I'm not completely into starting journals, but the Primal way of eating has made me so excited that I feel compelled.
I think Mark should beef up registered member profile abilities. For example, he could allow members to have their own blog (journals) within their profiles and progress monitors with charts and such. Other members could see top (weight) "losers" and read their journals for inspiration or ideas. In addition, Mark should create an open recipe database where members can easily create recipes and enter them into the database. This would allow for rapid-fire searches for new recipe ideas.
Anyways, I started going Primal just a week ago on July 6. I did it because the idea of eating less carbs was slowly creeping back into my head as a must-do.
My weight loss story in a nutshell - as a kid growing up, I became huge. I weighed in at 250 either in late middle school or early high school. I was made fun of my whole childhood - yet my humor kept me afloat. Finally, mid-high school I started turning things around with WeightWatchers and got to 230. Then I officially turned things around with Atkins by getting down to 200 and, eventually, 175 - my lowest weight ever. Sure enough, I considered myself as having reached my goal and began to slip off the wagon. I climbed back to ~195 and forever struggled to lose weight again. I went on Atkins, off Atkins, on Atkins, off Atkins. Eventually, around the second year of college, I discovered Calorie Counting. I enjoyed this approach as I didn't have to limit myself as to what foods to enjoy. It was all about the Calories. This worked, for the most part, and got me down to 185 and kept me stabilized during tough college times. Around my 3rd year of college, I read Eat, Drink and Be Healthy - which mainly advocates the Mediterranean Diet and watching caloric intake. I started eating healthy grains and foods and began building my running mileage. I got down to 175 lbs again and, immediately after reaching my goal, was thrust into two Summer internships. I worked such long days that I couldn't find time to exercise and my diet slowly deteriorated to the point where I was eating scones and sandwiches with chips (they are "baked!" I would say.) Once I returned to college, I realized the damage when I couldn't fit into anything from before Summer and had climbed to a whopping 205 lbs. I had to buy new clothes. I then had a supreme epiphany that I HAD to turn things around and, despite my reaching 175 in the past, I was still quite chunky at that goal. I made my goal "happiness." I wanted to look in the mirror and not make excuses. If I had a belly, I had a belly. I also began to think and research more and more about what life is like to be overweight and I have come to realize just how much it affects people's lives. From the way we sit, to social situations we avoid. It has a DEEP impact on every part of our lives. Thus, I began counting calories again, keeping rigorous progress charts and trained for a Half Marathon. Over the course of my 4th year of college (I actually started at the beginning of Winter Quarter, not Fall - the first quarter of a college year) I got down to 185 lbs and had a Half Marathon under my belt. Unfortunately, I also had terribly sore knees. I thought that, after having ran a Half Marathon, going for a three mile jog shouldn't be tough. I jogged along, mentally confident, yet I couldn't stop thinking about how many aches and pains were in my legs. My foot arches were sore every morning for weeks. Finally, being done with college, I am back at my parent's house in their pasta-filled environment. I start my first job in mid-September and want to make the Summer the best weight loss summer of my life. In June, I tried to make this happen. I weight lifted, jogged and counted calories. For some reason, I just couldn't budge my weight throughout June. It had to be the pasta, rice and potatoes my parents always served. Thus, I set off on the internet to explore alternatives to my calorie counting ways.
That's when I came across Mark's Daily Apple. For the week that I have been doing Primal, my weight has dropped 5 lbs (water weight, I know) and I don't get those cravings-for-more that are so typical when eating pasta, rice and potatoes at dinner. I am beginning to discover the joy of fruits and vegetables and the hardships that grains can bring.
Yet, my past weight loss experience has not been wasted. I still feel it is important to track calories. I do not believe that weight loss is as simple a creating a caloric deficit, but I do believe that it is an integral part. Calorie counting is a drag for the first month, but after that, you memorize calories of certain foods and ball-park figures. Also, I used to count calories in excel and in notebooks, but it became too cumbersome. I now keep a piece of scratch paper around and just jot down numbers to give myself a ball-park figure. I don't write down what I ate - that's in my head. I call it Guerilla Counting. Is there a white board on the fridge? Jot down your lunch in calories and remember the figure. Once you get to dinner time, you know how much you can eat and you don't need to jot down dinner. It's not perfect, but it's sustainable.
Starting weight: 191 lbs
Current weight: 186
Goal weight: 170