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Noobie – fatigue fixed (hopefully!)

Blog Forums Dieting Sucks! Noobie – fatigue fixed (hopefully!)

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    I’m new here. I’m in my mid thirties, have always been thin but have been on all the usual diets since my twenties. I discovered 180d about 3 weeks ago. My energy has not been great since I had appendix surgery just over a year ago. I seemed to develop gluten intolerance overnight, I felt like my insides were being shredded on a daily basis (not fun!) and only felt better when I cut out gluten and oats.

    I started restricting carbs because I was having blood sugar issues and had gained a few lbs on my slim frame following the surgery. I was following Diana Schwarzbein’s recommendations, I think her books are great but her carb recommendations seem way too low for me. For the past year I’ve had symptoms of what seemed to be adrenal fatigue:

    Anxiety, irritability, mood swings
    Lethargy and fatigue – I felt like I never really woke up properly until late afternoon.
    Excessive appetite
    Lack of motivation and interest in life – difficulty getting any work done (it felt like even the smallest task required immense mental effort).

    Anyway, after reading diet recovery a few weeks ago, I decided to just eat to appetite instead of trying to stick to some fixed amount of carbs/calories.

    The result? Within about 3 days most of my symptoms resolved! I’m just following my natural appetite and cravings. I eat a lot more starchy carbs (at least 60g per meal) from rice, gluten free bread, potatoes etc. I’m also eating a lot less vegetables and protein – it seems my body is favoring the thing I’ve been denying it for so long (carbs!) and doesn’t want protein and vegetables getting in the way :D I also eat sweets whenever I crave them (usually apple juice, honey, cereal snack bars).

    I’m still feeling tired and lacking in motivation most days, but I feel I can function better and am not so easily overwhelmed and stressed out.

    I’ve also experienced a change in body image. I’ve always been thin and hated gaining the slightest bit of weight, weight gain usually led me to panic and do some ridiculous diet (McDougall, raw vegan, paleo!) and burn myself out with exercise. But now I feel like some weight gain will do me good, I want to feel and look stronger.

    So I would like to say thanks to Matt and to this site, the forum etc. which have all helped me (plus, the lady who runs the gokaleo blog, for her eye opening article about how adrenal fatigue is sometimes just a cover for starvation).

    Looking back, I think I never gave my body the chance to heal properly from appendix surgery (and the massive amounts of antibiotics I had at the time). I just got straight back into the dieting / exercise mindset. I was on my yoga mat doing exercises from a callanetics DVD 3 days after surgery – insanity I know! I was just so freaked out that the 2 weeks of bedrest I was prescribed would make me fat and out of shape.

    Work commitments allowing, I’m planning to keep up with the “re-feeding” and get plenty of sleep, and generally not stress out about anything :) I’m also going to take a week or 2 off at Christmas and get the rest I should’ve had after that surgery!


    Rosie123, are you still going strong? It’s been a few months now, and I’m just curious how things are going for you! I hope you are well.


    Same here, I have all the symptoms you described.


    Update – not sure if anyone will read it as this forum doesn’t seem very active, but anyway, I thought I should update as I read here a little while ago that there is a lack of input from people who have done this more than a year. I first did RRARF in November 2013.

    After I did the RRARF (I did it for about a month) I felt quite at peace with food, my appetite settled down a lot and I just happily ate to appetite. I’d gone from looking skinny fat pre RRARF to looking a bit more solid, I gained about 4kgs (9 lbs). I continued with a fairly high carb intake but cut out sugar when my husband complained that I was looking a bit puffy. After cutting out the sugar but still eating to appetite I lost 1kg, I think I looked a bit better and lost some “puffiness”. I just had sweets at the weekend or other special occasions.

    Health and energy wise everything was good, my gluten intolerance resolved and in the summer of 2014 I got pregnant.

    Pregnancy was good, no particular problems, I just continued eating to appetite, the only real craving I had was salt. I ate as much salt as I wanted and my blood pressure was fine. I gained 17kgs (about 40lbs). I had a very healthy chunky baby. Baby is 7 months old and despite breastfeeding I’m still around 4kgs (9 lbs) heavier than pre-pregnancy.

    At the moment, I’m torn between wanting to feel metabolically healthy and pressure from well meaning loved ones to “get my body back” and be thin again, I keep getting comments like “should you be eating that?” etc. I agreed to do the no sugar thing again as that has worked for me before, but I’m keeping some in by having it in my morning tea (I noticed it’s good for my mood).

    I’m really hoping that I can somehow improve how my body looks with exercise so that people get off my case about diet, Generally I’ve realised that life as a woman means people think they have a say over how your body should look and what you should eat, heaven forbid you “let yourself go” and gain a few pounds.

    In summary, I’m about 18lbs heavier than I was before RRARF, half of which is pregnancy weight that hasn’t shifted yet. But, I’m still feeling the benefits of this way of eating. I barely even suffered any hair loss or coldness postpartum (a common postpartum issue apparently) despite having a winter baby, and haven’t felt too tired despite sleep disruptions.


    Hi Rosie,

    Glad you do well and you have a lovely baby :)

    Do you eat gluten now fine without any problems?

    Could you write more what do you eat, and how much calories do you get?


    Hi, wow, nice to see a response, was starting to think no one comes here anymore :D

    Yes, my gluten problem completely resolved (woo hoo!) now I eat it most days in some form (bread or pasta).

    I eat according to my natural appetite and preferences, which works out to be around an 80-90% vegan diet, with some butter, eggs, dairy and occasional meat. My meals tend to be based around a generous serving of starch (bread/potatoes/rice/pasta) with some protein and saturated fat from coconut oil or butter. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and prefer starch (with plenty of salt!), I feel lousy if I cut back on starch at all but I can easily do without sugar and fruit. I do feel that a small amount of table sugar occasionally perks up my mood (like a teaspoon or two in some tea, or a piece of cake).

    I don’t think much of calorie counting, but do it occasionally out of interest, I’m breastfeeding at the moment (weaning) and eat around 2500-2700 cals a day. My appetite varies massively and is very much influenced by what is going on with baby’s growth spurts etc. Before pregnancy and breastfeeding I think I was eating around 2200 cals a day. I’m kind of slim built/light frame though (even carrying extra baby weight, I just look skinny-fat instead of skinny), I’m sure someone more solid/heavier than me needs more cals.


    p.s. to give you an idea of body type, I’m built like Gwyneth Paltrow. Now imagine if Gwyneth Paltrow gained 15lbs or so and got kind of puffy, that’s what I look like right now :D

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