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DBCoast’s Recovery Log

DBCoast

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I’m creating this to keep everything in one place. I’ve had so many revelations since discovering RP’s work that I’m constantly thinking, “THAT’S what happened to me!” But I don’t want to bomb the forum constantly, so I’ll put it all here. I’m simply amazed at how much destruction I have caused through diet and exercise. I almost didn’t survive it. I’m glad I discovered this before it was too late.

Thanks to anyone who comments and/or helps me make my way out of the weeds and back to health.
 

DBCoast

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Crushing fatigue and mild nausea - this is how I would feel every morning before CrossFit. In this state, I would drink a ton of black coffee then go to the gym. No food. I thought I had to “burn off” this feeling, as it would subside once I started working out. I didn’t know that the sick feeling subsiding was actually stress hormones taking over! I was making myself sicker and sicker! Amazing.

So many of these examples. I’m so sorry I did this. I can’t tell you how ill I have become and how difficult it has been for me and my family. I’m hoping I recover.
 

-Luke-

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Crushing fatigue and mild nausea - this is how I would feel every morning before CrossFit. In this state, I would drink a ton of black coffee then go to the gym. No food. I thought I had to “burn off” this feeling, as it would subside once I started working out. I didn’t know that the sick feeling subsiding was actually stress hormones taking over! I was making myself sicker and sicker! Amazing.

So many of these examples. I’m so sorry I did this. I can’t tell you how ill I have become and how difficult it has been for me and my family. I’m hoping I recover.
Many have fallen into this trap, including me. It's easy to confuse the good feeling through stress hormones that you're on the right track. It takes a while for the negative consequences to appear. And then it's hard to see a connection, because you're just continuing what made you feel good before. Especially in the crossfit community a lot of people also do fasting, low carbing etc. Plus trying to push the body beyond its limits through very intense exercise.

What doesn't help is beating yourself up. What you did at that time, you did because you thought it would be helpful, not to harm yourself. You have a different view now and your view will keep evolving.

All the best on your recovery journey. It may be a hard journey, but recovering from extreme exercise/diet is definitely possible. How does your current diet/lifestyle look like?
 

DBCoast

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Many have fallen into this trap, including me. It's easy to confuse the good feeling through stress hormones that you're on the right track. It takes a while for the negative consequences to appear. And then it's hard to see a connection, because you're just continuing what made you feel good before. Especially in the crossfit community a lot of people also do fasting, low carbing etc. Plus trying to push the body beyond its limits through very intense exercise.

What doesn't help is beating yourself up. What you did at that time, you did because you thought it would be helpful, not to harm yourself. You have a different view now and your view will keep evolving.

All the best on your recovery journey. It may be a hard journey, but recovering from extreme exercise/diet is definitely possible. How does your current diet/lifestyle look like?
Thanks, Luke. Appreciate you reaching out. Man, I didn’t know what was wrong with me for so long. I thought I was going crazy. Totally living on stress. Insomnia for 4 years straight. I can count on both hands the nights of good sleep I had. Unbelievably debilitating.

So I stopped CrossFit proper last summer, and have been eating Weston Price stuff - a lot of fat. I went back to CrossFit a month ago - because I’m getting fat - to see if I could handle it and got very sick again. Never again.

But yeah, I’ve been doing Weston Price style until recently where I discovered Peat.

In the last few weeks I’ve been doing eggs and fruit in the morning with coffee with some milk and honey, gelatin with berries (seeds removed), lean protein and ground beef with fruit, oysters (once weekly because I live on the coast), chicken livers, some ice cream at night, couple teaspoons of honey before bed, and my body is craving coconut water so I sip it throughout the day.
 

DBCoast

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I was also thinking of the sort of “doctrine” of CrossFit that you hear of when you start - the philosophy of Greg Glassman, who has no background in nutrition. It goes something like: “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar.”

This creates an even more ripe environment for living on stress hormones. But who would know this? I certainly didn’t. I thought I was doing the RIGHT thing. Thought I was being as healthy as possible. I was destroying myself.

I also remember Matt Fraiser, the guy who won the CrossFit games a bunch of times in a row, ate a lot of sugar and sugary cereals all the time. CrossFit was mad at him for doing so because they see themselves as a “diet first” and fitness second type of organization.

It’s all pretty wild to look back on. I even thought Fraiser was being “irresponsible” for letting people see him eating all that sugar.

Crazy.
 

Dutchie

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Never done it myself, but having read numerous stories like yours over the years.
It's amazing that CrossFit is still attracting people.
 

DBCoast

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Never done it myself, but having read numerous stories like yours over the years.
It's amazing that CrossFit is still attracting people.
I agree. I thought I was right. I’ve always been attracted to “hard” things, and I have a tendency toward addiction, so it was a perfect fit for me.

I was actually telling my wife earlier how perfect it is to suck you in: You start looking better, you get a huge surge of adrenaline and other stress hormones, you’re basically high on this surge, there’s competition, you’re with all these other people who are also riding this stress high, everyone is encouraging, etc, etc. It’s hard to see out of once you’re in. If you’re 20yo and eating a lot of sugar and carbs, maybe you can sustain it. But me, in my early 40s and on a low carb diet, there’s just no way.

Now I’m sitting here with messed up knees and destroyed health. And I mean destroyed. For what? So some people could think I was strong for a minute? I regret what I’ve done to my body. But, again, I thought I was doing the healthiest thing possible.
 

DBCoast

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Let me tell you how sick I was. It’s embarrassing, but it needs to be said to show the degree of illness that can occur.

Imagine if, for 4 years, every night someone comes into your room and wakes you up at 4am. Every night. For 1,500 days straight. Every night. What would you do? You can’t stop them from coming. Every night, you think, just maybe this will be the night when they won’t come. You see your face deteriorating with rapid aging and literal black circles under your eyes. You can’t think. You have no goals, no motivation. You’re ill. You’re surviving. But you don’t know the cause. So what do you do?

I’ll tell you what I did - I punched myself in the head. At the absolute end of my rope. Not understanding why my brain wouldn’t sleep. It’s horrible, I know. But I was tortured daily with no explanation.

I’ve been to every doctor, right. But I remember one time the primary care doctor told me it was “classic sign of stress to wake up at 4am daily.” I told her I wasn’t stressed, because I wasn’t. I had minimal mental stress. I did not know that PHYSICAL stress has the same effect. No idea. She didn’t tell me as much. Nobody did.

I’m still sick. But the example above was me at my lowest. Now I know.
 
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Dutchie

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I agree. I thought I was right. I’ve always been attracted to “hard” things, and I have a tendency toward addiction, so it was a perfect fit for me.

I was actually telling my wife earlier how perfect it is to suck you in: You start looking better, you get a huge surge of adrenaline and other stress hormones, you’re basically high on this surge, there’s competition, you’re with all these other people who are also riding this stress high, everyone is encouraging, etc, etc. It’s hard to see out of once you’re in. If you’re 20yo and eating a lot of sugar and carbs, maybe you can sustain it. But me, in my early 40s and on a low carb diet, there’s just no way.

Now I’m sitting here with messed up knees and destroyed health. And I mean destroyed. For what? So some people could think I was strong for a minute? I regret what I’ve done to my body. But, again, I thought I was doing the healthiest thing possible.

Don't beat yourself up for having done something which you thought was healty....and enjoyed at the time,I assume.
Yes, you've hurt yourself while doing it but not on purpose.

I think a big part of your recovery will be to stop blaiming yourself, CF or whoever.
Accept that it happened and be thankful that you've learned that it wasn't doing you favors and stopped. :).
Otherwise a lot more damage could've happened if you hadn't.
I think most of us here (I certainly did), have done things which we thought were good/healthy at the time, but turned out to be a (huge) mistake.
Accept that it happened and wasn't the wisest choice you made, clean the slate and move on...
Best of luck to you :)
 

DBCoast

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Don't beat yourself up for having done something which you thought was healty....and enjoyed at the time,I assume.
Yes, you've hurt yourself while doing it but not on purpose.

I think a big part of your recovery will be to stop blaiming yourself, CF or whoever.
Accept that it happened and be thankful that you've learned that it wasn't doing you favors and stopped. :).
Otherwise a lot more damage could've happened if you hadn't.
I think most of us here (I certainly did), have done things which we thought were good/healthy at the time, but turned out to be a (huge) mistake.
Accept that it happened and wasn't the wisest choice you made, clean the slate and move on...
Best of luck to you :)
Thanks, Dutchie. You’re 100% correct. It’s been a very difficult realization. I need to move past the regret/shame and focus on healing. I’m thankful I realized what was making me sick.
 

-Luke-

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Thanks, Luke. Appreciate you reaching out. Man, I didn’t know what was wrong with me for so long. I thought I was going crazy. Totally living on stress. Insomnia for 4 years straight. I can count on both hands the nights of good sleep I had. Unbelievably debilitating.
Yeah, insomnia is brutal. I remember one day, it must have been 2014 or 2015, when I slept ~7 hours straight without waking up and felt rested. When I woke I cried tears of joy because I couldn't even remember that feeling. I once had a period over about two weeks where I couldn't sleep more than 3 hours a night. For two weeks straight. You feel like ***t after three days but in the second week you don't feel like a human being anymore and the thought of just dying actually feels comforting.
In the last few weeks I’ve been doing eggs and fruit in the morning with coffee with some milk and honey, gelatin with berries (seeds removed), lean protein and ground beef with fruit, oysters (once weekly because I live on the coast), chicken livers, some ice cream at night, couple teaspoons of honey before bed, and my body is craving coconut water so I sip it throughout the day.
Sounds good. Have you tried to give up the coffee for a while and see how that makes you feel?

I agree wholeheartedly with what @Dutchie said.
 

DBCoast

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Yeah, insomnia is brutal. I remember one day, it must have been 2014 or 2015, when I slept ~7 hours straight without waking up and felt rested. When I woke I cried tears of joy because I couldn't even remember that feeling. I once had a period over about two weeks where I couldn't sleep more than 3 hours a night. For two weeks straight. You feel like ***t after three days but in the second week you don't feel like a human being anymore and the thought of just dying actually feels comforting.

Sounds good. Have you tried to give up the coffee for a while and see how that makes you feel?

I agree wholeheartedly with what @Dutchie[/
[/QUOTE]

Yes, I know what you mean. That’s exactly how I have felt with the insomnia.

I have quit coffee in the past, and I think my sleep improved. I was full force at the gym, so things were still very messed up. I remember drinking a cup after abstaining for months and my performance at the gym was crazy. I believe I PRd my clean and jerk. So I started drinking it again.

I’d like to get off of it. Currently drinking two pour overs a day, about 3tbsp grounds total.

I read the book Caffeine Blues and it makes a good case for avoiding caffeine. I think I’m going to slowly wean it down. Maybe 1/2 tbsp less per week.
 

DBCoast

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Morning Temp: 97.33

Exercise:
30 min brisk walk

Breakfast:
2 eggs, mandarin, 1/2 cup 1% milk, coffee with milk and 2tsp maple sugar

Snack:
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese, 1.5 tsp honey, mandarin

Exercise:
25 min light bike (indoor)

Lunch/Snack:
Carrot salad

Lunch/Snack:
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese, 1 tsp honey, a little Mexican Coke, 1 cup orange juice

Exercise:
Play with daughter
 
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DBCoast

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Up from 1:30am to 4:00am, wide awake. When will it end? How much more can one take?
 

Jonk

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Up from 1:30am to 4:00am, wide awake. When will it end? How much more can one take?
Hang in there buddy. I feel for you, I really do, but you need to stay on it. I know it might sound like corny advice but Perceive. Think. Act. You probably, like most of us, need to practice the perceiving part. And it ******* hurts sometimes because it means you need to keep being tender with yourself and dig deeper, and not going back to old habits.
Things to look out for in my humble opinion is - digestion, macros, micros and sunlight. Try to be aware of how you react to the food you're eating. For me, my insomnia is worst when my intestines feel like they've frozen up, and megadose of vitamin C clears that up pretty fast. I know some people need more fat for blood sugar regulation, not short/medium chained like coconut oil, but longer like tallow or butter. Things like coffee, coconut oil and even sugar, can be a lot for people with a stressed out body. Having carbs or sugar with longer chain fats can slow down the gastric emptying and making it less of a shock for the digestive system. Some people, like me actually, can't handle raw carrots very well. Some people need more sunlight during the day to set the circadian rhythm. Getting a lot of sunlight or like 5-10 minutes in a tanning salon can feel amazingly relaxing. Not very popular, but make sure you tolerate dairy (lots of different kinds people react better or worse to, and some no dairy at all works). Coral calcium is a great supplement imo if you need extra calcium. Getting enough choline from eggs can be helpful, or just in general make sure you're not deficient in any vitamin or mineral.

These are just examples of course, but try to tweak things, not all at once, and see how it feels. Over time you will familiarize yourself with yourself and learn a lot, even from the things that don't work. Praying for your well being and I'm confident you'll get through this.
 

DBCoast

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Hang in there buddy. I feel for you, I really do, but you need to stay on it. I know it might sound like corny advice but Perceive. Think. Act. You probably, like most of us, need to practice the perceiving part. And it ******* hurts sometimes because it means you need to keep being tender with yourself and dig deeper, and not going back to old habits.
Things to look out for in my humble opinion is - digestion, macros, micros and sunlight. Try to be aware of how you react to the food you're eating. For me, my insomnia is worst when my intestines feel like they've frozen up, and megadose of vitamin C clears that up pretty fast. I know some people need more fat for blood sugar regulation, not short/medium chained like coconut oil, but longer like tallow or butter. Things like coffee, coconut oil and even sugar, can be a lot for people with a stressed out body. Having carbs or sugar with longer chain fats can slow down the gastric emptying and making it less of a shock for the digestive system. Some people, like me actually, can't handle raw carrots very well. Some people need more sunlight during the day to set the circadian rhythm. Getting a lot of sunlight or like 5-10 minutes in a tanning salon can feel amazingly relaxing. Not very popular, but make sure you tolerate dairy (lots of different kinds people react better or worse to, and some no dairy at all works). Coral calcium is a great supplement imo if you need extra calcium. Getting enough choline from eggs can be helpful, or just in general make sure you're not deficient in any vitamin or mineral.

These are just examples of course, but try to tweak things, not all at once, and see how it feels. Over time you will familiarize yourself with yourself and learn a lot, even from the things that don't work. Praying for your well being and I'm confident you'll get through this.
Thank you, Jonk, your response means a lot to me. I’ve suffered so long with this, I don’t remember what it’s like to feel normal. I’ve gotten used to living in a sick state. But this site has given me some hope. I fell like I finally figured out the root cause.

I will take your advice and tweak some things. I made a pretty quick shift from reasonably high fat to low fat and quick burning carbs. I’m thinking maybe I will add in a little fat at night and some slow digesting carbs. I know oats are frowned upon, but I love Scottish oats (I soak them). Also, yes, I try to get a lot of Sun. This past summer when I first stopped CrossFit, I was getting a lot of full-body Sun and I felt some healing. I try to get it in my eyes every morning (per Andrew Huberman) for circadian rhythm.

Yes, my digestion has not been regular these past few days, and I have woken up every night. I will work on that also.

When I do sleep through the night, I get 6 hours max, then I am wide awake and still feel ill. Like clockwork, can’t sleep a minute more than 6 hours. I don’t feel refreshed, but it’s better than being destroyed from these adrenaline wakeups.

The few times I have slept beyond 6 hours made me want to cry tears of relief like Luke said. Just the thought of sleeping deeply and having that refreshed feeling makes me feel like a man dying of thirst in a desert and thinking about water. It’s been a long road.

Edit: I’m weaning off the coffee. It’s my opinion that it’s not beneficial for someone who lived off stress for so long.

Thank you for your kind works. It means a lot.
 
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Jennifer

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@DBCoast, I very sorry you’re struggling with insomnia. My mum struggled with it for years and I struggled with it when I was mountain climbing and just after I fractured. Both she and I would sleep 2 hours a night max. I don’t want to confuse you with conflicting advice but just in case this helps, I thought I would share a hack that helped my mum and I sleep. She and I also struggled with hypoglycemia and the first time in my life that I started sleeping through the night was when I went fruitarian. Prior to her passing, my mum had surgery for uterine cancer and she stopped sleeping entirely, and remembering my experience with fruitarianism and how Sarah Murray (Herb Doctors) had a client who needed a full cup of sugar daily after he had surgery, I suggested she use white sugar as a therapeutic tool like Sarah’s client and for the first time in ages, she was sleeping through the night. When my mum passed, I was having night terrors so I tried the sugar hack and sure enough, I was sleeping through the night again. Like my mum and Sarah’s client, I was going through a cup of sugar daily. Upping my fat—I was sub 10% for years—completely squashed the lingering anxiety I was experiencing during the day. Looking over your meals, could you need more carbs in relation to protein, especially your last meal? Or…this isn’t meant as a judgement, just a thought, but if your insomnia isn’t a carb issue, could it be a caloric one?
 

DBCoast

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Hey @Jennifer, thanks for your input. Please, the more advice the better!

That’s so interesting about the sugar. I wrote this in another post, but one of the only times I slept in the past 4.5 years was on my honeymoon about 3 years ago. I had been CrossFit/low carb for a long time, very sick. I decided to eat whatever I wanted on the honeymoon and I ate a ton of ice cream and fudge. Like a ton. I was literally eating big chunks of fudge then going straight to bed. And I slept. I had also stopped CrossFit for like a week, and I was very relaxed in general with no immediate responsibilities. I slept. It felt so amazing. But the sugar. I always asked my wife how it was that I slept if I ate a bunch of sugar before bed during the honeymoon. We thought sugar was bad and had the opposite effect. We couldn’t understand it! So that is very interesting and something to consider.

Yes, my cals are at a slight deficit. I had a few more things to add, like a little more OJ and ice cream from yesterday. I’m running about 1950cals for a slight deficit. I don’t want to blow up like a lot of people do during the transition. I don’t know. Today I’m not counting and just intuitively eating around 40/30/30 balance.
 

Jennifer

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You’re welcome, @DBCoast. :)

A ton of ice cream and fudge? That sounds like a dream honeymoon, like a stay at the Wonka Factory. Haha! But yeah, I understand the confusion surrounding your experience with sugar. It took some convincing to get my mum to relax her fear surrounding it and even when it had her sleeping through the night, she still felt guilty about having it. I found her a clean soda brand and that helped some. I found this quote by Ray when I was looking for a different quote:

“It usually takes me just a few days of eating extremely large amounts of sugar (milkshakes, marshmallows, ice cream, etc.) to replenish my stores. Sugar stops tasting especially good when I have had enough, and my pulse pressure, the difference between top and bottom blood pressure numbers, falls well below 50 points.


Gotcha. I understand your concern. I’m interested to read how your night goes. It wouldn’t surprise if the insomnia is affecting your ability to lose weight so if relaxing your diet has you sleeping well, you may find that you start losing weight effortlessly.
 

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