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    nunatak's Avatar
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    At a loss for what to do/feeling so unbalanced and confused

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    Happy Holidays to You All,

    I feel so confused about what's going on with how I am eating and how I should proceed. I've been trying my best to be primal since September. I have eating disorder issues and definitely needed to gain weight. I've done that and now really do feel I've gained a bit too much. But here's the problem:

    I was once diagnosed as hypoglycemic when I was around 13. I have no idea why my parents didn't follow up with what I was eating other than taking me once to an endocrinologist. Fast forward and I am now almost 39. I was definitely at a weight that was too low for me for quite some time, but as I said, I have steadily gained and now have my period again, my sex drive has returned, and the acne is finally disappearing. Weird what hormones will do. When I say I'm heavier than I need to be, I'm not exaggerating. I could lose about 5-8 lb and be fine. I know that's minor, but I'm not comfortable where I am.

    The issue I'm having is that for years I've been a binger and used exercise to "purge" the food. I started testing my blood sugar over the past few months and boy, seems like hypoglycemia to me. My fasting blood sugar is usally in the 80's. About 15 minutes after I eat it goes to around 105-108 and then by 30 minutes it often plummets to the 70's. Never is my blood sugar in the 100's except for that short 15 min. window.

    Here's the thing. I had been beating myself up for months about not being able to control the number of carbs I was eating despite trying to be primal. While the amount I am averaging has drastically gone down, I still have times where I just go crazy with nuts or coconut cream (the carbs do add up). Then there will be times I'll eat too much dark chocolate or sometimes goji berries to the extreme. So by tracking my blood sugar, there is a direct correlation between when I'm bingeing and the numbers the glucose meter shows. I can now predict if I'm in the 70's. It's those times that I just can't stop thinking about food. Nothing makes me feel better until I eat a large number of carbs.

    So, yesterday was the first time I'd had any grains (except for a bit of stuffing on Thanksgiving). I went NUTS eating cookie batter while baking cookies. I totally expected to feel all sick and bad. Would you believe my blood sugar stayed in the high 90's for 4 hours?? It did initially go up to around 114, but did not plummet. I felt so satisfied (albeit guilty) those following hours. This morning was a disaster with a fasting blood sugar of 69. Felt crappy and headachy. But, I just couldn't believe it stayed so consistent for so long.

    OK, if you have read this far, thank you. I feel like I am all over the place here, but I keep having this nagging feeling that I should eat grain again. Honestly, the only positive that I feel from being primal is that my constipation is gone--which is a huge thing. I've gained weight, but now it's too much. I've gone past the comfort zone. I guess I need a pep talk or maybe some advice on the hypoglycemia thing.

    I just cannot seem to eat low carb no matter how hard I try. I feel so at a loss and confused. I do not feel balanced even remotely. I feel like I'm teetering on the edge of wanting to eat grain again. Maybe I'm not convinced enough of the downsides. This is so hard for me and I just want balance.

    Please be kind in your replies. I am honestly having a hard time with this. The journey feels all muddied and I really need some clarity I guess. Thanks so much.

    --Nuna

  2. #2
    Dragonfly's Avatar
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    Primal isn't a low carb diet. If you aren't wanting to lose body fat, then up to 150 gms a day is fine--more if you are very active. If you want to lose body fat, then staying between 50-100 gms works for most people. Some folks have a higher metabolism and need more carbs to feel good--you may be one of these. Sweet potatoes and other root vegetables are a good way to get your carb count up without spiking your insulin too much.

    My sense is you need to get some counseling around your need to binge & purge, so you can relax around eating and stop obsessing (and stop testing your blood sugar!)

    I was hypoglycemic eating grains and after being Primal for 7 weeks, I no longer have highs & lows.

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    Thanks Dragonfly, I am in therapy and I know it doesn't sound like it from my post, but I have come quite a ways. I do admit that at times I get a little nuts and fall back into the old patterns. I guess I'm confused about how many grams of carbs I need to keep the blood sugar even. Maybe you are right though and I need to stop testing. I love data, so having the monitor probably fuels the fire. But it has been interesting to see. Even when I eat sweet potatoes I still find myself going overboard with carbs. I'm just feeling so out of sorts and, since I'm not being as strict as I should be, I guess I'm not seeing all the amazing results that so many people talk about. Thanks for responding.

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    It sounds like you're not letting yourself get through the low-carb flu. How long do you go between carb binges? For some people on this site it's taken up to two months of complete abstaining to truly break the addiction to grains; for you it may be similar.
    Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

    Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...mer-(Attempt-2)


    Ditch the scale!: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33283.html

    My Success Story: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread30615.html

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    8.1.2011 edit:
    ***CAUTION: NEVER TAKE 5-HTP OR L-TRYPTOPHAN CONCURRENTLY WITH SSRIs, WHICH CAN STAY IN YOUR SYSTEM FOR AS MUCH AS SIX MONTHS AFTER STOPPING THEM. NEVER TRY TO WEAN YOURSELF OFF OF SSRIs BY YOURSELF. DO NOT TAKE 5-HTP AND L-TRYPTOPHAN TOGETHER.***



    OK. You sound like my twin.

    Where to begin?

    ::: cracking knuckles :::

    Your body is crying out for serotonin, and it has figured out that bingeing on carbs is the way to get it.

    I used to be like you. Constantly obsessed with food, hypoglycemic, once I started in on carbs it was beyond my control to stop, exercising at 3 in the morning.

    Here is what has helped me tremendously (seriously, I'm like a different person, and with each passing day it is like a dream that I have not lapsed back):
    -- 5-HTP -- this is for the serotonin your brain is desperately needing -- I take 400 mg (200 mg twice a day), but you might want to play with the dosage a bit
    -- an amino acid complex
    -- in order to help with the hypoglycemic swings, every time I eat, I always eat a combination of protein, fat, and carbs (this is the Zone theory, in it's most basic of forms). For example: I would never eat a banana by itself. It will swing my sugars all over the place (spike, crash). But if I have that banana with a couple of hard-boiled eggs (there's my protein and fat to round out the carbs of the banana), my blood sugar stays level and I stay full for a surprisingly long time
    -- eating primal helps in a big way
    -- read "The Mood Cure" and/or "The Diet Cure" by Julia Ross
    -- massage or some other form of body work
    -- an essential oil blend called Valor

    I know this will help you.

    I can't tell you what a big difference the 5-HTP and amino acids make. Sometimes I even forget to eat and, because I am no longer hypoglycemic, my body is OK with that.

    All my best,
    Ginger
    Last edited by TigerLily; 08-01-2011 at 02:39 PM.
    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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    TigerLily's Avatar
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    Also, this book on 5-HTP:
    http://www.amazon.com/5-HTP-Natural-...3312471&sr=1-1

    This book has been a godsend to me, changed my life.

    Dr. Murray says he has *NEVER* had a patient who continued to binge while taking the 5-HTP regularly. I guess I'm not so special after all because it worked on me too.

    Be sure and read all the comments over at Amazon.com.
    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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    TigerLily's Avatar
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    I have been through tens of thousands of dollars of therapy with eating disorder therapists. It's basically crap, as the problem is a biochemical one -- serotonin deficiency. You can't fight biochemistry -- you will lose.

    The protocol above stopped everything cold in its tracks.
    Last edited by TigerLily; 12-25-2010 at 01:47 PM.
    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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    Quote Originally Posted by TigerLily View Post
    I have been through tens of thousands of dollars of therapy with eating disorder therapists. It's basically crap, as the problem is a biochemical one -- serotonin deficiency.

    The protocol above stopped everything cold in its tracks.
    I believe that this is true for some but not all folks, Ginger. I am really glad it worked for you and if your protocol works for nunatak, all the better.

  9. #9
    TigerLily's Avatar
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    Are you serotonin starved?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmorMoe1BI8

    He starts talking about carbs => serotonin at about the 3-minute mark.
    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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    Oh Ginger, thank you for posting all this information. It sounds like you know EXACTLY what I'm going through and I could cry out of frustration with it all and just want to feel like a normal human. Do you know if the 5-HTP is compatible with the anti-depressants Wellbutrin and Zoloft. I'm mainly on Wellbutrin with a tiny amount of Zoloft. I am not prepared to stop these right now. Someday I would love to be. If I can take the 5-HTP with them, I'll get some right away. Is there a particular brand or type you use? Also, what type/brand of amino acid complex do you take? Seriously, you know how desperate it all becomes. At this point I will try anything. Oh and this is going to sound ridiculous, but what do you do with the essential oil? How do you take it? Thank you again. I will watch the video when I have more time. Have to go do family stuff right now. I really was expecting people to flame me for even questioning primal (though that may still happen). I just want to feel better. When it becomes all so difficult and burdensome, it's hard to see the forest for the trees. Do you know what I mean? I am so envious of those who follow the primal lifestyle effortlessly. I would LOVE to be that way. So, please do let me know about the brands/types of what you take. I know nothing about amino acids, 5-H
    TP, or essential oils. I'll definitely look into the books. THANK YOU for taking the time to share with me what has worked for you. I appreciate it so very much. Maybe it won't work, but I have nothing to lose in trying. Thank you!


    Dragonfly, I appreciate your comment about what works for some may not work for others. I completely agree with you. This may not work for me, but I do think it's worth a try. I'm really in a bad spot at the moment. Thanks for your concern!

    Griff, I did go through what I thought was a flu-type thing when I gave up all grain and processed food. Then it happened again when I gave up diet soda. My situation is really bad in that I can't not eat the carbs. Like Ginger said, when she was in the cycle, she simply could not stop herself. This does not feel like a willpower-type thing. It's so horrible. I thought the over-exercising was the only culprit and assumed that if I didn't workout too much I wouldn't binge (because I'd had a few good times when it didn't happen). However, I took 8 days off completely from cardio (in a row--very hard for me to do something like that, so it was an accomplishment), but I binged all the same. This was when I realized something must have been amiss with my blood sugars. I don't know... Thanks for you post.
    Last edited by nunatak; 12-25-2010 at 02:37 PM.

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