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Em's Primal Journey (~Kaoticturtle~)

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  • Em's Primal Journey (~Kaoticturtle~)

    Hi all!!!

    I've finally decided that I should start a journal here to track the progress that I have been making. I started on PB fully nearly two weeks ago, and spent the two and a half weeks prior to that semi-primal. I've seen some huge benefits already but I think partly because the changes have been so big, mentally I'm thinking "but why am I still flabby here...?, am I stalling because I still have a load of fat over my lower abdomen...? and why am I only just getting into pants that I could wear a year ago, surely I should be waaay slimmer than that!".

    Its completely a mental thing - I'm only a month into what I fully intend to be a lifelong journey! Its also all rather silly because I have lost 5kg (about 11lbs) in 4 1/2 weeks while putting on muscle so my overall fat loss has probably been greater than that. Add to that I feel better than I ever have and I have more energy throughout the day that I have felt before. And I mean that pretty much literally. I honestly can't remember feeling this good.

    So, I've decided to keep a journal here to record my progress and to help me focus on what I have achieved rather than on what I still hope to achieve. I'm hoping that it will help me relax, just enjoy this new found energy and enjoy the fantastic food that I can eat.


    Sugar is my nicotine...

  • #2
    Welcome. Yeah, have patience.
    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.


    • #3
      Thanks Hedonist! I'm not generally known for my patience but I am trying

      Its been a bank holiday today in the UK so I've had the day off which has been fab. I had a session in the gym this morning with my personal trainer. She introduced me to a PB style of eating originally and I really enjoy my sessions with her. This is my fifth week with her and today we had a go at pull ups which I have never attempted before... Well...when I say pull-ups we were using one of those machines where it offsets your weight so you're not having to pull up all your weight thankfully!!! Pulling or pushing upwards is not my strong point so we had 125kg on it (I currently weigh c.73kg) and it was tough but I managed 2 sets of 12 reps. I'm not sure what that translates into me actually pulling up but I was pretty impressed within myself.

      I rowed when I was in my teens so certain movements I'm quite strong with (anything linked to rowing movements) but I'm comparatively weak in so many others. My upper body strength is generally atrocious... I guess I'm like many women in that I just don't use those muscles much. My trainer is getting me working on them so I'm hoping to see a big improvement. I know that when I did indoor climbing regularly for about 6 months I saw a big improvement so I'm hoping that the same will happen again.

      Yesterday, I went down to the local farmers market to stock up with some meat for the freezer. We're really lucky that its only half an hour away and runs twice a month. The choice there is really good and there are several stalls with local farmers selling grass fed, organic, locally reared lamb and beef. It was great to go along and pick up nearly a whole rucksack full of meat! Yum! They have every cut there and while more expensive than the normal supermarket meat, its a lot cheaper than buying the equivalent quality in the shops and its really nice having a chat to the farmers themselves. We've now got a stocked freezer and a very happy husband! He loves his red meat so was pretty impressed by the bags of it that have appeared

      We tried kidney for dinner last night and have to say that I wasn't all that impressed. We pan fried it with some butter and mustard and had it with onions and mushrooms. It seemed to cook well - it certainly wasn't tough but the flavour wasn't one that I thought "wow, I need to eat more of that!". I would probably be ok with it in a stew say but I'm not sure exactly how to do that. I will have to hunt out a recipe!

      Main meal today was skirt steak tacos without the taco shells courtesy of the PB quick and simple cookbook. The rub for the steak was really good, as were the grilled onions and some mushrooms that we added in but have to say I wasn't a fan on the grilled lettuce or avocado. I think we'll just have them raw next time.

      I had a big day of prep cooking for the week ahead. There is some great fruit in the shops at the moment so I made up some purées (apple&pear, apple& rhubarb and apple&plum) which were really delicious and will keep in the freezer for a while. OH likes something a bit sweet sometimes but he's going off chocolate and traditional sweets the longer we're not eating sugar so these are little pots that he can have when his sweet tooth hits.

      Lunches are made for tomorrow (grilled lamb neck salad with home made dip), I've cooked some sweet potatoes for lunches later in the week, chopped a load of veg and put it in tubs, and I've done some crustless quiches for breakfasts at work. I found a recipe for a great, simple avocado dip which I made up - its just avocado, garlic and greek yoghurt. Really simple and fresh but its got a great zing to it and it will go great with chopped veg. One for keeping!

      Anyway, its almost time for bed here and I've just realised how much I've rambled on!!! Busy day but satisfying

      Sugar is my nicotine...


      • #4
        Its been a tough day today. I've been back at work (which isn't too bad in itself) but I have had the most unbelievable sugar cravings! Its the first time in over 4 weeks that I have and its been so difficult all day to resist. It almost feels as bad as my first few days - I was so distracted that I didn't get all that much work done.

        I think its because I wasn't as good as I would normally be this weekend. My husband hasn't been being good at all so there is a lot more sugar in the house. He has exams looming for his long-distance degree so he's super stressed and "just needs sugar"! So we have had biscuits, and cakes and all sorts around. I haven't been as bad as I would normally but I have sneaked the odd biscuit and while I was making the fruit purees I probably ate several of the fruits as I went. I definitely paid the price today so I shall have to be better in future and here's hoping the cravings don't last for too long. At least he only has another few weeks to go so the temptations will be gone soon. He's planning on joining me on full primal once he's finished so that will make life much easier - its always easier when we do things together!

        Coupled with the cravings, I was hungry as I don't think I took enough breakfast with me into work - or it was just the aftermath of too much sugar. Either way, lunch wasn't quite enough and when I got home I was starving but I had a bit of really good blue cheese in the fridge which went down a treat as a before dinner snack There's even some left which I have added to my lunch for tomorrow.

        Dinner was baked trout with a some melted brie and creamed leeks with steamed carrots and broccoli. Tasty!

        Sugar is my nicotine...


        • #5
          Today was soo much easier as far as sugar cravings go. Pretty much gone although it was very difficult to ignore the chocolate that my husband was eating this evening :P

          Today felt good even. I still don't think that I'm completely over carb flu as I still get a bit headachey and feel a bit tired, but its no where near where I was this time last week.

          Food today was:

          B: three mini-crustless quiches for breakfast with swiss chard and spinach in them
          L: chicken salad with a little bit of sweet potato with left over creamed leeks and the last of the blue cheese
          D: chicken with a spicy tomato sauce (homemade) and stir-fried vegetables, plus a few squares of no added sugar dark chocolate for dessert

          The blue cheese in the salad at lunch was amazing - I crumbled it in so I got a little bit of really intense flavour every few bites. Delicious! Made the salad a lot more interesting and tasty I don't mind plain salad bit a bit of added flavour sometimes is great. I'm a bit limited though as I need to take lunch with me to work and there isn't a microwave so I can't heat anything up.

          I've got the gym before work tomorrow so looking forward to working hard and off for an early night.

          Sugar is my nicotine...


          • #6
            Just been looking at the calendar and I am at day 41 of eating primal - not bad! 2 and half weeks of that weren't quite there as I hadn't actually come across primal and the food that my personal trainer had suggested weren't quite there but they weren't far off so I'm counting them in

            Today's gym session was tough as per usual. I was doing pull ups again but this time it was 3x 12. Ouch! My trainer had me back on push-ups too which always kills but I'm getting there.

            Big news of today was I had another chat with my doctor about hypoglycemia. I went to see him last week as I suspect that I suffer from it. From reading posts on this site, there are several people who are hypoglycemic and some things that they said rang a bell with me. So, I researched it and a lot of the symptoms sounds like things I have suffered from but never realised were actually caused by something - I always thought it was just "me" and I would have to accept that.

            So, last week, the doc was very nice and helpful but he knew nothing about hypoglycemia at all. He's quite young (recently qualified I think) and was trying to help but I knew more than he did - he actually googled "reactive hypoglycemia" and read the wikipedia page... Then he went onto some online resource they have to see what it said. He asked me to go back in a weeks time in the meantime he would do some research and ask some colleagues how to go about getting the diagnostic blood tests done. So, I talk to him today in the expectation that I might be asked to do some blood tests that would tell me for sure whether I have it. And, He said that they wouldn't get me to do the 6 hour glucose test or the other one that they can do (didn't really give a reason) so I had two choices. One was to take a letter from him, and then next time I have an episode that I think is low blood sugar to go to the hospital, present my letter and get a blood test done. Oh, and I wouldn't be able to eat before I got to the hospital so that would be a lot of fun! Or, I could go out and buy my own blood glucose monitor and take readings myself and keep a diary of them to see if it looks likely.

            Have to admit that I'm not massively impressed by the NHS given that hypoglycemia will often turn into diabetes in later life so it would be nice to know for sure whether I have it - if I do then it is another reason to really stick with what I'm doing.

            Anyway, not fancying the whole "get to the hospital without eating for a blood test while I think I have low blood sugar and I know I have a phobia of needles thing..." I popped out to the pharmacy on my way home and bought a monitor for myself! This was quite a big move given my phobia of needles but I've tried it and its really not that bad as I can't see the needle at all and it doesn't hurt. I did have to kind of screw up my eyes and just go for it the first time but it was definitely a bigger bark than bite (its really loud!). Phew!

            I'm not sure what the results will be from the monitor over the next few weeks but my symptoms have almost disappeared since I started PB so I'm guessing that it won't show much... I'm planning on keeping it on hand whenever I go somewhere that I might not be able to get good food and test after that. There is bound to be something over the next wee while and I'm a bit loath to deliberately feed myself a load of sugar just to see what the monitor comes up with.

            Anyway, bedtime for me and I'll see what tomorrow brings soon!

            Sugar is my nicotine...


            • #7
              God, I really hate it when the so called 'professionals' know less than you! It has happened to me quite a lot over the last few years. Grrrr...
              Anyway, sounds like your issues are resolving with the Primal WOE so you shouldn't really need their 'expertise' anyway! lol!
              Finally uncovering the real me!

              My 'Serious Six' journal.


              • #8
                Hi gingernut! Yes, thankfully it looks like Primal solves the majority of my problems so I'm not relying on doctors. It is frustrating though!

                Today was another bad one as far as the sugar cravings go - particularly as there were a whole load of chocolates in the office that had been brought in. Torture! I managed to resist though and discovered that some almonds really really helped. Not too sure why but after a few my cravings nearly disappeared which was welcome relief.

                I've been using my blood glucose meter a bit but not as much as I think I probably should if I really want to closely monitor it all for a week or so. Its a bit difficult being at work but I'm hoping that if I'm on top of it over the weekend I'll be more in the swing of it next week. About the only thing I can tell so far is that I definitely don't have diabetes as my blood sugar isn't too high. Its on the low side of normal ranges, but so far it is within normal. I haven't eaten anything that I would expect to cause a spike and crash though so at the moment its just good to start getting a feel for what my normal is.

                I'm now at home and dinner is on. J (my husband) is out this evening so I've got time to myself, and as its Friday I don't need to make lunch for tomorrow so its a proper night to relax!

                B: 2 x crustless mini-quiche with onions, swiss chard and smoked salmon
                L: chicken salad with avocado, carrot, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage
                Snack: almonds
                D: bolognese sauce (beef mince, tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, garlic, herbs, splash of red wine) - currently cooking, plus likely to have some blueberries with double cream for dessert.

                Sugar is my nicotine...


                • #9
                  Day 43

                  I didn't have blueberries last night in the end - I opened the little thing that they came in and they were all just about to start sprouting mould. Grr! I'd only bought them the day before as well. Ah well, I consoled myself today with strawberries. My local farm shop were giving away two punnets free if you spent over £30 which I did easily by the time I stocked up on some meat and veggies.

                  I went to the gym this morning with my husband which is the first time we've been together since we both started with personal trainers and it was fun I was doing a cardio day (i.e. sprints on various machines with recovery time in between) and then a bit of abs and core strength work which felt really good. Throughout the week, I mainly do resistance work with my trainer and the odd sprint so weekends are for me to get some of my own sprinting time in. Last week I went out round the roads where we live which was fun but I quite enjoy the gym too. Its definitely getting easier than it was 6 weeks ago!!! I've noticed that I can sprint faster than I was and still recover ok.

                  It was really good to have J along. He's gradually coming on board with primal and I think is pretty sold now which is great. He wasn't too sure about some of it when I started but he was really supportive of me giving it a go. He was generally ok with the overall idea but I don't think he'd bought some of it and wasn't too keen on kicking out all wheat etc. When I cut out sugar he was sceptical about the impact it would really have but has given it a go and he's noticed quite a big impact - particularly in terms of reducing his appetite between meals. He wasn't really into rice, pasta and potatoes anyway so he's found that aspect easy. In the past week or two, he's started to really get into cutting the grains and really thinking about whether things are good to eat. Every so often he asks "are we allowed this now?" Its great to have the back-up.

                  We've both said that we need to keep up with this and really make it a lifestyle change which sticks. We're lucky enough have the time and money at the moment to learn how to cook and live this way so we really want to make the most of it and properly change our habits. I think it can be quite difficult at first to get into the swing of not buying the convenience foods or even just pre-made sauces. Most sauces etc are not difficult once you learn but it can take a long time to cook things the first few times! We've also found it relatively expensive as we buy additional spices, oils, herbs etc. Also, as we're trying a lot of new foods, we do come across things that we just don't particularly like and to be honest, we'll just throw out as at the moment we think its important to enjoy our food and not just eat things because they fit the rules. There is plenty that we do love and we've found some great new foods but it does all add up when you are trying the extra stuff. I think as we get a better knowledge we will start to buy less stuff that we don't use, and we certainly save on the processed stuff as it doesn't make it to the trolley.

                  In the spirit of really trying to stick with this properly, we did some before photos this morning. I'm a month in so its not really a full before for me as I've lost about 10lbs but I'm hoping that I still have plenty to go so it will be good to see the changes properly.

                  B: 1x egg and some bacon (didn't want too much before the gym)
                  Workout: 15mins x crosstrainer, 15mins x treadmill, 10 mins x bike each fairly low intensity with full on sprints when I had recovered from the previous sprint (c. 2-3 mins), side plank both sides, plank, sit ups x 20, reverse ab curls x 20, 2 x push-ups x 10 (3 full, 7 on my knees)
                  L: small amount left over bolognese, ham salad, raspberries&blackberries with some cream
                  D: steak, onions, mushrooms and garlic, lettuce and tomato,
                  Dessert: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries

                  Sugar is my nicotine...


                  • #10
                    Day 44

                    Today was good as far as the sugar cravings go - I didn't feel like I needed something sweet today. What I did feel however was a constant nausea and a bit headachey... Not a pleasant feeling! I'm not sure what it is but I think I have narrowed it down to 1 of 4...hmm..not the most narrowed. I think it is either

                    a) Just a day of feeling a bit off for no discernible reason

                    b) I had too much coconut milk/cream last night. This is possible as coconut cream has made me pretty ill in the past, however, I ate a lot and it kicked in within about 5 seconds of eating it and not the next day like this has. That time, it was when I was fairly new to primal and I think it was too much fat for my stomach all at once when it wasn't used to it given my low fat diet for many years.

                    c) A delayed reaction to the wheat in the breadcrumbs of the burgers that I ate last night. I haven't had any wheat in for nearly 6 weeks and I didn't notice any bad reactions in the past but I don't know what my reaction to it is these days. I'd eaten the burgers before I remembered that some contain breadcrumbs (these were high quality ones but when I checked the ingredients, sure enough, there were breadcrumbs in them).

                    d) Something was off in the crustless quiches that I made for breakfast today. Prime candidates would be the eggs or smoked salmon but they were properly cooked in the oven... All ingredients are things that I have eaten quite regularly over the past few weeks wit no ill effects.

                    So, really not sure. I don't really think that the quiches were the culprit and they were fresh made last night and none of the ingredients seemed off - I even had a wee bit of the salmon and it tasted fine. I think the wheat or the coconut cream might be the answer although I felt fine last night and last time I had a reaction to coconut it was immediate. Also, the feeling that I've had all day is something that I used to get every so often before I changed to PB and I didn't eat any coconut prior to 6 weeks ago. Which leaves wheat as the main culprit but I hope that it isn't what has caused it. It would be really horrible to get this every time I eat wheat as it permeates so many foods that you come across when not cooking at home. I'm hoping that its not but I will be keeping an eye out for how I feel the day after any other inadvertent slips.

                    So, given my feeling pretty rubbish all day, I haven't eaten all that much - it stacks up as follows:

                    B: 1/2 banana before workout, 2 x crustless quiche with tomato, onion, mushrooms, smoked salmon, cheddar cheese
                    L: chicken salad (lettuce, tomato, sweet potato, carrot, broccoli) - didn't eat much at lunchtime but had a bit more mid-afternoon.
                    D: chicken drumstick, a few strawberries, 1 square 90% cocoa chocolate

                    I was in the gym this morning so got a good workout - thankfully I felt fine while I was there. I managed 12 full push-ups in a row which I was amazed at. First time I've ever managed that many! On my second set (after a rest) I managed another 6 before dropping to my knees so I'm really chuffed. That's one of the biggest signs that I'm getting stronger as I've never been able to really do push-ups. I also was doing pull-ups, still on the machine but I managed 3 x 12 reps completely under my own steam. Normally my trainer has to give me a bit of a lift on the last ones but I did them all myself today. We also did a load of lunges which just about killed my legs. Not quite such obvious progress there :P All in all though, a very satisfying workout.

                    One very exciting thing - my vibrams arrive from the states tomorrow! I had to order from there as I have huge feet for a woman (size 9 UK which I think is a 10 or a bit more in US sizes) and I just couldn't source the ones that I wanted within Europe - my only choice of KSOs were plain black ones and I wanted some that were a bit I got some which look like they shouldn't be too garish but have a bit of a yellow colour to them. I just hope that they fit! The only ones that I could try on were some mens classic ones, where I was a 42 and they were a wee bit wide for me. Which was right given my foot length on the size charts, but that they indicates that I need the 41 for the KSOs apparently... So that's what I have ordered and I just have to hope that they fit. If not there might be a pretty pair in size 41 for sale in the UK!

                    That's me for today, I'm going to finish lunches for tomorrow and then crawl of to bed super early. Its only 8pm here but I think I need a really good nights sleep and hopefully that will leave me feeling better tomorrow.


                    P.S. Edited to ad:

                    ~Primal Challenge~
                    My husband and I have decided that we will do the 30 day primal challenge – see if I can use it to bust past my traditional plateau!

                    My personal challenge is going to be to do more moving at a moderate pace. I don’t get much of this in each week because of work and being busy in the evenings but all it would take is a little bit of effort. My big thing is that I need to stay away from making it too difficult – far too many years of thinking about exercise as being exclusively chronic cardio!

                    I'm thinking about trying to walk into work a couple times a week (only half an hour), and make the effort to go for a walk at lunchtime. If I can do those things, I should be able to notch up a couple of hours to supplement my measly attempt recently. I'll record my efforts here!
                    Last edited by kaoticturtle; 09-12-2011, 01:56 PM. Reason: addition of my personal primal challenge

                    Sugar is my nicotine...


                    • #11
                      Hope you feel better tomorrow and your vibrams arrive and fit!
                      Finally uncovering the real me!

                      My 'Serious Six' journal.


                      • #12
                        Thanks gingernut - its great to know that people are reading

                        I felt sooo much better today! I actually woke up with energy today and I'm wondering if some of my carb flu is finally clearing properly. I came down with what I think was carb flu about two/three weeks ago and was really laid low in terms of having to sleep loads and losing quite a bit of energy. It has been gradually getting better but I was still struggling to get up in the morning despite sleeping loads, whereas on the first week of primal I was leaping out of bed with the sunrise! I didn't quite leap out of bed, but I did wake up pretty easily when my alarm went off and I haven't felt particularly tired all day. A definite improvement. I just hope that it sticks but I know that I will feel better so I'll keep going even if I get it back for a while. I was a major carbaholic so I wouldn't be surprised if it takes my body a wee while to adjust. I'm still reading the posts of people saying that they suddenly have oodles and oodles of energy with a lot of jealousy!

                        I've just realised that I haven't put all that much up here about myself so I figure I should remedy that...

                        <warning - just realised that I have typed a have been warned!>

                        My story so far

                        Well, I'm 25 (26 on the 17th of September so pretty soon) and I'm 5'8" tall. I was born in Edinburgh, Scotland where I lived until I was 21. I went to school and then uni there were I studied Actuarial Maths and Statistics - I am a confirmed maths geek I absolutely loved Edinburgh but I knew that if I stayed there I would never leave and I always wanted to travel and live overseas at some point. So, I moved to London where I lived for 4 years, qualified as Life Insurance Actuary, worked as a consultant and met my husband - it was a busy 4 years!

                        Throughout my teens and into my early 20s my weight yo-yo'd a lot. At my heaviest I was probably around 12 stone (which is c.168 pounds) but I went on a big health kick in my final year of uni and brought that down to just over 10 stone (probably around 142 pounds). It was hard though and I was doing a huge amount of exercise. Chronic cardio in the gym at least 4 hours a week, and two or three hours a week minimum at indoor climbing walls. I was eating by CW and always having to be careful.

                        When I moved to London and started working as a consultant it all went downhill. My first project was working overseas so I was in hotels a lot and eating out several nights a week. I didn't have the time to work out so I went from huge amounts of exercise to none. I managed to keep my weight around 11 stone (155 pounds) or a bit above for a year or two and then after I met my husband I started to put on weight far too easily. We both love to cook and when it isn't worth it for just one, it becomes worth it for two... I was brought up on pure CW as my mum is a dietician and drilled that "fat is bad, carbs are good, don't eat too much meat" mantra into me. I always thought that "I just had to be a bit better, cut out some of the fat, get to the gym a lot more and just be good", but no matter how I tried I never stuck to it and the weight kept on creeping up. My husband as well. Throughout this time we went of health drive after health drive and never kept it up.

                        In November last year, we moved out of London and said that we would finally go to the gym, eat well and get fit. Well...come March 2011 we were still wanting to but in the meantime we had both put on even more weight and had only just got round to joining the gym! I was weighed at the doctors as being 81kg (12.8 stone, 178 pounds) and I know that over the next while I'm sure I put on more weight but I wouldn't look at the scale. I was probably topping out at around 13 stone (182 pounds, 82.5 kg). For me, that was horrible as I had to buy new work clothes and even those didn't seem to fit me for long. I had just kind of accepted that I was always going to put on more weight and I would probably never be slim again - I didn't like it so I tried to fight against it but I was in the process of giving up.

                        I did make a big effort to go to the gym from April onwards and was in there around 4 times a week doing what I guess can probably only be termed chronic cardio - I certainly wasn't dong resistance work. I tried to be good with what I was eating but soup or salad at lunch didn't last me through the day and I would often either snack or get home so hungry I'd eat a huge portion of rice or potatoes with my dinner. I always thought that was a "better" way to fill up than on lots of meat and sauce.

                        The gym work did make a difference, by the end of July I was down to 77.7kg (171 pounds) but I didn't feel like I was making much of a gain and it was hard. However, having made any gains were encouraging and made me think that maybe I could do it, I just wasn't doing it right. We're going to visit family in Australia in December and I really want to be able to get on the beach in a bikini in confidence. So, I contacted a personal trainer at the gym and set up some sessions with her to see if it would make any difference.

                        She is absolutely fantastic. The first thing she asked me to do was to keep a food diary. I was worried about some of the fatty things in there, and one meal in particular stands out. I had come back from the gym one saturday morning and was starving so decided to cook the lamb for dinner for lunch but was feeling lazy so just steamed a load of veg to go with it and that was my main meal. I thought it was so bad as it had all this meat, and there were no carbs but she circled it as being an excellent meal!!! That was definitely a bit of a shock moment. She also went through it and circled all the sugar boosts I was having every day. The chocolate, the oranges, the sugary cereal, puddings after dinner etc.

                        She then went on to ask me to cut out all sugar, all refined carbs, and as much grain as possible - particularly bread. The sugar sounded sensible but I was a bit sceptical on the rest. I decided to give it a go though as I would be silly to pay all this money for advice and then ignore it! Well, over the next week I felt amazing. I found Mark's blog via an article that she sent to me (which she didn't know about, although she promotes a diet very close to primal - probably more paleo maybe) and drank it all in.

                        Before starting all this, I was really sceptical about low-carb diets etc but this was low carb without being what I felt was unhealthy as there was so much emphasis on the quality of the food and on veg. However, once I started to cut out sugar and wheat, I noticed massive differences. My waist literally reappeared within about a week of cutting out wheat and sugar. I jumped fully in pretty quickly and soon decided to cut all grains. I got hit with carb flu quite heavily a bit after that but I think that is clearing now so I'm glad I've hung on.

                        From the get go though, my overall energy levels throughout the day have been so much better than they were. I'm now pretty certain that I have at least a mild form of reactive hypoglycemia. For years I have suffered from energy slumps with no cause, complete fatigue at times (to the extent of having passed out on my way home), an intolerance to too much alcohol, crankiness when I'm hungry and several other symptoms. My husband and I were starting to get a bit worried and thinking about whether I should go to the docs - I was kind of scared to though and not sure what they could do. Reactive hypoglycemia really fits the bill although my doc hasn't been great about formally trying to diagnose it. Since changing my diet I have had no symptoms at all. None, not one episode! I was getting them normally at least weekly and often more - nights when I would come home and pretty much go straight to bed.

                        This is so huge for me - I was worried that I was on the road to really significant ill health but now I'm confident that I can control it with a style of eating that I love

                        My primal journey so far

                        So, where am I now? Well, as of this morning I weighed in at 71.9kg (158.5 pounds). So I have lost nearly 6kg (13 pounds) in 6 weeks of primal! I can get into clothes that are a full size smaller than I was wearing, and I have had to start digging out my old work clothes. I'm working out with resistance and that is really amazing. It gives me such a high to see the gains I am getting in strength. I feel great, I don't have energy crashes and I'm really positive about where I'm going, even if I do have no patience and want it all now!

                        I get a bit despondent sometimes when I look in the mirror and still see fat where I don't want it but this journal is really helping me to focus on the positives and stop doing that. I'm trying to remember that I'm only 6 weeks into a lifelong journey and 3 months is still plenty to get my bikini body out on show :P

                        Sugar is my nicotine...


                        • #13
                          Wow its so good to read your journal! Your story is inspiring and it seems like we are coming from very similar places, I hope I'm doing as well as you when Im further in!


                          • #14
                            Thanks PrimalNomNom - it certainly sounds like we're coming from a similar place. Have you started with your trainer yet? Mine has been fantastic and really gets me moving (and lifting!) so I fingers crossed yours will be as good. Let me know how it goes!

                            I haven't been on much over the last few days. Everything has been really busy and I've been finding that by the time I pre-cook lunches and breakfasts, and then cook dinners as well, I only really have a bit of time to spend with my husband and to relax in the evenings so I haven't been coming online. I can keep a bit of an eye of the forums via my phone at lunchtime but actually typing on it is a bit inefficient and really tedious!

                            So, what's been happening? Well...

                            At the end of last week, I avoided some serious levels of cake and chocolate that were brought into work. Yay! I've got a stash of pistachios which I absolutely love in my desk and when I felt tempted, I had a few of those and I didn't feel like I was missing out at all. I'm really losing my sweet tooth. We got some strawberry yoghurt for Jasce at the weekend as he really wanted some. We deliberately choose one that was full fat and had as little sugar as possible but I couldn't have any as all I could taste was the sugar in it... It's only been 6 weeks but my taste buds have changed that much

                            I think being as close to primal as I possibly can be has helped here. I am pretty much eating 100% primal (plus dairy) and keeping fruit to an absolute minimum. So, no added sugar and virtually no fruit seems to have significantly kicked my sugar habit. I'm not wanting to be complacent though. Last time I had a some tasty fruit I was hit with cravings for several days so I don't want to go there! I think every so often, if something comes my way that I fancy a bit of and which is sugary I'll have some just to test my own reaction but I'm not going to look for it. That way I know that I can enjoy a guilt-free spontaneous indulgence, but to be honest, my desire for sugar is diminishing. I think I will likely only be tempted by some really ripe, delicious fruit...or maybe a fruit flan...hmmm....

                            My eating habits in general have changed a lot actually. Particularly just over the last 4-5 days. I'm not sure how to describe it but not only have I not been feeling hungry, I've been feeling, sort of actively not hungry. I look at food and my brain/body screams "No, I don't want anything! Not interested!" and the thought of eating is really not nice. Its such a strange feeling... I'm guessing that this is my leptin sensitivity coming back fully (although I haven't been doing any leptin reset attempt) and possibly ketosis kicking in? I'm not sure what it is but I quite like the feeling. There's a strange satisfaction to thinking "I don't need to eat anything, I'm not stuffed but I'm quite content and not hungry". For today and the past two days, I have eaten a smallish breakfast (left over stew or a crustless mini-quiche), a late lunch at around 3pm (Saturday was stew, yesterday and today were big salads with a load of roast chicken) and then nothing else bar maybe some berries or a bit of 90% chocolate in the evening. I have plenty of energy to get me through the day so I'm not worrying particularly, just intrigued at the changes that must be happening to make me feel this way and wondering how long it will last for. I've even been exercising. I was sprinting on Saturday, running around at the market, supermarket and on my feet in the kitchen for several hours on Sunday and did a weights session this morning so I've definitely been burning energy.

                            I'm used to either feeling physically stuffed from meals or hungry so this is all very strange! I always used to feel like my "I'm full" signals only kicked in quite a bit after I was actually full. I would be hungry, eat loads for dinner, and then about 15/20mins later feel horrible and completely stuffed. It happened quite frequently but I couldn't make myself consistently stop eating early enough to stop it - I was hungry and the food was tasty! It always seemed that those last few bites tipped it over but I never knew in advance that they would as I didn't get any signal that my stomach was filling up and I'd had enough. I was always the one who would say "Well...I could eat...?" if anyone asked me if I was hungry or offered something, because I could. Even if it wasn't that long after a fairly large meal, I would feel able to eat something. The really common one was that I would go out for lunch with friends at work and have a proper meal. I'd say to myself that I wouldn't eat a proper dinner - just have something simple when I got home - but I'd get home and be hungry so I'd have a full dinner too...

                            I'm quite enjoying my one main meal a day just now, but I'm certain that I've run at a fairly high calorie deficit for the past few days so I'm expecting to get hungry soon. I have plenty food with me at work if I want it and I've made sure that what I'm eating has lots of veg, good meat and good fat (cream, butter, avocado, natural fat from the meat etc) so I'm trying to make sure that I'm still hitting good break downs of nutrients even if its not a large amount of overall food. I haven't stuck it all into any of those calculators though so I'm not sure of the exact split but I don't feel like I'm lacking so I'll leave it for now. I'm getting more confident that my body will tell me if it needs something.

                            I do have a good 10kg (22 pounds) that I could easily lose and be healthy so my best guess is that I have finally switched over to burning fat and my body is just figuring it doesn't need a huge amount of additional fuel

                            On Friday, I had my 6-week reassessment with my personal trainer. I knew that I had been doing well just from looking at the scale and from feel that my clothes were too big for me. I didn't realise how good though!

                            In 6 weeks I have lost:

                            6kg (13 pounds) taking me to 71.4kg
                            which includes an increase in muscle mass of about 5kg i.e. 11kg (24 pounds) of fat loss!!!!

                            Wow, I was stunned by that. That much fat in only 6 weeks through eating PB and by doing resistance training with sprints. In 3 months of CW and chronic cardio, I only lost a third of that and it was hard. I really feel like its a bit of a validation of how much better I feel - it really is working!

                            In addition to the weight, I have also lost some impressive numbers in key measurements:

                            Bust: down 3' to 36'
                            Just below bust: down 2.5' to 31'
                            Waist: down 4' to 28'
                            Hips: down 2.5' to 38'
                            Thighs: down 2.5' to 21'
                            Upper Arms: down 1.5' to 10.5'

                            Again, all this is in 6 weeks! No wonder my clothes feel a bit big The difference in my thighs and waist is huge and makes a massive difference in clothes fitting. It made for a very happy turtle on Friday.

                            I'm not sure how the next 6 weeks will go. I'm expecting a plateau soon as I'm about to get to 70kg and that has been a sticking point for me in the past. Last time I lost a reasonable amount of weight, I stuck at 73kg as well but this time I have sailed through it despite the fact that it used to be my set point weight. If I had too many binge nights or didn't exercise well I would always go up to 73kg really easily. I would sit there for a while until I either worked to drop down again or continued in the same vein in which case I would gradually creep up and up from there. Its been really nice to get past that with ease.

                            70kg though, that was a real plateau for me 6 years ago and it took a lot of working at the climbing wall, in the gym and with what I was eating to break it. Out of interest, I've been weighing myself every morning from pure curiosity just to see how my weight varies. I've done it for a week now and I've been keeping a note. Through last week, I was consistently dropping just a wee bit of weight each day and then this morning I had put on half a kilo. Nothing extreme but really interesting, particularly given my lack of appetite recently. Now, I have no real problem with viewing my weight every day. I doesn't depress me, I know its not the end of the world and being a stats geek, I kind of like seeing the patterns... It will be really interesting to see what it does over this week - whether I gain a bit more or whether I lose that 0.5kg again tonight.

                            Given I'm getting close to my previous plateau, I'm not sure whether that little gain is linked to it and possibly a sign that I might stall a wee bit or just normal variation. It's probably normal variation but I will be watching what happens with interest!

                            Well, its bedtime for me! I want to have a bit of time to wind down away from the laptop before sleep so time to head.

                            Em x

                            Sugar is my nicotine...


                            • #15
                              Haven't had a chance to post in the evening so thought I'd give typing on my phone a go while on my lunch break

                              Things have been going really well on the eating front. I think we're starting to get it pretty well embedded in everyday life and I reckon I'm not far off 100% primal from a food point of view - certainly more than 80%

                              The main area I still struggle with is breakfast. I've never really been a breakfast girl. I'll quite enjoy something for a bit, but then get bored and feel like something else or nothing. I don't have a problem with not eating breakfast, but I've noticed that I do often get hungrier for the rest of the day if I don't. I had a small amount of left over stew this morning and that was quite tasty. Eggs are ok sometimes but they've never been my favourite and I get bored of them really really quickly. Yogurt, nuts and seeds is good but again, I get bored quickly and I'd quite like to try cutting down on dairy for a while just to see what happens. I don't think I have a problem with it but it would be nice to test that (also thinking about testing nightshades sometime).

                              Weightwise, my experiment of seeing how my weight fluctuates day by day is definitely interesting. I did lose the half kg again overnight but the next day, the scales put me at 1.5kg up (71.9kg) which was a bit of a surprise! It did also then tell me that the battery was low so not sure if it was just a bit off from that. New battery in, this morning I was at 70.9kg so not quite down at Sunday and Monday's weight of 70.4kg. Given I'm kind of expecting 70kgto be difficult to get past, it really is interesting to see the variation. I was hoping to see a 69 on the scales by Saturday as its my birthday and that would be an awesome present and that was looking hopeful with the 70.4kg at the start of the week but less so now... Heyho, seeing 70 consistently is still soo much more than I expected when I started out on this journey!

                              Sugar is my nicotine...