I'm new to Primal today (along with a lot of other New Years people, I'm sure), but I've been lurking on the forums for a few weeks and I figured a journal was a good way to get started. So here's my story. Sorry it's a little long.

I was always a little bit overweight as a teenager, but not too bad. Even when I went from being a very active high schooler to a relatively sedentary college student, I was never particularly concerned about it. That all changed in the summer before my senior year of college in 2007. First I got sick for a few weeks, most likely with mono, then got Bells Palsy, which means that one of my cranial nerves became severely inflamed (in my case, partially amputated) and half of my face was paralyzed. I went on prednisone for the inflammation, which seems to have aggravated an existing condition, PCOS, that I didn't know I had. Long story short, I went on prednisone for ten days and then gained 50 pounds in less than six months. Needless to say, this was all a pretty big blow to my self esteem. I went from a healthy-ish girl who smiled a lot to a fat girl who couldn't smile normally, blink one eye, or drink from a soda can (I can't press my lips together). The nerve then regrew wrong, so I could blink, but it made my mouth twitch, and trying to smile made my eye close. After a bunch of physical therapy, I've separated those movements, but I still can't smile on one side, and I have to get botox in my eyebrow four times a year to relax the overly-tight spastic muscles there.

For several years after that, my weight kept slowly climbing and I went to doctor after doctor trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Most of them gave me the usual "eat less and exercise more" line. One did diagnose PCOS, but said that there was no need to treat it unless I was trying to conceive. He didn't even mention insulin resistance. Finally, in January 2011, my GYN told me that blood sugar problems are often associated with PCOS and suggested I try Atkins. I only did it as a last-ditch effort to prove that there was something wrong with me and I couldn't lose weight. After all, I'd tried dieting before - low calorie, low fat, lots of whole grains - and exercising, mostly intense cardio, and nothing worked.

Much to my surprise, Atkins did work. I lost 50 lbs by that summer, but then gained 15 of it back over the holidays. In 2012, I lost 20 lbs, but then gained almost all of it back. I kept stalling out and getting frustrated, because although I had lost weight, I didn't like the way I looked, because I was still soft and pudgy. I kept trying to exercise, but then I would give it up because I didn't have time for 45 minutes of cardio a day, and it never seemed to help.

So here I am today, trying something a little different. I'm committed to sticking with the Primal Blueprint for at least the month of January. This is my personal 31 day challenge. I've already cleaned out my pantry and fridge, restocked them, and planned my day, including my meals and a nice after-lunch walk through a local nature park. Tonight, I'll install my new pullup bar and download an intervals timer app to my phone. Let's see how this goes!