Please forgive me for sounding ranty and whiny here. At this moment tonight my intellectual commitment to a Primal way of life is intact, but trying to actualize that commitment over the past year or so has not yielded me even a corner of "paleo paradise." Since the SAD and total lack of exercise is what screwed things up for me in the first place, I obviously can't go back to that. But at this moment, I really despair of being able to make real and lasting changes in my life.

In November of 2010, I said, "Aha!" because learning about the Primal approach made "going paleo" much less of an esoteric ritual and much more of a common sense, every day reality. It re-affirmed the value of eating simply, moving freely, and living in a balanced way.

But I have to say, here more than a year later, I haven't been able to make it work for me.

If I eat the way that makes me feel really good--nothing complicated, nothing exotic, just good quality--I can end up spending sixty dollars a week on groceries. I can't afford that. I just can't. I can't even really afford thirty dollars a week. I'm not earning starvation wages, but a mortgage, taxes, a home improvement loan, and an IRA contribution are currently making me paranoid about every penny I waste.

However, I can't eat cheap. Processed meat products make me puff up. Eggs make my nose drip. Beans and rice are out of the picture as is soy. I love freshly cooked vegetables, but they're not enough.

Exercise is problematic. Two factors have been keeping me very tired for the past two years: not well-treated sleep apnea (I'm trying to find a useful, inexpensive alternative to a CPAP machine but have not been able to pin anyting down) and the most stressful job I've ever had.

I have dyslexia AND dyscalculia and have somehow ended up in a job that requires me to do data entry and calculations with endless lists of numbers. I can do it if I hyperfocus and check and recheck myself--and often skip lunch to give myself time to get work done. At the end of the workday, I feel totally fried, and no matter what sort of exercise I try, I can't seem to get the stress monkey off my back.

Right now, I'm tired as all get-out and absolutely need to sleep, but I feel so wound up I can't stand it. This is so typical of my weekly routine. After a week at work, I'm fried on Friday, slightly less fried on Saturday, and, for a brief fiew hours on Sunday, while I'm taking the classic Sunday afternoon nap, I feel very relaxed. Then I have to wake up and start thinking about getting ready for work on Monday.

Drinking wine of any sort to relax just gives me a headache. Isochronic tones embedded in "soothing music" annoy me. Sleeping on the floor and using a sleep mask have probably done the most to improve my ability to de-stress, but I still have what seems an infinite distance to cover before I can say, "Last night I slept well; this morning I ate well; today I moved well; right now I feel well and focused and energetic."

I keep thinking that if I could just get a focus on one simple activity to do or routine to follow, one thing that would make a clear difference relatively quickly and wouldn't cost an arm and a leg, I would do it faithfully. But a yearlong search for what will really work in my individual situation seems to have yielded nothing whatsoever.

Thus I am tired and ranty and whiny.

Thanks for giving me space to vent.