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Primal Challenge Journal (Tom Harbold)

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  • Primal Challenge Journal (Tom Harbold)

    I am 43 years old, and about 5'7" in height. Last September, I suffered a heart attack, 3 days before my 43rd birthday. My cardiologist and primary care physician have been emphatic that I need to bring my weight under control, and frankly, so am I. Aside from my other issues, I've been suffering from sleep apnea, shortness of breath, and joint pain. I want out of this cycle, and I want to start now.

    I was told to find a diet that was low carb, low sugar, and high in protein... I found the Primal Blueprint. I've now been on it a month, and I have already lost eight pounds. As a result, I am sleeping better, breathing better, and feeling better. I have more energy, and a generally more positive outlook on life. My clothes fit better, too! :-) But I want to do more, and this is the start of that process.

    My stats as of last night were (the approximately equals sign reflects the fact that different sites gave me different numbers):

    Weight = 247.8 lbs (at 5'7" in height)

    BMI ? 38.2 - 38.9

    Body Fat % ? 22.3 - 30.3

    Lean Body Mass ? 172.8 - 180.4 lbs

    Ideal Weight ? 164 lbs < (I think this is low, but...)

    Overweight by ? 86.9 lbs

    Today starts not only Mark&#39;s 30-day challenge, but my own year-long self-challenge: to drop 70 pounds by next August 1st, which will take me down to the "lean body mass" range above.

    That&#39;s about 1.4 pounds a week, or 5.6 pounds/month. So my 30-day self-challenge is to jump-start this process (okay, as I said, I&#39;ve already lost about 8 pounds in my first month on the Primal Blueprint, but re-jump-start it...) by losing another 6-8 pounds in the next 30 days.

    I also intend to start some primal strength training in there, and work on getting into a more regular sleep pattern. Grok on!

    Tom ("Young Fogey")

  • #2

    Breakfast this morning was:

    10 oz OJ (not from concentrate)

    3-egg omelet with about a third of a cup of fresh salsa and about the same amount (loose measure, post-grating) of fresh-grated raw-milk cheddar

    2 strips of "pastured pork" bacon

    14 oz coffee with 1 tsp raw cane sugar and 2 Tbsp of fresh raw cream

    Lunch will be a half-hour to 45 minute brisk walk around the neighborhood, which I&#39;m about to leave on! :-) TTFN...


    • #3

      Another hot, sticky, hazy day today – a “Code Orange” day for air quality, although we’re still doing better this year than most. As Norm Lewis, Channel 2 (Baltimore) meteorologist, pointed out this evening, most years by now we would have had several Code Red days! Still, I did not feel moved to go out and exercise during the heat of the day. Went for a hike at Hashawha this evening, however, wearing my “Vibram Five-fingers.”

      Basically work-gloves (or walk-gloves!) for the feet, these very cool not-exactly-shoes are form-fitted to the human foot, with a pocket for each toe, and are basically the next best thing to walking barefoot, but without the danger of stepping on broken glass, or a particularly sharp rock, bringing a painful end to one’s hike.

      Although I had worn them basically all day on Saturday, and for shorter periods off and one the last week or two, this was my first hike of significant duration while wearing them. Several things quickly became obvious:

      First, walking nearly-barefoot really does exponentially increase your awareness of the Earth beneath your feet… literally. As Mick Dodge, the “Barefoot Sensei,” puts it, what’s the first thing you do when you take off your shoes and walk? Start to pay attention! That is very true. Even with the protection afforded by my Vibrams, it is critical to watch, or at least sense, where you put your feet, and do so carefully.

      You can’t just go crashing along, heel-first, as our typically shod mentality has conditioned us to do. The whole way you place your feet is different, being more akin to walking tip-toe, in that you generally come down on the ball of the foot, then rock along the outside of the sole, and only then commit the heel.

      And that leads to the second observation, which is that this way of walking is tiring if you’re not used to it, which I am not! I’m not totally unpracticed in the art, which some (including famous outdoorsman Tom Brown) call “fox walking,” but it’s not the way I have walked most all my life, or the way I walk the vast majority of the time even now. In fact, it’s very difficult to walk this way while shod.

      The result is that my arches and calf-muscles really got a workout, and in fact – mindful of the dictum to take it slow at first, and break into it gradually – I shortened the hike I had intended to take. Nonetheless, I felt like I’d been hiking for significantly longer than I had, just because of the different set of muscles in use! Quite satifying, actually, and I do love the feeling of greater closeness/contact with the Earth.

      Grokking on...!