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Feeling the worst iv'e ever felt in my life on primal.

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  • #16
    Some of us eat meat less often than others. I eat a lot of eggs, but some days I may not eat any meat, while on other days I might have it at two or even three meals. Don't feel that you have to eat loads of meat, and if you prefer seafood over red meat, then I think it's okay to get most of your animal protein from those sources.

    I agree with people above who are suggesting seeing your doctor, though. This sounds like more than just the change in diet.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

    Owly's Journal

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    • #17
      I agree with Owly - if you don't want to eat meat, don't eat it. Eat more fish instead, add more vegetables back in, go for vegetable sources of fats like avocado and coconut oil instead of the lard-heavy meats that make you miserable. The most important thing I've learned about the Primal lifestyle is, it isn't a one-size-fits-all way of eating. The important thing is to eat as cleanly as you can and cut out as much processed crap as you can; the rest you can tailor to your situation.

      And you don't have to do the same thing all the time, either. If you're sick of land animals, switch to fish or shellfish for a while. If you're sick of fish, try poultry. If you don't feel like meat at all, skip it for a while. Eventually you'll probably want some again, but it's definitely not worth the level of stress you've built up around it. Paleo/Primal isn't the "eat lard or ELSE!" diet - there are all kinds of healthy fat sources that don't come from cows or pigs, so there's no reason I can think of for you to bury yourself in cow and pig meat if it's making you this unhappy.

      If the way you're eating right now fits the parameters of "healthy" but isn't sustainable for you, then you're just setting yourself up for misery, stress and failure by trying to continue it. My suggestion would be to pick the top three dietary sources of misery in your life right now and get rid of them; replace them with something healthy that you actually enjoy, instead. N=1!

      Good luck, I hope it gets better for you soon!

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      • #18
        Ok, I'm going to see if I understand this.

        You have OCD/anxiety, sleep issues, and difficulties with gaining muscle, while also having an eating disorder (of sorts, whether or not it's official).

        You went vegan, then pescitarian when you added in fish, and ate very little "bad stuff" (sugar, soy, etc). Doing this abated your anxiety/OCD and eating disorder issues and you lost the bulk of your weight during this time. But, it didn't solve your sleep issues, and you found it difficult to gain muscle.

        So, you went paleo -- which mostly involved getting rid of grains, but you are not low carb, and adding a lot of meat which you find makes you feel yucky.

        My suggestion is to do a pescitarian paleo diet.

        Eat the fish/eggs/seafood as you prefer. Add in a bit of red meats as you want it -- if you want it. And from there, just eat the veg/fruit that you want.

        From there, just track your sleep and stress levels, and then consider doing lifting twice a week (compound movements) and see how it goes. You might be surprised.

        Sleep is probably the real problem.

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        • #19
          Changing from vegan to paleo - even with the pescatarianism in the middle - you could very well be dealing with digestive difficulties due to mismatched gut flora. It takes some time, and maybe some probiotics (do ask your doctor/nutritionist), for that to shift away from grain/veggie digesting to animal protein digesting.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by zoebird View Post
            My suggestion is to do a pescitarian paleo diet.
            Yeah. When I read that you were a pisco/ovo vegetarian, I was thinking yay, just like all of us!

            You don't HAVE to eat red meat. It just tastes good.
            Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

            Griff's cholesterol primer
            5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
            Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
            TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
            bloodorchid is always right

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            • #21
              I'd try melatonin for sleep issues.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by jellyfish View Post
                I was also hoping to fix my sleep issues but that seems to need something beyond a diet change. Logically it makes sense to just go back to how I was eating before but to be frank it's a little easier said then done. For one i'm scared out of my mind of doing something "harmful" to myself that i'd almost rather not eat then eat something "bad" (yay anxiety).

                The other thing is that I may be subconsciously using paleo as a reason to restrict myself out of fear of gaining weight while also looking for a way to control my fear of inevitable death. In which case I clearly need to sort out my issues surrounding food and mortality first.

                Edit: I really would like to get to the bottom of why I feel so awful and what i'm missing in my diet though regardless of the outcome.
                Jellyfish - I can relate to this. I have been feeling worse eating paleo at a very low carb level, below 48 grams on a high carb day. I've had acne, headaches and my complexion also seems a bit dull. I have come to realize that I need to add some carbs back in. This summer I was maintaining a lower weight and body fat % eating 70-160 carbs a day. I also felt better.

                Also -- This subconsciously using paleo to restrict yourself from gaining I can relate to as well. I went on a crash diet, that was ketosis based, this past winter. Lost 20 lbs. I was at 121 lbs. I have since gained 13 of that back. I have never really had issues with food. I have had issues with my body, but not really eating. After this diet, I had such guilt around eating, eating anything. I would decide just to enjoy a meal and then wake up a pound heavier and feel such guilt. I felt paralyzed to do anything about it. I would restrict my calories that day, go to the gym, make myself miserable.

                I came across Primal and started to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I've done a ton of research on eating and body fat gains and loses, trying to figure out what will work for me. I am not really there yet. But one thing I realized is that paleo is not about what I look like, it's about health as you said.

                Today I am primal and low carb, plus I drink probably 3 days a week (I am social). I crossfit twice a week and I am tweaking as I go. I haven't been feeling great lately and I believe it's be cause I need more carbs in my diet.

                Here is my point, I haven't totally figured it out. I seem to be gaining weight and not losing. But I have made a decision to shift my focus from "my ass is too big and my stomach sticks out here" to "I am doing this to be healthy and to be strong." I am learning to love the body I have and realize that being 10lbs lighter won't magically change my life (you know hot boyfriend, lots of money, lol). I don't allow myself to negative talk when I look in the mirror. Instead I say "Nice T&A" (hey, if you don't have anything nice to say...).

                I think that might help you with some of the anxiety you feel around gaining weight. I lost my period at 124-121 lbs for 4 mos, so I know I was anything but healthy. I needed to put some fat back on.

                I've been listening to Everyday Paleo podcasts: Podcasts | Everyday Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness I HIGHLY recommend you do the same. They talk a lot about ascetic goals and how people (mostly women) tend to fail when they focus on ascetics. Basically, you can't fix what you hate. So try loving the body you have, go back to the diet you felt good on and maybe work on the stress levels to fix the sleeping issues. I also recommend a magnesium supplement for help sleeping.

                If all else fails I remind myself that men think we all weight about 10 lbs less then we actually do! Good Luck, feel better.

                Oh and yeah, I agree go see a doctor.

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                • #23
                  You need to stop dieting. Period. Let go of all this baggage that you have attached to foods. The stress you are inflicting on yourself is far worse then anything you could possibly fix with diet.

                  Eat what you want, when you want. Focus on what makes you happy, stop thinking about food, weight and fat loss. Go get counselling if you need to. It really sounds like you are ruining your health in the persuit of health. There is no nutrient or macro or food group that will magically solve all your problems. The problem is you.

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                  • #24
                    I think you should see a doctor. I would also look at possible adrenal fatigue due too high stress/cortisol levels. I have some very serious stress issues also, and cortisol will eventually destroy you if it's not under control.. I still recommend seeing a doctor and going back to the diet that you feel your best on.
                    Proud Bangmaid since August 2009

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                    • #25
                      Sounds like your adrenals are shot. I think feeling better on that diet may have been coincidence, becauase adrenal exhaustion is a chronic thing that doesn't change quickly. What you did 6 months ago, a year ago, seem to matter today. It takes many months to get better and I don't know that you ever get as strong as those who have not had it. But I work pretty hard having had it 10 years ago, far harder than most people today, but not as hard as my ancestors. I have to have my sleep every night or I feel it.

                      How long did you do the primal low carb, strictly with no interruptions? How did you feel exactly?

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