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How should a Primal person feel?

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  • How should a Primal person feel?

    I have read countless posts, countless articles and many, many success stories here. But I am still confused in two aspects:
    a) how do you know if you are already primal, if the primal transition is over?
    b) how should one feel when health is back?
    (I don't remember the times when I was really healthy, so maybe I can't compare it really). But maybe the present state is "health".

    I have quite a problem with understanding some aspects of an English language. Reading comments stating that something is awesome (transformation, recipe, exercise), when it is just quite good. I've seen it many times, so maybe being primal being "awesome" is in fact just being a little more than ok? Maybe it's an example of "keep smiling/be optimistic" attitude.

    So what are the milestones of being primal? do you have so much energy you can just run without an effort, are not tired when carrying groceries half a mile and then five floors up using the stairs in a heavy coat? Or you are just "normal" person, like the more fortunate people, who can eat everything and feel quite ok? Help me in my confusion if you can.
    I will be normal. I will be NORMAL again

  • #2
    Dominant. You should feel enthusiastic about life, and a bit more aggressive. When around other exercise liking people you should be the one with the most energy and endurance. Running should be fun. Don't be disappointing if you can't get to this level, just use this as a guideline for where you want to be.


    • #3
      My best personal marker of primal health is when I don't get enough sleep (maybe 5 hours instead of my usual 8) and I can still get through my day without feeling tired or in need of a nap. In fact, I don't feel any differently than if I had gotten my full 8 hours. In my pre-primal days, a poor night's sleep would have had me dragging myself through the day, drinking lots of coffee, and probably eating lots of sugary snacks for more energy.

      Other markers for me are clear skin and no joint pain. As far as running and carrying groceries, I was able to do those things without too much effort when I was eating a conventional diet, but then I have always been a runner.

      Have you kept a journal? That might help you discover your own markers of good health - keep track of how you feel when you aren't following PB closely to compare with how you feel when you are following the lifestyle. I suspect that everyone's markers for health are a little different.
      Last edited by Tawny; 01-18-2011, 08:17 AM. Reason: spelling
      My Journal:


      • #4
        I was fairly healthy to begin with but I'm finding now I just have boundless energy. I would also say my skin positively glows, it's full winter here (snowing right now) and I look like I have a slight tan. No dry and cracked hands for the first time in I can't remember when. And I work a midnight shift. And I'm 48. And I only started in Oct.

        I feel like I've cracked the code to physical well-being, for myself anyway. We'll see in a years time where I'm at.
        Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.


        • #5
          Hmmm. C2H5OH: Ethanol.

          *grin* Maybe you'd feel better with another nick?



          • #6
            Originally posted by Gathwh View Post
            Dominant. You should feel enthusiastic about life, and a bit more aggressive. When around other exercise liking people you should be the one with the most energy and endurance. Running should be fun. Don't be disappointing if you can't get to this level, just use this as a guideline for where you want to be.
            This is the best description I've heard so far. When my diet is good and I go out running, I feel like I'm a wolf, or maybe a big cat, loping along for the sheer joy of it. When I ate more grains, I felt more like the wildebeest huffing along getting chased, by my inadequacy, by my hopeless goals, and by other runners who kept passing me. Same thing with strength training. I don't feel like the "girl in the weight room" anymore. I feel strong.

            People say I carry myself and move like a dancer, probably because I'm slim, but I like to think I carry myself more like a wild animal (a predator).

            It's not about "Wow, I feel so much better and my X, Y, and Z conditions are cured," but more about a subtle shift in my attitude.


            • #7
              When all the hot chicks crane the neck to get a better look of you when you enter the room - that's when.

              I am joking, but only just.

              I feel the most primal when my thirst is slaked and my hunger is quenched, and also when I am feeling no discomfort or pain. Surprisingly enough I also feel the best when I am 16 - 18 hours into an IF. At that point my mind is in an alert, focused and calm state. That's when I would also say I go into predatory mode - not in the literal sense but in a figuratively way. It's rather quite strange, and hard to describe.
              Sometimes you need to be told the truth in order to be able to see it.

              My journal

              I see grain people...

              Exist in shadow, drifting away.


              • #8
                Every response in this post is just epic. I can remember a literaly few moments in my life when I was feeling accidentaly like this, and this ROCKS
                I will be normal. I will be NORMAL again


                • #9
                  Yeesh. I read some of these responses, and I think I must be doing some totally different way of eating.
                  The Primal Journey of Mr and Mrs Fist


                  • #10
                    I feel like I don't have to worry about food/eating anymore.
                    I can go hours without eating now. Before I would be hungry all the time and eating snacks.

                    I enjoy my food more now. It tastes better. I am not bloated or gassy anymore. No more low blood sugar crashes after eating.

                    My skin looks better. No more spots. Cuts heal faster. No dry hands this winter.

                    My balance is better. I move around better as my joints don't hurt anymore.

                    I had a long bout of glandular fever early last year which has affected my energy levels so I can't comment on energy. I believe eating PB will help me get my energy back up to normal. Before glandular fever I was very energetic and eating PB back then too.

                    I have been eating PB/primal/ or low carb for 2 years now and I think it's one of the the best decisions I ever made.


                    • #11
                      The way I define health is simple: the absence of chronic and/or recurring discomfort/dysfunction. The crucial thing is that a lot of people get so used to having little energy, feeling bloated, etc that they mistake it as the normal way for the body to be, and not a state of lower functioning. Of course feeling a little tired after a work-out is normal, but if you're feeling like that a lot maybe you're working out too much

                      A lot of people started this journey in a state of significant dysfunction: IBS, insulin resistance, etc. and so the difference between their old and new states is amazing. Even people who start out in a relatively good state of health however, can find the changes transformative. I used to feel bloated all the time from my massive consumption of pasta and rice, and at about 2pm I'd start nodding off making work very difficult. Nowadays my energy is very level and I never feel bloated. That simple change for me is awesome because it means I get to enjoy my time so much more, and the difference between feeling good some of the time to feeling good all of the time is bigger than it might seem.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by AndreaReina View Post
                        A lot of people started this journey in a state of significant dysfunction: IBS, insulin resistance, etc. and so the difference between their old and new states is amazing.
                        This. I literally wasn't aware just how miserable I was ALL THE TIME, taking OTC pain meds & stuff for heartburn & spending so much time in the bathroom. I used to get migraines that would last days 2-3 times a month, & was just absolutely miserable! I literally thought I was just getting older - I was 27 & I thought this way. So for me, a year after going primal, it's like night & day. I don't have acne, I'm surprised when I get a headache & need to take an advil, my periods are fine, my joints aren't achey, my stomach is happy - I can actually LIVE life, instead of just hobbling around hoping for the most recent pain to dissipate. I have ENERGY, & want to be physical. For this band geek & eternal non-athlete, that fact that I just want to be outside & doing things but can't because of the weather is both frustrating & astounding. Who knew I'd want to go outside & play something?!

                        Sorry if that got a bit TMI, but it's all true. I got my life back, something I haven't had in years. I could have spent an entire lifetime in pain, but instead I get to rejoice in life.
                        And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair
                        Kahlil Gibran



                        • #13
                          It's kinda like being in love - you just 'know'. Of course there are those (of us) folks who have to overanalyze everything.

                          Skin is a biggie. When you cut out most sugars and carbs, your skin looks fantastic - tight, bright and blemish-free. Sugars cause inflamation, break down collagen and cause fluid retention which causes skin to look slightly bloated and lumpy (which gets worse as you get older) and aggravates redness in some folks. Your diet is literally written all over your face. Some people show things worse than others - occasionally I have to bite my tongue when I come face to face with someone, and I can tell by looking at their skin that all they eat is carbs.

                          Your joints should be more fluid. Inflamation is a tool our bodies use, but it can also cause pain and hamper mobility. When you cut out sugars, inflammation is reduced. With less inflamation in the body - mobility is usually increased. Once again - age is an aggravating factor, so this effect tends to be more dramatic with us old foggies and especially in people who have arthritis.

                          Your energy levels should be 'even'. This also depends on how susceptible you are to high and low blood sugar, but all of us are to a certain extent. This should level out on primal. I don't have bundles of extra energy (I was already doing pretty good), but I also don't have highs and lows anymore - it's nice to not want to crawl under my desk after lunch or be bouncing off the walls before bed.

                          Digestion may or may not be improved. This diet works really well for folks with digestive issues. One of the reasons is that bacteria in your gut is a balance between what we consider to be 'good' and 'bad' bacteria - guess what the 'bad' bacteria eat? Yup - sugar. When you cut down on sugar bad bacteria dies off, your good bacteria can hold its own a bit better, and your gut gets healthier. I find this area to be fascinating - our bodies are seething bags of bacteria, and some of it benefits us and some of it doesn't, and we can affect that balance by what we eat.

                          Improved circulation - carbs and sugar inflame your arteries along with the rest of your tissues, so with less inflammation, the blood flows better and gets there faster. Plus this diet tends to be more nutrient-heavy than what most of us used to eat, and this all means your cells are getting what they need (hydration, nutrients), when they need it - all the time. Waste matter is removed more promptly. I suspect this is a major contributor to the increased energy, good skin, better performance and beefier immune systems that most of us have noticed. There isn't a single aspect of your body that is not afffected by this. It's like having a mini post-workout glow all the time.

                          Most folks find their appetite has changed. Hunger is a gentle reminder, not an empty nawing beast (combined with the shakiness of low blood sugar). Fasting suddenly stops being something crazy people do and starts almost happening accidentally.

                          No more 'fat' days!!! I find that I don't have 'fat' days or 'skinny' days - this is due to the fact that sugars cause you to retain fluids and so no more bloating. I think this tends to be a bigger issue for us chicas, but I love it that my clothes fit the same every day.

                          Those are the things that have been most dramatically different since I changed my diet. My husband had an additional effect. He's very allergic to cats, dogs and dust mites and his allergies have all but disappeared. He's also an althlete and his mile has improved by a minute and a half with very little extra 'pushing' on his part - he says his running is much lighter and fun.

                          At any rate - this diet affects us all a little differently, and its effects become more pronounced with age because its benefits contrast more sharply with what folks consider to be 'normal'. And if you're like me - suddenly you realize you didn't actually feel normal - you were decaying, and THIS is what normal should be, should have been and is going to be from here on out! It's one of the reasons that some of us tend to be rather zealous about it.