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Once more, with gusto!

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  • Once more, with gusto!

    A yo-yo dieter for years, I have tried everything from Atkins to raw veganism. Juice fasting, juice feasting, fruitarianism, raw paleo, Master Cleansing. There was the all-ice-cream bit, a long stint with bulimia, the champagne-and-whiskey phase, the salted papaya phase, the pure cashew phase. The margaritas and HCG month. I have done every disgusting, ill-thought out, psychotically unhealthy thing a person can do in order to lose weight and of course, I never could keep it off for more than a month or two.

    Then I found the Primal lifestyle and I thought I had finally found my golden ticket - weight flew off me without my thinking about it (or even noticing!) I was in the best shape of my life! At 5'5" I went from 135 lbs. to 118 lbs. over the course of 4 months seemingly without batting an eyelash.

    2012-05-31 12.28.49-1.jpg

    I was having people come to me left and right wanting to know what plan I was on. I looked great. I FELT great. My energy was through the roof, my depression and anxiety had eased considerably, I was pleased with where I was. But I was also so surprised at what my scale said, I actually went out and bought another scale because I couldn't conceive that my successes were real. I was still ill in my mind, freaking out about a pound of weight gained, obsessing over my figure.

    And then disaster struck! (So dramatic!) A drawn-out breakup and a small existential crisis surrounding the stresses of graduating from my MFA program caused me to put on 30 lbs over the last year. I went down a rabbit hole of serious daily binge drinking, binge eating, and painful self-discovery. This morning I really looked in the mirror for the first time in many many months and was deeply disturbed by what I saw. A sad, confused girl, mind fuzzy with a hangover that's lasted 4 months, trying on outfit after outfit because none of her clothes fit. I finally clocked all those concerned looks I've been getting from my friends. I finally woke up. I'm finally ready to embark on a new journey and get the confidence and joy back into my life once and for all.

    I've grown a lot spiritually this last year and I'm calmer and happier with my inner self than I've ever been. Even still, the remnants of my disordered eating and alcohol dependency still lurk and the dissatisfaction with my outer self has caused me to plunge into another miniature depression. I'm determined not to spiral further downwards, it's gone on long enough and I'm ready and determined to reach my fitness goals and finally be happy with myself inside and out.

    This journal is a way for me to be accountable for myself. I feel so embarrassed to share these photos, but I will anyway. When I look back I will laugh and laugh... This is what I look like today.


    So, hello! And here we go.

  • #2
    You are speaking right to me! I have been where you have been and where you are and trying to obtain the same goal! I look forward to reading your progress! 😊


    • #3
      Originally posted by ashamahleyyy View Post
      You are speaking right to me! I have been where you have been and where you are and trying to obtain the same goal! I look forward to reading your progress! ��
      Thanks, lady! I'm looking forward to the journey.


      • #4
        I should mention, too, that I've trepidatiously started therapy again in an attempt to excavate and heal what's been at the root of my disordered eating and alcohol dependency because I know "dieting", even in this non-restrictive Primal way, is a slippery slope to Orthorexiaville with a layover in Bingetown. I have devoured (groan) everything Geneen Roth has written at least twice over and it helped tremendously during the first Paleo/Primal go-round. But while I feel as though I've absorbed her concepts intellectually, on an emotional level I'm as damaged as ever. It's virtually impossible to separate the way you eat with the way you live - habits manifest themselves over and over again in every facet of your life. The way I eat is the way I drink is the way I approach my relationships is the way I approach my work. Which is to say, with pockets of muscled diligence and artificial fervor leading up to a creeping resentment that explodes into a tornado of pushing everything and everyone away and running to what's safe and numbing - food and drink.

        I have been doing fairly well controlling the drinking these 2 weeks. For the last 6 months, I was downing 8-10 drinks a day, every day, and pulled more than a handful of 12-hour drinking days. Now I'm able to go several days without drinking, and when I do I can keep it to under 5 bevvies. Still not ideal, but I know cold turkey isn't my ticket right now. Just as I know restricting anything isn't my ticket right now.

        I still plan to be as Primal as possible, which is to say gluten-free and mostly grain-free (I make an exception for rice, I'm Asian after all), but I'm not going to worry at all about macros or calories and focus completely on healing my disordered eating. I plan to eat whatever I want, whenever I want, and as much as want so long as I truly really truly listen to what my body is telling me it wants, which is usually Primal. Recently it's been a lot of sugar due to my dip in alcohol consumption and it's difficult not to feel crazy guilty about it, but I've been respecting those signals, eating tons of sugar, and miraculously! The last few days I've experienced a significant decline in my sugar cravings. Go figure.

        Anyway. All this to say - for the first time, I'm going to try something new and novel! I'm not going to make weight loss my primary focus, and I'm going to actually mean it! In the past I was convinced I was putting health first, nutrition foremost, blah blah blah, but in that dusty corner of my mind it was always obvious all I really ever wanted was to be slim and I was going to do anything it took to get there. I mean, did I really think subsisting on Royal Jelly was the apogee of nutritional science? Clearly no.