I just received a great question from a reader and thought I’d share her plight and my response…
I have to admit I have wanted to email you for a long time now. For many reasons I didn’t, but I will say your [last newsletter] and the fact that I am truly fed up is why I am now writing.
Back in October I was on vacation in St. John when you were hosting the women’s weight loss conference. I loved it, of course I could not start anything until I got home. I started eating paleo the first of November, I also went pretty gluten free. Did pretty good and lost about seven pounds in the first month. Then I maintained that way of eating but didn’t lose any more weight. I did this until about four weeks ago and I went off the paleo wagon so to speak for a number of reasons. The biggest one being stress.
The biggest reason for going Paleo and gluten free was the constant pain my hips and legs were in from overuse of running etc. I thought if I ate this way it would reduce the inflamation, but apparently that was not the case. I also want to lose weight to reduce cholesterol and risk of stroke. My mom had a stroke two years ago, and she is completely paralyzed.
The hardest thing I am finding now is getting back on the wagon. I do know once I am back on I will be fine but I will admit it is hard. Is there anything you can suggest to help me get there?
Yes, it can be incredibly hard to change sometimes. I think usually it’s the anticipation of the change that’s harder than actually making the change, though. I’ve written a few blog posts (back when I was with PaleoPlan.com) on the topic of getting yourself back on the wagon – maybe these will help. Also, doing a Paleo challenge (there are a bunch of them online, including my 30-day fat loss program).
I really hope you find the motivation you’re looking for. I think that’s what it’s all about, though: finding your personal motivator. The thing that will actually get you to act instead of think about acting. It can’t be someone else telling you to go Paleo. It can’t be that you “should” do it. You have to want it, or it’ll never work long term.
Write out your personal motivations for wanting to change. What could it bring to your life, health, happiness, and relationships? Do you want those awesome things for yourself? Do you feel like you deserve those things? All of these are good questions to ponder, written or silently, by yourself or with someone else.
Maybe Paleo Wasn’t Right The First Time
The other thing to consider, though, is that you aren’t motivated to go Paleo because it didn’t exactly work for you in the past. Yes, you lost weight, but you didn’t lose as much as you wanted to, and your pain didn’t go away. So, of course you don’t want to make a huge change in your lifestyle if you don’t believe it’s actually going to help, right?
I feel like a broken record here, but maybe it’s time to get some professional help and see a naturopath (seems to be my answer to everything lately). I can’t really express how much blood testing has helped me in the past and recently (I found out I was iron deficient and taking iron supplements has changed my life drastically).
It might be something simple that’s causing your leg pain – some inflammation marker that can be helped by supplements. You might have some hormonal imbalance that’s causing weight loss resistance. You might have some hidden food sensitivity.
What To Do Now
Without getting blood tests done, it’s hard to say what’s going on. I do think almost everyone can make Paleo work for them to get the results they want. Consider taking nuts and seeds out of your Paleo diet to help with the inflammation. When I eat those things, I get what feels like tendinitis and it’s only relieved by NOT eating them. Dairy (even butter and ghee), soy, and any amount of any grains (even quinoa, etc) can be very problematic for a lot of people, too.
Anyway, I wish you the best of luck getting back on the paleo wagon and making it work for your particular body. Have patience, be kind to yourself, and keep your motivation close at hand!