at the forums and have embraced Primal Living, not just the eating part, but all of it.

    I am 38, mother of two little ones, and attempting recovery from a recent episode of Anorexia. I have been in relapse for about 18 months, triggered by Post Natal Depression and a significant trauma. I am a long sufferer of mental illness, mainly Major Depression, but my anorexia was at bay for about 10 years prior to recently. I am under the care of an excellent Psychiatrist and am also in a 12 Step Program for an unrelated issue. I am currently dipping my toes in to both Overeaters Anonymous (I binge eat) and Anorexics and Bulimcs Anoymous. As yet I am not sure about either, ABA would have me put on some weight and at present I am not ready to do that.

    I am currently within the heallty weight range but certainly on the lean side. I am 132lbs and 5.10". I have lifted heavy things for about a year and gladly dropped the chronic cardio as soon as I read about it in 'The Primal Blueprint'. I loved that book, it spoke sense to me. I do a Body Pump class, a 30 minute free weights session, an hour of light cardio and a 2 hour hike every week. I also walk here and there with the pram. I don't over-excercise but there is a compulsiveness to my approach, I will excersise if I am tired or sick and never miss a session unless in an emergency. As with gaining weight, it will come when I am ready but this is baby steps for me.

    I am here as I kept stumbling across the 'Daily Apple' website during many searches for solutions to my health problems. I have chronic candida too, arthritis and IBS. The IBS and arthritis have all but vanished since I changed my diet but the candida is still a work in progress. I probably need to ditch vinegar, mushrooms, dairy and fruit for a while, but I'm afraid it will start a weight loss sprial so I'm prepared to sit with the candida until I am ready to knock it on the head.

    My diet prior was full of fresh fruit and vegetables, but also packed with legumes and wholegrains. I thought I was doing the right thing by my body but was getting hungrier and hungrier and was starting to gain weight and it freaked me out. It was a ginat leap of faith to ditch the low-fat food for bacon, butterand lamb chops, but my weight has been moreorless stable in 3 months of primal eating. I have committed to getting more sleep (which I am) and lying in the sun at lunchtimes when my kids are asleep. My vitamin D levels are helping me with the sleep and is there nothing nicer that the sun on your skin?

    I need to be careful with this way of eating because I could use it as a means to caloric restriction and orthorexia, but as yet I know this is not why I began it. I have searched Mark's posts and also the forums and there is some helpful information of Eating Disorders. For me sugar and starch leads to a binges/restriction cycle and I am best off away from them. Since going Primal and attending OA I have also learned I cannot snack and that nuts also trigger a binge. So I steer clear of either.

    My diet is excellent I think and I have even been eating offal and (kind of) liking it. My fats are about 65% of my calories, I get about 80-100g protein a day and my carbs fall around 100-130g daily. But my dilemma is I am still hungry...probably because I need to eat more. So yesterday morning I made a heartfelt committment to myself to eat more and to listen to my body better. I commit to three healthy meals a day with protein and animal fat where I can.

    I cannot bear the obsession with food but it has decreased somewhat with Primal Eating. I am interested in hearing from anyone who eats primally and has found it helpful with an eating disorder. I notice the forums are riddled with undisclosed EDs (I have one therefore I can spot another one from a mile away!) which is one reason I don't read too much on hear as there is a lot of insanity around food and using yet another diet to provide rules around food and legitimate caloric restriction and fasting. I have tried IF but it triggers the obsession with food, and I notice a number of threads about this from other recovering EDs.

    I am slim but I am toned. I have fine guns (if I may say so myself). My body fat is about 22%. I also want to know from anyone experienced what I can expect from primal eating? I don't want too gain weight (I understand about lean mass and all that but you know what I mean) but I certainly am not in a position to lose it either. I'm open to suggestions and advice from people knowledgable in this area or with ED experience. I think I'm in the right place and I believe I am doing the right thing for myself.

    What would I like from Primal Living? A strong and healthy body and a sound and healthy mind. I understand that living like Grok will not cure me, but it can certainly help me get well. Since I've been eating this way I've ditched the dreadful fatigue I used to feel most afternoons and evenings and I (almost) greet the day with a smile.

    Will my body compisition change? Should I be trying to make it change? If I am committed to eating more what ought I to be eating?

    Thanks for reading my tome, I'm not a fan of forums and a bit shy so I've been working up to this post for a couple of weeks.

    Dexy x

  • #2
    Hi Dexy. Welcome and thanks for sharing. I think you are on the right track. I wonder if the hunger is for specific nutrients that your body is lacking. It seems like you are getting enough food. Perhaps as you listen more to what your body wants, the hunger will go away. Good luck on primal!
    Ancestral Health Info - My blog about Primal and the general ancestral health movement. Site just remodeled using HTML5/CSS3 instead of Wordpress.

    My MDA Friday success story - Stubborn Senior's Testimonial


    • #3
      Hi Dexy
      There's another lady on the boards who's making an amazing recovery from an ED. I've seen her photographs on the Before and After thread... You should take a look at that thread if you get some time. She seems to be doing really well on it...