The Chocoholic's Primal Road
Lindt...Green and Black's...Amadeo...Pralus...I thought I would have to give these up forever in my quest to get fit and lose weight.
Hi, I'm Sakura. I'm an ex-college athlete, having dabbled in weightlifting without a coach for a couple years, and currently focused on body weight workouts. For a little background on myself, I've always had a past of being really active and competitive. I was that girl that could beat the boys at dodgeball. I used to be one of the fastest 1-milers in my girl gym class without having to regularly exercise. I've always been above average at any new sport I tried out. But I never thought about my weight. Slightly chubby, skinny-fat, but not close to overweight at all.
When college rolled around, I joined a sports team, and I started caring about weight in the obsessive way. I did a lot of cardio, but was just skinny fat during the first two years, while being obsessed with counting calories. I also lost my period. After I realized I had a hormonal problem, I educated myself about weight training and got myself a six-pack after a few months of training. But this regimen only lasted three months as I was still sustaining on a meager low-fat diet on restricted calories and on extreme levels of exercise. I fell into a bad period of depression/binging when I quit my sports, shin splints that prevented me from doing cardio, and a study abroad in Europe that involved way too many carbs + chocolate. I ballooned to 150 pounds at 5'3". I've tried only unsuccessfully to lose fat because hunger pangs and cravings would deter my progress.
After lurking around the MDA forums, a lot of the concepts made sense to me, including the way nutrition worked in the foods consumed and the overall exercise regime. I always knew subconsciously that certain details on Nutritiondata back when I was in SAD mode popped out at me more than the fiber and calories that CW focused on. For example, I used to pay close attention to the inflammation factor, tried to keep n-6:n-3 lower than 6:1, and never let my total GI go over 100. But I knew that high-carb and chronic cardio would not last me my entire lifetime so I decided to take the plunge on PB.
During my first months on PB, but I abused the allowable chocolate and dairy rule, and instead of moderating them, chose to eat them every day for about 1/3 of my daily food intake. This caused me to gain an extra 5 lbs.
Then I began fasting for 24 hours 2x/week, and this only marginally helped me. My food choices began incorporating many nuts to accommodate my enormous appetite and extreme lifting days. Despite the fact that I was eating on average over 3,000 calories a day, I did lose a small amount of fat. Somehow I was able to keep this up for a year, though I tried the fasts for only half a year.
Over the past few years, I have dialed down the extremism. I am focused more on eating whole foods, rather than meeting some arbitrary requirement on macro/micros. I also try to get enough sleep. On physical activity, I do some yoga, lots of leisurely walking, and have worked down my twice-a-day gym workouts to 0-2x per week. Eating has gone down, though the net calories are about the same as the past couple years. Still struggling with chocolate, which I have now deemed is my psychological comfort food. I'm fighting a few lifting injuries as well -- strained hip, rotator cuff, and sometimes knee -- which I believe came from the overexercising and the general level of stress I was facing in the past as well as improper form for lifting and yoga.
College level at my prime:
2-minute ERG: ~550m
Pre-Primal on August 31, 2011:
Snatch: 45 (mastering form)
Squat: probably down to 115
2-minute ERG: ~480m
December 31, 2011:
Weight: 160 (my own fault for abusing the lenient rules of PB)
Other fitness notes: 2-minute 550m ERG
December 10, 2012:
Squat: 175 (Ass-to-grass this time)
December 6, 2013:
Size: slightly less than 8
Deadlift: probably at 205
Front squat: 135
December 15, 2014:
Deadlift: at least 115; definitely can do more
Snatch: at least 55, not much more
Front squat: at least 95, can probably stack on another 20 or so
Other fitness notes: sub 1-minute 250m ERG (usually gym warmups), a 30 second headstand, 3 straight pullups