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Grol's Primal Winter -- weight loss journal

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  • Grol's Primal Winter -- weight loss journal

    For a week I've been debating whether or not to post a journal, or possibly start (another) blog at Wordpress to share my weight loss story. Last week I shared my primal winter idea in the significant weight loss forum.

    I want to lose weight fast because I'm impatient, sick of being fat. So I've come up with the idea of a Primal Winter. I'm 6-2 and started eating Primal on the first of May. I was 368 that day. I'm morbidly obese with a goal weight of 200.

    My primal winter idea is loosely based on the concept that certain paleo tribes stored fat by the end of fall to best survive the hardship of winter. They would enter winter a little soft and pudgy and emerge in spring lean and mean. Well, I have plenty of fat stored.

    Here's the simple plan. I'm going to do what I did in May but fast every 3rd day in June. I will not eat or drink a drop of anything but water on the 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, etc.
    So, June 1st is a couple days away, and I'm going to follow through on the idea. This summer will be my winter. I only weigh on the first of the month, so Tuesday I'll report how I did in May. My guess is I dropped 20 pounds, and as big as I am, that really isn't much, imo.

    In Helen's "Why are you here" thread I shared the following:

    I come from a mostly obese family. I have started many a new year with a resolution to lose weight and get in shape. I have nearly accomplished that many times. I am the classic yo yo dieter/set point raising example who's spent 20 years gaining back more than he lost -- until unbelievably I saw myself go over 350 pounds last year. In college I was a decent basketball player who could rip off back to back six minute miles before skipping class and playing hoops hard for fours hours. I was 6-2 and 190 then. Now my 11 year old beats me in a race across the backyard.

    I knew I had to approach this differently to break the cycle. I occasionally do involved technical writing (finance and accounting) that requires careful research for accuracy -- to get things right. I decided to apply that to my weight problem. Rather than wrapping myself in plastic and sweating off pounds, looking like an idiot and eating like an anorexic goat; I decided to read. I expected to come out of this a vegan, maybe a raw vegan. I know some lean and happy vegans who are pretty awesome people, and if that's what it took, then so be it. I'm approaching 50 and killing myself at 368 pounds. Then I stumbled upon Gary Taubes and the Big Fat Lie article. Bells started ringing true. Thank. God. For. That. It brought me to the online paleo community. I bought books and I read them. I searched the contrary and debunking information. It wasn't convincing. By mid April, I decided to say goodbye to all my favorite sugar and grain based foods by eating them in abundance before transforming into a caveman on May 1st. So that's what I did, and yesterday I beat the 11 year old across the yard. Woot. Depending on your opinion of dairy, I have made it through the month between 90-10 and 98-2%. I'll cheat more when I'm sub 300.
    Those percentages may be off because while nuts are considered primal, I am eating way too many nuts. They have replaced bags of tortilla chips and hostess donuts, so that's a good thing, and maybe the nuts wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't so fat, but I am so they are. I'm hoping the extended intermittent fasting of a primal winter helps me stop binging on nuts. We'll see. Thanks for reading.


  • #2
    In another forum a primal eater just joined a weight loss group of mine and asked what differences we've noticed so far.

    This was my response to her.

    Observations after one month:

    I have a consistent and general feeling of 'wellness' that had been lacking for the past year plus. My blood pressure which was scary high has dropped to very normal levels. A constant belly ache is 90% gone. I am more focused on both work and play. My BMs are no longer painful and time consuming. I no longer swell and bloat from water retention when doing minor exercise or physical labor. My dry skin and hair are both a little oily and much healthier. I used to get fierce headaches at night from eating too much sugar or grain, not sure which but they are gone. Sometimes they would delay to morning like a hangover, but not any more. Grocery shopping is a 15 minute activity now -- produce, meat, nuts, done. I've discovered some really fun new recipes, like homemade jerky, the above fake ice cream, using thinly sliced cabbage as a pasta replacement in carbonara, cacciatore, and linguine and clams. Using whole cabbage leaves as a pasta replacement in lasagna -- what hit that is. My kid is eating healthier.


    • #3
      Wow. I'm in awe. Posts like these - and people like you - make me realize the power of the PB. I feel like I want to go tell the world. But of course one shouldn't start to preach - it's not a religion, it's just a lifestyle. It's just that it's such a simple but awsome lifestyle that can change people and the world.

      Wish you all the best with your summer winter.. Sounds tough to me, but I guess it's all about habits. Just make sure you get all the vitamins and stuff you need.. OK, I'll stop it here before I start sounding like my mom


      • #4
        Originally posted by fable View Post
        But of course one shouldn't start to preach - it's not a religion, it's just a lifestyle. It's just that it's such a simple but awesome lifestyle that can change people and the world.
        Hi Fable, thanks for the comment. My debate between a journal here and a fresh blog about my new lifestyle was directly related to what you said above about preaching. I am part of a large extended Italian family. There's many among us who need this lifestyle. I started preaching, but the blank stares, excuses, conventional wisdom comments and general disinterest made me stop. I've had to make a conscious effort not to preach. Minding my own business but giving them an example -- several months from now -- may be best.

        On the other hand, there's so much information I'd like to share, blogging may be the best answer. None of them will come to MDA regularly or Protein Power or PaNu, and actually read. They're time is limited. But if I (brother, uncle, son, in-law, friend) started posting the information, they would read it because they know me, like they drop by facebook to catch up with each other.

        I dunno. Is it best to not preach and just set the example? Or am I possibly hurting those I love by not sharing all I've learned asap.? There's some hurting people in this crowd who I would truly love to see make the primal change.


        • #5
          I also discussed this topic on another weight loss forum. But most people there told me that people with bad habits or lifestyles in the end have to figure out for themselves that they need to change. The motivation needs to come from within. But an incredibly great push to that motivation may be a good example. And of course, they need to know what on earth you are doing, so if they are motivated, they know where to look for advice. So use facebook, link to great posts, comment on what you are eating (which will also get you off the "you must be starving yourself!" comments). Make sure everybody can read about your progress, without the feeling that you're trying to push them into something. This might also be a good motivation for yourself: Because as your efforts become more and more visible and obvious, believe me, they WILL be curious!

          Well, probably you already thought of this, since you already had the debate. But still, I wish you all the best, and hopefully your friends and family will be convinced!


          • #6
            Screwed up with the preaching...

            I already blew it with the preaching. I have an awesome sister, 50 years old, lean and cut and in amazing physical condition. Chronic cardio to the tune of 10 miles a day on roller blades for years. She's a big time carb eater and she is famous for her baked deserts. Anyway, she jumped on me for supplementing with omega 3 and D3. She hates pills and believes we get all we need from diet. Of course, that led me to explain that I mostly agree, but not for these two supplements. Man, it just went off from there until we were both angry about the other person's opinions. She has cared for a paraplegic husband for 25 years and has been very conscious of health. She considers herself the family health guru and she has the fitness to make the claim. She is well versed and in compliance with all CW and really let me have it with the fats and toxic meat eating. She thinks I was better off juice fasting. Why would she listen to a fat slob like me? Oy!

            Looking forward to a big bbq tonight. IF until then.


            • #7
              Hm. I guess you can't really blame her. After all, she has reached her goal - she's fit and healthy. ("Health" is such an individual concept anyways.) And boy has she worked hard to get there. Imagine having forsaken so much, having worked so hard with the incredible amount of self-dicipline it takes to get fit the CW-way.. And then her previously-not-so-fit brother starts telling her to eat more fat and not work out so much.. Of course she will suspect you of not having the slightest clue, or even that you're envious. I guess again, having the patience to wait for some visible results will trigger interest instead of scepticism. But I know, it's so hard to watch those you love giving themselves such a hard time.

              Over to something else: Do you have a good recipe for the cabbage lasagna? I thought it sounded like a great idea and really wanted to give it a try!


              • #8
                Fable, I will gladly post the lasagna recipe when I have time. Just making the sauce right is pretty involve, but there's tons of shortcuts that should be fine if you're not part of a very traditional Italian family.

                I'll get to it later.

                First, I came here report my ONE MONTH results. I am 341 pounds today. I lost 27 pounds in May. The doctor is thrilled with my blood pressure and blood sugar. The amazing thing to me is that while I did a good job eating primally, I was rarely hungry the entire month. In fact, I'm sure I was stuffed many more times in May than I was the previous few months. I know the more I lose the more difficult it will become, so I have decided to step on the gas a little in June with the Primal Winter idea. I am very encouraged.


                • #9
                  Well, the first primal winter/extended IF is in the books and still going strong. I haven't eaten since Monday night and it's Wednesday morning. I am not experiencing hunger at the moment. This isn't the 'hibernation mode' lack of hunger caused by extended fasting, so I'll just wait until I feel hungry again to eat. I'm sure I will be hungry soon enough. The way I feel I expect to carry this fast to dinner, so it could end up at 42 hours or so. Or a big lunch could be in the works. I was good and hungry last night between 6-9, but it subsided to a background noise until I showered and went to sleep. I woke up with a mild headache, very minor compared to what I experienced when eating grains and sugars, but the first headache of any kind since early May. I was a bit groggy and slow to get moving this morning, but that's par for the course. I suspect I'm not getting enough good sleep. I need to work on getting away from this keyboard at 10pm and just getting to sleep.


                  • #10
                    Hi Grol, I have that same problem of staying up way too late in front of this computer. It's my down time after hard days to just sit here and read blogs and stuff but I need a cut off time too cause I wake up TIRED still.
                    27 lbs in one month! congrats, that's awesome. I'm *hoping* to lose about that much this month so I'm trying to be pretty ridgid about cheats and all that too. I should be doing the fasts like you but I don't know.... maybe after reading about your fasts I'll be inspired enough to try one later this month. The most I've gone is about 18 hrs.
                    Keep up the good work!


                    • #11
                      Congrats on the one-month-mark! I can't believe it's even possible to lose that amount of weight in a month. A pound a day! And even better that your other health markers have improved. This primal stuff is explosive

                      So how is winter time? I think it sounds a bit harsh to fast that often, but you seem to be in control. I tend to sleep very light during fasts, so I never fast more than 24 hrs and I usually start my fasts around supper.


                      • #12
                        Thanks Fable! I am pleased so far. As big as I am that kind of weight comes off fairly easily for a couple months. The last time I made a serious effort, I became a member of the fasting culture. 7 day water fasts are not difficult for me. In fact, I enjoy them. I worry they have something to do with my metabolic/health issues, so I'm PB for life and willing to go a little slower. I have dropped 50 pounds in a month in the past.

                        Hi Katie. If you have significant weight to lose I do believe IFing on low carbs is a great way to get the body into fat burning mode - ketosis. That metabolic state is key. Fasting without ketones coursing through your system is just a royal pain in the butt. In the general forums I've written a little about what seems to be the easiest schedule for most fasters. Not everyone will find it true, but a high percentage do best while skipping breakfast and lunch, then having an early dinner and a later supper or snack. This lends itself to a habit forming 20 hour IF that has plenty of advantages. All I am doing with a primal winter is pushing past the dinner supper every couple of days to take advantage of fasted state fat burning while I sleep. I certainly don't recommend it for everyone, and I understand some get weak and need nourishment on a more regular schedule. Just don't wuss out without trying!

                        Here's some more details about my condition from a question I answered in a PM.

                        My CRP was 5.5, still inflammatory. Good luck with your test next week. You've been 'studying' the right way with PB, that's for sure. I haven't retested CRP, but I have been doing great on the stuff below. My red flags are numerous but mostly, I started scoring fasted blood glucose over 100 and as high as 118 while self testing every couple of days. Of course testing for the doctor scored 88, but I showed him my chart and we did a basic insulin resistance check -- glucose tolerance was 190. Really pushing the high end. I had all the boxes checked. Obese, constant thirst, high blood pressure, polyuria, big time morning fatigue, heredity, ethnicity, elevated triglycerides and LDL. It all adds up to Pre Diabetic/Metabolic Syndrome.

                        In a month I have dropped the triglycerides to an acceptable range, lowered the blood pressure to perfectly normal, brought my blood glucose into the 80s, and dropped 27 pounds with well over 100 to go still. I think it's pretty obvious that grains, sugars, and certain oils are unnecessary and harmful. I still have some big issues, but it took me 20 years to develop them so it's going to take some time to reverse everything. I'm pretty sure I got this though.

                        So how does Grol eat after a 42 hour fast? I opened the fridge and Memorial Day leftovers were all talking to me. The lefotover salad, even though a little wilted, looked best to me for some reason. I sliced a grilled chicken breast, an avocado, and a hard boiled egg into it. Drenched it in vinegar and oil and had a BAS feast. A couple hours later, I cut homemade jerky into dipping sized pieces and went through a bunch of guacamole. Jerky makes a good chip, but some pork skins also helped. Late at night, I poured coconut milk over blueberries, walnuts and almonds and had my new version of cereal. I've eaten a ton of sugary processed cereal as my late night snack over the years. Those boxes all went in the trash a couple weeks ago.

                        I feel fine this morning and will be cooking outside again tonight for young guests. It's the last day of elementary school and my kid talked me into having a pool party for her friends. My yard is a mess so I'll spend the day grokking around slowly in the sun getting ready for company.


                        • #13
                          Thank you for posting your journal!

                          It's very inspirational and I loved reading it!


                          • #14
                            Grol, thanks for the advice. I'll definately try a 20 hr fast like you descibed. I think I can manage even though I'm nowhere close to ketosis. I do need to get my blood sugars down even with primal eating they still tend to run high and fasting just might be the thing to increase insulin sensitivity!
                            How many carbs per day have you been eating to drop your fasting blood sugar into the 80's? And, if you don't mind me long before going primal were your blood sugars high?
                            I'm curious because I started getting high blood sugars earlier this year and despite eating way lower carb my fasting blood sugars are still between 100-120. Is there anything specific you have done that you think has helped the most like exercise, or fasting, or just low carb? probably all three, right?


                            • #15
                              Want2beapinup -- Thanks for that comment. I feel old around here at 48 and if I can inspire or encourage a little because I have a few more errors notched in my belt than most, that makes this worthwhile. I read your journal and think you have some of the same addictive eating behaviors as me. Meals didn't seem complete without some bread or rice or pasta. I could eat and eat the paleo fare and never be satisfied. Staring in the pantry. Staring in the fridge. It was a week of hard core cold turkey withdrawals that I don't think everyone has to deal with, but I did, and I think your descriptions suggest you do too. Good luck.

                              Hi Katie. I guess I started worrying when I noticed some unusually bad headaches in the mornings after unfortunately large meals over the last holiday cycle. Rather than make a resolution to lose weight like every other new year. I resolved to research a solution instead this time. Part of that was paying attention to blood glucose and pressure, and just learning a little more about my problems. So most of January through April I knew I had some worrisome numbers, but I cannot say how long before that they rose to those levels.

                              I consistently started recording blood glucose numbers in the low 90s and high 80s within days of starting the Primal plan. Headaches vanished. A week later blood pressure was 128 over 90, a week after that 118 over 68. Man, I felt like celebrating. My carb levels never went over 50gm a day and 50% of my days were sub 20 grams. I have not had a single piece of bread, string of pasta, or grain of rice. I am done with them and do not miss them. I have eaten very little fruit, only blueberries and strawberries. My carbs have come from veggies like broc, cabbage, spinach, and cauliflower. Onions are my highest source of carb some days. I've gone nuts for nuts a few times. I drank a little milk at first but have stopped. I eat a little hard cheese, but very little. I honestly love eating like this because the food I do eat is fun and decadent in it's own way. It is also very filling if you bulk up with low cal veggies and still get the requisite protein and fat. It was tough for a couple weeks, but I am in a groove now and I think this will be my lifestyle going forward. I'm not sure I have much choice really.