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Unsuccessfully Primal

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  • Unsuccessfully Primal

    Thanks to Elaine and Tigerlily for encouraging me to start this thread. I feel stupid starting it because I have started multiple threads like this over the past year, only to fail miserably and leave the boards for a few months, then come back and try again, and then fail, then come back and try again. But here goes anyway.

    I have read PB from cover to cover. I fully espouse this lifestyle. In fact, this is the way I ate most of my life growing up in South Africa and I never struggled with my weight. Refined carbs (bread and pasta) were never my thing, but now, I just can't seem to give them up. I have gained 100 lbs in the last 14 years and thank G-d my husband still loves me, because I sure don't love myself the way I am.

    My day always starts out really well, eggs and cooked tomatoes. Lunch is often skipped if I am busy and then I get so hungry I go to McD's and buy myself a meal. Then I won't eat for 6+ hours because I feel so ill, but by the evening I am hungry again so I start picking at whatever we have in the house, mostly primal foods, but not always. I have spent a ton of money stocking up on all the right foods, but then I get to a point where nothing looks good or appetizing so I don't eat at all - until I binge on starchy/carby foods.

    8 days is the longest I have gone without refined carbs since starting out on the primal journey. I have a myriad of health issues. PCOS, Insulin resistance recently turned into TIIDM, Hashimoto's and high triglycerides (because I am so damn fat). My body responds really well to low carb. I conceived all three of our kids after 3 weeks on South Beach Diet. Before that, I never conceived even though we were not trying to avoid pregnancy, so obviously my body craves low carb to function normally.

    I reached out to several CF gyms in the area, met with one guy over a year ago. We had our initial meeting and we were all set to start, then he emailed me to tell me that he could not commit the time needed to help me out. Now know that I am very fat, but I can move and am physically strong. I don't walk like someone who is 100 lbs overweight (I used to be a personal trainer so exercise is something I love). Then I contacted some other gyms, met with another trainer and we did our first workout together. He worked me so hard I literally could not sit down without being in agony for 3 days post workout (and I have a high threshold for pain). I emailed him and he told me I just had to push through it, which was not the right thing to say to me at the time.

    The workout looked something like this:

    Rowing machine for 500m, squats with 25lbs, rowing machine for 300m, pushups and pullups on the rings (so not full), rowing for 500m, lunges with kettlebells, rowing for 800m, deadlifts. My arms were fine. My legs were not. I have worked out in the past to the point of muscle failure, but my muscles would recuperate within 20-30 minutes. Then I would be sore for a day or two, but I could still move around easily after a few stretches. I literally could not sit without being in agony for 72 hours post workout. And this was my first workout with him. Then he was going away and couldn't meet with me at regular times, so I decided not to waste my money on him.

    I tried another instructor/gym who was amazing but his wife quoted me $100 per hour and I said no way (given that all the other gyms offer one-on-one training for $50-60 an hour here.

    So I really don't know what to do or how to get on the bandwagon and stay on it and I don't even know what I am really asking from you guys or how you can help me. As I said, I absolutely believe in the lifestyle, but keep sabotaging myself and I don't know why or how to change it. For those who got down here without switching off, thank you.

    PS I am a terrible sleeper. My youngest still gets up at least once a night and I go to bed too late and am up a lot at night.
    Last edited by scubasam; 08-07-2011, 06:28 PM.

  • #2
    HELLO! ::: pouncing on you :::

    I so understand. I had one enormous fall off the wagon and it was months of struggle and misery to get back. The breakthrough for me was when I started working with a physical therapist and a personal trainer (they would gang up on me and double-team me!). I was so stiff and swollen and at my highest weight ever at that point. I HAD to resume eating primally, for the simple fact that I would be unable to do the PT guys when I was still inflamed from all the grains and crap. Even touching my toes was so hard to do.

    Instead of going hardcore with CF or one-on-one with a trainer who WAY overdid it with you (and, yes, he did -- I am pissed at him), how about more of a middle ground .... something like group exercises at the gym? Do you like group exercise? (Probably so, if you tried CF.) I really do. It gives me some accountability and the structure that I so seem to need, and I'll admit it, I see other women's bodies changing before my eyes and my innate competitiveness kicks in.

    I have a bunch of stuff to write! Ehhh, where to go next?

    Keep coming back here every single day. Even if you are bingeing your ever living brains out. The community will help to hold you up.
    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


    • #3
      Agreeing with Tiger Lily!

      I know it's tempting to want to fix everything at once, but I would focus on the food for now. You've made it 8 days, so you know that much is possible - keep trying to go longer. It does get easier the longer you do it.

      Right now, I'm worried that, between the baby waking at night and working out a lot, your cortisol is too high even if you were sticking with the proper food.


      • #4
        Another thing that I've done is to put a gold star on my calendar for every day that my food was clean. Some days I had to fight like crazy for that freaking gold star, but I got it.

        Some days I just had to get in the bed and pull the covers over my head at 5:30 p.m.

        Is your hubs supportive, or does he try to sabotage?
        "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


        • #5
          Thanks Tigerlily. I belong to a gym and used to go regularly before my youngest got sick two years ago. I was doing great, losing weight, but then I wasn't able to take her to the gym anymore (could not risk leaving her in daycare) and I have not been able to get back into the swing of things since then. She has recovered fully TG, but I still have a hard time getting there. Best of intentions and all... that fail.

          Personal training is not an option for me anyway right now, but I do need to get my butt back into the gym. I love it and always feel so much better after going. I will stay on the boards and keep trying. Thanks for the encouragement. I have to do something.

          Seeing my 6 year old crying at the thought of losing one of us this evening was scary and heartbreaking. I want to be here for my kids and play with them and engage them physically all the time. I need to lose the shame and gain the confidence to get through this and do it, for me and for them.

          Thanks again :-).


          • #6
            RitaRose, unfortunately, the baby is not such a baby anymore - she is 3.5... We are working on getting her to sleep through the night and it's getting better, but she is stubborn and it's taking time. My cortisol levels are fine thanks to the PS100 (phosphatidylserine) i take before bedtime.


            • #7
              I think that's a really great idea, RitaRose -- separate out the food thing from the exercise thing and just work on one at a time. Everyone is different, but I've found once I'm moving my body, it's not long before the food follows suit. But you know yourself best.

              Another tidbit: Get some sun every day and look at nature. I helps with depression to a surprising degree! I well remember eeking out one day at a time and feeling like I was in a fight for my life, and I was so low that even some sun and seeing a flower garden made enough of a difference that I could make it through that one day.
              "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


              • #8
                I hear you, I SO hear you, and I agree with what Tigerlily says - come back here every single day, even if you feel like a failure, and the community will support you and help you get through it. Some will say things you don't want to hear, some will - you will take in what you need to at that moment, and it will help you succeed. Sometimes, you can only go day by day, even hour by hour.

                I am terrible at getting exercise in. I would rather go DO something, and really, I'm exercising. I just don't think of it that way because its not slugging away on a bike, or walking around aimlessly. I don't think of it as exercise when I go to get my horse, but its over a half mile to go get him and bring him back, then riding (which doesn't feel like exercise), then another half mile and more walk to put him away. I need exercise with meaning, so if I want an all body work out, I go muck stalls for free at the barn. They are happy for the help, I'm happy for the workout, we all win.

                I would pick one thing to focus on fixing at a time, and add to it as you get a grip on each one. For me, it was my eating habits. More specifically, what I was eating. I've had a pretty good fall off the wagon the last month or two, so am back at having to work at keeping what I eat clean and healthy! Today it was hot and humid, it was all I could do to not go and get ice cream. But, somehow, I made it through the day eating well, and I feel good about it. Tomorrow, thats a whole different day.

                I find being prepared with food I can just grab when I'm over hungry my big downfall too. I'm not good at planning ahead :\ Really, I'm not. Not when it comes to food. I find I have to force myself to fix things ahead of time, so I can take it for lunch. Unfortunately, I find food the last thing I want to look at first thing in the morning, so fixing lunch makes me literally feel nauseous. So, I've learned to either have stuff I don't have to look at much, or pack it the night before. I know exactly what you mean when you say nothing looks appealing, so you pick, or you wait till you're starving then binge on carbs. I do the same thing, exactly the same thing. I had to get over a fear of eating, that its ok to eat healthy foods, and if I do, I won't get that horrible starving nothingness that makes me binge. It wasn't easy, I just made sure I ate the best that I could.

                For muscle recovery, MSM is awesome. So is taking a good magnesium/calcium supplement.

                Taking Vitamin D has helped me feel better, immensely. Same with Vitamin B, add a well rounded complex. Both help with cravings and binging, as well as energy.

                Your body is craving something, you just have to figure out what its craving and it will calm down. Frustrating, I know. Weight loss is slow with PCOS too, though I'm convinced that going Primal will help. I haven't had normal periods in over 10 years, they were random, heavy and horrible, and went on way too long. About 4 months into Primal, things went back to the way they were when I was in my 20's, rather suddenly. I've been slipping and cheating the last few weeks, and guess what - back to horrible. I really believe grains and sugars messes with our ovaries and base hormones terribly.

                Its not easy, not at all, to make big changes in your life. But, step by step, it gets easier, until it becomes the way you live. You can do this!
                Fighting fibromyalgia and chronic myofascial pain since 2002.

                Big Fat Fiasco

                Our bodies crave real food. We remain hungry as long as we refuse to eat real food, no matter how much junk we stuff into our stomachs. ~J. Stanton


                • #9
                  When you wrote that about your kids crying because they didn't want you to die, that really tugged at my heart and put a lump in my throat .... because I remember crying (as an adult) to my mama that she was going to lose her leg (she had diabetes) if she didn't stop eating like she was.
                  "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


                  • #10
                    I love the outdoors and do not spend nearly enough time out there. I must get back to going outside, it's just so easy to say 'I have to finish writing this... I will go in an hour' and then the hour turns into 3 and then you feel so shitty you just don't go. I am embarking on a new career now and am very busy with that, my studies and three young kids (6, almost 5 and 3.5).

                    It is a great idea to separate out the food and the exercise and truth be told, exercising has never made me eat better, but it does make me feel better. I think I need to commit to getting back to the gym just to run on the elliptical for 40 minutes a day (not to do chronic cardio, but just to get my body moving at a good solid pace for that period of time). I find it easier to do that than get outdoors these days, so I will start with that and do what I can with the food.

                    Thanks guys. I feel like I am gearing up to start this again as soon as we head home from the beach.


                    • #11
                      Elaine, thanks for letting me know I am not alone with the whole 'anti-survival tactic'. That's what I call it. It flabbergasts my husband. When he is hungry he will eat whatever he can find. When I get hungry, I get so picky NOTHING looks good and I cannot make up my mind, lol.

                      Also, one of my biggest downfalls is NOT being prepared and not staying on task with journaling my food every day. I am just not a routine type of person.

                      My doctor has prescribed a million supplements, but I am very sensitive to them, so I land up not taking them. I should be on Vit D, Vit B and at least 15 others, but need to figure out how to take them so they don't make me sick.

                      Tigerlily, it was heart wrenching.

                      Thanks again ladies. I will be on here a lot more often. I think I need some hand holding right now, and a good kick in the backside every once in a while.


                      • #12
                        There are two things that can de-rail me pretty easily.....letting myself get too hungry without food prepared and getting poor sleep. It sounds to me like these are bad triggers for you as well.

                        To use a phrase I hear on this forum a lot "don't let good be the enemy of perfect". I'm guessing you don't want to eat fruits, nuts, lara bars, etc because you view low carb as the perfect state for you. But then when you don't have a low carb primal option you just eat whatever. I used to be the same way, but then I really took to heart the idea of making the best choice possible even when it's not perfect.

                        So keep and carry some fruit, nuts, larabars, nut butters, dark chocolate. When you are starving and about to do the drive through eat an apple and a lara bar and FEEL GOOD about your decision! If you go to for fast food - order the healthiest thing you can find and be happy with it. Save your 20% for really fantastic non-primal food - not for fast food. My first 6 months I never went anywhere without a coconut lara bar in my bag. Very carby, but not as carby as a starbucks muffin

                        Come up with a couple of primal staples that you can always have on hand for fast meals - you HAVE to plan for your meals. I keep frozen veggies, ground beef, bacon, and canned tuna in the house at all times so I always have something quick to eat. If I am out of food - I will eat garbage.

                        Also keep in mind that the vast majority of your weight is determined by your food, not your exercise. So don't ever let lack of a workout impact the way you are eating. Good food is first!!

                        As far as sleep, magnesium oil before bed and putting a blue light filter on my laptop really helped. I still struggle getting to bed on time, but I am better. Try to remember that the best sleep for you body is sleep before 11 pm. This helps me turn of the lights earlier.

                        Sorry you are struggling - but congrats for picking yourself up and starting again. You really CAN do this!!!
                        Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )



                        • #13
                          Also, don't feel dumb for falling off the wagon and falling apart! NEVER feel embarrassed or ashamed to pick yourself up and start again! It happens to all of us, and I truly believe we all do the best we can do at that moment. The thing is, we never remember all the details, we just beat ourselves up for whatever we think we did was wrong. Believe that you did the best you could at the time, and that now is a whole new moment. Those decisions don't have to affect these ones here and now. Its not easy being a mom of 3, and thats one heck of an age range! I'd say you get plenty of exercise just dealing with them, I know I would LOL
                          Fighting fibromyalgia and chronic myofascial pain since 2002.

                          Big Fat Fiasco

                          Our bodies crave real food. We remain hungry as long as we refuse to eat real food, no matter how much junk we stuff into our stomachs. ~J. Stanton


                          • #14
                            You're getting lots of good advice here, Sam.

                            There are so many different ways to arrive at "clean food." A bit unconventional, but the way I managed it was to go Primal one meal at a time. I started out with dinners (just because that worked best for my life -- YMMV). Dinners were Primal no. matter. what. But I was still eating what I wanted (read: fast food) for breakfast and then a sandwich or some other old thing for lunch. I didn't worry about it, didn't guilt trip myself. I was on my way, dammit!

                            For the first time in my life, I let go of perfection.

                            Then lunch went Primal. Happened pretty quickly after the dinners, maybe 10-15 days later. Everything past 1 p.m. was totally clean, totally Primal. But I was still having a Pepsi and getting McDonald's in the mornings. That went on for longer. Eventually I got to the point that McDonald's actually tasted nasty to me. My body was changing and actually rejecting the taste of fast food.

                            Just some food for thought, one of many options. It's one approach to getting to Prime that isn't discussed much. But it works! I've been binge free for over a year now and have released (for forever!) 75 pounds.
                            "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


                            • #15
                              Focus on diet.

                              Blood chemistry first, exercise second.

                              Good luck!