By "dieting hard" I mean the (stupid) low carb low calorie diet that the naturopath put me on, the one that had me exhausted. I showed signs of protein lacks the whole time I was on it, even while I ate good quality animal protein at each meal. Sore muscles, cartilage went from bad to worse, rough skin, twitchy eyelids, exhaustion, depression, thinning hair, gums receding, easily injured muscles which would take months to heal. You'd think I'd been eating vegan from that list, but I wasn't at all.
In retrospect, the only thing I can think of which makes sense to me is that I never managed the turnaround to burning fat. High cortisol and anxiety and stress and fatigue, etc., probably kept me burning sugar even when most of it had to come from gluconeogenesis. Well, I really don't know -- and the naturopath just ignored all my symptoms and complaints. As long as the figures from the tape measure and scale went down, it was all he cared about. Finally I had a high stress job problem (I was given a harpsichord to fix up and keep tuned, an elderly amateur kit-built Hubbard double manual with lots of problems for which I had not been trained, and a REAL harpsichordist was flying in from the east coast to play it in a festival.) Something happened all at once around then, like an on-off switch. I was walking down the hallway at home, and suddenly (it seemed) every joint in my body started to crackle and hurt, especially my knees. I've gradually come back from that -- at least it was enough to get me off the diet -- but my left knee is still clicking and very unhappy if I make it bend "normally" when walking.
In the afternmath, as soon as I put some calories and starch back in my eating, I instantly regained the 40 pounds I had lost, right onto my front. Muscles and joints were extremely slow to turn around and start to heal. And though I was eating almost as I had before dieting, my morning glucose numbers were 25 points higher on the same food. This was late 2006. I never want to go "there" again!
By the way, that time of semi-fasting on ghee and coconut oil seems to have everything more limber, and standing up isn't nearly as painful as it was quite recently. I'm starting to feel some considerable hope, especially after reading your explanation of how the body reorders its protein "to do" list, and also cleans up some of the broken proteins lying around.
Hooray, so to speak! Today for the first time since the debacle, I was carrying something into the house and didn't feel the need to put it down before I stepped up onto the porch. At my worst, I'd put down anything I was carrying, and grab the wall molding with one hand to pull myself sideways as I stepped up, always with the right leg.