It's great to be here (with the Dances With Wolves handle it seemed only right to say hello in Lakota Sioux - although I'm going to quickly come unstuck if there are Lakota speakers here, so if that's the case, please be gentle with me...lol).
I'm Steve, from South London, England...here's my path to this forum...
[I]“Do you want to know what – it - is? The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window; or when you turn on your television. You can feel it, when you go to work; when you go to church; when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes, to blind you from the truth. ("What truth"?) That you are a slave Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison; for your mind. Unfortunately, no-one can be told what the Matrix is; you have to see it for yourself.
This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.................remember, all I’m offering is the truth; nothing more.”[/I]
The extract I’ve just read is from the 1999 movie, The Matrix. When I set out to write this intro I was reminded of the many parallels that the blue pill, red pill scene had with my own blindness to the truth about the modern Western epidemics of obesity, heart disease, cancers and diabetes and the real causes behind them.
I was lucky enough to stumble upon my own ‘red pill’ at the beginning of August this year, in a Waterstones in Hatfield...but that’s a story that belongs later in this narrative; so before we head down the rabbit hole let me tell you something about the rabbit.
I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes about two years ago. The diabetes nurse told me in blunt, rather curt tones that I had an incurable condition that would never get better or improve; that would decline steadily, until I was forced to take tablets, before progressing on to injected insulin. She was clearly not a woman susceptible to humour but she did stray uncharacteristically towards what might be generously described as ‘encouragement’ as she punctuated her recital of doom with the observation that if I lost weight, exercised and ate the right diet then I might; I just might slow the runaway freight train loose in my pancreas – maybe...(ironically, 'the right diet' she referred to was low calorie and not low carb - not 'the right diet ' within this site and Briffa's book).
Inwardly, I responded to this with a ‘Douglas Bader’ meets diabetes determination to make this NHS angel of doom eat her words (pun intended). So, I got myself a book that listed the Glycaemic Index (GI) of most foodstuffs, ate carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables that were mostly at the green, low end of the GI spectrum and went on a reduced calorie intake, tied to hours of exercise on my mountain bike.
When I started out I was a portly 19 stone on the money. So, I set myself a target of reaching ’15 stone something’ and then hit the diet trail. Long story short, I bludgeoned my weight down over a nine month period to 16 stone 1Ib before the whole thing came to a halt as winter came on and opportunities to cycle in daylight disappeared.
While I succeeded in shedding nearly three stone it came at a price; long hours on the bike, nearly constant hunger pangs, low energy levels during the day (caused by sugar crashes), extreme lethargy in the morning and an increasingly powerful sense of it all being a grinding road to nowhere. Without doing other than eating a normal Western diet of about 60% carbs, 35% protein and about 5% fats, the weight that I’d lost slowly went back on incrementally over the subsequent year but this time it climbed even higher to 19 stone 3Ibs – worse than when I had started!
I loathed being overweight. I cut back on calories again but the weight stayed stubbornly in place and wouldn’t shift. I was falling asleep in the mornings, not long after having got up. I was falling asleep in the early evening. I lost interest in my hobbies. I had no energy. Sitting down to tie shoelaces left me breathless from the fat pushing up and compressing my lungs. While it became my overwhelming wish to finally conquer the weight problem once and for all I was still an unwitting slave to Conventional Wisdom (CW) where food and exercise was concerned and so stayed on the CW treadmill as the scales showed no inclination to budge from the curse of 19 stone 3Ibs.
Let's go back to that red pill moment. My wife and I had driven our eldest son to Hatfield University as part of his preparation for a paramedical science degree. Having some time to kill, my wife and I drove into the town and ended up in their branch of Waterstones. My frustration with my weight had by this point, crystallised into the notion that I would never defeat my waistline unless I truly got to grips with the real science behind weight gain and weight loss. It was with that thought in mind that I idly thumbed through the health section and finding nothing other than conventional weight-loss guides wandered over to the till to pay for some things my wife had picked up.
As I put my wallet away, I turned in the direction of the health books again and noticed that there was an additional display I had missed on the end of the aisle. Prominent amongst these was an intriguing title “Escape the diet trap” by Dr John Briffa. My interest piqued, I reached down and picked it up. The front cover read “this is not a diet book”, together with the strap line “lose weight for good without calorie counting, extensive exercise or hunger”. Well, I had accumulated enough years on the clock to realise that if something seems too good to be true it’s because it is and with a cynical eye the index page was scrutinised. Suffice to say, my cynicism was evaporated as I realised that the entire direction and content of the book was a perfect, dovetail fit for what I had been looking for. I consumed the 260 pages in no more than three days. It was an absolute revelation.
The mistakes of the past, including why I had become overweight in the first place and why I found it impossible to keep the weight off having lost it, were laid bare. The root causes of heart disease, obesity, cancers and diabetes all lay within its pages. The information I had acquired was instrumental in tracking down another book which (to my great joy) expanded the concepts into an entire basis for living. The primal blueprint was gobbled up in short order too...not one but two red pills...
I wasted no time in incorporating the principles into my daily eating. To date, my weight has reduced from 19 stone 3 Ibs to 18 stone 1Ibs. I have achieved this with ease ‘without calorie counting, extensive exercise or hunger’. There's some distance to go yet before the spare truck tyre is converted into go juice for this 53 year old but as Mark recommends, I'm not obsessing about it and regard it as that natural consequence of primal eating. Most telling, is the effect on my blood sugar levels. When I started this seven weeks ago my blood sugar levels actually rose a degree or two.
This settled and dropped back to 'pre-diabetic' levels when measured two hours after food (I'm a food control diabetic, not on medication). 'Pre-diabetic' levels of blood glucose were the best I managed on the first round of weight loss using CW diet advice. Primal eating however has achieved something amazing these last four days - my fasting blood glucose levels have returned to normal! Diabetes fully reversed, gone, defeated. I continue to monitor fasting levels but see no reason why this reversal can't be made permanent. I just feel so [I]different[/I]