Having success. :o)


New Member
Jan 5, 2013
I've been very sick for quite awhile. I was on anti-depressants for over 5 years and they were powerful. I knew in my head that my health was bad, but, looking back, I truly believe the ADs really "muted" my feelings about everything and I was never really alarmed with my health stats in all those years.

At the beginning of 2012, the anti-depressant I was on quit working. I also knew that in the next couple of years I wanted to start a family but my health was very poor and that depressed me so much. I went to the doctor and told her the AD wasn't working anymore. I cried in her office that day (just like I have every other appointment). My life was a mess. Her response was to hand me a different anti-depressant. I went home, cried and then quit the medication cold turkey. I would never advise others to do this - that's a choice you have to research and make yourself. This was also against my doctor's strong and repeated recommendation, but honestly I was SO frustrated with her, I didn't trust her anymore.

From that point on, I've spent the past year turning my life around logging hundreds of hours reading, documenting my health, getting my own labs done and trying various diets and supplements.

The first diet I tried was Paleo (I think that is actually what kickstarted me into getting control of my eating) and instantly it stuck. Paleo just *felt* right to me and made a lot of sense. I've done WW in the past and dabbled with Atkins, but they always just felt like a diet and felt like deprivation. On WW, I starved myself skinny. On Atkins, I lost control after a month and never went back. I often cringe at calling Paleo a diet - I know it is - but for me it's just a way of life now. And it was so easy to stick to. I crave those foods. Even after eating fast food. Fake food no longer tastes good to me. Fake foods taste like chemicals and salt.

After 2 weeks of doing Paleo I started to experience a pretty traumatic slowdown/shutdown. I continued on for 7 weeks, but I could barely function. It was like my body ceased activity. Depression and anxiety climbed to alarming levels. I had repetitive, negative obsessive thoughts. I had so little energy - it was amazing. I was sleeping 12+ hours a day. If I woke up in the morning and took a shower, my arms would be so fatigued mid-way through shampooing my hair and I would have to stop and rest. I would take these deep sighing breaths often as if I couldn't get enough breath. I couldn't go to work. If I did go to work, I couldn't actually do any work. My skin was like sandpaper. My hormones levels were at a astonishingly low level - they were pretty much off (below) the charts. And, at one point, my cravings for sugary foods were through the roof - although this took awhile to kick in. I also could sit in a chair for HOURS and do nothing. I wasn't thinking, I wasn't moving. I was in a dream-like state. Today, I often wonder if this is what hibernation is like? Also, for years I had been struggling with my menstrual cycle. It would come and go, never was regular, and later I learned that I was not ovulating each month. With all of the problems above, my period just stopped completely.

And this all occurred AFTER starting Paleo but because I had made so many dramatic and "positive" changes right away starting in 2012 including quitting the anti-depressant, I never thought this could be BECAUSE of the Paleo diet. I had lost 6 pounds in just 2 weeks of starting and felt it was a major accomplishment but then bounced around with the same 2 pounds for the next 5 weeks. When I started Paleo, I weight 204 and my ideal body weight is 135. I have weighed that weight for pretty much 8 years and have always been heavy.

At the 7 week mark, through a lot of trial and error, I got tested for hormones and started BHRT (bio-idential hormones) but this actually made things worse (or just had no effect - it's hard to tell).

Needless to say, I was at one of the lowest points in my life - probably the lowest point. I have a very strong will though. LOL! Obviously. Looking back I can't believe I didn't give up.

One day, I was telling a friend my story and she said, "It sounds like an Atkins diet! I can't do Atkins. I get like that when I cut out carbs. " And, me being skeptical thought "Well, it couldn't hurt to see if that would help to add back in carbs." So, that night I went home and ate a sweet potato (the first starch/"carb" I had eaten in 7 weeks) and, sure enough, it was like someone had turned the lights on. I was buzzing around the house - cleaning, cooking, doing normal things. . .and I was completely astounded. That was after 20 minutes of eating it too.

Things still weren't right though. Me eating sweet potatoes felt *wrong* and the carbs quickly caused my appetite to rage out of control again to where I felt like I was constantly telling myself "no" and becoming very "food-focused". Now I really was on a diet. I craved sugary foods, would drive past McD's and drool, I didn't want salads and steak. I only wanted XL cokes and french fries (and also cupcakes - I would dream of eating birthday cake every night). Looking back, maybe it wasn't enough sugar? Maybe my body was screaming for fructose? My energy and mood were still way down too.

So, through a lot of trial-and-error and lots of failures, as of today I am finally feeling on top of the world! And Ray Peat was the last puzzle for me.

I don't follow his "diet" exactly (which I think may be his point that there is no diet??) but just with the addition of approx. 2 cups of milk each day and 2 cups of orange juice, the weight is not coming on and my mood is FANTASTIC.

My problem has always been my mood mostly. I knew I was probably dangerously close to a divorce because of it. I can be a real bear, my temper can be out of control, I complain about everything and negative thoughts flood my mind, my anxiety comes in waves - but, poof, that is now all


Yep, gone.
I feel so *normal*. I feel like *me*. The old me. The 10-year-ago me.

I don't think I'm there quite yet. I still have my down days. But I feel much more in control now and I feel like I am dancing with the answer. I just have to keep tweaking until things are perfect.

As of today, I weigh 171.9. A little over 30 pounds gone in a year (I lost most of that with HCG), almost half way to my goal, and the most exciting part is. . .adding in those carbs/sugar has made no difference in my weight loss! My blood pressure is normal too.

I'm still on the BHRT and it seems to be helping much more now. My guess is that I will probably be off hormone supplements in a year if I just keep tweaking the diet and sticking to it. I really do think it was the absence of sugar (fructose?) that stopped the production of hormones? So, with focusing on fruit and milk and OJ, I can feel my skin/face getting softer, the acne is clearing up, my mood is getting better, energy is better. The benefits are too many to list.

Thank you to all on this forum for sharing. I feel so blessed to have found this community. I read over the past month or so religiously. And thank you to Ray Peat. I discovered RP through a Chris Kresser podcast (a commenter mentioned him), googled his name and totally got sucked in to the research after seeing his articles. I knew my problems were thyroid/hormone related and after scanning his articles I was so excited to see he was talking about all those things. I've only read/listened to about 20% of his info though. Feeling like I have a lot more to go.

All because of a little milk and OJ. :)


The Law & Order Admin
Jan 4, 2012
Kelly, welcome to the forum!! :welcome

That is so awesome you are doing better! Paleo did the same thing to me, well, low carb combined with a cross country move and high stress freaking almost killed me. I flat out felt like I was dying and just saw no way to go on. I think you are right, you go into some kind of hibernation. Maybe that's what all the people with chronic fatigue are feeling, hibernation? I dunno. But anyways, thats awesome you are coming out of it!!!


Dec 4, 2012
Thanks for sharing. Glad you are better. Sometimes I think it's all the fibrous veggies eaten when on the "Paleo" diet that effect our moods. I know I do better with fruit veggies and lower fiber fruits/ cooked fruits.


Oct 8, 2012
Zanjabil said:
Sometimes I think it's all the fibrous veggies eaten when on the "Paleo" diet that effect our moods.

While not particularly fibrous, a close relative recently started talking about spinach and serotonin and how they had begun eating it more regularly. Felt bad but don't get involved anymore, just do my own thing and let everyone else do theirs.
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