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Thread: New and would like some guidance page

  1. #1
    AnnieW's Avatar
    AnnieW is offline Junior Member
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    New and would like some guidance

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm new and I would like your guidance. I just purchased the Primal Blueprint book on Amazon and I'm eagerly waiting for it to get here. I do have It Starts With Food which is a good book in my opinion. I really need to lose 140 lbs (according to my doctor) so I can get pregnant. This was his recommendation. Here are some stats about me:

    31 years old
    349 lbs
    6' tall

    I also have PCOS and insulin resistance, with a VERY apple shaped body (most of my weight is in my abdomen). I am supposed to take metformin for my blood sugar but it screws with my stomach so badly. I sit behind a desk all day and right now my diet sucks. Lots of soda, junk, etc. I have been making more paleo/primal meals lately but I haven't made a full switch. I overeat badly and that is psychological so I'm trying to get a grip on it.

    My question is mainly about what I should be consuming. I have heard that for weight loss (paleo) you should ideally eliminate fruits and starchy veggies like potatoes. Also is it imperative to eliminate dairy for weight loss too? I don't really eat and drink a lot of dairy. But I do enjoy hard cheese on eggs and in salads.

    For physical fitness, I have been doing my best given my current health issues from being so fat. I have a new treadmill at home and I am trying to walk at least a half hour a day. Right now I can only do a speed of 1.8 because I have horrible plantar fasciitis in both my feet. Although pathetic, it's a speed at which I can comfortably walk for a half hour or more and not be debilitated afterwards.

    So long story short, should I be counting calories or just focus on eating meat and veggies for weight loss? What about exercise? Is walking enough for right now? I'm not sure I can do much weight lifting because I have bad back problems.

    Thanks in advance for your help-looking forward to getting started on this so I can hopefully get pregnant!

  2. #2
    namelesswonder's Avatar
    namelesswonder is online now Senior Member
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    -Start slow. Do whatever you can and stick with that.
    -Maybe start by cutting out one "junk" thing at a time. First bad oils ("vegetable" oil & seed oils), then sodas, then candies, then grains... Tackle it at whatever pace works for you. Don't go crazy! If you mess up, forgive yourself and try a new approach or something else. Or just stick with it. Whatever you think is going to work best.
    -Calories are a tricky subject around here. Personally, I would say give yourself a reasonable allowance, like 2000 calories
    -For now, just focus on eating the right foods. Keep potatoes and fruit if you enjoy them, but try to pay attention to how much you are eating (one potato, not multiple) of these things. The plate shouldn't be 75% french fries, 5% vegetables, and 20% meat protein.
    -If dairy doesn't seem to bother you, eat it. You can always try cutting it out later, but it's not imperative. It's probably best not to make it a huge staple, but a bit of cheese, milk, or yogurt here and there is absolutely fine. In my opinion, it's more of a condiment.
    -Do whatever you can for exercise for now. Walking is fine. Walking outside (for the sunshine!) would be better. Focus on bodyweight exercises before adding more weight. There's a free fitness book through this website that you can get by signing up for the newsletter (I think).
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  3. #3
    peppermint's Avatar
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    Focus on getting the soda and processed foods out first, don't worry about how much good stuff you eat. Eat real whole foods and drink water or tea, not soda/milk/juice. Eat fruit if you want it. Once you get used to that you can worry about calories and number of carbs a day, dialing in to certain macronutrient ratios and fun stuff like that. Cheese and eggs on salads is fantastic, do that often, and get some olive oil and vinegar - no ranch or italian or that kind of thing. Keep with walking, you'll want to weightlift once you're down some weight and have more energy. When I was overweight I'd have never wanted to do that and would have been in pain and hated it, but as I got closer to my goals I felt much better and felt like it was possible.

    Just get used to the "inconvenience" of not eating/drinking junk first and you'll see some results.

  4. #4
    loafingcactus's Avatar
    loafingcactus is offline Senior Member
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    It isn't pathetic at all- YOU ARE DOING IT!!!!! :-D

    I know someone who started at one lap around his dining room table. When I first started moving I couldn't walk on the treadmill more than 15 minutes, and I ended up doing half-marathons. My top weight was 300 lbs and I have done several marathons and triathlons at weights as high as 250.

    One thing that helped me a lot at first was weight training and pool walking. You make progress So Fast when you first start weight training and you can do it sitting down, so it can feel really great at a high weight. And then pool walking- forwards, backwards, sideways- helps build all the tiny muscles for walking.

    I'll leave the food question alone- I'm sure you'll get plenty of answers. ;-) At the end of the day you have to do what is write for the special snowflake that is YOU.
    In God we trust; all others must bring data. W. Edwards Deming
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  5. #5
    TheyCallMeLazarus's Avatar
    TheyCallMeLazarus is offline Senior Member
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    Seeing as you are on metformin with diagnosed NIDDM, I think your goals should be slightly different, especially considering your BIG goal of a new family member.

    Priority number one, number two, and number three is to GET THE HELL OFF THE METFORMIN. If you take the steps toward doing this, you will make a lot of your other concerns easier. Losing weight for a diabetic is much harder than a normal person....so do the no-brainer thing, STOP being a diabetic. Obviously, wait for your doctor to take you off the medication. If you eat well enough, you will force his or her hand.

    I can try to help you with how long that will take:
    How long have you been diabetic?
    Have you ever taken insulin, even in an ambulatory setting?
    What was your last HbA1c reading?
    What is your normal BG range? (If you don't take it at home, start. It will be a big motivator)
    What was your triglyceride level at last panel?

    I suggest you get all of this data for yourself, and every 2-3 months go get a new panel (find a cheap place to get one. I suggest a walk-in clinic or PCP office)....now, stick hard to primal and watch those numbers move in the right direction. In many cases, diabetes of mild severity can be cured. I've seen it a thousand times as a doctor.

    I am saying that you are NOT fighting the same giant as most people on this forum. All successful diet plans, whether they are primal or "Mediterranean" or eating cabbage all day have the same physiological goal in mind : Increase insulin sensitivity. Without it, your blood is flowing around all the time full of "Mr Sugar Gatekeeper", insulin. Trying to lose weight without targeting this is like trying to target bacon without a skillet or microwave.

    Also, hear this: focus on your diet above your workout regimen....getting muscle is fine, but doing so is understandably hard right now for you. Let others who have been there tell you how to exercise most effectively in your position, but make no mistake: Diet is going to move this mountain off you, not walking. A highly insulin resistant person can walk or bench 350 or do a spinning class....but they are still very unhealthy, will have a VERY hard time losing fat, and still feel pretty crummy a lot of the time. For you diet is not 80%, it is 98%.

    So my advice would be this....take in as little carbs as possible while still feeling alive. When you do have them, have them is their normal, high-fiber forms. ZERO processed potatoes, rice, or anything that is insulin rocket fuel. Try to eat as low a glycemic index as you can (not a holy grail for normals, but with NIDDM it is very relavent).This stuff can be tolerated by a normal insulin sensitive person, but with your level of insulin resistance it will sabotage your goals. Calories are fine and dandy for a bodybuilder to track....you are fighting insulin resistance though, not fat. Taking on fat without bringing down the Goliath that is insulin resistance will make you run in place.

    #1 target = insulin resistance. He is the head of the snake. Get off your meds, push your A1c way down, and you will wake up one day no longer diabetic and a lot thinner by default.

    And perhaps a baby in the oven too
    Last edited by TheyCallMeLazarus; 06-19-2013 at 10:07 AM.

  6. #6
    Neckhammer's Avatar
    Neckhammer is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheyCallMeLazarus View Post
    Seeing as you are on metformin with diagnosed NIDDM, I think your goals should be slightly different, especially considering your BIG goal of a new family member.

    Priority number one, number two, and number three is to GET THE HELL OFF THE METFORMIN. If you take the steps toward doing this, you will make a lot of your other concerns easier. Losing weight for a diabetic is much harder than a normal person....so do the no-brainer thing, STOP being a diabetic. Obviously, wait for your doctor to take you off the medication. If you eat well enough, you will force his or her hand.

    I can try to help you with how long that will take:
    How long have you been diabetic?
    Have you ever taken insulin, even in an ambulatory setting?
    What was your last HbA1c reading?
    What is your normal BG range? (If you don't take it at home, start. It will be a big motivator)
    What was your triglyceride level at last panel?

    I suggest you get all of this data for yourself, and every 2-3 months go get a new panel (find a cheap place to get one. I suggest a walk-in clinic or PCP office)....now, stick hard to primal and watch those numbers move in the right direction. In many cases, diabetes of mild severity can be cured. I've seen it a thousand times as a doctor.

    I am saying that you are NOT fighting the same giant as most people on this forum. All successful diet plans, whether they are primal or "Mediterranean" or eating cabbage all day have the same physiological goal in mind : Increase insulin sensitivity. Without it, your blood is flowing around all the time full of "Mr Sugar Gatekeeper", insulin. Trying to lose weight without targeting this is like trying to target bacon without a skillet or microwave.

    Also, hear this: focus on your diet above your workout regimen....getting muscle is fine, but doing so is understandably hard right now for you. Let others who have been there tell you how to exercise most effectively in your position, but make no mistake: Diet is going to move this mountain off you, not walking. A highly insulin resistant person can walk or bench 350 or do a spinning class....but they are still very unhealthy, will have a VERY hard time losing fat, and still feel pretty crummy a lot of the time. For you diet is not 80%, it is 98%.

    So my advice would be this....take in as little carbs as possible while still feeling alive. When you do have them, have them is their normal, high-fiber forms. ZERO processed potatoes, rice, or anything that is insulin rocket fuel. Try to eat as low a glycemic index as you can (not a holy grail for normals, but with NIDDM it is very relavent).This stuff can be tolerated by a normal insulin sensitive person, but with your level of insulin resistance it will sabotage your goals. Calories are fine and dandy for a bodybuilder to track....you are fighting insulin resistance though, not fat. Taking on fat without bringing down the Goliath that is insulin resistance will make you run in place.

    #1 target = insulin resistance. He is the head of the snake. Get off your meds, push your A1c way down, and you will wake up one day no longer diabetic and a lot thinner by default.

    And perhaps a baby in the oven too
    +1....excellent post

    but (there is always a but )

    You mention back pain prohibiting your movement. I do believe that addressing the root cause of that problem is going to have to be on your goal list as well. I agree with most of the above post except the portion on movement and exercise. These things make improving your insulin sensitivity all the more possible. I'm speaking in terms of being able to add in resistance training, but walking is a fine start. And be sure to get plenty of rest. One night without sleep or perpetual lack of it increases insulin resistance as well. Anyhow best of luck to you!

  7. #7
    AnnieW's Avatar
    AnnieW is offline Junior Member
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    Wow, I am overwhelmed by the number of you who have responded in such a short time. It is really encouraging so I thank you.

    I figured diet was goal number 1. I struggle with food prep. I am trying to do better at planning meals, having good foods to eat on hand, etc. I am slowly weaning myself off the Dr. Pepper. I actually really like unsweet tea so that has been my default beverage at home (and water). I would say I consume the majority of my day's calories in the morning. I like to eat a HUGE breakfast and then I generally skip lunch or just have something small, then have a regular dinner. I am not a night eater by any means. I think I take after the men in my family because of the huge breakfasts. I could probably easily consume my entire day's worth of calories in the morning.

    Lazarus, to answer your question, I was not diagnosed as diabetic. He said I was pre-diabetic which to me means the same thing but I'm sure it's just a matter of numbers. Unfortunately I didn't get a copy of my labs to see what the actual numbers were. I haven't been back to see him in a year and a half. I had this whole thing worked out with him, where I was supposed to lose all this weight last year and in January of this year I was due to see him again to talk about conceiving if we couldn't do it naturally. Needless to say, I totally failed and I am up 20 lbs. So I haven't been back to see him because I am bummed about it. He was so encouraging and he was really behind me with wanting me to weigh in every month. But I feel like a failure so I haven't been back.

    I am also not taking metformin. I just can't deal with it. Not to give TMI, but I am basically nailed to the toilet when I take it. It destroys my stomach. I go through little periods where I try to take it but then I am quickly reminded why I don't.

    I purchased some coconut oil and I really like cooking with it. I don't really taste a difference. I have also started using coconut and almond flour for stuff, and I'm trying to cook more vegetables at dinner.

    Thank you all again from the bottom of my heart. I am slowly starting to think this isn't impossible. I am trying not to focus so much on how I allowed myself to become the Stay-Puft marshmallow woman, because then I get into that self-loathing thing and that is just not good.

    I am keeping hope alive-thanks again everyone!

  8. #8
    AnnieW's Avatar
    AnnieW is offline Junior Member
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    Hi neckhammer,

    Thanks for your reply. I did see the podiatrist who gave me an Rx for insoles and told me basically to stretch my feet. The back pain is compression in the L4-L5 region (lower) which is hereditary but definitely exacerbated by being overweight. I have watched my mom, grandma, aunt, and uncle deal with this back stuff. I do NOT want to go there which is another reason why I want to lose weight. Walking like I have been does not aggravate my back. If I go faster, the lower muscles sometimes seize up just from lack of use. I am trying to stretch more so that doesn't happen.

    I am also sure I have sleep apnea because I can sleep for 8 hours and wake up feeling like I never went to bed (some mornings). My husband hates it because he can barely sleep at night due to my snoring. I have thought about going to the doctor and having a sleep study done.

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    AnnieW's Avatar
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    Thanks secret agent girl! I appreciate your kind words. I am slowly dealing with it. I do have people who are supporting me so that is good. I think that's what is helping me this time around.

  10. #10
    sbhikes's Avatar
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    You do not need to eliminate fruit and potatoes. Eat them in moderation. Mark's carbohydrate sweet spot will probably be helpful to you. Avoid the "less is more" tendency when you see the words "rapid fat loss" next to the lowest carbohydrate level. Something in the middle will suffice.
    Female, 5'3", 50, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    I can squat 192.5lbs, press 75lbs and deadlift 210lbs

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