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My story - why PB doesn't work for me.

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  • My story - why PB doesn't work for me.

    I share my journey through the paleosphere, which is coming to an end, in the hope that it may serve others useful and provide a different perspective. It's been a long and arduous journey, full of ups and downs, lefts and rights, you name it. For two and a half years I've been fighting myself about how I should look, how much I should weigh and as a result I've done far more harm than if I had just kept going as I was before (I'm 22, M, 5"10 and 155 lbs, never been overweight).

    Already very mindful about health, eating a low fat, whole-grain-based diet, I came across MDA in Aug '10 and was sold by the idea of paleo nutrition. It all made sense. So I went for it and, due to my obsessive nature, ended up overdoing it and developed an eating disorder where I'd eat paleo for my meals but then when I had cravings (which was usually after 2/3 days of 'clean' eating) I'd binge eat in secret.

    I have no idea what caused this originally, whether it was low carb, lack of calories, too much protein, psychological issues, boredom, whatever, it doesn't matter and I don't need to know the answer. All that matters is that this style of eating doesn't suit my lifestyle. Even recently, when I've tried to be reasonable about it and not obsess about things, eventually I still have those insatiable cravings and end up binging.

    The only times when I've been completely free of cravings is when I was forced to eat a normal diet because I was travelling or mountaineering, and I certainly felt a lot happier. And in the month of January, while at home, I ate a normal diet for 3 weeks with zero cravings, and as soon as I started flirting with the idea of getting super lean I went straight back to square one.

    So the conclusions I make from this are that

    1) Any potential benefits from paleo are not outweighed by the detrimental factors that come with it in my life.
    2) Obsessions/extremes are unhealthy and unproductive.
    3) Someone's weight or how they look isn't that important in the grand scheme of things. The most important thing is to be happy with who you are and be healthy enough to do what you love doing.
    4) Eating emotionally isn't healthy.
    5) Diets (as in deliberate/permanent restriction of calories/food groups) are destined to failure in the long run (in most cases).

    That's all I can think of at the moment, but no doubt there are many more! I really hope that if there are people out there in a similar situation then they read this and realize there are other alternatives out there, because it took me a LONG time to come to this conclusion. Now I truly understand what it means to listen to your body - those four words are possibly the wisest when it comes to health and wellbeing.

  • #2
    Sounds to me like you used PB as some kind of crash diet and that you have some emotional issues to sort out. Good luck with whatever path you find that works for you.


    • #3
      Good luck in future! What I appreciate most about your post is that you said "why PB doesn't work for me" and not "why PB doesn't work for me and therefore cannot work for you either", because obviously for some it is their answer to health and happiness. If you are finding your way, here is to happy days!
      I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC


      • #4
        So... working on the reasons why you develop eating disorders in the first place didn't work?


        • #5
          Hi Mmsantos

          Life is too short to diet.

          Only you know what it is right for you. Be happy with yourself and your choices.

          I wish you well

          Peace x


          • #6
            Perhaps your search for purism prevented you from doing the sort of experimentation that would have helped you find balance. It did become an obsession for you, and no doubt there are others like you who have had that experience.

            The idea that binging can be the only sign of emotional eating is CW BS intended to manipulate weight loss-obsessed women on nutritionally inadequate diets into spending money on expensive mental health fixes. Emotional eating is a result of an emotional trigger (anger, frustration, etc.). If you didn't have an emotional trigger, you were binging because of nutritional deficiency.

            There are no doubt millions out there who are obsessed with eating diets that fit the conventional wisdom, or even crazy vegan diets like raw foodism or fruitarianism. For the most part they eventually end up binging and changing their diets as their deficiencies increase.

            You mentioned "lack of calories". That was probably your problem. Starvation will invariably result in binging.


            • #7
              I think mmsantos brings up an interesting point. Of course PB is not a crash diet but a way of eating healthy foods but I think for a lot of people any kind of limiting what they eat taps into an unhealthy desire to control their body. I saw it with myself when I attempted to count calories. I have friend who doesn't really need to lose weight but she has some health issues she wants to address and I see her stressing out about if this or that is paleo; she wants to do it perfectly. I tell her to relax and just do the best she can, but I'm not sure she can.

              There is a fine line between being healthy and becoming obsessive.
              Last edited by Urban Forager; 02-17-2013, 09:27 AM.
              Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Urban Forager View Post
                There is a fine line between being healthy and becoming obsessive.
                Too true, and it's a skill some of us find hard to master!

                I forgot to say something as well - I think most of the battle, as far as nutrition is concerned, is to avoid pseudo-food processed junk. I truly believe that things like Frappuccinos, sugary chocolate, Doritos, "insert generic crap-in-a-box here", etc... are what's causing most of the trouble we see today. I just don't feel comfortable putting something like oats, or even white bread, in the same boat as coke, for example.


                • #9
                  Finding my sweet spot with primal has taken a bit of experimentation. At first I didn't want to spend the money to be completely primal so I was about 80/20. Then I got really into it and was probably about 95/5. A couple of months ago, after putting up with stomach pain for two days, I fell back on an old childhood staple: pasta with just a little parm on it, and my stomach stopped hurting.

                  So, now I allow myself one day a week where I don't necessarily eat primal-ly. (86/14) I don't rush out and buy beer, pizza, baked goods, etc. I just allow myself a serving of pasta or bread. This is comfortable for me. The wheat doesn't hurt if I keep it minimal, and I get to have a grass fed burger on sourdough once in awhile.

                  I could have walked away when the pasta helped my stomach ache, but the reality is that there is nothing about Primal with which I disagree. The healthiest food I can find and afford, some exercise, some sun, some sleep - these are all components of a healthy life. And the occasional walk on the wild side with a burger on bread or some pasta.

                  86/14 isn't perfect, but it's a whole lot better than eating junk on a regular basis. What is that saying? Don't let the goal of perfection get in the way of the good? Something like that.

                  Just my 2cents.
                  "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine


                  Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mmsantos View Post
                    5) Diets (as in deliberate/permanent restriction of calories/food groups) are destined to failure in the long run (in most cases).
                    Good luck to you.

                    Just to relay part of my journey with you, "diet" as in the definition you outlined, has never been in my vocabulary. I am making lifestyle changes. I didnt have any trouble eliminating the food groups that I am guessing you are probably talking about, like wheats maybe? Fast foods maybe? However that is the nice thing about this being a lifestyle. Those things happen. Chalk it up to your 20%, or 100% if you need it. Then get back to good foods the next day.

                    It does not have to be all or nothing, unless you have a medical condition of some sort that dictates more strictness. You sound otherwise healthy. You sound like my kids. They eat pretty clean when they are home, but they are still young and lean and full of piss&vinegar and it doesn't hurt them to eat off primal. However DS19 had McDs the other day, after not having any for many months, and it made him pretty darn sick.

                    I agree that obsessions and stressing over it is not good. You do need to be healthy & happy. For me, that is eating good foods that clear my head, keep me thinking straight, gives me more energy to get out and have more fun. I may not eat the same macros as other primals here, but I eat good & clean, and I enjoy lots of variety of foods. That makes me much happier than trying to fit into a group of specific macros that doesn't work for me.

                    Anyways, it sounds like you found your groove in those 3 weeks. You don't have to fit into any label. Primal, paleo - doesnt matter. Do what works for you and makes you happy. Primal just happens to be the way we were raised, so it is like getting back to my roots. It just didnt have a label. We all ate this way. We all raised our own garden, we all butchered our own cows. Hunted deer, fished. Raised chickens, and had dairy cows. It wasnt until fast food and processed foods became so readily available, and life with my own kids became so hectic, that bad things started to happen.

                    Anyways, you are young. Be happy.
                    65lbs gone and counting!!

                    Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey


                    • #11
                      You lost me at "normal diet".

                      Good luck to you.


                      • #12
                        May I suggest wearing vibrams?
                        Make America Great Again


                        • #13

                          Thank you for articulating your story in a peaceful and non argumentative way. Of course there is no "one size fits all" for health. I think many of us recognize this. I am happy that you have found what is working best for your body. More power to you, bro.
                          The process is simple: Free your mind, and your ass will follow.


                          • #14
                            I think this is the key to failure:
                            as soon as I started flirting with the idea of getting super lean


                            • #15
                              Have you heard of the Minnesota Starving Man project? Check it out on wikipedia if you'd like. A very large percentage of them developed eating disorders and binge disorders. Calorie restriction can be a bitch.

                              Just an idea about the root of the binging issue - I'm not ready to jump off this bandwagon yet, so I'll still defend it