Success Story Part 2
Okay starting on the second part of my primal success story. This is going to be a journal just for my own record and insights.
Success story part 1:
2009 - discovered MDA mid-year, was sick of dieting and trying to lose weight but was intrigued by the whole Grok/Caveman thing. Decided to give this a try since it seemed fun and was different from anything I had tried before. I started at 250 pounds (28 year old female 5'7") and had done the whole CW dieting thing (low fat, vegetarian, vegan, blah blah) since I was 16 without any sustainable successes. Embraced the 10 primal laws and by the end of the year was a brand new woman - lost 50 pounds (ended at 200) and felt both physically and mentally healthy for the first time in my adult life.
2010 - decided that I really needed to buckle down on the carb curve, since I had done so well with unstructured primal maybe I would do even better with highly structured primal. From January to May I only lost another 5 pounds (195 pounds)and was getting frustrated. Then I shattered my patella in a freak accident and spent the rest of the year in a straight leg brace, multiple surgeries, loads of painkillers (mostly just to help me sleep and get through the psychological effects of being a shut in who couldn't even get off the couch without becoming exhausted). Ended the year at 210 pounds and was pretty proud of myself because I had managed to stay mostly primal during that stressful experience.
Also, realized that my two jobs at the time of my accident were not positively contributing to the new life that I had discovered so I changed careers. I also discovered the westernized Buddhist philosophy that has helped me become a better person. So much so that my personality is no longer recognizable to those who knew me prior to my accident. I used to be known as a very negative, harsh person and I always thought that was just my personality. Once I felt physically better I wanted to feel mentally/ emotionally better and the Buddhist philosophy helped that. I count this as part of my primal success because I don't think it would have happened if I hadn't got my physical health in line first.
2011 - began the year at 210 pounds. Spent the year becoming engrossed in primal/ paleo hacks. Tried all of them at the time. VLC, zero carb, IF, carb loading, Keto, blah blah. Kept going up and down the same five pounds. Ended the year at 205 and very frustrated and disgusted with myself. WTH was I doing wrong?
2012 - started the year at 205 pounds and convinced that I needed to keep my macros in line. Also became obsessed with supplemental foods - started making my own fermented vegetables and raw dairy products, made sure I had 1/4 pound of liver every week, had my pot of perpetual bone broth and remembered to add seaweed to everything, etc etc. Became very rigid with Keto and IF. By May I had only lost 5 pounds and felt like a tweaker with excess energy and other weird symptoms. Discovered The Rapid Fat Loss Diet and gave it a go even knowing it wasn't in line with my healthy lifestyle. Lost 20 pounds in 6 weeks. Smallest size of my adult life but I felt like crap. Maintained at 180 until October when I went on a crazy 3 month non-primal binge. Ended the year at 220 pounds - yes I gained 40 pounds in a 3 month period!
2013 - started the year at 220 pounds. Followed Paleobird on a calorie restricted keto diet, lost 20 pounds in two months. Did another round of RFL and got back to 180 pounds by May. At this point I had a love hate relationship with primal/ paleo. I knew it was the best way to live but felt that I couldn't lose weight on it in a healthy manner.
Friday success stories sent me into a self directed rage. I spent hours a day planning and reviewing my food intake and exercise output. I had checklists that I used to make sure I did everything I was supposed to do. I weighed and measured my body everyday. My family and friends started expressing concern that I might have an eating disorder. I was spending $600-$900 a month on the best quality food and supplements. I would never go out for fear of "cheating", I took my own food with me everywhere. I even went on a 3 day trip to the coast with a cooler of my "quality food" and was so proud of myself that I did not eat or drink anything that I hadn't brought myself. I was depressed and no longer felt the health benefits from my paleo/ primal lifestyle.
The weight started creeping up on me and I was panicky and disgusted. The day my scale hit 188 pounds again, I threw it away and swore off dieting. I did not go completely off paleo/ primal. I still believed in it, I just couldn't think about it anymore. I spent the rest of the summer enjoying my life and trying really hard to not to think of my weight.
So how can I count this as a success story part 1? Because I am firmly off the CW/ SAD way of thinking. I have discovered how to live positively and contribute to the ideals I truly believe in. I know my overall health is good. And all of this trial and error has finally kicked in with my "duh" moment. Which wouldn't have happened without having experienced all this bad stuff myself. Yes, I am one of those people who have a hard time learning from other's experiences. I have to learn it the hard way.
So what is my "Duh" moment? The only time I have been at peace with my body is when I am eating intuitively. So freaking simple. When I look through the success stories on this forum and blog I now see that that is the main theme of most of them.
Last edited by BettyNuggs; 01-04-2014 at 12:23 PM.
So when I threw away my scale and started just living, I felt a hundred percent better mentally. It took a little longer for me to feel better physically. I felt exhausted all the time, had trouble sleeping and was becoming pretty irritable. During this time I discovered the idea of intuitive eating. I had heard of it before pre-primal but had dismissed it as a part of the "accept your obese body movement" which freaked me out at the time because I did not like anything about my 250 pound unhealthy body back then.
So I read "How to have your Cake and Skinny Jeans, too" and "Overfed Head" (free pdf on the internet). They made sense to me since I was reading them with a paleo/ primal slant. I started a lot of self reflection and realized a few things:
1) I had turned paleo/ primal into primarily a weight loss diet. Sadly, this is when the weight loss stopped.
2) The stricter I became on the diet the more unhappy I felt with my body and the more out of control I felt with food. This led to a binge and then punish cycle.
3) The only times I had been happy with my body were the first 16 years of my life when I never thought of food or exercise - I ate only when hungry and played hard when I felt like it. The weight gain started when I was 15 and started trying to eat "healthfully" and lose a little bit of weight even though I wasn't overweight to begin with.
Forcing myself to eat low fat and according to the food pyramid resulted in me getting to 250 pounds (also having a child and being on the depo vera shot), not because I was eating the wrong foods but because I was no longer listening to my body's cues. I was now forcing myself to eat breakfast when I wasn't hungry (most important meal of the day), forcing myself to eat 5-6 small meals a day (got to keep that metabolism going) and forcing myself to eat foods I hated (I can't believe anyone likes whole wheat anything and brown rice always made me gag - but I ate it EVERYDAY). The key word here is forcing! I no longer listened to my body and became convinced that my body was broken. I thought that if I listened to my body then I would eat pizza and ice cream 24/7 - I forgot that I never binged as a child.
4) My first year of primal was my happiest, healthiest and most successful because I started listening to my body. I didn't track anything. I just followed the rules and that was it. I made almost everything I ate from scratch. Some days I would eat a 1lb grilled rib eye smothered in homemade aioli, other days I would make homemade fruit and nut bars (ala larabars) and snack on those. Some days I would eat non-stop and some days I would forget to eat.
So begins my primal success story part 2. I am going to eat intuitively within the primal blueprint laws. I went through a "donut and pizza" phase over these last few months because I realized that I had created a binge problem by being so strict and crazy over the last 4 years. So I purposefully and mindfully let myself eat whatever I wanted over the last 3 months. The only caveat was I only ate when hungry, I only ate what I truly liked and I tried to stop before I was full.
If I wanted to eat for non-hunger reasons I talked myself into waiting until I was hungry most of the time but if I did decide to eat I identified why I was eating and explicitly told myself, "you are eating because you are bored and have nothing else you want to do." Then I paid attention to what happened afterwards. Guess what? Eating because you are bored, sad, angry or whatever only works for a few minutes and then you are back to being bored, sad, angry or whatever, lol. I know "duh".
Anyways, I did discover over the last three months that some foods that I thought were my weaknesses - that I couldn't be around - etc etc aren't really that powerful when you let yourself have them. My two big ones were donuts and pizza. So one morning I felt like donuts. I went and bought myself a fresh hot dozen and ate one whenever I was hungry and wanted one. That only lasted two days. Next I did pizza. That lasted four days. I ate 5 pizzas to myself over a 4 day period but now I can take one piece and be happy. I learned that food has power when you tell yourself that you can't have it.
I also learned which foods I really don't like. I don't like bread, pasta, beans or ranch dressing anymore (blew my mind since I have been fighting with Hidden Valley Ranch since going primal). I do not like bell peppers, fresh tomatoes, yams, hot tea, Brussels sprouts and a bunch of other "healthy" things I was making myself eat. I used to force myself to eat a salad whenever I went out since I "needed" the extra veggies. I DO NOT LIKE SALAD! Ha ha, it has been an awesome 3 months of discovering my intuitive body signals.
One other thing I learned is that sugar can screw up my body signals. Not because it is inherently "evil", I try not to think of it as addictive or high carb or anything like that. I just tell myself to now look at what happens when I use it inappropriately. If I eat a lot of added sugar without being active right before or after, I get fake hunger signals. If i give into these fake hunger signals then I see a fake hunger cycle begin. I am still in control of the decisions I make but if I don't pay attention then I make decisions that do not honor my body's true signals. Whole food starches and most fruits do not effect me this way. If I eat more rice than what comes on a sushi roll I feel the same as if I had ate sugar, If I eat more then a couple cups of homemade popcorn I feel the same as if I ate sugar.
It took until November before I spontaneously started wanting to be active again. I now have enough energy to walk all over town, dance all night a few nights a week, occasionally lift heavy things (my body) and run unstructured sprints at the park with my mom's dog.
I am beginning 2014 with the only goal of continuing with my intuitive eating. I am starting with a Whole 30 because I do feel bloated and icky from the last month of over partying, I have been drinking alcohol and smoking cigs almost everyday, I have also been feeling a real need for coffee. I have ate a lot of added sugar.
So I am going to do a whole 30 intuitively. I am not worried because I know that I am finally back to listening to my bodies true needs. I am not counting macros or making decisions based on what I should be doing. I am going to listen to my body and help gently guide it towards the whole 30 choices. Then I will go back to primal since I am pretty sure I don't have a dairy intolerance.
I will use this journal to remind myself not to focus on the weight. I still want to be down to a healthy normal size eventually. I know I have gained weight since I went intuitive. I started at a size 12 and am now a 14-16. I haven't weighed myself since June when I was 188 but I know I have to be above 200 by now. I know this is normal rebound weight. by body doesn't trust me anymore. It has no idea if we are in a feast or a famine or what is going on. I have to let it heal itself and trust me again before it will release it's precious fat stories. I sound like a freakin' hippie but I know it is true.
I will start the whole 30 officially on Monday the 6th. I think I am going to weigh just to have a starting point but after this I will only weigh when I go to the doctor's. I will also take my body measurements but only retake them when I feel that I need to buy a smaller size of clothes. I also need to brace myself for the fact that I may be this size for the rest of my life. That is the body acceptance part of intuitive eating.
Your story is amazing and s uch an eye opener for me! I can't wait to read your next entry!
Sent from my SGH-T999 using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app
Great story, here's to a great primal year.
PS I don't like salad either, especially tomatoes. Hot tea, though, I can drink multiple times a day, lol.
Big kudos on taking the time to listen to the cues that your body is sending you. I did a Whole 75 last year and it was a wonderful learning experience for me. Have fun on your journey!
Thanks for the comments.
I am trying so hard to stay positive and see all the bumps in my primal road as learning experiences. The hardest part will probably be to stop talking bad to myself. I went to the thrift store today because I have officially outgrown all of my size 12 clothes. It was depressing to go into the dressing room with 10 items and only come out with one that actually fit. Man you should have heard the mean stuff I was saying to myself.
I am all ready for the whole 30 to start tomorrow. I didn't have any coffee this morning and just finished off the last of my dairy. I can't find a scale so I probably won't weigh until I go back to work on the 14th - there is a scale in the nurses office. I have been on vacation since December 20 and I am so ready to go back to work.
I forgot the other part of my primal success story part 1. My adult hormonal acne is pretty much under control. I no longer get the crazy inflamed cyst like chin zits around my period. Primal/ paleo alone did not fix this for me. I had to start a supplement regimen that started working about 2 months in. I am on month 4 and have no spots at all right now. I heard about it on this blog, the love vitamin.
How I Cured my Adult Female Hormonal Acne
So I took my measurements today to start the whole 30.
I am going to concentrate on tracking my middle:
That is about 3 inches higher across the board since my lowest size.
I have been reading more about intuitive/intentional eating. I just finished The Ten Habits of Naturally Slim People. Pretty helpful. All the books have similar insights that seem so natural to me that I am kind of embarrassed that I haven't been practicing them over the last decade, especially since going primal. I am pretty much a type A personality so I guess I always want to feel like I am working a PLAN to perfection.
The 10 habits are:
1) Keep your Priorities Straight (Life is not your looks)
2) Love yourself - Body, Mind and Spirit
3) Free Yourself from Judgement and Guilt
4) Trust your Body
5) Eat When you're Hungry
6) Be a Picky Eater
7) Savor your Eating Experiences
8) Feel Satisfied Instead of Full
9) Develop a Basic Understanding of Nutrition
10) Play Everyday
They all sound like many a blog post by Mark, why did I only pay attention to the blog posts about macro nutrients and intermittent fasting?
So the first habit is all about having a fulfilling life. I didn't enjoy my 20's very much. I was working full time, while going to school full time and being a single mom. I was always working towards something and did not appreciate the present. Now that my son is almost grown and I am financially stable with a career I love, I am ready to love life.... but I don't know how. I just had two weeks off from work and I was bored out of my mind. I spent my days watching TV and my nights drinking too much. So this is definitely a habit that I need to work on.
Now that I am a successful career woman without any responsibilities for anyone else what do I do with the 128 hours a week that I don't work? I know it sounds like a wonderful problem to have, and it is, but still I have no hobbies or passions in life. Time to get some.
Who am I? is the question that needs to be answered for this habit and I don't know the answer. I am a mother, daughter, sister, friend and teacher. But describing yourself in terms of your relationships and profession doesn't really answer the question.
What are my life priorities? Helping my parents and my son through the new stages of their life is a priority. Now that losing weight isn't a priority I don't know what else I do in my life. I work. I help out my parents. I take care of my son (as much as he will let me). Everything else I do is to take up time.
This one habit is going to take a lot of work.
In many ways, I could have written those last paragraphs, except that my parents have been one a decade. I too was a single mom, working towards goals of good life for my son and i, and weight loss. Always weight loss regardless of anything else going on. I think I'm quite a bit older thn you. My son has been gone many years, living all over the world.
I think that for me, my weight was my negative magnet, a way for me to feel bad about myself. Duplicating my mothers voice in some way. Once I let go of, or struggle to let go of, that voice, it felt quite empty in some ways.
I took up lots of activities with friends. Now I work, take lots of walks, lots of weekly Pilates classes, see friends, movie, read etc. I think I'd enjoy art classes as I used to do ceramics.
So I understand about looking for that purpose once "creating a better body" is no longer the sole focus. I'm learning that there's lots more fun to be had out there in the world.
Good luck, and remember to have fun on your journey!
Thanks Calee, your input is helpful. I am 33, my son is 17.
I think your point about weight loss being a negative magnet is right on. I think I enjoyed testing myself, rewarding myself when I "succeeded" and beating myself up when I "failed".
One of the issues is to find new friends. I did it kind of backwards having my son so young. All of my friends are just now settling down and having kids themselves so getting them to do anything is difficult. I do make the "baby rounds" a couple times a month. Going around to visit my friends and their babies, which is a lot of fun.
I have started to walk to work and back and walk to the local stores anytime I need something. Now that I have all this extra time I discovered that I'd rather walk 20 minutes to the store than take my car.
I really enjoy reading - so I went to the library this weekend and got a lot of books. We have a lot of festivals and art events in Sacramento (about a 20-30 minute drive) so I need to start checking out what is happening there more often. I have been thinking about taking up tutoring and I just joined my union's negotiating team.
So I think this life thing will pick up. Having a 3 week Christmas vacation just gave me a case of the doldrums. That is way too long to have off from work unless you have a good plan, ha ha.
So day 3 of Whole 30 is going well. I already feel better. I know that too much sugar, alcohol and cigarettes tends to make me start feeling depressed but I always forget that around the holidays. I don't have holiday stress so I am starting to wonder if it is the seasonal change.
I bought a timer for one of my bedroom lamps. It turns it on in the morning at a preset time and it is helping me get out of the bed in the morning. It comes on at 5am and I naturally wake up between 5:30 and 6 am. I have noticed since I got it that I am now getting out of bed almost immediately upon waking instead of burrowing into the covers and whining to myself about how dark and cold it is. I was falling asleep by 7pm every night as well but now I turn on all my house lights when it gets dark out and I also turn up the heater (being cold makes me want to go to bed). So I am managing to stay awake until my normal 9 -10 pm. This is pretty impressive because starting in October I was letting myself go to bed when the sun went down and then sleeping 9-12 hours every night. It might be placebo but hey it is working for now. I need to remember this and get one of those SAD lamps before next winter.
So the second Habit of Naturally Thin People (BTW this book does not give nutritional advice, just explores what research has shown that some thin people have in common with each other that wasn't found in obese people. Surprisingly, this was not WHAT they ate it was more HOW and WHY they ate and how they felt about food and themselves) anyways the second habit is loving themselves - all parts of themselves. It starts off about there being 3 equally important parts to a person - spirit, mind and body- and obese people spend the majority of their time concentrating on just the body.
So reading through this chapter and doing some of the exercises, I can confidently say that I do love my spirit and my mind. There are a few behaviors of mine that I am not in love with but I know that I am working on them. I am not so much in love with my body's appearance but I am in love with it. I like my hour glass shape, I love how strong and flexible I am. Since changing over to a primal beauty regimen I love my hair and have always thought that I am pretty with enough makeup on or from the right angle or with the right lighting, ha ha okay I need to work on that part.
Usually when I try to stop being mean about my appearance I tell myself, " You should be grateful there are many people in worse shape then you, blah blah." I don't think this really works because I am still judging my body and other people's bodies. What I should do instead is focus on actually loving my body and not judging other people's bodies (positively or negatively).
My plan of action is to do a loving kindness prayer instead of a judgement. When I catch myself looking at my thighs I will change the disgust to just love. I will not make a judgement about my thighs, positive or negative. I will instead just say to them "May you be well, peaceful and happy." It seems kind of silly to direct that at a body part but I think it will help. I will do the same thing when I catch myself judging another's body.