Hello everyone.

I've been lurking in the forums for about a week now and decided to jump in and join the fun!

A little about me:

After reading the articles on this site, and the forum threads, it seems I've been intuitively eating somewhat primal for a couple of years now. I figured out that if I stay away from grains and starchy foods, I tend to lose weight and have more energy. When I eat high carb foods, I feel dull and lethargic. I never consistently stayed away from grains, but if I wanted to lose weight, that's the first food I would cut out.

What really got me searching for a more definitive eating plan however was the delicious pot of file gumbo I made on New Year's Day, as I do every year. The roux is made from one cup vegetable oil and one cup flour. Within thirty minutes of eating my first bowl, I could feel a warm. burning sensation in my abdomen. It wasn't exactly painful, but it wasn't pleasant either. I never reacted that way before to gumbo. Over the next week or so, I noticed as I ate gluten, or even corn products, I would get the same discomfort and bloating. I finally realized my body was telling me it does not want any more grains.

My stats and goals:

I'm 44, female, 5'11 and, as of this morning, 150 lbs. This is an average weight for me, although in the past five years my weight has ranged between 142 and 156 lbs. I'm not really looking to lose scale weight, but I would like to lower my body fat percentage, which if my thighs and muffin top are any indication, is too high.

I've never been big on exercising, although I do try to move as much as possible during the day. That means purposely getting up from my desk a couple times a day to climb stairs or walk for fifteen minutes or so on the treadmill in the office gym. I did Bikram yoga consistently for about 12 months, but eventually let that slide. I loved the mental and physical release the Bikram gave me, but I wasn't seeing huge changes in my muscle tone or fat loss. Next week, I'm going to my first Cross Fit session, and I'm actually excited about it! That gives me hope of staying with it, as, with the exception of the Bikram, I've never been excited about exercise before. I'm also hoping I can start doing Bikram again a couple times a week.

So, my goals are to make this way of eating as natural, and easy, as possible, and to increase muscle tone while losing fat. I've been eating 80-90% Primal for the last six days or so, and I feel great! Since I wasn't a big gluten/sugar eater before this, I have yet to experience any type of "carb flu." The hardest items for me to cut back on are going to be alcohol (I love bourbon and whiskey), and dairy. I think I can do it, though.

So, that's my story (sorry it was so long!). I welcome any tips, suggestions, advice, whatever. I'm happy to be here!