I joined the forum in 2009 and read posts regularly, but haven’t posted anything in some time.

Like many folks, I’m starting a journal in order to keep myself honest about my food intake and exercise habits and get feedback from others in the primal community on those things. Also, having been primal to varying extents for at least two years, but having veered off course in the last year, I’m looking to get back into my primal groove and think that this journal could help me get there.

Without further ado-

I’m 5’6”, female, 22-years old. By virtually all measures, I have a phenomenal life. Still, by nature, I tend to quietly carry around a lot of emotional baggage, can take a long time to grieve things, etc. I’m not a born optimist, but am sincerely working on cultivating healthier emotional habits and have made serious progress in this. Some days, though, and seemingly out of nowhere, I can still be hit with a wave or two of depression, and had a couple of ‘memorable’ anxiety attacks, which were entirely new to me, late in 2010. None since, thankfully. This emotional stuff has put a damper on my primal life, especially during high stress spans during the school year, and taming it remains one of my chief projects.

In my strict, and probably exceedingly strict, primal days, I was in the 140 weight range with fairly low body fat for a young woman. Since then, following my ‘devolution,’ I’ve gained 15-20lbs. I haven’t bothered to weigh myself in weeks, though, so this is a rough range, but regardless, I have not weighed more than I do right now.

My exercise world centers around heavy lifting, which I do, positively love, and do pretty hard, 2-3 times/week. This lifting is basically my only exercise, with the exception of walking a half-mile here or there every day or couple of days throughout the week.

The last of the background stuff: I almost certainly overindulge in my primal food. Eating is tricky, though, because I have been trying (and failing) to ‘reboot’ my menstrual cycle for some time. Last Sept. 2010, to my elation, I had a healthy cycle for the first time in ages, and got it back after having eaten carelessly (think Odwalla bars and other junk) for a month or two and not exercising at all. In the months that followed, I stopped eating sugar-laden, processed bars, reduced my carb intake somewhat, and finally reintroduced increasingly taxing exercise. No menstruation since… (blood work normal- no thyroid, PCOS, or other issues, and no pituitary glad problems--just no period; also, I do not take any form of hormonal birth control).

I’ll begin chronicling my food and exercise info. tomorrow.

Meanwhile, are there any general suggestions for what and how much I should be eating on both lifting and non-lifting days? My goals are to start cycling again, have the ‘zip’ I need to do things like (5 sets of 5) 95lb-front squats, 70lb-overhead presses, 110lb-bench presses, 185lb-205-lb deadlifts, and sporadic push-up sets throughout the week,* and to lose my new bloated look. Is it reasonable to aim to achieve all of this simultaneously?

*I do not do all of these lifts on my workout days, but do the squats, either ohp or bp, and finish with deadlifts each session.

Thanks in advance to all. Looking forward to rejoining the primal community.