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Primal Journal (SpaceCowboy)

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  • Primal Journal (SpaceCowboy)

    Five years ago I was going to school in Los Angeles, studying to become a film maker, acting in movies with my friends, playing music around town, and bodybuilding intensely. Things seemed to be going the way I had always imagined them to; my art was taking off and I was in the best shape of my life.

    But I wasnít happy, and I didnít know why. I felt like crap. I was sleeping 16 hours a day and still feeling groggy. I was ornery. I was reclusive. I developed bellís palsy (half of my face stopped working). I had sharp muscle spasms. There were hives all over my body. And I was having unformed hallucinations regularly. There were many times I could not remember the names of long-time friends. Or think of simple single-syllable words. Or even remember where I was driving. I pulled out of the gas station with the hose still in my carís tank more times than I can count.

    It got so bad that I couldnít write anymore. I couldnít work. I didnít want to play music in front of anyone. I didnít want to be seen. I moved back home to New York after graduation and proceeded to get worse. The doctors I went to had no answers for me. I was depressed, they said. Maybe it was all in my head. Or it was the lingering effects of losing my father. And then I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease.

    That diagnosis was three years ago. They figure, from how bad my symptoms were and how elevated my anti-body count was, that I had acquired it sometime in high school. Now, after years of treatment, I am finally starting to feel some semblance of normalcy.

    But my body has been ravaged by medication and inactivity. I ache all the time. Brisk walks wind me. Iím overweight. Iíve lost much of my muscle. And, worst of all, I have developed a whole slew of bad habits. I sleep too late. I eat too much (and poorly). And Iíve lost the will power I used to think of as an essential part of my personality. But I will get it back. My will. My body. My mind. All of it. And then some.

    I stumbled upon Markís Daily Apple while looking into ways to restart your body clock. It immediately felt like home to me. You are the type of people I used to know when I was working out religiously. And the way Mark sees the world, what he is striving to attain, a lifestyle which is optimizing our body, is what I had been searching for all those years ago when I would spend hours in the gym and measure every bit of food that entered my mouth. Only this makes sense (even then I knew it was illogical to have to put so much work into making your body as it should naturally want to be).

    I ordered The Primal Blueprint right away and devoured it. I started living Primaly at the beginning of December. Then I went home for Christmas and New Yearís. I stuck to my guns as much as possible but I ultimately lost my momentum. Now that Iím back, living in Tucson with my brother, Iím ready to grab the reins again. To take the challenge. I am going to need more than 30 days to undo the damage that was done to my body and my mind, but I hope that after that month I will be full steam ahead.

    It begins tomorrow: Iím back on the diet. Iím beginning yoga again. Iím back in the gym. Iím hitting the pavement (at a moderate pace, of course). Iím climbing rocks. Iím biking around. Iím having a normal, active life once more. I do not know how long I will keep this journal up, but, for this first month, I am going to post every day. And Iíll put up my stats at the beginning, middle, and end of the endeavor.

    I can do this. I know. But if (or when) I falter it will be nice to feel as if others are watching. Iíve learned that much from being sick: I can certainly do it alone. But not as well or as easily as when I am around other people.

    Good luck to all of you in your own private struggles. And Iíll be back tomorrow.


  • #2

    Beginning stats:

    Weight: 224 lbs

    Body Fat: 20.3%

    Waist: 41.5"

    I got up early this morning (well, at least early for me...) at 7 and went to Yoga for the first time in perhaps a year. Everything was creaky. The 90 minutes seemed to take all day. Other than that I had no other real physical activity. I thought I might go for an easy jog but my body was telling my otherwise. I'll hit the road tomorrow.

    My diet was right on, though (as it usually is the first day...)

    B: Two eggs. Strip of bacon. Fried eggplant (dredged in almond flour). Yerba Mate.

    S: Scoop of whey protein. Handful of almonds.

    L: Tuna steak. Avocado.

    D: Carne Asada. Fried eggplant. Avocado. Half of a tomato.

    I could probably use some more greens in my diet. Tomorrow there will be a big ol' salad waiting for me!

    Exhaustion hit me pretty hard in the middle of the day and there was no way for me to nap, so I just pushed through it. Between attempting to readjust my sleep schedule, getting back on the Primal Diet, and working out regularly, I figure these next few weeks won't be too fun. But if I can just make it to the other side...

    Until Tomorrow,



    • #3

      Wow, spacecowboy, that's rough. I just read through your introduction and it was very touching. I hope the PB helps you get back to your old self and builds up some momentum to really catapult yourself into something great. Best of luck, and I'll be checking up on your journal often to keep you in line. haha


      • #4

        Thanks for the reply, duder!

        Posting photos is fairly simple, actually. I believe that there was a sticky post at one time by Mark explaining how to do so, but it doesn't take long to I'll just run through it right here:

        First, you must host the image on a website.

        I like as it's simple, intuitive, and fast.

        Then take the DIRECT link to the image and copy that full URL.

        In your post put [img ]URL[/img ] (without those spaces after both img commands) and there you have it!


        • #5

          Another good day. Had a hard time dragging myself out of bed. And had bouts of fatigue throughout the day. But there were moments of incredible energy. I spent time with some friends tonight at dinner and had to consciously shut my mouth sometimes. Right now the energy is manifesting itself as me being a bit spastic, but I think I can start to harness it and not act like such a teenager (though, in certain respects, there's nothing wrong with that...)

          As far as working out, I was feeling a sluggish this morning and kept putting it off, until I started to reread some of the Primal Blueprint. I felt the desire to move. And then told myself to stop being an idiot and just do what my body wants. So I hopped on my bike and rode to the gym (7 miles round trip) and banged out five goods sets of squats and bench press followed by three sets of upright rows, push-ups, and hanging leg raises.

          Moving forward. Always a good feeling.


          B: Two eggs. Raw yellow bell pepper. And a few cuts of sopressata (cured meat is probably not the best, but, well, screw it...)

          L: Big salad with mixed greens, spinach, and a bunch of carne asada drenched in olive oil and vinegar.

          D: An even bigger salad. No meat, but a lot of hard boiled eggs (I was at a salad bar and they didn't have meat to add so I did my best...)

          Tomorrow I'm back to the yoga studio and I'll hopefully have some photos up.

          'Till Then

          - Alex


          • #6

            I got horrible sleep last night. I just couldn't conk out. And then, when I finally did, it felt like the alarm went off the moment my eyelids touched. Anyway, I knew from the moment I got up (not happily, I might add) that today was just going to be one of those days.

            But I got everything in and I didn't succumb to temptation, so, all things considered, I'm happy with how it turned out.

            I went back to yoga today (Day 2 for that...) and holy hell was I still sore from the last time. I was not nearly as flexible. I thought, when I started this week, that I might go upwards of five times a week. As usual, though, my eyes were bigger than my stomach. I'm going to try every other day and see how I do with that. When the soreness goes away and I feel more comfortable, I'll up the regularity.

            Biking back from class this morning I hit some loose gravel while making a turn and took a nice little spill (though I'm sure I was quite graceful through out the whole process). Nothing wrong with me, just a few scrapes and a bit of a bruised ego, but my bike's gears are all out of whack now. Hopefully that won't be too difficult (read: expensive) to fix.

            No photos were taken. And, worse, I'm not sure that, when I moved out here, I brought the camera's USB cable. Since I can't find it. That will pose a problem if it ends up being the case.

            I guess I'm just doing to have to describe my amazing transformation in spellbinding prose!

            As for the diet...

            B: Two eggs. Yellow bell pepper. Yerba mate.

            S: Whipped cream (home made) with a scoop of vanilla whey protein powder and some shaved coconut (my hurt pride really wanted something sweet after my fall, so this was the best I could come up with... and it wasn't too bad!)

            L: Chicken and broccoli sauteed in coconut oil and almond butter.

            S: Handful of almonds.

            D: None. (just wasn't hungry)

            See ya tomorrow,



            • #7

              You have a pretty amazing story so far, my friend. Lyme disease is a very strange thing to have to deal with, and it often results in a difficult, belated and lengthy diagnosis. I'm glad you're feeling more like yourself.

              Out of curiosity, how tall are you? I'm thinking you're a bit taller than me because I'm guessing that my body fat percentage is higher than yours and you weigh a bit less.


              • #8

                I was really slogging through today, and eventually caved and drank a cup of coffee. Holy crap did that make things better! I can kick this caffeine habit (which isn't so bad to begin with) after my body gets acclimated to this new diet, until then; a cup o' coffee in the morning to get me in gear!

                I wasn't feeling like any exercise today, but I did will myself to do a bunch of yard work, which got my body going. Tomorrow I'm back to yoga.

                Oh, and the diet...

                B: Two eggs. Two strips of bacon. Yellow bell pepper. Yerba mate. Cup of coffee with cream.

                L: Salad time! I made a dressing on the fly that was really good. Almond butter and olive oil with a little bit of mustard and apple cider vinegar. Threw in some left over chicken and went to town!

                D: Spicy chicken sausages and broccoli sauteed in coconut oil.

                Another good day. That's four in a row! Three more days, and we call that a winning streak!

                'Till Then,



                • #9

                  There photos are of what I look like now. Hopefully they will one day be referred to as the "before" pictures. (I probably could have looked a little happier... or at the camera for that matter)

                  And to the side...

                  Sadly, this is my before picture now (this was four years ago, before I got really sick and way before I started treatment and sleeping and eating crap all day)


                  • #10

                    I have been so exhausted these last few days, not just physically but mentally. I know that this is in response to changing my diet over, so I'm not worried, but it just sucks to have to slog through the day. On a positive note, a friend who hasn't seen me since I returned from the holiday's mentioned how I was looking thinner (I really started eating primaly in the middle of December, and, back then, I was a little over 230, so I dropped a few pounds, even if I couldn't keep them all off over Christmas...). It's always nice to have objective reinforcement of your progress. I'm with me all the time and, as far as I can tell, I still look much the same.

                    I had planned to return to yoga yesterday, but the thought of 90 minutes in the studio was just unappealing, so I eventually willed myself to go jog (lightly) for half an hour outside. No matter how easily I took it, though, I couldn't keep my heart rate below 75%, my monitor kept reading between 80 and 85. My guess is that it's from the reintroduction of caffeine into my diet, since I was running all the time, before I left for the holidays, and it was quite easy to keep it below 75... Oh well. The run was tremendously easy and I wasn't straining my body at all, so, for now, I'm going to trust that. If, when I run in the future, my heart rate is still in that upper region I'll start to play with it.

                    I went to a farmer's market for the first time today, and was disappointed by the lack of selection until I realized that it was still the winter (my northeastern sense of the seasons hasn't changed yet). No matter, I was there for the meat anyway. I got a bunch of different cuts of good beef, including the liver, which I've never had before. I'm going to try and see if I can't integrate some organ meat into my diet (if I can keep my silly American Culture produced gag reflex down...)

                    On to the diet:

                    B: Omelet with three eggs, sopressata, tomato, and a bit of parmigiana. Cup of coffee with cream.

                    L: Big salad smothered in spicy olive oil with leftover chicken sausage.

                    S: Single scoop of whey protein. Handful of almonds.

                    D: (I went out with my brother and a friend of his to an Pan-Asian restaurant and tried my best). Chicken in coconut milk curry sauce. Sauteed spinach.

                    Here's hoping I have a little more pep tomorrow,



                    • #11

                      It is nice to hear other people notice the differences in you, especially when you don't.

                      If you're worried about your heart rate being to high while exercising, try just power walking instead of jogging. I tried jogging after not having to "run the mile" for seven years, I couldn't even make it around the track cuz I'm so out of shape. So I'm sure that meant my heart rate was way too high for the first couple of minutes.

                      But if you feel fine while jogging, like you said, it's probably okay.

                      Keep up the good work, it's tough when you're starting out.


                      • #12

                        Thanks for the advice Kong. I'm trying to keep my workouts scaled back a little these first few weeks on the diet. I should probably spend more time moving slowly and stop worrying about getting my heart rate up... Sounds like a new short term goal!

                        I'm still exhausted, and I had horrible sleep last night, so it took hours for me to muster up enough energy to drag my butt to the gym. Though I wasn't feeling great I got in 5 sets of squats, 3 of overhead press, 3 of deadlifts, and 3 of plank pose. I balked at pull ups, because, well, not only was I sapped of energy, I just didn't want to deal with the limited number I was going to put up and how weak I've gotten (at best, I get 5 on my first set... I used to do about 25 on my first set). Hopefully as my overall body weight decreases and my strength begins to come back I won't feel so ashamed when I get myself on the bar...


                        Today turned out to be an all meat day. I think I was just excited about what I got at the farmer's market yesterday. I'm not trying to make a habit of it, but for one day...

                        B: Beef breakfast sausage (it's just grass-fed ground beef mixed with some spices)

                        S: A handful of pistachios. A handful of almonds. One scoop of when protein powder.

                        L: Grilled flank steak with homemade barbecue sauce (I found a recipe and then had to modify the hell out of it, since the main ingredients were ketchup and sugar)

                        D: More flank steak please!


                        • #13

                          Hey SC, it sounds like things are going pretty well.

                          Just to offer a little encouragement: You and I are similarly built and in a similar weight range. I'm a bit chunkier than you are because you're a couple of inches taller than me. However, even though you say you feel weak, you are much stronger than I am. I MIGHT be able to do one pull up if I really pushed it. I guess the difference is in the fact that you were in shape at one time and I never have been.

                          I think you're doing really great and I'm impressed with your current physical abilities. Imagine where you'll be in six months or a year.


                          • #14

                            Thanks Jefferson. I appreciate the complements. And, you're right, I need to stay focused on the long term.

                            Today was a really tough one. These last few days I've been tired, lethargic, confused, and disoriented. This used to be my every day, all the time, and I don't like it. I feel trapped. But I just keep telling myself that it will pass and try to make it to the point where my energy returns. I never want to lose it again... This is hard.

                            I added some good carbs to my diet today to try and offset how I was feeling. It helped to a degree.

                            I have faith that I'll feel better in the coming days. I don't want to lose my way...


                            B: Beef breakfast sausage. Two eggs.

                            S: Dried plums and apricots. Almond butter.

                            L: Flank steak.

                            D: Salad (from Chipotle, sadly, I really didn't want to make anything...) with chicken and guacamole.

                            I wasn't really able to be too active today. I went for an hour long walk, that's about it. Hopefully I'll have a little more get-up tomorrow.



                            • #15

                              It's taken my most of the day, but, after realizing that I needed to up the carbs in my diet (for the time being) I have regained much of my energy. A pretty splitting headache still remains, but most other things have seemed to have gone away.

                              I gutted through a half hour jog (this time I was able to keep my heart rate at about 70 bpm) for the day's exercise. After eating an entire dark chocolate bar and a bunch of cherries my nausea and lack of appetite went away. I then DEVOURED about two pounds of turkey for dinner. Man did that feel good...

                              B: None.

                              L: Another salad from Chipotle. (I'm not happy about it, but I really didn't want to prepare anything and this was the best option I could think of while still staying primal... at least in spirit)

                              S: Dark chocolate bar. Cherries.

                              D: Turkey breast. Homemade gravy. Asparagus sauteed in olive oil and garlic.

                              I'm hopeful, with my awareness that more carbs are needed for the time being, that I can regain some quality of life which will, in turn, allow me to work out well.

                              We shall see,