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Four days in....

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  • Four days in....

    Hi all,

    I'm four days into my new primal lifestyle, and thought I'd share my story.

    I've been seriously trying to improve my health and fitness for the past two years or so. I'm 28, 6'4", and started my journey at an embarrassing 320 pounds. I've always been the "big" guy in the room - tall, strong....and overweight. I've made short-lived attempts at P90X and CrossFit. They were both exciting, new, and provided noticeable results. But each became unsustainable for me after a couple of months, due to my busy schedule and not always finding that daily willpower needed to commit to an hour or and hour and a half of intense workout. I made great, steady progress through a "couch to 5k"-type jogging program, as well as by understanding and recalibrating my caloric intake through the use of tracking sites like MyFitnessPal. I didn't go on any particular diet, per se, but just regulated my total daily calorie intake. From late 2010 to mid-2011, I lost 50 pounds. I learned a lot about nutrition and general health along the way and was really satisfied with the results I was seeing for the first time in my life. I felt truly healthy. But I hit a plateau this past summer. I was still jogging and lifting weights somewhat frequently, but I fell off the calorie-tracking wagon and put a few pounds back on.

    This fall, I began looking for something to reignite that health spark for me. P90X came and went again. I realized I needed a workout I could do often, fit it into my schedule, and sustain it for the rest of my life. P90X just isn't it, and neither was CrossFit. After fruitlessly scouring the internet for the perfect program for me, I rediscovered this site, and the primal approach Mark advocates. It inspired me to make my OWN perfect program, and amalgamate what I'd learned over the past two years into something I could do consistently and sustainably. I've now been working out in a primal-inspired fashion for the past two weeks and have really enjoyed it and feel good so far.

    This renewed health spark also drove me to look at my diet and nutrition more closely and do something different than painstakingly regulating the raw calorie number like I had been. I'd been well aware of the primal and paleo approaches. While I found the concepts intriguing, I had written them off by thinking that I enjoy breads and grains too much. That lunchtime sandwich or burrito was just too perfect to give up, I thought. Plus, I latched onto reasons to be skeptical. For example: I had a friend who was on a hardcore paleo "challenge" on my Tough Mudder team this past spring. The rest of us carbo-feasted on spaghetti the night before, while she abstained and stuck to meat and nuts. She hit a wall early in the course and had a really hard time with endurance, despite being in really good shape. Proof that it's not that great an approach, I told myself. Despite that, I've found the concepts working their way into my diet over the past year. I first went to whole-wheat only. And then to a little less grain generally. And then to a few additional vegetables of all types. And then to natural meats and organic produce when we could afford them. And as of Monday, I have gone completely no-grain, no-corn product, and almost no added sugar. It was a transition, but I have now gone primal. At least, my synthesis of primal. I am reducing dairy somewhat, but by no means eliminating it, and I am drawing a line in the sand at occasional beer and liquor! Maybe I'll have to reassess if I do a big event like Tough Mudder than requires a lot of endurance, and thus, carb intake. I'm sure I will learn more and adjust as I go.

    Anyway, today is Day 4 of primal eating, of which only 3 have involved workouts: two "life heavy things" days, and one 5k jog day (a little more running than Mark advocates, but I don't feel it crosses into "chronic cardio" range, and I still feel that it's important since I want to be on a weight loss trajectory). In those 4 days, first of all, I feel very well, in the truest sense of the word. And secondly, I have lost 4 pounds. I'm starting to notice a few other things as well. My appetite is less ravenous during the course of the day than it was previously. My brain is less preoccupied with getting my next bite to eat. I also crave water slightly less than I usually do, maybe since I've cut out that lunchtime salty lunchmeat sandwich? I also feel that I have a general heightened awareness, or sensitivity, to my metabolism.

    So, that's it so far. I plan to start a journal thread on that part of the forum for daily (or weekly, we'll see) updates. Thanks for reading, and wish me luck!
    Last edited by egrande25; 12-22-2011, 09:23 PM.

  • #2
    Keep it up, fella!


    • #3
      Sounds good. Feel free to ignore my advice as you know what works for you, but I'd recommend reducing that 5k run to maybe even once a month and doing sprints once per week instead.

      I've found doing so increased my weight loss and helped me put on muscle. Moreover, surprisingly, sprinting actually improves your endurance more than steady-state running. Despite running many less miles per month than most people I know, when I do go running with others, most are huffing and puffing to keep up with me. It's also much more time efficient since you said you were busy. I do Tabata sprints which only last 4 minutes. It's 4 minutes of perfect hell, though.

      I'm coming from a different place than you are, but see my success story:
      Last edited by ppham27; 12-23-2011, 07:16 AM.


      • #4
        Thanks. The advice is welcome. I have considered the sprinting approach. I haven't ruled out transitioning toward that. We'll see. Well done on your success story!


        • #5
          Originally posted by ppham27 View Post
          I do Tabata sprints which only last 4 minutes. It's 4 minutes of perfect hell, though.
          +1 for Tabata. Used to do Tabata squats in college, and just started doing them again.