Please hack my rash, increased blood pressure and weight gain

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 02, 2012 at 1:22 AM

So I went to the doctor today after having a mild red, blotchy, itchy rash on my face for the past 5 days. Dr. really didn't know what it was... thought perhaps allergic reaction (which I initially thought too because I used a shampoo with wheat protein in it and it appeared the next day... though I've used this shampoo in the past with no side effects), but the rash has moved around on my face. While at the doctor, I learned that my blood pressure was 129/94... which is what is used to be pre-primal/paleo but has been 120/70ish since going primal. Also, the 50 lbs I've lost are now down to only 20 lbs lost. I knew I had put on some weight... and my pants have been getting tighter... but 30 lbs?!! I'm still really overweight. I started Primal back in July 2010. I lost 50 lbs in the first 6 months. Plateaued for like almost a year. Then started gaining. I'm not perfect about what I eat... I admit to some Paleo treats, french fries, and rice but no other grains... no crazy binges. When I first started I didn't cheat for the first month... but after that when I occasionally had a "treat" I kept losing. A couple months ago I did the sugar detox and lost a couple of pounds... and now they're back on plus some. I don't really exercise other than Pilates a couple of times a week. I did walking for a while... occasionally I would lift or sprint, but I never really saw an improvement... perhaps I never gave it a chance. I'm really discouraged and don't know exactly what to do. There are seemingly quite a few 100+ pound overweight women who've had much more success than I have. I really thought a year ago I would keep losing... but it's been a year of plateaus and gains... and now rashes and high blood pressure. I eat 50 million times better than I did on SAD... and yet I'm only (now) 20 lbs less. Help.

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4 Answers



on April 03, 2012
at 03:24 AM

I failed to control my weight/appetite all my life and now I'm succeeding. And you can too. Think about the hunger sensations you feel, and how you react to various approaches to meal schedules, and experiment until you find a way that works for you. Good signs are feeling calm and pleased with how you're eating.

In my yo-yo cycles for 5 decades, I struggled with the difference between "eating a certain way temporarily to lose weight" and "how I eat." And with that mindset, each time I fell off the diet wagon I quickly regained my lost weight. That may or may not be what's happened to you.

In the past year I've lost 6+ inches off my waist and I'm showing no tendency to lose control. The difference this time has been that I've been in constant conversation with myself about "how I'm going to eat for the rest of my life." Because frankly, anything you aren't willing to do forever won't work for you.

Just as an example, here's what I'm willing to do:

  • within the realm of whole foods, I will rotate those I enjoy but I will omit any I don't like.
  • I will use low-density fruit and salad to ensure that I am happily stuffed after my main meal despite small, weight-loss portions of my dense foods--I am not willing to go hungry.
  • On major holidays plus my birthday, neo-splurges are legal if desired. Interestingly enough, on my birthday and New Years I had no interest in neo-foods and simply made more festive whole-food meals.
  • Between holidays, my splurges are fully legal such as frozen berries with just a little heavy cream--yet I find them wondrous and really feel like I splurged.
  • For me, the magic ingredient that makes it all work is fasting, either IF (intermittent) or ADF(alternate-day). I rarely eat more than 1 meal per day because fasting has taught me that hunger is not really meaningful and I am free to eat only when I please.

I haven't tried it, but many people say good things about the Whole30 experience. Whatever you do, I believe it's important to develop a framework in which you can succeed without having to constantly fight your impulses and cravings. One way or another, it's much better to find whole foods you love and find ways to satisfy yourself that won't sabotage your fat loss goals.


on April 02, 2012
at 08:45 PM

This exact same thing happened to me. But for me it occurred about 3 weeks into starting Paleo. The rash covered my entire chest, neck and back. It took me two miserable months to figure out what the problem was...and for a low low price of $99.99 I give you the solution...

Just joking...the solution was to increase the carbs! I realize you fear that this will cause you to gain weight, but I think if you eat healthy carbs like potatoes and rice, then you will be okay.

Good Luck!


on April 02, 2012
at 03:05 AM

Unfortunately, it's not just about what you're eating.

It's about making a lifestyle shift. Moving more. Sleeping regularly. Lifting heavy things, pushing your body & mind.

I say this as another woman with an initial significant amount to lose. Diet alone only got me so far - and when the exercise tapered off after an inital burst & the dietary stuff got dialed in, well, the weight loss plateaued. I didn't like that -especially because I didn't even allow myself cheats, even.

So I made a commitment to move more in March. Added in 3x weekly strength training sessions (which can be done at home if necessary), added in more walking/moving/dancing.

And the weight loss picked up again - plus I'm losing inches as well/clothes are looser.

So - your diet's only a part of a larger whole. Dial in those parts as well if you want to win the overall battle.


on April 02, 2012
at 02:53 AM

I think you answered your own question with these two sentences:

"I'm not perfect about what I eat... I admit to some Paleo treats, french fries, and rice but no other grains..."

"I don't really exercise other than Pilates a couple of times a week."

First, regarding your "treats", how often are you eating them and how much of them are you eating?

Second, pilates a couple of times a week isn't going to cut it, ESPECIALLY if you are like most Americans and spend most of your free time being sedentary.

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