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Primal successes, and failures...its a journey

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  • Primal successes, and failures...its a journey

    Let me start by saying that my primal success has been a rocky path. During the first few months, I was perfectly happy and overjoyed~so much so that it was a complete 180 from what I was like before. I would have sugar binges on the weekends where I would indulge in dark chocolate, but never grains. But, all in all I was still 80/20 primal. So doing really good for me. This was my first few months from about January to March.

    Then three months into being primal my cat died, and to me my cat Max was more like one of my best friends. It was a difficult and guilt-ridden time. Unfortunately, my grieving was cut short when my doctors decided to raise my level of antidepressants, which prolonged the period of grief for me by not allowing me to deal with it properly.

    A few months later, I cut my dose of antidepressants in half, and was doing okay, but I was stressed. I was trying to figure out how to deal with eating primal on the road and at amusement parks & all the mini-vacations of summer, with my relatives and kid. I think I felt that I had to be 100% primal for things to be back to the way it was in the beginning (when I was much happier and dealing with stress okay).

    During this time (about June/July) while on MDA I stumbled across the "Leptin reset thread" and decided to start my own leptin reset challenge, keeping my carbs under 50 gms/day with a big protein breakfast. Also stopped working out since that was part of the challenge, at least in the beginning they say.

    I have to say, the Leptin reset was the biggest mistake I have made in a long time in my life. Eating under 50 gms carbs and big protein breakfasts on the road, and with lots of stress, and stopping primal workouts, and while also cutting my meds in half, was just too much for me. And the funny thing was I had this feeling in my gut that I was going too far with this....too bad I didn't listen to it.

    After about a month of eating "Leptin reset" style and no workouts, I got a return of my anxiety symptoms/panic attacks. I stopped sleeping, got depressed because I wasn't sleeping, was anxious all the time, etc.

    Unfortunately that led to me switching meds, having to get on anti-anxiety meds (again), and led to a two to three month struggle that left me feeling hopeless, defeated, and beat down at times. I hate being on meds, and felt, at the time, like just by virtue of being primal, that it should have protected me from this happening to me again (it happened in the past as well, preprimal).

    However, this is a success story, albeit a rocky one. Going throgh this setback, which I am still in the middle of, has led to many important changes in my life. It seems obvious now that too many changes at once and the stress of trying to "leptin reset" would overload me, but at the time I thought I could change every little thing wrong with me by the way I ate, and just ignore the warning signs of an impending disaster. Wrong.

    I have gained a better understanding of what primal can and can't do. And exercise. I have I realized that falling off the primal exercise routine was also really really big in causing this setback/bump in the road. I have gained a better feel for my level of stress, and am in the process of finding better ways to deal with my stress, and learning what NOT to do when under stress (like find ways to add more stress).

    I had ignored/forgotten the primal 101 basics: sun, sleep, rest, destress, eat clean, strive for 100% but be happy with 80/20 primal eating, anti-inflammatory exercise, sprint once a week, LHT, & most important (for me) to have time to myself and to move slowly, often. These really are the cornerstones of being primal, and I wasn't living true to them. I was rushing through my life in a blur and trying to fix everything by the food I ate and how I ate it.

    I realize now that going "too far" with anything, is NOT a good thing. Its hard enough eating primal, let along eating "leptin reset primal." And I am learning a lot about myself in the process of this bump in the road. Will this happen to me again in the future? Who knows, but what I do know is that if I stick to the basics of the primal life, and be true to myself as well as my own best friend at times, that I will be ahead of the game and have a much greater chance at never returning to this place. I am also happy to report that I am on my way to getting off the anti-anxiety meds (again). Which is hard, because they are addictive, literally.

    So if you are reading this, it is my true and honest go at being primal. Its not a perfect story, and it is still a journey that continues today and into the future. But one thing I know, that I will not go back to the SAD diet no matter what. And I am going back to being "simply" primal, and the primal way of exercising. This is my commitment. Here's to a better month & future!
    Last edited by EvansMom; 09-27-2011, 10:23 AM.

  • #2

    I am so glad you were able to stand back and take a rational look at what you were doing, what is and is not working, and make changes that work in your life, rather than just panicking when things werent going well and abandoning the whole thing. I think a lot of people who are having issues with primal will take inspiration from your story, thank you for sharing
    "Since going primal, I've found that there are very few problems that cannot be solved with butter and/or bacon fat."

    My amusing take on paleo-blogging:

    Are you a Primal in San Francisco, or the SF Bay Area in general? Join our facebook group!


    • #3
      Good for you Evansmom. You have managed to gain insight into yourself & hopefully you'll find things easier in the future. Getting back to basics sounds like a good plan.


      • #4
        +1.... Also sorry about you cat man... it is no fun I had my cat from 4 years old till in collage full 18 years... she was much more than a pet to me so I understand.


        • #5
          Excellent post, EvansMom. Some great insight here.
          "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


          • #6
            Thanks for all the kind words

            I guess I felt compelled to post about a not so perfect example of being primal, and sticking with it. Because so many success stories are out there where primal changes everything in a person's life for the better, and not all of us (I think) have had the exact same reaction as that. It is life changing.....but not always to the point where all of a person's problems simply disappear overnight or even within a year. And for me especially, it takes time to overcome some of my personal challenges and they aren't fixed simply by the way I eat/exercise. Although my outlook on life is certainly more positive, and stress level is decreased when I am sticking to the primal 101 basics (and have remembered them again ).

            I think through all these setbacks that have happened, I have really learned a lot about myself, and am still learning today. I am much more mindful of when I have had "enough" and am doing my best to truly LIVE in the now. I am also working on not being a supermom/wife/woman. Sometimes good enough is simply that! And to be my own cheering section!

            Thanks for the support, I really appreciate it, and for those who took the time to read the above thread (wow, it sure is lengthy).
            Last edited by EvansMom; 09-28-2011, 01:46 PM.