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Falling off the wagon



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  • Falling off the wagon

    Hi Primal world,

    I've been on and off the Primal wagon several times in the last few years, always feeling great when I'm on and nasty when I'm off.

    So now - I've fallen off, went a long period with not enough sleep (small kids with nightmares, husband had surgery so I was the round-the-clock nurse) and now just feeling run-down and sick from it all. And as a result, I have zero motivation to get back on the horse or even exercise.

    Would love some advice or wisdom from others who have gone through this.


  • #2
    Hi Denise,

    While I'm new to Primal I'm not new to sticking with a strict eating plan and exercise. In light of that my best advice and/or encouragement is to say, the only way it works is with commitment. White knuckling or willpower is not the answer, you will fail every time. As is with anything in life, you have to want it bad enough and when you do that's when you commit.

    Maybe commit to one food item every couple of days. Lay out a schedule and let go or replace one "bad" (for a lack of a better term) food and find your commitment in baby steps?

    It really is all about what you want in life. If you want it bad enough you'll make it happen.

    I wish you all the best as you find your way.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."

    ~ Theodor Seuss Geisel aka... Dr. Seuss ~


    • #3
      Originally posted by denisedb View Post
      ... just feeling run-down and sick from it all. And as a result, I have zero motivation to get back on the horse or even exercise.
      This is just it. I think you put your finger on it with the word "motivation".

      I think we think of ourselves as rational beings. But knowing what to do isn't enough; you have to feel it matters. I think it can help to, so to speak, feed a wider area of yourself with thoughts and images that work towards that. I'd guess it's not just the rational side of ourselves that is involved but the subconscious. And maybe simply reminders every now and then, of what we already know, have the same kind of effect.

      So perhaps you could, for instance, get hold of some good cookbooks and look through them, and that might help to enthuse. There are plenty of good Paleo/Primal ones, but good WAPF or low carb or Mediterranean cookbooks could be good, too.

      E.g. here's a good Mediterranean cookbook:

      There are also low carb Mediterranean books and I just came across a new Paleo Mediterranean cookbook.

      From the WAPF stable, Nourishing Traditions is particularly good, as it has snippets of historical, scientific, anthropological, etc. information larded all through it in sidebars:

      Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats: Sally Fallon, Mary Enig: 9780967089737: Books

      I think a lot of people would come away from that enthused.

      You might try picking up a few Paleo podcasts, too -- or Jimmy Moore or whoever's vaguely in the space that you like. Again it's reminders and possible re-enthusing. Podcasts are good as most people can fit them in even if their time is limited

      I think some people can get so buried in a Paleo sub-culture that they get a bit obsessive, and that's obviously bad. But for those whose enthusiasm is flagging maybe stepping in a bit deeper is the way to go.

      I'd not worry about exercise too much, if you're very tired. Maybe diet and sleep are more important when that happens. As long as you get some walking or other gentle exercise, I think you can hold off on anything more till you have more energy.


      • #4
        What's a "bad day" or "falling off the wagon"?
        If you've been eating pizza, fast food, oreos and crap, the solution is to go to the store, buy whole foods and make the effort to cook them. Stop buying junk. As healthy as I eat, if I bought oreos, I would eat them, so I don't. If you don't enjoy the primal foods, get some cookbooks and learn. I eat a pretty restricted diet, but I'd much rather have my "diet foods" than any fast food junk. It does take effort to learn how to prepare a healthy and delicious diet, but it is worth it.


        Is a bad day "I ate sweet potatoes and a piece of chocolate and an apple!". If it's that, cut yourself some slack....

        And I love exercise....find something you love and it becomes a habit. I'd probably try and go to the gym if I had ebola.

        All of these habits take time to form and you will have many setbacks on the way. Just keep pushing and you will get there.
        Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!


        • #5
          This happened to me recently when I stupidly decided to go back to eating bread every day for lunch and wrecked my digestive system again. I have been feeling rough ever since. What I am trying to do is not to think in terms of sticking with primal or any other diet or lifestyle but just doing whatever I need to do to feel better day by day. So for instance I have stopped excercising for now and just go for daily walks, and I eat whatever I instinctively feel will help my digestive system to heal. I don't plan ahead but have plenty of good things in the house and eat whatever I feel like when I get hungry. I get lots of downtime and I don't beat myself up if I eat something 'bad'. Just take it one day at a time, small steps, you'll get there. Good luck!

          Edited to add: also, you might be best off not being too restrictive for now. try to eat a wide range of whole foods. I eat potatoes, rice, anything 'benign' that I feel like eating. I even eat ice cream on occasion as a fairly benign treat, and the only thing I really avoid are processed grains, esp gluten grains. I generally go by n=1,if I don't have an adverse reaction to something and I fancy it, it's on the menu!
          Last edited by Jenster7; 12-04-2014, 01:30 PM.


          • #6
            good,you will fail every time. As is with anything in life, you have to want it bad enough and when you do that's when you commit.


            • #7
              I think sometimes people "fall off the wagon" because they don't cut themselves enough slack. They think they need to be 100%, so when they have a bad day or meal (or sometimes even just a single bad dish), they feel like they've failed themselves. Basically, they think: "I've already blown it." Then a short-term slip up lasts days, weeks, or months.

              A good way to deal with that is to just accept the fact that 100% won't happen. And when you deviate, it's best not to beat yourself up about it. I also don't think it matters whether these deviations are planned vs. accidental. In my case, I do better when I give myself a couple meals every week where I can have some non-paleo stuff. I just love some non-primal foods too much to give them up.


              • #8
                I'm sorry that you're discouraged and worn down by all the troubles. You do remember the way you felt on the wagon. You'll feel that way again. Guaranteed. Throw off the bad spirit and just start climbing back on. A lot of people here will help you up if you need it.
                Stop by to visit at
                Old Paths ... New Journeys


                • #9
                  agree with magnolia about better grocery shopping. if there is no junk food in the house, you can't eat it. batch-cook when you have time and make friends with a slow-cooker so there are healthy but ready meals so you aren't always having to cook from scratch.

                  you've been through a lot and it can be very hard to allow yourself the latitude to care for yourself, but it will only benefit everybody around you, and yourself as well, if you feel better.
                  Last edited by noodletoy; 12-06-2014, 08:04 AM.
                  As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

                  – Ernest Hemingway