Editor’s Note: We had a great response to Erika Andersen’s first article here (it has become one of our most “linked-to” articles on the site). In fact, the response was so good that Erika has agreed to write a few more for us. This is the first of a two-part article. We will post the second part tomorrow.
Part I: Take Care of Yourself
“If he wants sex, he’s going to have to rape me,” Sandra confessed as she took a drag from her cigarette. Smoke curled from her lips as she smiled sheepishly at me.
Sandra was joking, but it reflected her attitude about her waning desire for sex with her husband. She didn’t seem upset that her sex life was winding down, even though she was only in her forties. Her husband, on the other hand, was upset.
Sandra is my favorite aunt. I used to think she had a great marriage. Her husband—my Uncle Terry—is an all-around good man, masculine and handsome, and treats her well. I thought she must’ve felt great to have a man like that. It was sad to find out she didn’t.
I was young, single, and on the lookout for a husband when Sandra made her confession. Sex with my future husband was something I was looking forward to. I didn’t understand why any woman would deprive herself and her husband of a satisfying sex life.
When I started dating my to-be husband, Karl, it was a whirlwind of passion. I couldn’t get enough of him. I assumed it would stay that way until we were a couple of wrinkled old raisins. Yet, by the time I was in my forties, I was dismayed to find myself in Sandra’s position. I had no desire for sex. Unlike Sandra, it bothered me, because I missed wanting it, and I knew my husband missed getting it.
Not coincidentally, I’d gained a lot of weight by this time. I had little energy. I noticed I’d lost interest in most things, not just my husband. Determined to turn things around, I started reading about nutrition and fitness. It was surprising to realize how little I knew about achieving and maintaining good health.
The breakthrough came when I discovered the low-carb primal lifestyle. I started reading Mark’s Daily Apple (a superb lifestyle resource; check it out) and began learning the importance of good nutrition for overall health, not just for losing weight. I learned how poor nutrition and extra weight were sapping my energy like crazy. My body was constantly inflamed and stressed by junk food and lack of exercise. No wonder I felt lethargic. The biggest revelation was how completely upside-down conventional wisdom is when it comes to nutrition. I was surprised to discover that fat is good for the most part, and that sugar and grains are the enemy.
As a lifelong junk food junkie, it was difficult to give up my favorite snacks, but I did it. I went a couple of weeks eating nothing but meat and vegetables. I started exercising again, following the primal blueprint of daily casual strolls and intermittent strength training. I started moderate fasting. I took supplements.
Boy, did things change.
Once I’d gotten past the “carb flu”—that wretched period of adjustment to a low carb lifestyle—the fog started to clear. I had a lot more energy. My mood improved dramatically. My hair and skin looked better. I was losing weight. I also experienced an unexpected surge in sexual desire. It came on so forcefully, I had difficulty sleeping for a couple of days until it settled down.
Based on this experience, I’m convinced lifestyle has a profound impact on women’s sexual health.
Wives, if you want your sex lives back—and if you care about your husbands—examine your lifestyles. Are you addicted to carbs? Are you sedentary? If so, you can dramatically turn things around in a matter of weeks by doing as little as cutting sugar and grains from your diet and walking daily.
Breaking my own carb addiction was brutally difficult. Two or three weeks of Hell. But it was so worth it. I still eat too many carbs. But I can cut them out and miss them but not NEED them on such a primal level.
Sugar and carbs are addictions. Plain and simple. And after breaking that addiction, I find most desserts to be sicky sweet. I like dark chocolate and bitter flavours more now. I think my palate is improved, really.