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Relatively new to the tribe...and here's my story!

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  • Relatively new to the tribe...and here's my story!

    Hey all!

    I just signed up for the forum yesterday, so I thought I'd introduce myself (a little more formally than the "Obligatory Introduce yourself thread") and tell a little bit about my fitness story. It's a little long, so I apologize in advance...and thank you in advance if you actually take the time to read it!

    My name is Dustin, I'm 32, 6' tall, and at my heaviest, I weight north of 315 lbs. I can't recall exactly just how high I got, but the number 315 is what sticks in my head, so that's what I consider my starting weight. After graduating basic training for the Army at 190 lbs when I was 19, I was absolutely disgusted with how much I had let myself go.

    A few years back, I weighed 285 lbs and decided (at the recommendation of my doctor, for cholesterol reasons) to try South Beach. It was a little tough in the first phase, but I stuck with it. I lost 40 lbs (down to 245) and then the holidays rolled around...I cheated...and cheated...and cheated...and ultimately lost the drive I had to stay on South Beach. I attempted to start Phase 1 again, but I just couldn't make myself do it. Between my stress levels at the job I had a the time, the hours I put in at work, and the difficulty I had in finding time to exercise or even make myself eat right...I just gave up...and ballooned in about 4 or 5 years to 315+ lbs.

    For the record...I've had "high" cholesterol as long as I can remember. At 12 years old, my total cholesterol level was 250. I don't know what the breakdown was. Within the past few years, I've been over 350. Again...I don't know what my "real" numbers are...that is I don't know what my ratios were and I don't know what my LDL sizes were. My triglycerides are always perfect, LDL "too high" and HDL too low. But I refuse to take statins. I don't buy in to the cholesterol myth. I know I need to get healthy and I know I need to avoid oxidation of my cholesterol. I don't believe that arresting the ambulance crew that arrives at the scene of a homicide is the way to solve the murder and I don't believe that artificially preventing your body from making cholesterol is any way to handle the damage and inflammation in the body.

    Eighteen months ago (almost to the day!) I became a father. In the first 7 months of his life, I grew more and more upset with how I looked and with how terrible of an example I would be to my son as he got older. I had to do something, but I didn't know what...South Beach was too hard and exercise just wasn't enough. In addition, exercise is very hard for me due to an injury I sustained while serving in the Army...I now have a bad back, herniated discs and degenerative disc disease...and pain...pretty much 24/7 for the last 12 years.

    In April last year, I decided to try something. I noticed that I was having some digestive issues, bloating, etc...and it was always worse after eating a lot of wheat. (one of my all time favorites), terrible heartburn and overnight name it...things were always worse after a sizable dose of wheat. I wondered if I had a gluten problem. So I stopped eating wheat. Of course...that meant cutting out a lot of sugar, donuts, no pastries, no cookies, none of that stuff that had wheat. My digestive issues started to subside after a few weeks. In May, I ordered dinner from a restaurant that primarily serves pasta dishes. The dish I ordered did not have pasta, but they got my order wrong. We had taken the order home and I didn't want to go back...and it was about time to see if I reintroduced wheat, what would I ate it...and boy was I sorry. By the time I was done eating the dish, I felt bloated...pain...I was miserable and felt very sick. So...I cut the wheat entirely.

    Well, an interesting side effect...I lost 17 lbs without even trying! No wheat...less sugar...fewer pounds. What a concept, huh?

    In July, I started exercising. I started doing the P.A.C.E. workout (anyone here familiar with that?). By late august, I had lost another 15 lbs. Then I started P90X. Even with my bad back...after some cortisone shots and while wearing a back brace, I was able to do most of P90X. I was even able to get through most of the Plyometrics workout! (for those of you who know P90X...well, you know!). I loved it! I was getting STRONG, too! I wasn't losing weight, but I was losing inches.

    Well, I finished (most of) P90X and that brought me to the end of the holiday season of 2011 (still holding strong). At work, a few guys decided to do a "Biggest Loser" competition and invited me to join. I started that on 1/3 weighing 279 lbs at home and 280 fully clothed at work. At the launch of the competition, I decided to cut all grains, all processed sugars, and treat at least a few weeks like South Beach Phase 1. On 2/3 I weighed in at 271.5 at work. Not a bad month (considering I actually didn't start until about 1/10 because of other things going on in my life at the time). was in February that I came across MDA. After a lot of reading and connecting dots (dots that were connecting to how I was living my life now) I decided it was time for me to go all in on Primal. I bought Primal Blueprint, The Primal Blueprint 21 Day Total Body Transformation, and started doing my thing.

    I'm now down to 265 at home (as of this morning). I'm a little frustrated because in the past 2 weeks, I haven't made much, if any, progress. On Monday two weeks ago, I was at 265. on Sunday a week ago I was 264...I've been fluctuating between 266 and 269 in the past two weeks (yes, I know you shouldn't weigh often because it can mess with your mind) and finally dropped to 265 again this morning. I have been exercising according to the PB Fitness plan (love LHT...I am definitely getting even stronger), and I haven't been cheating on my food the only thing I can think is that perhaps my macronutrient ratios are a little off. According to my tape measurements, I have remained neutral or have even gotten worse on BF% (but only just slightly). But...I take it all in stride because my squats have pushups have overhead press and plank have improved...and my pull ups...well they have improved, too, but not as much.

    I read yesterday about calories in context and realized that I was probably over-emphasizing protein. My carb intake is between 50 and 100 grams per day (based on a couple days of monitoring without changing things), and I think my overall calorie intake may have been too high there for a little bit. Also, in the past couple of weeks, after thinking back, my milk consumption has increased (I use local raw milk, but I saw how much sugar (lactose) is in it and decided I likely need to cut back on unfermented dairy.

    Anyway...I have questions that I'll try to seek answers for before posting them, but I thought I'd let you all know where I'm coming from. My goal is to reach that 190 that I hit after basic training...and do even better if genetically possible! But overall, weight is not my goal. My primary goal is good health and being a good example to my growing son.

  • #2
    Congrats on your success so far and welcome!!! Looking forward to hearing more of your progress, there is a LOT of info on the forum but sometimes it does get buried as this is a busy place. There are a lot of folks on the forum who are super knowledgeable and have been really helpful in answering questions...and offering advice and help when it's asked for - good luck!


    • #3
      Thanks! I'm looking forward to getting involved in the community here. It's one thing to talk about Primal with my wife (who does understand and supports my decision to go primal), and some of my family (who don't quite understand, but don't argue with me about it)...but it'll be nice to talk about it and share some common ground with the people with whom I discuss things.


      • #4
        Best of luck! Two years ago I was pressing 300 myself!
        March 1st 2010: 308lbs | CW: 219lbs / 18.5%BF | New Goal: 16% BF
        Male. 28. 6'4''. Currently working on them muscles and strength!

        "My chest hair caught fire when I was fighting a bear with a flamethrower, how do I get my hair back? - Rivvin


        • #5
          I was going to ask your starting stats, but see that you posted them in your signature. That's awesome! I'm really hoping that I can manage to hit my goal weight before Thanksgiving this year. I was hoping for Veteran's day before that, but the stall I hit the last 2 weeks set me back a little. Plus...that's a really optimistic goal...that's based on a hoped 2 lbs per week...they say "safe" weight loss is 1 to 2 lbs per week...but that doesn't mean it'll be super easy to maintain 2 lbs per week!

          Oh well, as long as I'm headed in the right direction, it counts. Like I said, I'm more interested in getting fit than I am seeing a certain number on the scale. But I sure would like to be able to say I weigh less than and I'm in as good of shape or better than when I graduated Army Basic Training!


          • #6
            Welcome aboard, Dustin! I hope you enjoy the PB lifestyle and the forums here.

            Weight's a poor indicator of progress, which is the real reason the advice around here is to avoid scales. As you said, you're getting stronger. Getting stronger = more muscle, and more muscle = more weight. Mark progress based on how you feel, how your clothes fit, energy levels, etc.

            You might want to re-post this in the Journals forum to start a journal up. The act of writing progress and frustrations (and readers supporting you "in your little corner of MDA") can be a huge help during stalls, plateaus, times of low motivation, yadda yadda.

            Anyhoo, g'luck!
            August 2010: 207 lb, 37" waist, 25+% BF | Currently: 177 lb, 33" waist, ~15% BF

            I have a new site up and will soon be blogging at The Wayward Mind. (My journal is semi-retired at this point)


            • #7
              Thanks, Patrick! Yeah, I know the scales can mess with you...I try to keep that perspective, but I'm very analytical, so weighing frequently has almost become compulsory. A pound or so of fluctuatoin here and there doesn't really bother's an extended period of not actually making "progress" that bothers me (especially since I'm currently participating in a "biggest loser" contest at work by which the sole calculating factor is pounds lost as a percent of starting weight o_O).

              That said, my clothes do fit better than they used to. Most of my pants are too big. I wore 46 inch waist pants for a long time. I have some 46 inch jeans that I'm convinced are 44s disguised as 46s because I couldn't wear them before, but now they are just barely big on me. I don't have any khaki's that are 44s, but I have some that are 42s that my wife bought me years ago and I never could wear. I can now wear them, but they are a little uncomfortable (not in the waist, but in the thighs) because of the things I carry in my pockets (wallet, keys, etc). They're just a little too tight and have been that way for several weeks. I actually wore a pair to work about 2 weeks ago or so, but it was too uncomfortable around the thighs.

              Speaking of thighs...the last time I measured, my thighs INCREASED in size. A far cry from the decrease I've been seeing regularly. However, that may have something to do with all the squats I've been doing lately...on my LHT workouts I'm doing "Full Squats" and on my last workout did 2 sets of 60 yeah...getting stronger, for sure. It's an improvement on the sets of 53 and 51 bench squats I did on my first LHT workout!

              I guess I'm just eager. It's been a long time since I've been at a healthy weight...or better yet, since I've been fit. Tony Horton from P90X says, "Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was your body!" lol

              I'll take your advice and post this in the Journal section...maybe between seeing it regularly and getting feedback from others, I'll start making some even better progress!