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Mom of 8, kids' doc, daughter of the King goes Primal - lshock's journey

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  • Mom of 8, kids' doc, daughter of the King goes Primal - lshock's journey

    So I used to be healthy and fit (or so I thought). I was raised eating reasonable portions with emphasis on plenty of fruits and veggies, but also plenty of grains. I wasn't super thin, but I was a healthy weight and felt pretty good. I played a lot of sports in high school, and then did aerobics, jogging, weight training through college and medical school.

    I met my husband the first day of medical school. He had recently lost about 50 pounds doing weight watchers and looked pretty good. Unfortunately, due to the rigors of medical school, all we did was study! Our "reward" quickly became eating out on Friday nights. We both lost sight of portion control and found it harder and harder to make time to exercise. My poor hubby slowly let the weight creep back on, but I managed to diet and exercise enough to maintain a reasonable weight. We got married in our 4th year of med school, I went into Pediatric training and he went into anesthesia.

    Our first son was born 2 months in to residency. I couldn't believe how much pregnancy and delivery had changed my body. I thought I would never exercise again! I managed to lose most of the baby weight I had gained, but I was way more flabby than before kids. A colleague introduced me to The Firm videos, and the work outs really helped.

    Fast forward 3 more years. Residency was over and I had just started in private practice. We had trouble conceiving due to an ovarian cyst, then 2 back to back miscarriages. I was convinced I would only have 1 child (boy was I wrong). Anyway, our second son was born later that year. We moved a couple times, had 2 more kids, and finally landed in Iowa. Each pregnancy was more uncomfortable than the last, and each time I gained way too much weight. After the move to Iowa, I worked only part time in my pediatric job, taking more time at home to raise our kids. I was up 30 pounds from what I felt was my "fighting weight", so I did Body for Life for about 6 weeks and lost about 15 pounds. Then the stress and pressures of life set in, and I let a few more pounds creep on.

    At that point we thought we might be done having kids - we finally had our girl! Suddenly I felt I wanted more kids! Hubby agreed, so that's what we did. We went on to have 4 more babies. All of my babies were 8 1/2 to 9+ pounds except for 1, and the last 3 ended in c-section because of babies being too big - MUCH harder to recover from! My diabetes tests always came back okay, but I really think I had some sub-clinical insulin resistance going on. Unfortunately, I did not lose the pregnancy weight each time and found it harder and harder to exercise at all (hip pain, foot pain, knee, etc. not to mention many sleepless nights nursing a baby and tending to poorly sleeping toddlers, oh, and the occasional pediatric on call nights, blah blah blah...excuse...blah blah blah!)

    Many times I started a diet - weight watchers, South Beach, e-diets meal delivery, Jenny Craig, Nutri-system, and each time I would be so hungry and cranky I would last maybe 2 weeks at most. I was like a junkie hooked on something so pleasurable I couldn't give it up for very long. Even though I had read South Beach Diet and Schwartzbein Principle, Somersize and other lower carb diets, I didn't truly believe they would work, and I never tried them long enough to give them a fighting chance!

    Meanwhile, I couldn't understand why a 44 yo should have so much joint pain. There were nights where literally everything hurt! I could understand the lower extremities, hips and back. After all, I had let 200 lbs creep on to my 5' 4" medium build frame...but the hand and finger pain? I do enjoy sewing, crocheting, knitting, etc, but I don't do it all the time. I remembered Dr. Agatson in South Beach Diet talking about abdominal fat causing inflammation - maybe that was it! I kept changing my mind about which diet would work best for me and my crazy life as a doctor, wife and mother of 8.

    Then we had an exceptionally beautiful Fall. I bought a book on how to start running without getting injured, you know, jog a few seconds, walk a few seconds, gradually increase distance and speed. The first jog/walk felt great! I got my heart rate up, worked up a sweat, felt those good ol' endorphins coursing through my system! This was it! I would run off the weight and continue to eat my diet of mostly white, sugary comfort food with the occasional fruit or veggie thrown in for good measure! Except that the next day I could hardly walk, and not from the usual muscle soreness one would expect after starting an exercise plan. My right knee felt funny and stiff, and hurt like a bugger. Oh well, a few days rest and I should be ready to go out I did. Then the knee really hurt! I was coming down the stairs when the knee gave way with intense pain. Now I couldn't even walk on it! What was going on?

    Now 8 months, 1 MRI, daily NSAIDS, 1 knee scope, and 1 knee brace later, we found I had bone on bone arthritis in my knee. According to my orthopedist, it was "shocking" how bad it was in someone my age. So now what? Knee replacement? No, bad timing...can't really be rehabbing a fake knee for 6 weeks and take care of 8 kids ages 18m to 17y. Artificial synovial fluid injections? Okay, that's done (waiting to see if it helps). Exercise? Ah, swimming. I used to be on a swim team! That was the one time in my life when I could eat anything I wanted! So I joined the YMCA and lap swim (with the occasional sprint ) 4-5 mornings a week before the kiddos get up or before I have to go to work. It feels great!

    Now, to tackle the diet. I recently went to visit my relatives in CA (a long weekend by myself). I stayed with my older sister, who has manged to lose a ton of weight and keep it off for 15 years! She was an inspiration to me that weekend. How did she do it? She first lost the weight by following the Zone Diet. Now she basically watches her carbs, but doesn't crave them and therefore can control them. She is also an avid bicyclist (she was never athletic before). She gave me her copies of Primal Blueprint and The Metabolism Miracle (thanks Lise!)

    I picked up PB first, and couldn't put it down. Mark's explanation of everything made total sense to me, especially in light of my medical back ground. I am (was?) totally addicted to carbs. I remember feeling euphoric after eating a cookie, or some (okay, a whole bag) of Hershey's Kisses, or some yummy bread and butter from Panera. I was (am) chronically sleep deprived, not only from taking care of lots of kids and babies, but also from terrible early morning insomnia and PAIN (mainly hip and knee). I knew my cortisol levels were sky high, and contributing to my carb binging - fatigue-->carb craving-->over indulgence-->brief euphoria-->crash-->worse fatigue-->more carb binging-->etc. etc. cycle. South Beach scared me off because deep down, I feared my carb cravings would return as soon as I added "healthy" grains back in, so I never really gave it a fair try.

    Now, almost 2 weeks in to PB, I feel I can do this! My carb cravings are almost gone and my hunger is totally manageable. I still need to wean off of Splenda, but giving up sugar isn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be so far! As for grains? I am excited to see how cutting them out will help my pain and inflammation. Since I can eat fruit (I know, mostly berries), I don't feel deprived at all. I might need to limit my fruit a little more, but so far I've lost a little over 5 lbs and I feel thinner, clothes are looser, and I rarely get the afternoon "sleepies". My knee is slowly improving - my calf muscle is a ball of painful knots from altered gait - but I am sure it will be much improved in the year to come!

    My goals:

    Target weight - whatever it takes to show muscle definition all over and feel great (130-140# maybe?)
    Exercise - continue swimming 5 days a week with intermittent interval work outs, start push ups, sit ups etc. Be able to walk my dogs each day and go up and down my stairs with ease, carrying small children, laundry, etc.
    Diet - eat healthy meats, veggies (develop more of a taste for them), fruits, nuts, fats and very limited dairy. Eliminate carb cravings so if I indulge every now and then I don't get derailed! FEED MY FAMILY BETTER. Teach my kids (and hubby) new and healthy ways to eat, and show them by example.
    Sleep - all of the above should lead to better sleep. Stop using food to try to fix fatigue and take a nap instead!
    Play - be able to run and play with my kids and dogs
    Brain - continue to research healthy lifestyles, stay current in my medical profession (oh the crap most of us feed our babies and kids!), continue to learn new hobbies and teach them to my kids
    Faith - continue to pray, study God's Word and raise my children to be good people, humbly giving Him thanks for leading me to this place. I am truly blessed!
    So here I go!

    Last edited by lshock; 06-09-2011, 05:43 PM.
    Lori, wife to Mark, Mom to Alex, Andy, Henry, Lizzie, Ben, Catie, Timmy and Thomas, owner/operator of Max (dog) and Ellie (cat), daughter of the King

  • #2
    I did BFL back in 2006-early 2007 and lost 20 lbs with it but never did finish losing. I really like PB and its very easy. I'm also IR(PCOS)so in my estimation this seems to work well for women like us. I'll be checking this journal out.


    • #3
      Had some challenging 100 degree, humid weather past 3 days, and air conditioning was not hooked up. I'm happy to say the new system is up and running now (of course, a cold front went through and it's 60 out right now, GF). I am so loving this way of eating. The best part is NO CRAVINGS and manageable hunger (hey, I am used to eating a ton of food...I'm sure the hunger will subside with time). Did a 50 minute swim at the Y this morning, had my cheese omelet, berries and coffee for breakfast, and am getting set to vacuum and mop the downstairs before the rest of the kids get up.

      My parents are visiting from CA. We've gone out to eat 3 times and it was SO EASY to choose primal foods: Steak, salad and veggies. Didn't even waiver in the least over the bread basket. Hubby and I went grocery shopping after dinner out last night - he was yawning and practically falling asleep, I was WIDE AWAKE and felt great. Poor guy ate a bunch of grainy carbs with his dinner! I must succeed at this so I can convince the dear man to eat/live this way. You see, he already has Type II diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol and is on a bunch of meds. The side effects alone should be motivation for him, but he is afraid he'll "sacrifice" the joy of eating on this plan only to find he'll still need the meds. I'm sure he is wrong, but until he sees me succeed, he probably won't be convinced, sigh.
      Lori, wife to Mark, Mom to Alex, Andy, Henry, Lizzie, Ben, Catie, Timmy and Thomas, owner/operator of Max (dog) and Ellie (cat), daughter of the King


      • #4
        lshock - I'm a big guy (at least in weight, not height) and have only been at this for a week but I've already noticed improvements in my mood... I should probably say my wife has noticed improvements in my mood, energy level, etc. The best part is I'm not hungry and haven't 'sacrified the joy of eating'. I still eat great foods... in fact, most of the recipes I've tried thus far are more filling and taste better than what we typically ate before going primal!


        • #5
          Energy levels do skyrocket with this. Wait until the low carb flu hits. You'll feel like you've been hit by a Mack truck. Just plug away though, it usually passes in a couple of days to a week. Some take longer to make it through but just keep eating like you do.


          • #6
            Yay lshock! I'll be looking for you in Mark's Success Stories feature six months from now. Your hubby will notice the changes in you and start primal soon enough.
            Ancestral Health Info

            I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

            Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Hedonist View Post
              Yay lshock! I'll be looking for you in Mark's Success Stories feature six months from now. Your hubby will notice the changes in you and start primal soon enough.
              I was thinking it'll take at least a year to get where I want to be! Hopefully hubby will be on board soon!
              Lori, wife to Mark, Mom to Alex, Andy, Henry, Lizzie, Ben, Catie, Timmy and Thomas, owner/operator of Max (dog) and Ellie (cat), daughter of the King


              • #8
                Yummy PB dinner last night: sauteed pork tenderloin, salad, green beans and mango salsa
                Breakfast today: omelet with swiss cheese, blueberries, strawberries and black berries, coffee
                45 min lap swim
                Lori, wife to Mark, Mom to Alex, Andy, Henry, Lizzie, Ben, Catie, Timmy and Thomas, owner/operator of Max (dog) and Ellie (cat), daughter of the King


                • #9
                  Hi fellow Iowan I'm a registered nurse, live in SE Iowa, will be committing to primal 100% when baby #3 comes, so I'll start a journal too. I'll be lurking around yours, fair warning
                  "I tried to call the nurse again, but she's bein' a little bitch....I think I'll get outta here." Pink


                  • #10
                    Day 13 and down 11 pounds! I still can't believe it! I thought I would have stalled out, especially since I had some dark chocolate last night, but I still lost poundage! Made yummy omelets with red peppers, spinach and mushrooms with berries on the side, sauteed chicken thighs and a few cherries for lunch! And hubby's reading the book and starting this woe! Yay! We'll have salmon and veggies for dinner, handful of nuts for snacks. Lap swim tomorrow.
                    Lori, wife to Mark, Mom to Alex, Andy, Henry, Lizzie, Ben, Catie, Timmy and Thomas, owner/operator of Max (dog) and Ellie (cat), daughter of the King


                    • #11
                      Day 14. First day back to work after 1 1/2 weeks off. Totally resisted Panera Fest provided by Big Pharma in the break room. Ate my chicken thigh, plum, string cheese and almonds at my desk instead. Now to make a marinade for boneless pork ribs that doesn't have sugar! Unfortunately, hubby is really struggling with hunger, and he is on call tonight and will be working very long hours. I told him to eat more protein and fat and he shouldn't feel so hungry.
                      Lori, wife to Mark, Mom to Alex, Andy, Henry, Lizzie, Ben, Catie, Timmy and Thomas, owner/operator of Max (dog) and Ellie (cat), daughter of the King


                      • #12
                        You're off to an awesome start. Good luck with the rest of your journey
                        Newcomers: If you haven't read the book, at least read this thread ... and all the links!

                        Jan. 1, 2011: 186.6 lbs PBSW Mar. 1, 2011: 175.8 lbs
                        CW: 146.8 lbs
                        GW 140 lbs
                        A proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals


                        • #13
                          Feeling sore and crabby, but I think I forgot to take my NSAID for my arthritis last night. Some of my problem is hormonal, I'm sure! One good thing is I'm NOT craving carbs right now. In past months I would be drowning in a sea of toaster waffles, butter and syrup by this time in the morning. Instead had another tasty omelet with cheese, bacon, spinach, onion and peppers and a handful of berries. Husband is struggling a lot with hunger, but hasn't cheated with grains or sugar. He's discouraged because he hasn't seen improvement in his blood sugars yet (it's only been 3 days for him), so I'm telling him to tough it out - the improvements will come in time.
                          Lori, wife to Mark, Mom to Alex, Andy, Henry, Lizzie, Ben, Catie, Timmy and Thomas, owner/operator of Max (dog) and Ellie (cat), daughter of the King


                          • #14
                            Welcome, welcome, welcome doc! You are one busy lady. We are thrilled to have physician converts on board. Have you downloaded the Primal Blueprint Fitness e-book ? You might be surprised to find out that you can ditch the 45 minute chronic cardio swim sessions for 5 simple exerises, giving you more time for you, your babies, your patients or sleep !

                            Also if you have not read Gary Taubes Good Calories, Bad Calories or the short version Why We Get Fat, put it on your list asap. It is required reading for all medical people in my book and all Paleo converts. Lots of science there.


                            • #15
                              Day 26, down 13 #, feeling great. Looking to cut down on dried fruits since I can't find any around here without added sugar. Just ordered some on line so I can make energy bars out of almonds, pecans, coconut oil, coconut and dried cranberries (so yummy). Skipped dinner last night because I just wasn't that hungry! No problem swimming this am or waiting for an hour or so to eat breakfast. My little Timmy turned 3 yesterday - everyone had cake except me, and I didn't miss it at all. Is it all in my head, or have the cravings really gone away? I still can't believe it!
                              Lori, wife to Mark, Mom to Alex, Andy, Henry, Lizzie, Ben, Catie, Timmy and Thomas, owner/operator of Max (dog) and Ellie (cat), daughter of the King