You know when you keep hearing the same thing from different sources?? My chiro said dump the grains. My naturopath said dump the grains and dairy. I kept hearing the same thing in slightly different ways from alternative health type sources. I had heartburn, reflux, bloating. Finally ditched the grains and found MDA. I'm not a great primal because I really don't like meat but I am trying with ground meat to start and bacon and sliced meats, yogurt, eggs and cheese. I just like the clean eating, whole foods aspect. I feel like dairy should be the next to go (at least to try and see if I feel better) but I'm only 6 months into no grains and I am not ready to ditch dairy yet:)
Two, three years ago I was getting fat, not just overweight but in the obese range for the first time in my life. My parents had both died of complications of diabetes. My dinner plate was full of pasta, my snack was usually a peanut butter sandwich. I live in a town with wonderful sources of food, grass fed beef etc. Why was I eating so poorly? I was always trying to get fit, and always having to stop because of injury or work. My knees hurt, I had a bad bout of plantar fasciitis, and I had a vague but scary feeling deep inside. Was I FEELING diabetes begin? I never had a test. No concrete symptoms, just the feeling. No health insurance.
A lot of info was knocking around in my head but not put together coherently. Thanks to my sister, I realized I was in menopause. Yeah, I should have expected it but had the that isn't going to happen to me attitude. I looked at women friends I hadn't seen in a while, and many I didn't recognize. Menopause had done a number on them. They were suddenly fat, in just a few months it seemed. I realized it's now or never to get the weight back down. Now I was fighting hormones. So I lost seven pounds on CICO. It just was so hard. I did IF before calling it that too, and that helped. But there was still that feeling inside. Was I going to die from diabetes too?
Another chance link from my sister, from the nomnompaleo site, a recipe. I was amused by her feisty personality and tried some recipes. Also found links from there, fathead and others. It suddenly all made sense. Before long I had The Primal Blueprint on my kindle, and Bob's your uncle.
I continue to lose weight and feel better and better. No longer do I have that horrible feeling of being deep-down ill. No more injuries. I am able to continue exercising and improving. I feel very happy.
It was the SIX PACK!
In 2003-2007, I was skinny-fat and healthy SAD. Having heard of mad-cow and heart attacks and having a vegetarian boss, I would sometimes go a month without meat. I never bought raw meat and cooked it at home -- I always bought it as part of Lean Cuisines. Everything low fat. I was a Very Good Girl... ... until I got home at night. And then I snacked like a sonofagun. Sometimes i would dip carrots in olive oil dressing, and feel so full as to be slightly sick. But if I spread margerine on saltines, or eat half a baguette for supper, i would feel great and never fill up. The snacking happened every evening ... EXCEPT when I went out to lunch and had a sandwich or soup with a lot of mayo or hummus or butter or oil or cheese. On those days, I forgot about supper.
In 2007 I went on an anti-candida diet in an attempt to get rid of acid reflux. Bread, sugar and anything fermented or yeasty was ruled out. Even though I didn't care about weight loss at the time, I lost five pounds in two months, from 110 to 105. But after I went off that diet, the weight came back and I needed the Prilosec again, dammit.
In 2008, I had heard of Atkins. But I was repulsed by all the fashionable low carb prepared foods, where they made something "low carb" by adding processed fiber so that "net" carbs was 0. It just felt wrong. I said, geez, just eat less to begin with.
In 2009, I lost a job and gained 15 pounds, to 122. I saw Good Calories Bad Calories on the endcap at the library. Checked it out, read it, believed it, and decided that it would be a good idea to "limit" my carbs. I found a couple other sensible carb-limit books like South Beach, but none of them worked well. They distinguished between good and bad [i]calories[/i], but not between good and bad [i]carbs[/i]. And they were still pushing chicken breast and low-fat fish. I was still eating bread and taking Prilosec. Plus I exercised more but the weight was stubborn. I had heard about the "caveman" diet but it was too meaty. Also in 2009, a friend lost weight on the CalorieCount.About.com forums, so I went there. I was introduced to protein powder smoothies. The berry smoothies, along with some willpower, some calorie counting, a new job, and prepping for a move, helped me lose about 10 pounds.
In 2010, I heard about Tosca Reno and her Eat Clean diet, where you start the day with steel cut oatmeal, "pack a cooler" of raw veggies and lean chicken breast and eggwhites, eat every 3 hours, and drink gallons of water. After three weeks of doing nothing but chopping vegetables, crunching goddam rabbit food, and peeing constantly, I had gained a 3-pound roll of tummy fat. I said the heck with this. Somehwere in there, I found Fathead, which was a cliff-note version of Taubes. Meanwhile, on the CalorieCount comment board, during a very specific discussion of something, [b]someone from MDA posted the link to MDA.[/b] Unfortunately, I think the guy posted to one of those very medical fad forum threads (maybe the original leptin reset?). But thankfully, I found my way back to the main MDA page.
At first it was a little weird; who WAS this guy, Mark Sisson, not a doctor. And he said: We burn FAT. Eat Moar Fat. Huh? Wasn't fat The Enemy? Then I read more, and it sounded like a simplified version of Taubes. Then I found the carbohydrate curve. Suddenly, all those little observations over the years clicked together:
The low-fat lunches which made me inhale bread in the evening.
The days when I Ate Moar Fat for lunch and forgot about supper.
The no-bread anti-candida diet which didn't do squat for acid reflux, but had weight loss as a "side effect."
The cortisol-induced weight gain.
The exercise that didn't work well.
The high-protein smoothie which allowed me to (barely) hold me off until lunch.
The constant eating and constant hunger on the Eat Clean diet.
Taubes who didn't care about calories so much.
Something was going on. Despite decades of low fat advice, and even "low-carb," could these weird people be right?
[b]And then, and I admit this freely, this is the wake-up call that really tipped me over. [i]I saw Mark's 58-year-old SIX PACK abs on the MDA page.[/b] [/i] And I said: Aren't we supposed to get fat after 40? And yet here's this 50+ guy with a fricken 6-pack. This isn't some Weight-Watchers thing where you lose only some weight and hide the rest under a black dress. You can't hide weight behind a SIX PACK. You can preach biochem all day long, but you can't argue with a SIX PACK. So, after a month a prepping and primalizing the pantry, I went full Primal on Halloween of 2011. And here I am (still looking for a six pack, but I'll get there.)
The past year has been horrible emotionally (unrelated), but physically, I never looked back.
It was my thyroid. I don't like the idea of taking a medication for the rest of my life. I got diagnosed with hypothyroidism (later confirmed as Hashimoto's thyroiditis) shortly before my wedding. After I got done eating, drinking, and getting laid, I started doing some heavy research. There had to be a way to control it without medication.
Everything kept leading back to low carb. I hate frankenfoods, so wrote off the faux breads and such. In searching for a whole food low carb, I ran across Mark's website. I dug through the site, following links, looking up studies, and confirming my suspicions. I decided that was enough research and dove in head first (thyroid first would've broken my neck.)
I'm still not off the meds, but I have cut the dose down to half of what it was and cured a plethora of other symptoms I didn't know I had. I consider that a partial win, anyways.
I lived in Taiwan for a year and dropped 40 pounds eating out three meals (plus snacks) every day. They don't have HFCS, but use real sugar in their teas and sweet snacks. They don't have Sysco trucks, but use fresh foods from the markets bought that morning or the day before. They don't have monstrous meals, but a restaurant serving is an appropriate amount for a human to eat.
Granted, there was a lot of crap, too- deep fried foods with breading, French/Taiwanese mix bakeries, who knows what kind of oils, lots of noodles (but almost always in soups).
Regardless, with the lack of snacking, the insane amounts of walking, the normalized portion sizes, the complete lack of HFCS, my wife and I both dropped 35-40 pounds each. In trying to figure out what was going on, I came across Michael Pollan's article "Unhappy Meals". This summed up both Omnivore's Dilemma and the book "Food Rules" that would come out later. Somehow reading about Michael Pollan led me to paleo led me to Primal Blueprint. I'd already lost the weight, but now I was able to keep it off and feel great doing it.
For me, it was last in a list of books. I read the Carb Sensitivity Plan, which led me to Wheat Belly, which led me to the Paleo diet by Robb Wolfe, which led me to Loren Cordain, which led me to Mark's Daily apple and the Primal Blueprint. I really prefer Primal since it allows for dairy, which I enjoy. However, I still owe a debt to Robb Wolfe and Loren Cordain.
It was an acute attack of GERD, with two days of cramping, nausea, crying, and bloating - ending with traces of blood where it shouldn't be. My medication kept the usual pain and heartburn down to a 1-2 (without it I was about a 5-6), but this attack spiked right up to the 8-9 level. It upset me enough to start a massive online search for answers (once again, as I had done this before), which then led me to MDA - and the idea that carbs are the cause of GERD, not fatty food.
....What?! Carbs are the enemy?
All the foods which were now allowable were so good, and I've always loved them. It's hard to imagine not eating sandwiches and toast and crackers, but for the improvement I noticed within a week - I completely stopped taking my Pantaloc - it's worth the sacrifice. You get used to it pretty quick.
I stepped on my bathroom scale and it screamed. I never expected to hear an inanimate object yell as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened. Indeed something terrible had happened. I weighed 300 freaking pounds. 300. That is one pound for every damned Spartan.
Well, feeling depressed (and weighing as much) as two people, I went to work, where I noticed a dude looked really good. He was always talking about his weird diet and wore those odd shoes with individual toes. So I asked him wtf was up. Then he started going on about primal. I listened. I took notes. I went on the website and bought the book.
2 years later...less Spartans.
I was working in a hospital as an Orderly transporting patients to get dialysis, radiotherapy etc. It disturbed me how many of them said that they had tried to live healthy lives just like they were told, but they still ended up in hospital.
At first I thought they were obviously lying, deluding themselves. But there were just too many of them. It made me do a stocktake of myself. I was mid 30's, overweight, 38-39" waist, aches and pains all over, tired all the time, and even though I walked 20,000 steps a day pushing beds I'd get out of breath up the first flight of stairs. PLUS I had a bubs on the way so I had to make sure I was fit and healthy if I wanted to give them a good life.
So to the interwebz I went! I had a rough idea I wanted to follow paleo. I ordered Marks book off of Amazon and I haven't looked back since.