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Thread: A long journey but not giving up, and a question page

  1. #1
    janet85's Avatar
    janet85 is offline Junior Member
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    Apr 2015

    A long journey but not giving up, and a question

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    I'm writing this post midday of what has been an extremely difficult morning of feeling overwhelmed and defeated. Again. This is more of a story of progress and I'm also offloading a lot today. However this post is as much about emptying my brain on a difficult day as about seeking comfort from others, opening up, not being isolated, being triumphant despite the odds and interrupting destructive thoughts and behaviour and pausing to reflect, understand and move forward with action instead of giving up. This is a long post but hopefully okay here.

    I am 29, 5'4 and 17 stone. I have a long history eating disorders, have gone primal before and had success.

    However the past few months, I've found myself in a cycle of inconsistency, seemingly incapable of eating healthily one day to the next. I do a lot and can work hard for others, but repeatedly fail at controlling my food intake, weight and work hard on my body. It's a weird contradiction I'm yet to understand!

    I've had a terrible few months, am the 'fat' one everywhere I go, am suffering from feeling out of control. And have about two outfits I can go out in the house in. On top of that, i was made redundant and am starting my business, however the work things I can manage easily. I'm really struggling with primal this time round and am completely off cooking / food prep / and this has led to me just eating my trigger for overeating foods.

    A bit of background:
    When investigating allergies, I came across MDA. This is when i first discovered primal. I was about 17 st, recovering from 10 years of bulimia, went through the steps and had success with controlling my weight and roped my partner into joining me on a sugar free lifestyle. However they could not participate for long and love classic meat and two veg food, takeaways, huge roasts, drinking and not exercising. I continued on, had a lot of success, and got back down to 14 stone and was excercising again. However my mental state was in tatters, I was crippled wtih depression at this point, was missing work, didn't go out, had stopped DJing and was angry at my size 8 beautiful partner. I had almost totally lost my voice, incapable of socialising, despite our lifestyle demanding it. Our relationship was aweful and dragged on and finally I had the courage to end it.

    I moved to my own tiny place, lost weight easily by strictly being primal - I ate exactly what I wanted - or not at all, fasting working for me. Break ups are a great trigger sometimes! I found being alone was the key to success. I began dancing again, found my voice - reconnected with friends.

    Anyway I soon got back involved in music - met some great like minded people and met someone special on a random night out. We hung out a lot, fell in love and are incredibly happy together. So with all these new friends and going out, my stubborn child came out - why should I watch my weight, not drink not eat what I want when everyone around me is doing the same thing and seem okay. I had a new bunch of friends, felt 'normal' for the first time in my life. It was overwealming, in a good way. I experienced happiness from real connections, great conversations and following my gut instinct. It was the best year of my life.

    However I slowly put on weight again - my mental state is terrible and the dual life is happening again. Fast forward a year and I'm 17 stone, but now am in a position where I'm running a business, and a central part of a community, people rely on my and I cannot hide away or fall down the rabbit hole of depression. However I've neglected my health and have got myself into a pickle again.

    I'm in the midst of returning to primal as a way to stop sugar binges and am really struggling with consistency - after a year of total 'do what I want' the overeating is hampering all chances of success. One day I'll fast, the next eat just brilliantly, the next eat crap - hate myself, not care, get stubborn, eat crap all week. I've tried preparing meals ahead but I don't want to eat them on the day. I feel like I can do so much in life but this one thing which is so easy for everyone around me is defeating me. Literally - I feel so broken. I know all the warning signs of a mental breakdown and am determined not to go there again. When it comes to exercise I I'm struggling to stick at anything so a change of tack is needed. I have always found it difficult to stick to things and feel like a failure for this. However I have organised a weekly yoga class at my studio which I get to join for free and have been twice in a row which is a good start.

    I have a huge amount on my sholders at the moment what with starting a business and building my music career, am turning 30 this year and want to free of the food obsessions, and have a strong fit and healthy body which allows me to wear clothes which are not plus sized or mens. I feel gross everywhere and constantly compare myself to others which is a terrible habit which I'm also working on. I live in the music / fashion world, am regularly on film and in photos and seeing them makes me cry instantly.

    Foodwise I'm completely turned off by cooking, food prepartion in general and have been eating weird things like a plate of sausages or a bowl of salad or a couple of primal pancakes. My partner doesn't understand why I find keeping fit / loosing weight difficult and I've explained it the best I could. My partner is classically handsome, looks like a model and clothes look amazing on him. I do my best but I know we look strange together at the moment - I want to set him free, push him away and I don't understand why he's with me as I look horrific - both with clothes and without. Today was a really bad day. I want to end the most equal and loving partnership I've ever been in, risk my business (we run it together) become isolated again as that's when I had the most results. I know this is unhealthy and would ruin me in the long run and life is too short to mess things up again.


    I'm throwing out my scales

    I'm going to go to the grocery store in the sunshine right now and buy the primal foods I love and feel good about it

    I'm going to care about what I put in my body and this includes portion sizes and eating slowly

    I'm going to focus on my music goals, and business and really work hard

    I'm going train myself everyday in someway in my beautiful studio flat or outside and not rely on classes or expensive trainers and love my strong sporty body

    I'm going to keep doing these steps every day, one day at a time and know that good results will come around again, even though I'm not living by myself, have a carb loving partner and have a crazy London lifestyle.

    I'm going to connect and share on MDA so I don't become isolated. None of my friends are going through this (or know I am) but I know someone else on here will understand.

    This post is unedited and is a stream of consciousness I felt important to get out of my head to prevent a meltdown today and I'm so grateful MDA has provided a safe space to do this. I also hope sharing this journey with some pictures could help someone else having one of those really bad days too.

    One thing I would be interested in hearing from others is what mechanisms do you have in place if you're totally off cooking? Like seriously off cooking but still have to feed the family? I feel this is tripping me up at the moment, i'm off food in general, veggies / salad which I usually love are just ugh. I feel so uninterested, except my overeating trigger foods like sausages and cheese which I am just about assembling....any ideas? Thanking you.

    Thanks for the safe space guys....feeling more capable already.


    (today, 17 st)

    (today after writing this post about to go get some goo

    (carnival last year, about 14/15 st)

  2. #2
    KimLean125byMar15's Avatar
    KimLean125byMar15 is offline Senior Member
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    Jan 2015
    This is going to be an unpopular opinion but try and hear me out.

    With a history of eating disorders, the LAST thing you want to do is get back on yet another restrictive diet. And yes, paleo/primal is highly restrictive (no legumes, dairy, grains, high sugar fruits- no matter how whole/natural they are). Plus, you've already been down this primal road before and yes it worked but it didn't stick. Is it because you failed or did the diet fail you? Granted, some people thrive on a low-carb restrictive diet (under 100g), but you may not be one of them. It may be time to be a bit more open minded about this and listen to your body.

    Ignore the primal carb curve and focus on eating whole natural un-processed foods that you like - be it potatoes, rice, corn, beans, fruits(all kinds) and veggies. And if you're like 99% of the population and don't have a legitimate gluten allergy, eat whole grains as well. If you don't feel like cooking/prepping, eat fruits for a while or buy frozen veggies to skip the washing/chopping step. If you eat lots of plant foods and less fat, you're going to be full and won't need to obsess over portion size because you get a large volume of food that is also low in calories. The weight will come off without you starving yourself.

    The bottom line is that to lose weight, you need to expend more energy than you consume. Whether you're eating high carb or low carb, it doesn't matter. Calories matter and a calorie deficit is required to lose weight. In your current state, I'd say go easy on yourself and stop the fasting/bingeing/guilt cycle. How? Be FLEXIBLE. Allow some cheats into your diet. But don't keep a supply of junk food at home. If you feel like an ice cream, go buy a small amount (not a half-gallon!!) If you want crisps, biscuits etc, buy a small pack and be done with it. No guilt involved. Give yourself a generous 10% or even 20% calorie allowance to eat whatever junk you want. For starters, do this only once a week. If you're mindful of total calories, you'll be surprised at how manageable and effective this way of eating is. If you know that it's not forbidden, there'll be no inclination to binge and eat everything in sight.

    I tried the low-carb primal diet for years. All I got was a limited food choice (coz I love starch, dairy, grains, beans and very sweet fruits), low energy and like you, guilt when I fell of the wagon. It's not worth it. Now, almost 80-90% of my calories come from whole natural unprocessed foods. This includes starches and straight up sugar in my tea/coffee. My new diet is 70% carbs and I've lost most of the fat I needed to lose (still working on the last 10). I have a raging sweet tooth and MUST eat ice cream and chocolate on a weekly basis to avoid feeling deprived. But due to my flexibility, I'm actually eating LESS sweets than before (no guilt ridden binges). In 3 months I lost 20 lbs of fat, gained some muscle and I'm looking better than I have in years (currently at 135lbs) all thanks to my flexible (sugar&carbs-are-not-evil) approach.

    As for exercise, what works for me is high intensity cardio. I've found that my rate of fat loss is directly proportional to the time spent on high intensity exercise. The higher the intensity the faster the fat loss. And if it works for someone without a lot of fat to lose, it should work wonders for you. At 30 yrs, your max heart rate is 190. Find ANY kind of exercise that you enjoy, that you can do consistently and that keeps you above 75% (over 143) for at least 5-7 hrs per week. Do what works for YOU. Good luck!
    Last edited by KimLean125byMar15; 04-22-2015 at 12:04 PM.
    Energy In (corrected for digestion) - [(RMR(Resting Metabolic Rate) + TEF(Thermic Effect of Food) + TEA(Thermic Effect of Activity) + NEAT(Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)] = Change in Body Stores


  3. #3
    MarielleGO's Avatar
    MarielleGO is offline Senior Member
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    Sep 2013
    The hague
    The key to your success will be to get yourself mentally on the right track. like many of us you are struggling with your mental self. Depression and stress that comes from this struggle is about as destructive as being overweight. (I know as I'm going through it as well)
    You need to deal with what is giving you the stress and bad thoughts first before you will ever feel trully good about yourself. You can loose all the weight you want but if you still see a failure staring back at you in the mirror it won't make you happy.
    Right now you need to learn to accept that things are the way they are (difficult, I can't seem to make that step either). Once you can accept yourself you'll be mouch more able to integrate good health choises in your life.
    My story, My thought....

    It's all about trying to stay healthy!!!!

    Calories? Aren't that those little creatures that live in my closet and shrink my clothes at night?

  4. #4
    awok677's Avatar
    awok677 is offline Senior Member
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    Apr 2013
    UK, The South West

    Go for it. You know what you want to do - I think you have some decent goals there. Think about what primal foods work for you as snacks - for me I like to snack on meat. I keep cooked belly pork/ liver/ chicken drumsticks in the fridge so if I really need something I know I'm eating something that will fill me up and be good for me. I also like raw carrots. Sorry i don't have any strategies for not cooking. I cooked for my Father who had Alzheimer's for 2 and a half years and was able to keep it fairly simple.

    Couple of things - great idea to do your own exercise, but it can be very difficult to motivate yourself. I ran into this problem a couple of years ago, losing weight on diet only and couldn't maintain motivation on doing bodyweight exercises. You might like to google 'youtube following Anne' which is a short series following a UK lady much older than you and shows some very interesting ways in which bodyweight exercises were scaled for her by the crossfit gym she went to so she could participate with the rest of the gym. It shows really nicely how the scaled exercises allowed her to gradually increase the amount she was doing week by week. It's also a very inspiring series of short videos.

    Second thing is that I found it helped me to stay on course to have some kind of measure of progress. If you don't want to weigh yourself, then maybe a measure of flexibility/exercise. Not pushing yourself to extremes, starting gently and scaled, but then documenting how you improve in distance or scaling. E.g. going from wall-push-ups to counter-top push-ups as Mark suggests in his exercise plans. The videos i pointed at show a gentle progression on this scale. I was able to graph my weekly weight so that even when things slowed down or reversed direction I was able to see visually how far I'd come already and that really helped me to stay motivated.

    Best of luck. I'm glad you felt able to tell your story. Keep posting.
    Me, My Father and The Alzheimer's -

  5. #5
    qigunblop's Avatar
    qigunblop is offline Junior Member
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    Jul 2015
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    great idea to do your own exercise, but it can be very difficult to motivate yourself

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