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No pretending to like tofu any more!: Eric's primal transformation

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  • #61
    Dinner last night was leftover beef tenderloin (the last of it) and leftover veggies. I love easy meals!

    I did plyometrics again last night. I definitely didn't have the same hops I had when I did it Sunday. I was grinding through it and was about half way when my son woke up, and I went to go check on him. I decided to call it quits for the night. Even with half a workout and going at a minimal pace, I was still absolutely drenched in sweat, so I definitely burned some calories.

    I had a second meal of a salad with a couple of fried eggs and some frozen coconut milk strawberry-banana "ice cream" that my wife made.

    I have P90x shoulders and arms today at lunch. It looks relatively easy for a P90X routine. I hope I feel the same way afterwards!
    My primal journal

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    • #62
      About exercise in general (I've seen the PX90 ads on the net but never done it myself). I really think that it is important that you do move. How you move is not really the big deal. The main thing is finding something that does not become a grind for you, something that does not feel like WORK. If exercise stops being fun and exciting but you power through it anyway to meet some set schedule you feel you HAVE to do, then it's time to chill and take a day off.
      If you are having fun with your PX90, cool. I really like Mark's unstructured way of approaching exercise. I bang out a random unplanned set of push-ups on the counter while waiting for my tea to heat in the microwave.

      As someone who used to be a dedicated gym rat in my younger years and even into bodybuilding, I can say that the most liberating thing about PB was the day I cancelled my gym membership and walked away (down to the beach to do some sprints! For free!) This is fun.

      Don't lose sight of the fun in all your diligent efforts.

      BTW, that loin roast looks wonderful.

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      • #63
        Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
        About exercise in general (I've seen the PX90 ads on the net but never done it myself). I really think that it is important that you do move. How you move is not really the big deal. The main thing is finding something that does not become a grind for you, something that does not feel like WORK. If exercise stops being fun and exciting but you power through it anyway to meet some set schedule you feel you HAVE to do, then it's time to chill and take a day off.
        If you are having fun with your PX90, cool. I really like Mark's unstructured way of approaching exercise. I bang out a random unplanned set of push-ups on the counter while waiting for my tea to heat in the microwave.

        As someone who used to be a dedicated gym rat in my younger years and even into bodybuilding, I can say that the most liberating thing about PB was the day I cancelled my gym membership and walked away (down to the beach to do some sprints! For free!) This is fun.

        Don't lose sight of the fun in all your diligent efforts.

        BTW, that loin roast looks wonderful.
        That is very good advice, especially for the long term. Generally I'm enjoying the challenge of my exercise routines for the moment. The strength training I was doing did get to be a bit of a grind, and so I made a change. I love swimming and look forward to it. I look forward to P90X in a different way. It is hard, but satisfying. I'm toying with the idea of entering a tough mudder competition in a few years. I don't know if I'll ever do it, but it is a long-term goal (maybe), and so that is one reason I am training more intensely than Mark calls for in PB fitness. By the way, I have no delusions of ever truly competing in one. I'd like to enter and complete the race. That would be winning for me.

        I'm also slowly getting back into Uechi Ryu on my own with the hope that I can visit my dojo once in a while to keep progressing, and I want to be very fit to do that. When I was training years before, if only I had known about primal then, I would have been in outstanding shape, but even then I always was overweight because of what I ate, despite training 3 days a week for 90 minutes each time in a very intense workout.
        My primal journal

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        • #64
          I went to the doctor this morning to have a physical exam and to get blood work. I'm very curious to see what the results are. Prior to losing weight, beginning to exercise, and eating primal, my blood pressure had crept up to right at 140/90, which is the point at which doctors want to start medicating you. My blood pressure now? 118/65. My not even resting pulse rate is 61 bpm. I hope my bloodwork is just as good. It was OK before (as of September 2010, the last time I had it checked), so I'm hoping it will be very good now.

          I told my doctor about paleo, and as you might imagine he wasn't terribly enthusiastic. He wanted to check my liver enzymes. He was also concerned that I was losing weight too fast. I tried to explain that I haven't been starving myself. Far from it, I eat quite well and am satsified. Overall, he was skeptical but happy that I'd lost weight and is fine for me to continue, though I'm sure if something alarms him in the bloodwork he won't be quite so easygoing.

          The great news is that I don't have acid reflux any more at all. Nor have I had any sleep apnea problems -- I was going to have to go to a sleep clinic and most likely have to get a CPAP machine if I didn't lose weight and the sleep apnea issues continued. Oh, and the doctor suggested I cut back my asthma medication to once a day rather than twice a day! He wanted to attribute everything to weight loss rather than diet. Sure, weight loss itself and exercise have helped a lot, but what I'm eating is also a huge factor. After all, I still weigh 245 pounds and am only 5'8". I have probably 65 pounds to go. I'm only about a third of the way there.

          It is amazing to me that I've already had so many positive changes in so little time. Part of me wants to kick my ass for living so long the way I had been when it has been relatively easy to dramatically change my life. But then the other part just wants to dance with joy (and I don't dance!) that the road ahead will be so much better. I choose to look ahead.
          Last edited by en2ec; 07-06-2012, 12:08 AM.
          My primal journal

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          • #65
            So I got my blood tests back, and I think they are pretty good:

            Total cholesterol: 152
            HDL: 54
            LDL: 92
            Triglycerides: 30

            My Total/HDL ratio is: 2.8
            Trig/HDL ratio is: 0.55
            LDL/HDL ratio is: 1.7

            I'd like to push up my HDL (though my ratios are excellent now, so I think it is OK). I'm very pleased with the LDL and triglycerides. I've read that LDL is overestimated with very low triglycerides. I'm not sure if the "Iranian" equation is appropriate, though, because I have low total cholesterol. So, I assume my LDL is overestimated, but I don't know by how much.

            This morning I weighed 245 on my bathroom scale, so I've lost a total of 35 pounds (16 pounds while primal in 6 weeks).
            Last edited by en2ec; 07-09-2012, 02:05 AM.
            My primal journal

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            • #66
              Originally posted by en2ec View Post
              So I got my blood tests back, and I think they are pretty good:

              Total cholesterol: 152
              HDL: 54
              LDL: 92
              Triglycerides: 30

              My Total/HDL ratio is: 2.8
              Trig/HDL ratio is: 0.55
              LDL/HDL ratio is: 1.7

              I'd like to push up my HDL (though my ratios are excellent now, so I think it is OK). I'm very pleased with the LDL and triglycerides. I've read that LDL is overestimated with very low triglycerides. I'm not sure if the "Iranian" equation is appropriate, though, because I have low total cholesterol. So, I assume my LDL is overestimated, but I don't know by how much.

              This morning I weighed 245 on my bathroom scale, so I've lost a total of 35 pounds (16 pounds while primal in 6 weeks).
              Great news and good job!! Keep it up!

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              • #67
                Excellent stats, Eric. My Dad's BP came down from scary high and on two medications for it to about 115/65 consistently with no meds. This stuff works. You're getting healthier. The weight loss is a byproduct of that. A nice one. Keep up the good work.

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                • #68
                  I haven't been keeping my journal very regularly. That's not to say that I've strayed though. I am still eating primally. I had to put a hold on my exercises last week until today. I finally caught the chest cold that my son has had for ages now. In the past a chest cold would have wiped me out for a week or two or more ... no work, no anything. I would typically have been forced to go on antibiotics to get rid of it. The amazing thing, and I attribute this to primal, is that this time around it was very minor in comparison. Still enough that I felt pretty lousy for a few days, and it kept me out of the gym, but not bad enough that I missed work. My immune system is actually working on its own without antibiotics, and I'm getting better.

                  I'm not sure what happened, but I think I took a sudden leap in weight loss and size (maybe something to do with being sick?), but I'm now at 239, and all of my clothes in the regular rotation suddenly went from being a little loose to being downright baggy. I'm even on my last hole on my favorite belt. I might be in a bit of a pickle in this transition size because I'm probably still too big for normal Austrian clothes, but I'm not sure how much longer I can wear what I have before I look absurd. I guess it is a good problem to have though.
                  Last edited by en2ec; 07-16-2012, 08:36 AM.
                  My primal journal

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                  • #69
                    I've really been bad about updating my journal. Today marks my 2nd month primal, so I'm posting some results and will TRY to keep posting regularly.

                    Starting weight pre primal (early March): 280+
                    Starting weight primal (May 26): 261
                    1st month weight (June 26): 249
                    Current weight (July 26): 241

                    I was at 239 last week and am now at 241. Hopefully, that's just normal fluctuation and not a reversal. I've also changed up my exercise routine, which may have something to do with it. I had done Starting Strength for about 10 weeks (along with swimming). I hit a plateau and decided to do something else. I started P90X and did that for a couple of weeks, but Tony Horton kinda drives me crazy. Plus, having done it for a couple of weeks, I think that even though it is partly strength training, I think that it, in effect, is more like "chronic cardio." I was also doing it at the gym, and there isn't a very good place to do it there, and I was watching the videos on my phone. Ultimately, the strength training portion boils down to pushups, pullups, curls, overhead dumbbell presses, flys, squats, and lunges.

                    I figured I could find another routine that is just as good or even better. I wanted something shorter with more intensity. I stumbled across this free book and android app called Max Capacity Training that is all bodyweight exercises using intervals that last 16 minutes per workout. I've been doing that this week, but I don't think enough emphasis is on strength with it (there's no pulling exercises). I searched again, and I've settled on You are Your Own Gym. I plan to start that on Monday. In the meantime I'm continuing this week with Max Capacity Training.

                    Here is a photo from this morning. I'm holding my son, who is my motivation to change my life. I've updated my first post if you want to see before pictures along with this current one.

                    Eric and Finn 2012-07-26.jpg
                    Last edited by en2ec; 07-26-2012, 01:53 AM.
                    My primal journal

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                    • #70
                      I've taken some photos of food the last couple of weeks while I've been lazy about writing in my journal. I thought I'd post the photos now.

                      Heritage pork:
                      pork 2012-07-23 19.32.37.jpg


                      Brazilian grass fed strip steak:
                      steak 2012-07-19 19.37.15.jpg


                      NZ Venison:
                      venison 2012-07-15 14.27.45.jpg


                      When I have breakfast at work, this is usually it:
                      breakfast 2012-07-10 09.14.54.jpg

                      I DID NOT eat these, but couldn't resist taking a photo and sharing it. I don't think that Grok would recognize this as food.
                      grok 2012-07-17 13.24.59.jpg
                      Last edited by en2ec; 07-26-2012, 01:02 AM.
                      My primal journal

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                      • #71
                        I did intervals today for my swimming workout. I did 4 easy laps as a warmup. Then I did a quasi-Tabata interval with the crawl. I say quasi because without a trainer it is impossible to time your swim for eactly 20 seconds. Instead, I swam the length of the pool at an all out pace, which I think takes me around 25 seconds. I'd then rest for 15 seconds. I did 8 rounds. Then I swam another 4 easy laps to recover. Then I did timed tabatas (20 seconds full effort, 10 seconds rest) on my back just kicking. I did 8 rounds again. I swim with trainer fins, so it was a pretty effective leg workout as well as an intense cardio workout. Then another 4 easy laps to cool down.

                        I felt great afterwards. One really great thing about this type of workout is that it took me about 15 minutes. I'm usually in the pool for 30. I'm going to keep doing this for a few weeks and then I'll go for a long swim to see if my performance has improved.
                        Last edited by en2ec; 07-26-2012, 05:06 AM.
                        My primal journal

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                        • #72
                          I felt a little hungry this morning, so I had my usual breakfast at work, a breadless "sandwich" with smoked salmon, hard boiled eggs and veggies.

                          My workout was good. It kicked my butt. All 16 minutes of it. I'm still feeling it a bit, but I feel good.

                          I didn't bring my lunch today, and I was amazed to find that there was a totally primal lunch option available: Peruvian pork stew (ingredients were posted ... all primal) with sweet potatoes. I also got a small salad. It wasn't bad, but it was very filling. I haven't had sweet potato in a while, and I'm still full hours later.

                          Lunch 2012-07-27 13.27.32.jpg
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                          • #73
                            I forgot to mention before that I've had a bunch of people at work come up to me in the last week to ask me what I'm doing to lose weight. I always refer them to MDA, which I think is the best single source of nutrition/lifestyle info on the web.
                            My primal journal

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                            • #74
                              I had wine (too much) on Friday and some sausages, which probably had some flour in them, for dinner Friday. We went to a middle ages festival on Saturday. Saturday, I had bacon and eggs for breakfast, a dried sausage and some pork rinds as a driving snack, some meat on a stick at the festival, some more bacon and eggs (ugh ... I thought i was ordering a drink ... my German sucks). And then for dinner some ribs, half a serving of potato wedges (I was naughty) and a greek salad (didn't eat the feta). Oh, and I had 2 half liters of beer. My first beer since I started primal. I felt pretty lousy Sunday, then went to a cookout Sunday evening where I had more wine, some steak, more sausages (almost certainly with flour), and some green salad. I felt really crappy this morning (it didn't help that my son woke up at 4 am, and I didn't really get back to sleep until about 6 am for 30 minutes). Not surprisingly, I gained a couple of pounds over the weekend.

                              I did an IF this morning and worked out out fasted right before lunch. I started my new You are Your own Gym workout today. I'm definitely feeling it. I think that this workout will be good for me. I have the android app that goes along with the book, and it is brilliant. Post-workout, I had a whey protein shake with some coconut milk. It was actually really good. For lunch, I had a breadless salmon sandwich with 2 eggs and lots of veggies.

                              I will need to ramp up the veggie consumption this week and eat much cleaner meats to get back in the groove. I do feel better now than I did this morning. It is a shame. I was feeling really, really good toward the end of the week. This was a good lesson for me though. Wine in MODERATION. No beer. Nothing that could have flour in it. No salami or processed meats -- fasting would be a better option. Get veggies however I can if I'm traveling.
                              My primal journal

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                              • #75
                                I think I've fully recovered from my weekend now. I've been IFing every day. I'm now below my Friday weight.

                                Yesterday I did the You Are Your Own Gym workout again. This time it was legs and back. I guess my legs are in better condition than my arms and shoulders because it was not as taxing as the first day workout, though I did feel it afterwards. I can't say enough how much I like the whole concept of YAYOG and how great the app is. It walks me through the whole thing just like I had a personal trainer. Some people complain about YAYOG because some of the exercises require some "found" equipment like doors or tables. The dodgiest suggestion is the "let me up" exercise in which he recommends a broom handle suspended over a couple of speakers or chairs and you underneath lying down pulling yourself up. Yet, these exercises are still bodyweight exercises. Anyway, I'm doing them at the gym, and I did the entire first workout using the otherwise useless Smith machine, which it turned out was great for all 4 of the first day's exercises. Still, I could have done them at home well enough. Having recently done a round of Starting Strength and then a few weeks of P90X, I can say that even the beginner 10 week program of YAYOG is challenging. Lauren, the author, constructs the program based on periodization, and the first phase is endurance using ladders (1 rep, rest = time it took for 1 rep, 2 reps, rest = time it took for 2 reps and on, then back down in the same fashion). I think that Lauren's programming, apart from the bodyweight aspect, is what really sets him apart from Starting Strength and P90X. SS focuses exclusively on strength at the expense of muscle endurance and core strength (I know, deadlifts and squats do build some core strength, but for anyone only doing SS, I invite you to do some planks and see how strong your core really is). P90X is much more about aerobic conditioning than strength training for me (even if you ignore the P90X cardio workouts and only consider the "strength" workouts).

                                I guess I'm slowly working my way toward a more PB fitness approach. If you want a little more advanced (with more explanation) bodyweight workout program than PB fitness (no knock against it though ... it seems perfectly good), then I highly recommend You Are Your Own Gym and the accompanying app.

                                I swam today. As I said before, I'm going to focus on swim sprints for the next few weeks. I'm curious to see how it impacts a longer-distance swim later on. I guess this is an n=1 experiment.
                                My primal journal

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