For me it was IBS getting slowly worse and also slowly accumulating more and more associated problems.
It seems to me that after reaching the age of 67 (Social Security retirement age) doctors prescribe to hide or cover the symptoms rather that to find the cause of the problem. And that's not refering to just me. During the last year I've found that most of our friends have digestive problems, some pretty serious. Yet none of us talk about it, and few talk to their doctor about it until their problems are fairly serious. I'm really surprised at how many >67's do have such problems. Yet when I was a child my grandparents and their friends had no such problems (I would have known).
Mine were compounded with my norweigen genes. My body pumps out cholesterol at astronomical levels. Niacin alone can control the cholesterol that I eat, but has no effect on what my body produces. So when I read PB I began to make a lot of connections in my mind (most of these may be wrong). And PB gave me something I could do myself to try to cure my problems.
My friends are interested in my efforts but don't believe they will succeed, they're waiting, as I am, for the results.
When my husband got on the freight scale at work and it read 201lbs he started researching the 'caveman diet' more seriously. All we'd done is chuckle over it before even if there was anecdotal evidence that it worked. After a couple days reading we decided to go for it. Mostly because we'd been doing everything [I]they [/I]said we should - we exercised a lot, ate very low-fat and did a lot of calorie-restricting over the years. Well I got fat, he got heavy. Didn't someone (possibly Einstein) say that the definition of insanity was to do the same thing over and over and over and over and expect different results. That hit home. Why didn't I lose weight if I added more exercise or eliminated something from my food intake? It didn't make sense, so we switched because what did we have to lose?
A lot as it turns out. 20lb for him and so far about 30 for me.
Plus we both feel so much better that we'll never go back to grains, sugar or processed food.
Someone asked this once before, so I've copied/pasted my answer below:
So, I'm walkin' along, minding my own life, falling in love with my new city of choice, when all of a sudden the pink slime debacle hits the proverbial fan.
Pink slime? "Nah," I think, "it's just a bunch of organofreaks making noise." I google. No it's true. I'VE BEEN EATING PINK FUCKING SLIME. Sorry for yelling, but it really pissed me off. I mean really, does everything have to turn to shit? My beloved burger? How f***ing dare they! I used the F bomb quite a bit when I first found out.
Well, you know Google. One link leads to another. So after about 48 hours of drinking vodka, researching the meat industry, learning about CAFOs, and making myself look at debeaked chickens, I put my head down on the table and drunkenly sobbed, "I'm going vegan...."
I ate a bunch of rice, beans, and tofu over the next few days, and even tried nutritional yeast as a cheese substitute (tastes like ass). I slept a lot and farted a lot. "Hmmm," I thought, because, though I might not be the brightest bulb on the tree, I do occasionally glimmer a bit, "I don't think sleeping and farting is a very good way to live one's life."
Besides, I really wanted a hamburger.
So, I got the idea to google, "negative effects of tofu." (Bring on another bottle of vodka, this is going to be bad.) Somehow, during all of that, I also found out about BPAs. So, let's get this straight:
-Meat has gone from nutritious to shit.
-Produce has about 40% fewer nutrients than when our grandparents were alive.
-Tofu gives you man boobs.
-There’s pus in the milk supply because bgh makes the cows produce more milk and their udders get infected.
-The linings of cans are linked to a whole bunch of crap, but there are no definitive studies.
From there I found Paleo and Primal,* which taught me about grains and legumes. Who'd a thunk that farting from beans was a prelude to an early death?
So, I guess I should thank the makers of pink slime and that guy who freaked everyone out by showing how the stuff was made. Because if the food producers hadn't been such a bunch of greedy MFers, selling us meat that isn't meat, and tuna dipped in soy, corn in just about everything, pus in the milk supply, I'd have just kept bopping along hangin' in my new city without a care in the world.
*And I went to Whole Foods and bought four pounds of grass fed ground beef.
I was a vegan. Reached my highest weight, and was suffering the worst fibro symptoms yet.
If it isn't working, change it.
In May 2012 we went primal. I haven't lost any additional weight (I lost some pre-primal), but I feel a whole lot better.
Lost 20 lbs on a low fat diet then I stopped losing. Next I tried the Mediterranean diet lost another 20 lbs but got stuck again. At this point I was very frustrated I was hungry all the time I had insomnia, migraines, and digestion issues and had spent two years of my life eating only 1200 calories a day. So then i read Robb's book then Mark's and decided to give it a try. Ive lost another 12lbs and I feel great. I can eat when I am hungry and fall asleep when I want to. I am a happy girl.
I kept seeing this poster coming up on Salon.com arguing with the veg*ns that no, beans and wheat WEREN'T the solution. (I think it was Stabby, if anybody remembers him) I saw this quite a few times before thinking "Fine, no harm in visiting a Web site that says I can eat meat and lose weight/be healthier. I like meat."
The more I read, the more I thought about it. Ok, I'm lazy so I don't usually follow the links to studies, but I was impressed that Mark included them. It was also just logical to me. I like food, I like good food, and food is supposed to be good for me. Thinking about my history, when I ate more primally- meat, veg, less bread/pasta- I looked and felt better. When I ate less primally, things didn't go as well.
Possibly more important than why I tried this in the first place is why I'm coming back to it. The last 12 months or so have been bad for me. Among other things, I fell off the wagon hard-core. I feel and look like crap. Why am I working on getting back on the wagon? Because I know it works. I've experienced it. And I need the magic to work again, which it will.
Fear is what finally pushed into the primal/paleo fold. DH had been there for about a year and a half and looked and felt fantastic. His debilitating migraines had all but disappeared, along with his depression and despite having surgery, he was in great shape. All of those things he suffered from because of a sensitivity to grains was gone. I had read almost everything he had read, but I just wasn't motivated.
Even before he went Paleo we were eating whole and minimally processed foods and growing as much of our own food as possible. So the jump for him was not that far. He was motivated by his wheat sensitivity and sugar wasn't that much of an issue for him.
None of that convinced me to go all the way. Even though I had almost totally given up grains, I still had a serious sugar addiction. Then, I found out that my brother and dad had diabetes. Since I had gestational diabetes while pregnant with my first child, I was at a really high risk of developing it. I am afraid of needles and after only a couple of months pricking my fingers every day a couple of times when I had it before, I just could not do it anymore. The thought of a lifetime of pricking my finger and probably giving myself shots was just too much. It was enough to motivate me.
I had sort of built up to this.
I started out doing the Anti-Inflammatory diet, which is actually very similar to Primal in that it eliminates all grains, sugar, processed foods, etc. There are some variances- it allows legumes, disallows dairy, and disallows nightshades. But I lost 20 lbs in a month on that diet.
Later my doctor explained to me that I have a metabolic type that is very sensitive to carbs, and that I should limit carbs if I want to lose weight.
I kept stumbling across people having success eating Paleo/Primal and one day I found MDA. I spent most of that day reading MDA success stories and the concept behind the lifestyle and decided to try it. I am losing weight on the diet, but more importantly I feel GREAT eating this way. My energy levels are consistent, without the crash-and-burn I used to get when the carbs wore off. I still eat carbs, but not like I used to and they are all from whole foods now. I've found just following the 80% rule seems to work for me and if I want to cheat one day and have pasta I can, so long as the next day I get back on plan.
I was in the throes of my third episode of major depression, medication/exercise/therapy wasn't helping, I stumbled across PB and thought it might help. It did.
A friend of mine was primal and saw my struggles with health and fitness. He recommended the book to me and about six months later I bought the book, read it in a few days and jumped all in, that was a year and a half ago.