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Primal Mama

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  • Primal Mama

    Hi everyone! Just dropping in to introduce myself. I just registered with this board last night and am looking forward to chatting with you all! Here is my novel, for anyone who is interested.

    I am a 28-year-old mom is a 3yo and an almost 2yo. My journey to Primal living started a while back. For years, I have known the benefits of omitting grains and sugar, but I never really had a good, complete picture.

    I have had weight problems ever since puberty set in. I went from being a super skinny kid to overweight in a mater of only a few months. I was diagnosed with PCOS, insulin resistance and hypothyroidism at 13. We didn't really know back then that grains (even the whole grains that my family ate) were only exacerbating the problem. I spent the remainder of my teen years as "the fat girl", despite being super active and eating what was then considered to be a healthy diet.

    I learned that my body doesn't respond well to inactivity. I switched from a very active job that involved lots of heavy lifting, to a desk job. Just sitting on my butt for 40 hours a week. I gained 30 lbs in about 2 months without changing my diet one bit. Some tinkering with South Beach-esque low carbing helped shed some of that weight for my wedding, but it was hardly a healthy way of eating.

    My weight issues were made worse after marrying. My husband is the type who loves to sit around and watch TV, play video games, etc. As a young bride, I was more than happy to give up my activities in favor of spending screen time with my new hubby. We also indulged in much more processed food than was ever permitted in my childhood home. My weight ballooned to the point that buying clothes was a horrible experience that left me crying the whole way home.

    Infertility, compounded by watching my mother-in-law lose her life to a short and brutal battle with cancer was a wake-up call for me. I knew that I needed to weigh less to have babies (said the reproductive endocrinologist, who then offered me fertility drugs as an alternative).

    That was when I made serious changes in my life. I removed all grains and sugar from my diet, and ate only whole foods. I spent the first two hours of every day at the gym (1 hour of cardio intervals and 1 hour of resistance training). I felt great, and the weight melted off.

    Then I got pregnant. I continued my exercising, but I was a bit more liberal with my diet. I had friends practically shove pizza in my face because "You're pregnant now! You can eat whatever you want!" That's a huge lie.

    It all went downhill when pregnancy complications landed me on bedrest for 3 months. I went from acceptable pregnancy weight gain to holy cow, she's gonna blow! It was awful. By the time I gave birth, I weighed close to 300 lbs.

    Severe breastfeeding problems (due to hormonal disruptions from insulin resistance during puberty) necessitated the use of a milk-boosting drug (I was determined that my baby was not going to have commercial formula). One unfortunate side-effect of that drug was a weight gain of about 30 lbs.

    Once my daughter weaned from nursing, I got off of the drug and threw myself 100% into the Atkins way of eating. I lost 20 lbs that first month and felt great - and then got pregnant again right away.

    I ate pretty well during that pregnancy, and never needed bed rest. After the birth of my son, I was 15 lbs below my pre-pregnancy weight. But after several weeks with the same breastfeeding problem, I went back on that drug and gained another 30 lbs.

    Once he weaned, I went back on Atkins. I felt great, and lost 60 lbs in that first 5 months. I loved my workouts - 1 mile of walking with a few sprints, and 30 minutes of resistance.

    Then came the cheat. It was one day. Then it was another day a couple weeks later, that became a whole week (fair week and our anniversary trip were all the same week!). The all-or-nothing mindset of Atkins really messed with my head. If I slipped up just a little, I would say to myself, "Well, I'm out of ketosis. Might as well enjoy another brownie today! And maybe tomorrow..."

    This on again, off again continued through the holidays, but I cleaned up my act in January. Got back on diet, and resumed workouts.

    A few weeks later, a poorly-built staircase fell underneath me and I dislocated my big toe. Doesn't sound like a big deal to most, but it really threw a wrench in things. My morning walk/sprint was my big motivator for the day. If I don't squeeze that in, I feel like a blob. I couldn't even walk. Losing that workout brought on somewhat of a depression. The poor eating followed. I have had several attempts at getting back to Atkins, but I have had such a hard time giving up things like fruit. Without being able to walk or run, I feel like I can't throw myself into this completely, and that makes me feel like it's not worth it.

    It has been 5 months since my injury, and I am still not back to normal. My toe is not healing as hoped, so I am, looking at more treatments and the possibility of surgery. It will be about 3-4 months before I can resume walking again. In the meantime, I wear this giant walker boot that is hot, sweaty, and heavy. It causes all kinds of lovely back, hip and knee pain.

    To make this long story, well... less long than it would be - I have several friends that are Paleo. The logic all makes sense to me. It is somewhat close to the Atkins diet that worked so well for me, but in my opinion, it's much better.

    Many people survive Atkins by allowing a bit of artificial sweeteners for treats. I have always refused to eat that stuff. So I never had that little treat to "get me through". Being able to enjoy a little bit of fruit has made all the difference to me. Oh, and I am so over counting carbs and refusing another bite of broccoli because I've already reached my limit.

    I am about 1/3 of the way through Primal Blueprint. I have read a lot of this information before, but it's nice to read it again. I have been eating clean since Wednesday and am already down 5 lbs. This feels like a much more sustainable way of life for me.

    Now, to get my husband on board...