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Primal Journal - Squeaker

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  • Primal Journal - Squeaker

    I guess I'd better start off with a bit of background:

    I'm female, 5ft 8in, 28 years old. I grew up eating freshly made, "healthy" (in the CW sense) food and am pretty confident in the kitchen.

    I never had a weight problem as a kid, but around the age of 23, I just started gaining. Only a couple of pounds a year, but boy, does that add up. It coincided with me getting a dismal desk job where I had to travel and stay in hotels lots. I ate rubbish and got no exercise. Around that time I was also diagnosed with PCOS.

    2 years ago we emigrated to NZ. I've really struggled with the move and turned to comfort eating. Before I knew it I'd gained even more. At my peak I was up to 11 stone (154lbs) and apparently 30% body fat. I know this isn't that much in the grand scheme of things, but it was really knocking my body confidence.

    So, what am I doing about it?

    - I went semi-primal at Christmas (I didn't know about MDA at that stage) by cutting out the "white fluffies" (bread, pasta, rice, flour).

    - I've been doing 4* cardio workouts per week and 2* weight sessions

    Results by the end of February:
    I'd dropped to 137lbs. I've been stuck there ever since.

    - I'd really like to shed another 5-10lbs. This is pure vanity weight, though. I'm not sure if it'll even really be possible. My scales claim that I'm at 18% body fat (looking at my thighs I am very sceptical) - I'm a real pear shape, and that thigh fat is stubborn!

    - be as healthy as I can be.

    - see if going Primal can squash my PCOS. I'd love to get my cycle back and improve my fertility without having to resort to drugs.

    Next steps:
    1. remove some of the emotional eating triggers - we're leaving NZ in July and I cannot wait to leave! Also looking to change career....I just don't know what to do instead, yet. Would love to work outdoors.

    2. I've now discovered MDA and I'm having a bash at being fully primal. I've ditched my morning muesli/porridge (my only remaining grain source)

    3. Get my protein and fat up.

    4. Make my strength training more effective and stop fannying around with little light "ladies weights".

    5. Stop taking hormonal birth control so I can finally see what my body is actually doing.

    Its all on hold for a couple of weeks though - I've got me a trip to Japan next week, and I refuse to forgo rice and noodles while I'm there!

  • #2
    Hmm, for breakfast this morning I had 3 eggs scrambled in butter with a couple of oz of smoked salmon. Then completely tanked at the gym and couldn't complete my weights work. Must eat some carbs before workout, I think......


    • #3
      Hi there!
      I just googled "primal blueprint pcos" and stumbled upon this. I could have written your post! I am also 28 and 5'8, never had any issues with weight and always weighed between 128 and 136lbs. Then at 26 I got married, stopped BCPs and gained 15lbs in one year! I thought it was newlywed weight and also poor lifestyle and nutrition. I know what comfort food means in our situation because I also live in the US but am originally from Europe. Anyway...I got pregnant, had a baby, surprisingly lost all the baby weight but got stuck at 150lb. I also have very irregular cycles, ovulate late (at least I do ovulate on my own) and have some other pcos symptoms such as a seeming inability to go back to 130lbs or so. Yesterday my OBGYN diagnosed me with mild pcos. I have been cutting carbs for a couple of weeks (no weight loss yet) and my hubby and I started P90X on March 1st. So we work out 6 times a week, 1 hour a day. I've lost a few inches and become more muscular, so that's good. But I am really struggling with burning the fat that's covering my muscles and so I am trying to get more and more into primal eating. I'd love to keep up with you especially since our stats are so similar.
      Let me know what you think!


      • #4
        Hi Cremy, it would be really good to share our experiences together! Darned PCOS. I know Primal is supposed to be pretty much the best diet to control it. I always love to hear of people with PCOS having babies - we've not tried to get pregnant yet but I am definitely starting to get my body prepared to give it our best shot. Its great to hear success stories.

        Its freaky that we're so similar, isn't it?! We're both quite lucky that our PCOS is quite mild (my only symptoms really are the slow creeping weight gain on carbs, spots and lack of periods. I'm a little hairier than I'd like to be, but that only seems to be noticeable to me!).

        To date, cutting down the carbs has certainly really helped me with weight control. Haven't noticed too much difference in terms of skin, but I think the real test for that will be when I come off the pill, which I plan to do at the end of my current pack. Previous attempts to come off the pill have resulted in me having terrible pizza-face within about 2 months.

        Where in Europe are you from originally?


        • #5
          I really do have the exact same mild symptoms, including being a little hairier than I'd like to be (and as you said, I seem to be the only one noticing it). My cycles vary between 31 and 50 days and I conceived our little boy on the first try. Back then, I had no idea that I could possibly have PCOS. Looking back, I now think of him as even more of a miracle. I conceived again about 6 weeks ago but miscarried only a few days after finding out. Sorry to add this sad part to it all but a higher m/c rate unfortunately goes along with PCOS.
          I am so glad I came across the primal blueprint. It really makes a lot of sense to me and I am working hard on reducing carbs. I have been for the last few weeks and surprisingly my last period (well I am still on it right now) I barely had any pms/headaches/cramps. Never had that before, usually it's very painful.
          I really do think that once you stop BCPs, you will get a clearer picture of what your pcos looks like. How were you diagnosed with it if you've been on BCPs all this time? I was on BCPs for 10 years and didn't have any issues or symptoms. Once I stopped, my skin also got a lot worse. Not to scare you. But I think if you are getting further into primal, then maybe it won't even be an issue for you. I also noticed my skin has improved considerably in the last couple of weeks. No giant painful cystic spots for this period either!

          Oh and lastly, I am from Luxembourg. Tiny country.
          Where in the UK will you be moving back to? One of my best friends studied in Norwich and then Stirling.


          • #6
            Right, I've been back from Japan for a fortnight and its time to regain some momentum.

            Japan was wonderful and I gorged myself on huge amounts of food. Well, I say huge amounts, thats not strictly true - a wide variety, but tiny portion sizes! All the rice and beer led to a slight weight gain (4 lbs in 2 weeks), but I've managed to knock that back off since getting back to NZ.

            However, weight loss has now stalled back at 135lb (pre Japan level), so I'm going to go back to food tracking for a couple of days. A few things like souvenir bottles of sake and some homemade lemon meringue pie have crept back into my diet over the last week (husband was complaining that we never have pudding anymore, so I caved and reverted to baking mode. With predictable consequences). I realise that unless I track my consumption I lose all discipline.

            I've also just finished my final pack of birth control. Skin currently nice and clear - lets see what its like after a couple of weeks trying to control it just using primal.

            This next month or two should be pretty stressful as we are arranging the move back to the UK - need to arrange cleaning of all our possessions, shipping, hand back of rental apartment etc. Hope it doesn't derail me too much.

            On the plus side, we're gonna be spending a fortnight in California (mostly San Francisco and Yosemite), which I'm really excited about - I've always wanted to camp in Yosemite :-)

            Anyway - back to PB proper tomorrow. Promise!


            • #7
              Okay, so yesterdays food:

              Breakfast: IF
              Lunch: Bacon and avocado salad
              Snack: 2 chicken drumsticks
              Dinner: Beef stew with parsnip and carrot, cabbage on the side.

              I am still using a little flour dusted onto the meat as the thickening agent for the stew - nothing else works as well, and I've got to please my husband's palate as well as PB. Chalking it up to 80/20.

              Exercise: half an hour walking, half an hour on the eliptical.


              • #8

                Breakfast: Scrambled eggs in butter
                Lunch: Bacon and avocado salad
                Snacks: 3 chicken drumsticks. 30g of dark chocolate
                Dinner: Thai chicken cakes with salad

                Drink: the last of the souvenir sake. Its all gone now and life can return to sobriety :-)

                Exercise: half an hour walking, lifting heavy things and 30 mins on the elliptical.
                Last edited by Squeaker; 05-04-2010, 02:56 AM. Reason: forgot the exercise!


                • #9
                  I'm not very good at this. To be honest, I get quite bored reading journals which list out what a person eats everyday do I'm struggling to find the motivation to inflict that on other people!

                  So I think I'm gonna shift the emphasis to documenting random observations about my PB experience.


                  • #10
                    There's a little voice in my head thats started to whisper "ah, screw it, thats good enough....relax and live a little!"

                    My target weight is about 126 lbs. I'm currently sat at 132.5 ish. I know losing those vanity pounds is gonna take some discipline. Yes I've come quite a long way and I'm moderately happy with how I look, but I'm not quite where I want to be. I still have more junk in the trunk and wobble in the arse than I care for. So why is it than over the weekend I've had 2 pints (of admittedly amazing) beer, a big handful of minstrels and a whole bar of Green and Blacks 85%?!

                    I'm not going to lie, I thoroughly enjoyed them all, they tasted fantastic and I don't feel ill. Ah well, there isn't anything else bad in the house to eat and we have no meals out planned for the week ahead. This so far is an isolated incident and has had no impact on the scales. Time to pick myself up and dust myself down.

                    I guess the question I have to ask myself is how badly do I want to be a ripped Grokette or would I be happy to maintain at above my original target? Interestingly my current weight is the same one that I found effortless to maintain between the ages of 18 and I at homeostasis?


                    • #11
                      Wow, today is a landmark day for me.

                      1. Hopped on the scales this morning and I'm down to 130lbs.
                      2. Its Saturday
                      3. 5 weeks til we go home.
                      4. My period is back! Just over a month after quitting the pill and I am officially bleeding. Am so happy. In the past I've tried quitting the pill twice. Each time by month 6, there was still no sign of my period, so I'd give up and go back on it for various PCOS/ doctor-advised health reasons. Now its back on its own. I'm convinced this is due to the PB.
                      5. I've noticed my skin is much better than the other times I've tried to come off the pill. I have one big period related spot (seriously, it looks as though my forehead is growing a siamese twin....I call him Rupert), but other than that my skin is not too bad. On previous non-pill attempts I looked like pizza by this stage.

                      Will really celebrate when I've had three natural periods....fingers crossed this isn't some weird blip.

                      Wahooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooo!


                      • #12
                        "see if going Primal can squash my PCOS. I'd love to get my cycle back and improve my fertility without having to resort to drugs."

                        Vitamin D deficiency is a huge factor in PCOS and the regulation (or in this case, dysregulation) of blood sugar. Saw palmetto extract can also help reduce excessive production of androgens. The book _The Savvy Women's Guide to PCOS_ is excellent and totally fits with primal. I don't agree with some of her supplement recommendations but her overall information is excellent.

                        Vitamin D

                        iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


                        • #13
                          Thanks cillakat, I'll check that out