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Keep Calm, Carry On

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  • Keep Calm, Carry On

    To steal something from the British, I've entitled this journal, "Keep Calm, Carry On", because to me this isn't a "diet" or a quick change, it's a change in the way I want to live my life - a calm, deliberative change. I am about 3 weeks in on this change and thought keeping a journal would be a great way to start monitoring my progress (and keeping me honest!)

    I put my intro note below as a way of using this as a starting point in my journal (and introducing myself if people wander into this journal).



    Hi Everyone,

    I am Alan and am just about 3 weeks in after switching to Primal/Paleo.

    I am a former Nebraska farm-boy who played football and wrestled quite successfully and then played rugby in college. Most of that time I wasn't on an optimal diet, but it was almost certainly one that was closer to Primal than what I was on later -- lots of red meat, eggs, butter and vegetables. Add in either training or practicing for sports and the work on the farm and I had a great deal of strength and a very low body fat (stacking 70 or 80 lb bales of alfalfa in 90 degree heat in the summers for 10 hours give you strength and endurance that made sports a nice relaxation afterwards )

    After college I jumped into IT/Business consulting, and things started to go downhill. I had "bad" cholesterol test (I say "bad" because my HDL was high and in retrospect my ratios were pretty good). I started to do a lower fat diet. Thankfully I never totally bought into it, but even then I know I did damage. I also did a lot of cycling during this time which substantially lowered my heart rate.

    But, then I went to business school, met my wife-to-be, got married and started dealing with the stress of jobs, family, etc. A couple of months ago at 43 years old, I was almost right at 200 lbs (over 40 pounds more than I weighed in high school) and was significantly out of shape. I had trouble climbing stairs quickly and could feel chest pains while doing this, could feel heart palpations from stress and anxiety, and just didn't feel like the healthy, confident and natural person I used to be.

    My journey to paleo started with starting the Pauling therapy to help/protect my cardiovascular system. A few revelations came out in my research- cholesterol wasn't the "evil" I'd thought and, in fact, it was necessary if I wanted to heal my body or at the very least it indicated my body was trying to heal itself, just without the necessary building blocks.

    At some point I came across the Archevore blog and his get-started diet post. Things started to come together for me and I eventually found my way to Mark's Daily Apple in search of more information. I pretty much jumped in about 3 weeks ago, although I got Mark's book a bit later than my start. I consider myself to be about 80 or 90% as I do eat a few legumes (chili for lunch some days), and still eat Dairy (although I've pretty much converted to heavy cream, butter and ghee only) -- otherwise, I really don't miss or want most of what I ate before. My wife and I dumped all of our cereal, flour and grains just this past week to get them out of the house (she's a juvenile diabetic, so this diet helps her as well).

    So far I am loving it. I've felt dull a few times from lack of carbs as my body is still adjusting, and can feel almost like hot flashes (I think a result of the rewiring to take lipids for energy occurs), but I have more focus at work, am so much more relaxed (Ok, so maybe that is partly due to the niacin doses I take), and am feeling much stronger and healthier (it is easy to climb run up the stairs to the El now).

    I feel like I have a lot of healing to do (I know my cardio has a lot of repair work to do), and need to rebuild my overall strength. I walk 3 times a day with my german shepherd (probably 1.5 or 2 miles a day on even bad weather days, and more on nice days), and do a morning burpee workout that has been steadily growing to be longer. I also toss in a short arm/shoulder/snatch workout with a light kettlebell. Next goal is to start doing some heavy weight lifting (or at least get started again.. I used to LOVE power cleans and cleaned 225 in high school - a nice thing when you are wrestling at 138). And, I still have at least 10 lbs of fat to lose.. probably closer to 15.

    Thanks to Mark and everyone on the board for the wealth of information and enthusiasm. It's been a huge source of strength for me.

    Starting weight: 199.8
    Current weight : 190
    Goal weight: 180 or 185, depending on how much weight lifting I do.

  • #2
    Yesterday was errand day for my wife and I:

    - bacon and eggs
    lunch at PF Chang's (lunch with my wife's parents. I was cringing when I tasted the sauce)
    - beef and broccoli, some brown rice
    - country pork ribs, grilled asparagus in coconut oil, sweet potato mash
    - blueberries for dessert
    After the PF chang's lunch, took some extra fish oil to balance out a bit. their sauce felt full of sugar, flour and God knows what else.


    • #3
      Haven't posted in a couple of days as its been a busy week at work and at home. My wife and I are moving, there was a big presentation at work, and it was her birthday. We also went for a big 5-course dinner that blew my diet for a night (a few grains, soy and a dessert.. ouch). However, progress has been steady while weight holds at about 189/190.


      • #4
        Good day yesterday.

        Made the Omelet muffins from the reader cookbook yesterday (yum!). Went to Chicago's Mayfest and managed to avoid most of the bad things - got a Brat with sourkraut and potato salad along with a Landjaeger. Ate a Keilbasa for lunch. so not the healthiest, but I avoided most of the bad stuff for a day.

        Also got a new kettlebell (40lbs) and did a short workout. Did a ton of walking with the German Shepherd otherwise.

        At 189 this morning, down from 199.8 before going Primal.
        Body fat % at 21.5% down from 23.6%


        • #5
          Busy week at work, really only walked the dog this week and did 10 or 20 burpees in the morning. Was fairly good with diet, but didn't get enough sleep this week.

          Down to 188 today.


          • #6
            busy weeks lately, but have kept the course pretty well. Now down to 181 (19 lbs below my starting weight) in 10 weeks. BF% has gone from 24 to 16

            Have started to add in more workouts - not doing Turkish Get Ups with a 40 lb kettlebell, squats, burpees, and pullups regularly. In addition to walking my German Shepherd 2-3 miles a day.


            • #7
              Managed to survive a 6 day trip to New York with my wife. Mostly ate paleo with couple of pieces of bread and a couple of desserts tossed in.

              Ended up at 180lbs on Sunday with 15.6 BF%, down from 198.8, and about 24-25% BF -- just about 3 months in now.

              Started doing the "Starting Strength" program on Sunday. Although, given my age and ability to recover, I'm only planning on doing it twice per week, so I'll do a bit of a altered version to fit 2 days a week. First day felt great, but weights were light.. suffering from DOMS with a bit of extra weight (I suspect water weight due to the muscle soreness). Feels like that is going away though so I'll be ready for day 2 on the program tomorrow.

              Otherwise, continuing to walk the dog, and pretty regularly doing Burpees and pullups.