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Hiya from the Balkans :)

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  • Hiya from the Balkans :)

    So I'm Emanuil (em-ah-nooh-ill) and I'm from Bulgaria, I'm 27, moderately skinny fat and pretty much a mess in the motivation and willpower department If there ever was a poster-boy for all the "confused, aimless man-boy" symptoms, it's me.

    I work as a translator of fiction from and to English (also the occasional horrific institutional EU paper). It's a respectable job as far as impressing acquaintances goes (pays next to nothing though), but I'm having severe problems of motivating myself for it (through no fault of the job), I feel guilty almost all the time, and I often feel more than a little inadequate in my relationship, with my girlfriend always waiting for me to grow up a bit (she's older than me), only to be mildly-to-moderately disappointed with my efforts.

    I'm trying to change the way I eat and my activity levels - translating is a black hole of sedentary life, - in the hopes of improving the other aspects of my life.

    Now, I'm not exactly in despair of my body, but I think it has way more potential than that. I'm small, around 5'7 and about 148 pounds at present, so not much weight to lose; I mostly want the flabbiness gone. If that means going down to about 135-140, I'm still okay with it, it's what I weighed in school and at the start of university, and I was in very measurably better shape - did soccer and the 100m dash, was pretty good at both, now I can't catch the bus or play for more than 5 minutes without having to dig myself a hole in the pitch, then lay down and die in it.

    As to mood and energy levels, ability to concentrate, all that stuff - this is where I want to see it happening mostly, since it's a horrific problem for me right now. I might have gone on reading Mark's articles and psyching myself, but I think that participating in the community will help me even more.

    Now, the Primal principles are something I might be physically attuned to from birth, given my history of thriving on extremely little food of the usual energy-boosting variety, and that in times of pretty intensive activity, like a whole morning-long soccer practice (I'm talking of 2-3 hours of chasing a ball, mostly on my own, after team practice) or а manic bout at the exercise bike. I've never gone rabid for food afterwards as well. Now, for the last 6-7 years I've abandoned all that, I haven't been watching what I eat *at all* and I havent exercised. A few months ago I weighed myself at a gym and while the weight readings didn't surprise me, the caliper measurements they took had me having to sit down and stare at the floor for a few minutes. I was in the ballpark of 20% body fat. (It showed 24%, but I guess the readings aren't entirely accurate and I couldn't believe that anyway, so I rounded down.)

    There is a pretty influential chain of paleo gyms in Sofia, where I live, however, and I had a brief contact with the guys and girls there some years ago, so I knew about the philosophy; only I couldn't really take it seriously, so I forgot about it until a few months ago. (Also, they were pretty evangelical about it, advocated <25 grams of carbs for an extended period of time and frowned upon everything but meat and its byproducts and eggs. Yes, even most vegetables.)

    Went on the bandwagon for about two weeks I think, not really strictly and then a guy at the office asked me if I've lost weight; now, understand that even if I do lose weight (or fat) it rarely shows on my frame since it's the inverted triangle sort, so the gut and the love handles don't really show that much. Also, I've never had that comment by anyone. Thirdly, I had put next to no effort in my regimen. So, that was kind of awesome. But I fell off.

    This time I intend to stay and see what happens. I'm pretty optimistic about the physical aspects of Primal living, since I don't seem to have any bad carb-withdrawal symptoms and I've been doing it for 4 days now. Feeling slightly light-headed between 2 and 4 P.M., but it's a kind of "focused clarity" light-headedness, not the "Let me just lay down for 5 hours" or "Blurgh, what you say? My brain no work".

    I just hope my character won't sabotage me in this as well, but I'm hoping for some self-perpetuating reinforcement the longer I go on, also I'll be keeping my spirits up in this here forum. Wish me luck

    P.S. Sorry for the rambling, but I kind of feel that I needed to narrate all of this for my own benefit as well. Hope I don't bore anyone (much).

  • #2
    Welcome from the other side of the world.

    You're light and from your description built for it (and seem to like fun), so you might try parkour. I always wanted to do it but it evolved well after I did, so to speak.

    Also check out Al Kavadlo – We&#039;re Working Out! | We&#039;re Working Out! . Al and his brother are amazing specimens of calisthenic outcomes. I mean, they do outdoors bodyweight stuff and are in fantastic condition.

    Read the primal blueprint ebook and start on the exercise pyramid. Focus on you, not someone else's expectations of you. When you're happy with your efforts to improve yourself, everything else gets better. The second you say, "I'm good enough," you stop improving. So keep setting the bar higher.

    And thanks for sharing! See you around...


    • #3
      Thanks for the warm welcome, BMZ
      Hah, never realized that CA is literally almost on the opposite side of the world; 10 hours' time difference from here

      Seeing as how my motivation seems to be going up in proportion to my blathering, I might as well start a journal here, of sorts. To the point:

      My food for today:

      60 grams of butter,
      about 150 grams of pork steak (fatty)
      3 scrambled eggs, medium-large
      2 red peppers (the elongated king, what are they in English?)
      a couple of tablespoons of yoghurt 3,6% fat (as a dressing for the steak)
      1 banana

      and a bit later on I'm going to have this:

      2 more eggs, soft-boiled, and a salad (1 1/2 tomato, another 1/2 red pepper, 1/4 red onion, a tablespoon or two of olive oil).

      I'm not really a calorie-counter, but I think this is about 1500-1700 calories, which is my daily goal for now, since I haven't incorporated much physical activity yet (though I had a 10 minute walk just now, some of it uphill, also I climbed nine flights of stairs to my flat).

      Is this about right or will I have to up the calories by a couple hundred?


      Oh, I forgot to mention another thing from my daily activities. I'm an aspiring singer, so throughout the day I contract my intercostals and obliques (the rectus abdominis not so much, since it impedes proper breath compression to a degree; still, I keep the stomach tucked in) as part of my breathing exercises. I also work on my posture throughout the day, and that involves keeping the core pretty stable and the back muscles active. Not much but still it sheds some calories I guess.
      Last edited by Trip; 07-21-2013, 08:07 AM.


      • #4
        Welcome Trip! Nice to have someone here from historic, romantic Sofia. Some years ago, on a vacation, I tried to get there from Istanbul but the projected train trip was 2 days and the trains were reported as unreliable in time and condition, so I had to skip Sofia, for which I'm sorry. Our daughter did get to spend 4 days there and loved it.

        How are the food sources there? Can you get grass-fed meat and organic vegetables? Having several paleo gyms available is a lot more modern than my area.

        But gyms aren't really required for our Way of Eating (WOE). It's mostly about what you eat. There are many food trackers available that report your macros and calories if you want. I use, it's free, and very easy. Put in a day's food and let us know the numbers. If the red peppers are spicy they're chili peppers, otherwise I don't know. It doesn't sound like you're eating enough food. On this diet you should be able to loose the fat without any, or much, exercise. It depends upon how low you want to get in body fat. Nine flights of stairs is impressive, especially several times a day.

        Do read "The Primal Blueprint" and Mark's blogs. Welcome again.
        "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase


        • #5
          Hey, well met, Cryptocode

          Well, the nine flights of stairs are just as of today, but I'll try to do that every time instead of using the lift.
          Thanks a lot for the link, good to see there's a tracker geared to that sort of eating plan. I did do a rough calculation just now on my posted meals and it came out at about 1600 calories, so I'm gonna put some more scoops of olive oil in the dinner salad

          I'm aiming at my bodyfat percentage from about 8 years ago, which - judging by my old photos, - was about 12%, but I think I will want to go even lower, since my metabolism used to be an industrial oven back then and it would be interesting to see what I can achieve by restoring that AND eating right at the same time AND exercising more conscientiously, as well.

          As to the gyms, it's only because Sofia is the capital and especially in recent years has gotten much more populated (2mln. people more or less). A lot of the country is actually Paleolithic, only in the bad sense, unfortunately.

          We do have organic veggetables and we don't really have the huge meat industries of the US; from what I know our animal farmers are somewhat more conscientious, also there's a number of small outlets selling meat from private farms so it's not so bad.


          • #6
            So here I am now (well, from a month ago):

            Kind of bloated, since I ate a bit of olive oil and bread before the show, also drank a bit of beer, but still a relatively accurate picture. Will post progress pictures in time.
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