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  1. #1
    naiadknight's Avatar
    naiadknight is online now Senior Member
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    Off the Warpath

    When I found primal 5 years ago, I was 4 lb shy of clinically overweight (136 as a 5'2" female with a small frame), hypothyroid, had a mystery allergy, asthma, and had an alphabet soup of mental disorders: hypomania, major depression, dysthymia, PTSD from a childhood of abuse, GAD (general anxiety disorder), and a slew of ones that I refused the let the shrink in on.
    I found primal through a search for low carb diets, because there were recent studies indicating those were good for hypothyroidism. I knew I wanted a whole(ish) foods version of it, because prepackaged foods were Really Bad. Primal made sense. I was getting married 3 weeks after I found primal and wanted to enjoy the wedding feast I had planned, so I started the Monday after my wedding.
    I kept to strict primal for a wgood 6 months to a year, and it worked for the mystery allergy and kinda worked for the hypothyroidism. Kinda wasn't good enough. Following the route of dieters everywhere, I reasoned that if low was good, very low was better. I tried VLC, filling the gap with primal healthy. It was hell. My thyroid hated me, my brained hated me. Worst dieting decision I'd made up until that point in my life. When your symptoms get worse, not better, even after the so-called adjustment time, it's time to give it up as a bad experiment.
    My next attempt was at a Whole30. That one WAS the worst dieting disaster I've had in my life. I went so far orthorexia that I nearly slid into anorexia from lack of "good" food. My thyroid loved it, my waistline loved it, my brain got worse. I dropped it 21 days in.
    For a while after that, I went back to a loose 80/ 20 primal and did research on the thyroid and mood disorders. I tried supplement after supplement. My medicine cabinet looked like a health food store had thrown up in it. I discovered ashwagandha. That, in addition to my loose primal, got me down to within the healthy middle of healthy weight for my height and made it possible to reduce my levothyroxine dose. I discovered my body's happy carb range to be between 75- 150g carbs. The mystery allergy remained, choosing to rear it's head whenever I went offpath (and occasionally when I stayed on path.)
    I went to an allergist after one of the allergy attacks landed me in the ER. He told me it was likely sulfites. I cut out as many sulfites as I humanly could. The allergy went away, my weight went down further, my brain was happier. Until it wasn't. There cam a time where the low sulfite diet seemed to have diminishing returns.
    The allergist also put me on allergy pills (montelukast and levocetirizine) and gave me medicine for my asthma. I resented the asthma medicine. I had outgrown that, dammit!
    I dug into allergy/ asthma research. My supplements list filled up again, as I tried and tossed so many. My anxiety was still there, so was my depression, so was everything else. There must be a link.
    I discovered the Perfect Health Diet and tried that for 3 months. It worked, almost. I was doing much better than I had been, but something was still not right. I still hadn't found that link. My weight was ideal, my mood was closer to "cured", my thyroid dose was lowered again, but something still hadn't clicked. I still got panic attacks. I still had depressive streaks. I still wasn't "cured."
    I found refuge in Al Anon with a subset of ACOAA (adult children of abuse and alcohol.) I drank it like mother's milk, taking the time to sift through what I perceived as fluff and bullshit. I've had therapists. For some reason, Al Anon was better for my needs. I worked the steps. I worked through the rage and hurt from my childhood, an abusive ex and so many other things. I came out the other side alive and better for it. I kept going until I learned the coping mechanisms without the Al Anon trappings, and bailed when I could do it without using the Al Anon way.
    I took up running every other day, to exercise the asthma out of my lungs. My peak flow went from 375 on meds and rescue inhaler to 430 without meds or inhaler in a week.
    That dealt with much of the mental instability, but there was still some chemically there. I used a product called Stress Stop to help with it, but still something was wrong. My research had turned up magnesium again and again as a "cure all" for mental disorders, asthma, allergies, you name it. I refused to believe it. Cure alls were snake oil, something for easily fooled minds. Cautiously optimistic, I took some magnesium one night, just to see.
    Bam. It went away. Anxiety, depression, all of it. I went from a polite chuckle once every few days to a full blown laugh a few times a day. I hadn't laughed that well or often since my depression started in my teens. Not even the happy pills the shrink tried to put me on worked that well.
    I also found out there was such a thing as omega 6 poisoning, which can result in an allergy to omega 6 oils. The mystery allergy fell into place. The reactions to fried foods, crappy meats, prepackaged foods, combined with the knowledge that my father always used canola or vegetable oil when I was kid, all pointed to it. I tested it one day and downed a couple tablespoons of the highest o6 oil I could find: soybean oil. Migraine, nausea, hives. I tried it again, a week later, with "vegetable oil." Same thing. I tried it again later that week with extra virgin olive oil. Nothing. That was the nail in the coffin. The mystery allergy was omega 6 oils.
    I also switched careers, based on a niggling idea and a piece of advice I was given many years ago: "If you can get paid to do what you'd do for free, do that!" I went from a high stress engineering job to teaching. So much stress and anxiety went away. I can still apply for my PE license at any time, but I don't think I will. I'm happy teaching.
    TL;DR: there was no magic bullet. My n=1 was Perfect Health Diet, heavy magnesium supplementation, a career switch, running every other day, lifting weights, and cutting out omega 6 oil as much as possible.
    "No fate but what we make"- Sarah Connor, Terminator 2
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
    My Primal Battle Tome

  2. #2
    bellajgw's Avatar
    bellajgw is offline Senior Member
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    Naiad,

    Wow...thank you so much for this amazing and detailed success story. I've been struggling, for years, to really commit and stick with a low-carb program that would work...and I can't seem to stick to any. Now we are expecting our first child and I resent myself for my lack of willpower. This weekend my wife and I pour over our pantry and fridge and have agreed to make this a great family experiment. We are going to go with Perfect Health Diet and Primal principles, keeping the carb amounts changing as I have seen some great success from cycling and I know that it will make things easier in the beginning to stick to this if we know we can have a baked potato or baked sweet potato fries tomorrow if we stick to broccoli tonight. I hope that some day I will also have a story like yours to share.

    Congrats and thank you so much for your story.

  3. #3
    JoanieL's Avatar
    JoanieL is offline Senior Member
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    Great post! Congratulations!
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

    B*tch-lite

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

  4. #4
    Drock's Avatar
    Drock is offline Senior Member
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    Great story! You've come so far in making great changes for yourself all around. Congrats!
    I came to Primal/Paleo first to lose weight, but kept up because of the way I feel - amazing.

    34/male 5'-5"
    Starting: 249#, 44" waist
    Current: 166#, 30" waist
    Goal: 140ish# or 28ish" waist

  5. #5
    ilovesteak's Avatar
    ilovesteak is offline Senior Member
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    I'm amazed once again at people who just refuse to give up and throw in the towel. Perseverance almost always results in success.

    Congratulations!!! and I wish you continued health.
    "It's true, you are a good woman. Then again, you may be the antichrist."

  6. #6
    naiadknight's Avatar
    naiadknight is online now Senior Member
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    Thank y'all for the compliments! It takes effort to stay the path, but it's worth it for me.
    "No fate but what we make"- Sarah Connor, Terminator 2
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
    My Primal Battle Tome

  7. #7
    WaylandC's Avatar
    WaylandC is offline Senior Member
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    Great post.

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    MBC
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  9. #9
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    hingkuaio is offline Junior Member
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    Great story! You've come so far in making great changes for yourself all around.

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