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Thread: I think I'm broken and I'm not sure how to fix it... page

  1. #1
    Chipmunk222's Avatar
    Chipmunk222 is offline Junior Member
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    I think I'm broken and I'm not sure how to fix it...

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    I am usually a lurker, but I have questions that I can't seem to find the right answers for me.....so I thought I would seek insight from the knowledge of those who have been primal for longer than myself.

    Started at the beginning of March eating mostly meats and veggies.... sugar, grains, fruits and dairy out and I fairly easily lost about 10 pounds and I was eating about 1600-2000 calories a day.

    Weight loss stalled after about 3 weeks, so I started messing with calories, and even dropped them all the way down to 1200 (which is hard for me) I was tired, grouchy and not tolerable. Still eating the same things, just less of them. Not sustainable for me because I am very active and I need to eat, even though being primal has helped me control my appetite, I still can't do the things I do every day while fasting. I usually eat a large breakfast and then don't eat again until dinner.... I don't have alot of time for lunch.

    Somewhere along the line I added more coconut oil and then even added some heavy cream.... one or the other was a bad idea.... love the cream but my system wasn't tolerating it.... I was sweating all night, feeling ill... and once I removed the cream, things were immediately better.

    Read in the forums that women may need more carbs, so added some berries, one apple and a half a sweet potato back into the mix and have literally gained a scale pound a day for the last 4 days. (No, not pregnant or TOM)

    During this entire time I have lost NO inches, not even right from the start, but my scale weight did go down (in the beginning)

    I do quite a bit of cleaning, lifting, and moving 3-4 days a week and I am also lifting weights 3-4 days a week. Fitbit says I burn about 1700 calories a day... but I've noticed on heavy cleaning days, it gives me no more calories burned than usual, so it's off a bit.

    My biggest problem right now is the time it's taking for my muscles to recover, soreness lingers for days, and now mostly at night (before bed) my legs start aching and I get very tired before bedtime. Not tired in the normal sense "I need to go to bed tired".... this is "I'm not sure if I'm going to make it to bed" tired. And I'm dragging to get out of bed in the morning.... and I've been an easy riser for many years and have never been a heavy or long sleeper.

    I was very high energy when I first started primal, and felt wonderful, I don't think I'm lacking in protein, usually I get over 100 .... sometimes almost 200 grams of protein a day. I use coconut oil, olive oil and butter for cooking. I am eating around 1600 calories a day, with 1 apple, usually 1 greek plain yogurt with berries, and I only drink water, homemade carbonated water with a couple berries, unsweetened green tea and an occasional coconut water.

    I need help figuring out why I hurt and why I have no energy.... I'm almost afraid to eat more since I am trying to lose weight instead of gain.... ask me about whatever I may have forgotten to add here.

    Almost forgot to add that I have always been active, and never had a weight problem until 3 years ago. I may not move around as much as I did in years past but I am doing much harder work, more physical work and lifting weights.

    female, 48, 5'1, small frame, 145 lbs, goal weight of 115.... all my weight is in my midsection, no difference in pictures or measurements.

  2. #2
    eKatherine's Avatar
    eKatherine is offline Senior Member
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    Have you considered going back to the beginning before you decided to crank down the control? Just eat as much as you want of the right things and don't worry about it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chipmunk222 View Post

    My biggest problem right now is the time it's taking for my muscles to recover, soreness lingers for days, and now mostly at night (before bed) my legs start aching and I get very tired before bedtime. Not tired in the normal sense "I need to go to bed tired".... this is "I'm not sure if I'm going to make it to bed" tired. And I'm dragging to get out of bed in the morning.... and I've been an easy riser for many years and have never been a heavy or long sleeper.
    There are a lot of things that could be going on at your age, between hormonal changes and other healing that may be going on.

    1. The scale doesn't tell you what you want to know. Get off it, or at least don't use it more than every couple of weeks.
    2. Carbs also help you store water. Going from almost zero-carb to an apple and half a sweet potato a day will likely cause you to hold water. Not a big deal. Drop the carbs again for a week and that water weight will disappear as well.

    Why do you feel that 115 is the most appropriate weight for your body? What is your body fat percentage right now? If your bodyfat is currently at 33% (overweight, but not obese, I think) and you weigh about 150, then you have 100 pounds of Lean Body Mass (which is everything except for fat). In order to get down to 115, you will have to get your body to 15% bodyfat (less than 20% is very difficult for most women) or lose lean body mass, which includes muscle and bone and organs. That's not a good thing.

    The paragraph I quoted above is the most concerning. For some reason, you seem to be not getting enough recovery. You are either not eating enough, working out too much, not resting/sleeping enough, or healing something. More than one of those is possible.

    The other option is that there is some nutritive element that is drastically lacking, but I'm not the best one to work that out.

    If you feel exhausted all the time, why don't you sleep more? If your body is healing things, it needs rest and recovery, and sleep is the main part of that.

    That's all I've got for now.

  4. #4
    sbhikes's Avatar
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    You probably lost energy because you were getting used to eating lower carbs. There's a point about 5 weeks in where if you have not been getting enough sodium and potassium in your diet you are going to feel horrible with muscle pains and cramps, no energy and a feeling of death warmed over. You need a lot of salt in your diet if you are eating fairly low in carbs.

    Then you added a very small amount of carbs and feel low energy. This may be because you've put yourself right in the middle state between low carb and not low carb which means your body cannot adapt either way. This is sometimes called the Zone of Misery in low carb circles.

    You might consider either choosing to remain low carb for a period of time (a few months) and keep it that way long enough that you adapt to it fully and only then increase your carbs to something around 150 grams a day. Or you may choose to just increase your carbs now to something around 100-150 grams a day and go for a non-low carb Primal Blueprint basic diet.

    Whatever you choose to do, you are 48 years old, female and short. There are few miracles for us. Weight loss will be very slow and it's not likely you will ever reach 115lbs (and it's not likely that you SHOULD reach that low of a weight). You need to prioritize sleep and recovery or else your body will hold on to its fat, too. And trying to shock your body into more weight loss with ever lower and lower calories is also a losing proposition.

    What I think works best is to eat meat and vegetables at every meal, disregarding whether the vegetables are carby ones or not and disregarding calories but eating sensible portion sizes. Older women need more protein than younger ones and women who do not get enough nutrients from food, including Omega-3 fats, over time as they get older will not be able to lose weight. So do not restrict calories severely (not enough vitamins if you don't eat enough food), eat your liver, save your grass-fed lamb fat for cooking and eat lots of fish.
    Female, 5'3", 50, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    I can squat 192.5lbs, press 75lbs and deadlift 210lbs

  5. #5
    Reindeer's Avatar
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    Two of the more common mistakes are overlooking fat and salt intake. The fat one is self-explanatory - many women need a higher fat intake than men do. Make sure you aren't still afraid of eating fat now when you have dropped the carbs.

    Sodium intake is a tricky one that people does not always think about, but once you stop eating processed foods it is possible to get deprived of salt very fast, especially if you work out. I'd advice the 'fix-all' solution if you haven't tried it already - start consuming proper, home-made broth(the stuff you buy in cube-form does NOT count). Not only does it contain fat and salt, it contain a lot of micronutrients that can otherwise be tricky to remember. It seem like a lot of people with unspecified problems get 'cured' by bone broth, because of some unknown deficiency.

  6. #6
    Sandra in BC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eKatherine View Post
    Have you considered going back to the beginning before you decided to crank down the control? Just eat as much as you want of the right things and don't worry about it.
    I agree. It can take weeks or months to fully adapt to this WOE, simply because you're breaking a lifetime of bad habits. The first habit to break is *being on a diet* . PB is not a diet. Its an ultra-healthy way of eating and living, and for many, dropping excess weight and fat is a result. You can tweak, measure and count to your hearts content...if you like being on a diet.

    Eat for optimal health and let your size/weight be a natural result of that. If you eat the right amount of the best foods for YOUR body, you're going to good.

    I need help figuring out why I hurt and why I have no energy.... I'm almost afraid to eat more since I am trying to lose weight instead of gain.... ask me about whatever I may have forgotten to add here.
    Because you're on a diet, and making weight loss the priority at the expense of optimal health.

    Look for primal foods and recipes that taste fantastic and make you feel good. Don't make every food decision based on your fear of what the scale will say.
    Sandra
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  7. #7
    Kelda's Avatar
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    Stop lifting for a few weeks, you seem to do plenty within your work. This will give the muscle mass a chance to rebuild. Try some re-hydration salts in your water a couple of times a day so you are restocking any potential electrolyte imbalances - you might be very surprised just how bad you can feel (like you are dying) when potassium et al are out of whack.

    Also don't underestimate the significant shift in hormones you will be going through, at 48 you are bang in the middle of the average range for peri-menopause (even if you've had a hysterectomy). At 46 I know I just don't function the same as I did even two or three years ago when I started Primal eating - you just have to keep adjusting and being kind to yourself.
    Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

  8. #8
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    I'm 54 and have been primal for 13 weeks. I had muscle and leg pain off and on from week 5 to 10. I am very low carb, and have purposely stayed that way to switch my body to fat burning. I had to supplement magnesium and potassium, and be very careful about my eat/sleep patterns. No noshing 3-5 hours before bed, big breakfast, medium lunch, light dinner. I added low carbs about week 8 and it was a disaster, with increased water retention, poor sleep, mental fog, and pain.

    I forced myself to eat more fat. With thyroid issues I was afraid of gaining any weight (even though I lost 11 pounds from week 3-6), but I knew I needed the fat for energy. I made chocolate mousse with avocado, cream, cocoa, vanilla and coffee, and I ate it by the spoonful whenever I ran out of gas. I haven't gained any weight back, and I eat a lot of fat and protein. I used to live on Advil, but I haven't taken any since week 2.

  9. #9
    Chipmunk222's Avatar
    Chipmunk222 is offline Junior Member
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    So many great replies.... lets see....

    I figure 115 because that is where I have been for most of my life. I was extremely athletic in my younger years and that is where my weight stayed, and that is where it always went back to even after having kids.... like I said, it has only been in the last 3 years or so that I have gained weight... I'm still active, I just do more heavier stuff now, I was always really strong but did more cardio type things.... now i'm doing more strength type activities.

    After I got over the initial phase of low carb, I felt great, I had plenty of energy.

    I get a large amount of sodium a day....but my potassium may be lacking.

    And I guess I should have been more clear.... I'm not tired all the time.... it happens all at once and it just washes over me and I am totally exhausted in about 5 minutes time.

    I found out today that drinking more water seems to help my leg aches.... dehydrated maybe ???

    Appreciate the replies... everyone has given me alot to think about.... thanks everyone !!!

  10. #10
    j3nn's Avatar
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    Quick suggestions: Epsom salt baths a few times a week; your electrolytes are probably low.

    Increase your carbs and drop some of that protein. 75-100g/day protein in Is adequate for your height. Add more fruit, white potatoes, well-cooked kale and its broth, Orange juice, white rice, oysters, clams, and some raw carrot salad with coconut oil and vinegar once per day. Liberally salt your food to taste, focus on potassium more. Eat bone broth and gelatin, and most importantly: give yourself a break! Eat high quality ice cream now and then.
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