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Primal Challenge Journal (SocraticMethod)

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  • Primal Challenge Journal (SocraticMethod)

    Hello, everyone. I've been lurking and occasionally posting here for about a month. I read PB about two months and it really resonated with me and, for lack of a better phrase, "made sense." I read it and thought, "I understand what he's saying, and it makes sense how and why this method of eating would be healthier." And it made me think I **should** try it.

    I am now reading Primal Body, Primal Mind. While PB made me feel good about changing my way of eating, PBPM just scared the heck out of me re: what I've been eating all along. At this point, I've been fluctuating between PB and CW - I'll stick to PB for a day or two or three, then go back to SAD. Also, one of my biggest problems is that if I have a slip up, I let it snowball. Ie., I had a bagel for breakfast on Tuesday? That will lead to eating like crap all day on Tuesday, which will turn into eating SAD all week with plans to "start again Monday." Repeat ad nauseum.

    In addition, I had some bloodwork done about two weeks ago. I moved about a year ago, so I got a new doctor. In the time she's been my doctor I have had, a. Thrush; b. Tonsilitis; c. Ear infection; d. MRSA; and recently e. bad infection in my throat that she feared might be the MRSA back from the dead. Needless to say, all that for a 29-year-old made her think HIV, and she ordered blood work.

    The good news: no HIV, and my throat culture also came back negative for MRSA. Phew. However, my blood work did show that my iron is low and my sugar is a little high. I'll be going back later this month for another iron test (after taking OTC iron supplement for about a month) as well as the 3-hour fasting glucose test. Needless to say, this scared me. My dad had some problems with high sugar when he was younger (probably about 5-10 years older than I am now - I don't remember it because I was just a baby).

    So that has served as my final wake up call to take control of my eating, my health, and my life. I am getting married next year, and we hope to start a family soon after, and I want to be around for a long, long time to enjoy that.

    Some more background info:

    From the time I was around 19 or 20 until I was about 28, I was in the 215-220 range. I always had a few extra pounds, but I was active and athletic (rugby, hockey, weight training, etc) and never considered myself "fat."

    I put on about 15 pounds in mid-summer 2007. I used a low carb diet (Mens Health's TNT diet) to shed that weight in 4 weeks - and was feeling really good (more on this below). But once I got the weight off, I went back to "normal" eating and stayed right in that 220 range.

    I finished grad school in May 2008. After starting my new career that September, my weight quickly (seemingly overnight) shot up to 260-265. It's been there since last year at this time, with a few times dropping down about 10 pounds only to put the weight right back on.

    In addition, I have ulcerative colitis (since I was 18) and asthma (since I was about 8). When I did the TNT diet, I noticed a significant change in my UC symptoms, and was feeling really good. I want that back.

    My stats right now:

    Age: 29 (will be 30 next month)

    Height: 5'10"

    Weight: 266.2 (as of this morning)


    1. Commit to a primal eating plan for the 30-day challenge and beyond;

    2. Improve my UC and asthma symptoms (hopeful that the PB eating plan will help lower inflammation, thus helping with both issues);

    3. Lose weight: I'd like to drop 5-10 pounds by the end of the year, get back down to 220 by May 1, 2010, and be down to 199 on August 28, 2010 (my wedding day). So that would be 67 pounds in 9 months.

    My fitness plans: I am big into strength training, power lifting, and I'm fortunate to train at a private club with an amazing S&C coach. I train there 4X per week. Our sessions are generally about 45 minutes of strength training, followed twice per week by a quick cardio session (like 5-10) minutes to finish up (HIIT type cardio). While losing the weight I aim to lose, I want to continue getting stronger in the weight room.

    I have trained some MMA/BJJ in the past. A new MMA gym has opened up near me. I'm going to listen to my body and see if down the line a month or two, whether I'm up to adding in 2 MMA training sessions per week (simply for fun, not to ever actually compete).

    That's all I've got for now.

  • #2

    Welcome! I am so glad you're here... it sounds like this community may be just what you need to keep you on track - and keeping a journal is really helpful.

    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding - how exciting! Definitely an inspiration to make some changes.

    I think eating "clean" will really help a lot of your health issues and I know you won't have any trouble losing 5-10 pounds by the new year (I'd guess you'll lose more than that) if you stick to real foods and don't go overboard on "snacks" (fruit, nuts).

    Your workouts sound really good too!

    What is MMA/BJJ?

    Eating lots but still hungry? Eat more fat. Mid-day sluggishness? Eat more fat. Feeling depressed or irritable? Eat more fat. People think you've developed an eating disorder? Eat more fat... in front of them.


    • #3

      Congrats on starting your journal! It's a big step and I love your commitment goals.

      I do agree w/ FlyNavyWife that eating clean will almost certainly help. So many of the things we eliminate by eating Primally (grains, processed food etc.) contribute to inflammation. So, I think you've found the right group. Alot of my own problems improved w/ Primal incl. bloating (used to have terrible, unexplained bloating), plus PMS & period pains.

      Enjoy the journey!


      • #4

        Thanks for the kind words, support and advice. I was hopeful I would get feeback/advice here to help keep me accountable as I adjust to the primal lifestyle, and you didn't waste any time!

        When I did the low carb TNT, I noticed significant improvements to my symptoms, although I wasn't back to "normal," so to speak. However, when doing TNT I ate A LOT of cheese. It was my go-to snack. I'm talking like 5 or 6 servings per day. I also ate a significant amount of peanut butter - not a whole lot, but a little bit each day. And I hardly ate any veggies. So I think this could improve my symptoms even more.

        FlyNavyWife: MMA = mixed martial arts (think the Ultimate Fighting Championship, cage fighting)

        BJJ = Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a type of submission grappling

        Thanks again!


        • #5

          oh good stuff. Thanks for the acronym clarification. Sounds fun!

          Wow, that IS a lot of cheese. haha. I am definitely a cheese lover too.mmm.

          Have you tried almond butter yet? It's great wherever peanut butter usually is, but for some reason (for me) it's harder to eat a ton of. Like, I could easily eat a BUNCH of peanut butter on an apple, but with almond butter I moderate more naturally. It feels denser or something.

          Eating lots but still hungry? Eat more fat. Mid-day sluggishness? Eat more fat. Feeling depressed or irritable? Eat more fat. People think you've developed an eating disorder? Eat more fat... in front of them.


          • #6

            SocraticMethod - yeah, some people are sensitive to casein in cheese so if you are able to eliminate for a while that will help you sort that out. Nuts can also be an issue for some too.

            Go WILD on the can be tough to start eating a bunch of veggies when you're not used to it, but once you do, you'll be hooked. Nothing like some good veggies sauteed w/ bacon bits, or smothered in butter, or made into a "curry-like" concoction w/ coconut milk, or a big-ass salad for lunch. And, dont't be afraid to increase your fat intake too...that will really help w/ overall satiation. I've found that getting proper fat intake is so very important.


            • #7

              Oh yeah, I love me some cheese!

              I have tried almond butter. I had the same experience as you, where I didn't want to sit there with a spoon and eat the whole jar, like I wanted to with peanut butter. But I use it with chocolate protein powder to make delicious protein shakes.

              nina: I've started to eat more veggies. I used to be limited to just green beans, peas, and corn. Then I learned, sadly, that none of those are really veggies. Oops! Now I love spinach, and my fiance's mom makes broccoli that is just delicious (using garlic and butter). Good stuff!


              • #8

                So funny that none of your veggies are actually veggies... you know, where I grew up "mac and cheese" was a veggie - no joke. So's hashbrown casserole. And ketchup. haha.

                I looooove spinach. One of my favorite ways to prep it is to just sautee it lightly in olive oil, then add a little balsamic vinegar and top with toasted pine nuts. OMG YUM.

                Eating lots but still hungry? Eat more fat. Mid-day sluggishness? Eat more fat. Feeling depressed or irritable? Eat more fat. People think you've developed an eating disorder? Eat more fat... in front of them.


                • #9

                  I can definitely relate...

                  In my hubby's family (he's Cuban) veggies means beans and rice...there's nothing even green in there HAHA! Can you imagine a more crazy mix...vegetarian meets pork, beans & rice eating Cuban?

                  It took me years to get him to eat anything with a leaf on it, but he eventually converted. And of course, I started eating meat. We're now both very happily Primal.

                  I love broccoli in garlic in butter....mmmmmmm


                  • #10

                    Ha ha! I wish ketchup counted as a veggie. Do pickles? I've been slowly working in more veggies over the last year or so. I also take Greens+ to get some veggie benefits w/out actually eating them. It's a start (or at least that's what I tell myself).

                    Yestrday's food log:

                    8:00 am: Probiotics with water

                    10:00 am: Fiber supplement

                    10:45 am: 1:15 pm: 3 cups coffee with heavy cream

                    3:30 pm - one grilled chicken breast (used BBQ seasoning and made in the George Foreman) with green beans and a pad of butter. After nuking whole thing, I cut up the chicken, drizzled with EVOO, and gave it all a good shake.

                    4:30 pm: one hardboiled omega three organic egg

                    5:20 pm: a second hardboiled egg

                    7:00 pm: strength training

                    8:30 pm: 1 scoop protein, 1 teaspoon creatine, 1.5 cups water

                    8:45 pm: fiber supplement + Greens+ mixed with water

                    9:30 pm: grass fed ribeye steak with a few pieces of aged cheddar

                    10:30 pm: 2 small pieces 85% dark chocolate


                    • #11

                      Sounds like a pretty good first day Great job!

                      By the way, as you up your veggies you probably won't need any fiber supplement. In fact, most people on the forum don't use fiber even w/o veggies, but your body might take a while to adjust esp. if you've been used to taking them.


                      • #12

                        Thanks, nina. I forgot to mention that my weight this morning was 262.4. That's 3.8 pounds in a day, which I assume is mostly water? Regardless, I should definitely clear 5 pounds this month!

                        I was hoping to lessen or eliminate the fiber supplement over time. I take it because of the UC. It's the one thing my doctors recommended for it that actually helped.


                        • #13

                          For anyone who is curious, this is what yesterday's strength training session looked like:

                          Monday, November 30, 2009

                          Normal warmup

                          1. Bench Press 5RM

                          Bar X 8

                          95 X 5

                          135 X 5

                          185 X 5

                          205 X 5

                          215 X 5

                          195 X 5

                          2. Neutral Grip Band Chins/1-Arm DB Snatch

                          2a. Neutral Grip Band Chins

                          Warmup X 5

                          Green Band X 7

                          Green Band X 5

                          Green Band X 4

                          Green Band X 4

                          Green Band X 3

                          2b. 1-Arm DB Snatch

                          20 X 5/5

                          40 X 4/4

                          45 X 5/5

                          45 X 5/5

                          45 X 5/5

                          3. Medicine Ball Plyo Pushups/Inverted Rope Row

                          3a. Medicine Ball Plyo Pushups

                          Knees X 5/5

                          BW X 6/6

                          BW X 6/6

                          3b. Inverted Rope Row

                          BW X 8

                          BW X 8

                          4. EZ Curl/Rope Triceps Extension

                          4a. EZ Curl

                          65 X 8

                          75 X 8

                          4b. Rope Triceps Extension

                          BW X 8

                          BW X 10


                          • #14


                            Is that LeanGains I'm smelling?

                            Don't be a paleotard...






                            • #15

                              I sure hope so!