So many compelling stories. What a nice thread.
My story is nothing really exciting or unique. I was always the chubby child and ever since my late teens I've been dieting to lose the extra pounds, only to gain it all back + some. I used to have three different sizes/types wardrobe in my closet, my skinny clothes my slightly chubby ones and my fat clothes. I was always bloated and uncomfortable... Till one day in spring of '11 I' decided enough is enough already and started Atkins. I lost my extra weigh on the program, but I was still kindof skinny fat.
Since I've been reading up on low-carb nutrition on the web, I came across MDA, read some and read some more here and decided Primal would be the perfect plan for me to lean out and firm up some more, and a perfect template (more carbs and all whole foods) for a life time maintenance.
My office did a "Biggest Loser" contest... and I was pretty pissed about weighing 316 lbs at 6 feet tall. After seeing how my wife lost a LOT of weight on Atkins (and how it subsequently went right back on after she stopped watching her carb counts) I figured low-carb would be the easiest way to win the contest. After doing searches for low-carb recipes, I found this forum. After reading the Blueprint 101 online, I bought the book, read it, applied it and lost 106 lbs. with very little extraneous effort.
So, it wasn't a wake-up call as much as financial incentive... (I DID win, by the way- lost 27 lbs in the 1-1/2 months our contest ran)
HOWEVER, my mood improved, my joints stopped hurting, and I wasn't chronically tired all the time, so I continue. If it works, don't mess with it.
In a sense it starts on the Uncompaghre Plateau in Colorado, about 5 feet above a dirt road, at about 35MPH. I am alone, and for that brief moment weightless, as my motorcycle tumbles away behind me and I fly head-first through the air, arms outstretched perhaps in an unconscious desire to emulate superman and fly. It's only a brief moment though, and less than a minute later I am standing alongside the road looking at my motorcycle and not really feeling the pain in my ribs.
I was on a camping/road trip and I had all my camping gear on my bike. Well, it had been on the bike. Now it was scattered along 100 feet of dirt road, along with various bits of motorcycle. I gathered everything I could find. I looked dubiously at the bike, which was bent and twisted, and then decided to lever it upright. That was a mistake but I wouldn't really realize how much of a mistake for hours. I gathered parts. Some other people on motorcycles stopped and helped me gather parts. We used zip ties, tape, and a bit of brute strength to get the controls basically workable and re-started the bike. I slumped over the saddle and, beginning to feel the pain in my ribs, started the long ride back to town. About 150 miles later I was in a hotel. A crowd was standing around my bike, taking pictures, and I was just trying to figure out how I would get home to Texas. I did a quick self-assessment, decided I wasn't going to die right away, and layed down to rest for awhile. I stretched out on the motel bed and watched bad TV, considering my next moves. A few hours later I realized what my next move was going to have to be: the bathroom. Except I found an unexpected challenge along the way. It took me 20 minutes of careful sliding, arranging, levering with pillows, and otherwise struggling to get back to an upright position and off the bed. Any attempt to simply sit up was agony, concentraing on my ribs but certainly not stopping there.
I wound up spending a few more days in Colorado, I got checked out by dubious medical types, I gave a little talk to a group of motorcyclists about "ATGATT" (All The Gear, All The Time... the idea that you shouldn't just own a helmet and gloves, but all of the gear including boots and pants and jacket, and you should actually use that gear every time you ride...without some of my gear I would probably not have survived, without all of it I would've spent a lot of time in a hospital), I rode my bike to a shop where the insurace company could total it, I rented a car and had some very kind people help me load my camping gear for my trip back to Texas. I was extremely, perhaps unspeakably, glad that my camping gear was based around a camping hammock, a Warbonnet Blackbird, which not only made setting up camp a 5-minute job, but was more comfortable than a bed and a lot less stress to get out of. I got home and, after a night in my own bed, sank two big hooks in the walls and went back to my hammock. I returned to work, I lived my life, eventually I bought a new motorcycle even. I got off LIGHT and I knew it...but, funny thing, I didn't feel like celebrating with a day kayaking on a local lake. In fact I didn't feel like buying groceries or cooking for myself, didn't feel like doing much except sleeping more than I had ever slept in my life.
But that wasn't the wake-up call.
Eighteen months later I was looking at airplanes. Light sport airplanes, specifically, which are very small "fun" planes that carry two people and not a lot else. A whole bunch of them have pilot weight limits of 250lbs. I didn't see that as a problem... "the last time I was on a scale I weighed 240, and that wasn't very long ago"...
Then, as almost an afterthought, I dug out the bathroom scale that was tucked under the sink. I stepped on it. Nothing... dead batteries. I didn't have any of the right size batteries. It doesn't matter though, I was only curious. Then I came across some batteries. I looked at that new shrink-wrapped set of batteries and said to myself, "I wonder."
The scale displayed 285lb. I actually didn't believe it. I found another scale. It read 289lb. I knew I wasn't feeling great but I didn't really think that much had changed. So I took a look at my lifestyle... that not cooking/shopping/etc had morphed into a 3 meal a day fast food habit. I no longer went kayaking or hiking. I no longer did any of the casual stuff I had always done. That was a wake-up call, but it wasn't my [i]primal[/i] wake-up call.
I proceeded to spend the next year or so doing too little too late. I dropped 10 pounds or so, but was still eating out several times a day, and I still wasn't doing anything particularly fun. I bought a treadmill and found out it annoyed the neighbors, so I gave it to my parents. I started walking around town but one day I started having sharp pains in my upper legs (perhaps sciatica), and so on. Everything I did stopped for some "good" reason.
Then, a few months ago, my parents come into town on a visit...and I barely recognized my father. His words, "That treadmill changed everything." He decided to use the treadmill every day. He decided to change his diet. He decided to lose 40lbs and he did. Suddenly my 70-something father was in better shape than I was, and he attributed the change to some cast-off fitness equipment that I had given him, equipment that had done nothing for me except cause the neighbors to bang on the walls.
So I joined a gym. I decided 3 days a week, mostly on weights and stretching to regain the upper body strength and mobility I had allowed myself to lose. I decided to change eating out from my norm to my exception. I decided to cook for myself again. I went home and made myself a wonderful loaf of multi-grain pumpernikel!
OK, so maybe I had a false start there, but somewhere between week 4 and 6 of going to the gym 3+ times a week, I was feeling enough better that I wanted more information, I wanted to do something beyond what I was doing. I wanted new challenges, to go out and have fun, I wanted to accelerate the results I was starting to see, I wanted to change the fact that all those weeks of working out had resulted in 0lbs net weight loss...I wanted more information. Searching around, a surprising number of arrows pointed here...and a lot of what I have found is very close to what I've always known. Close to what my parents said, even if it wasn't what they could do, as I was growing up. If you pull away the grains, the bread and pasta and rice, my food was already basically primal. It's what I grew up cooking, it's what I enjoy eating. It wasn't pure grass fed primal, but interesting real food - meat, veg, seafood - prepared to taste like itself.
I'm new to this but I have started dropping weight whether through the exercise or the diet changes. Is it because I'm living a more primal existence? Or is it because of something I started months before ever hearing about primal? Who cares! The stuff I'm reading here is helping, the ideas behind primal have caused me to reevaluate and refine my thoughts about food, and in general to realize that bulking out my diet with grain is a bad idea for reasons that may have nothing to do with gluten intolerance or what have you.
So that's my long-winded story. I'm not sure which was the wake-up call... stepping on the scale, seeing my father after his time with a treadmill and a desire to change, or coming here and realizing that I was actually really close to doing what folks here were saying worked for them, exept for some ideas that came from old economic reality, not ideal health, and could easily change.
My 9 month old daughter developed dry bumpy skin on her chest and upper arms. The Dr said it was just the dry winter air. I remembered all the skin rashes the books warned about when you start introducing new foods to your baby and decided the Dr was wrong. I put my sweet baby on an elimination diet... pretty easy since she was 9 months! :) Lo and behold, wheat gives her skin rashes, dairy (even yogurt) makes her gassy and anything with sugar (no, grandma, babys don't need candy!) makes her a super brat! Enter internet searching and MDA.
Guess what. All of those things were true for mommy and daddy too. Even the sugar=super brat part! So glad I had my little lab rat to make me see what's been staring me in the face my whole life.
Some-one explained to me that the govenment want you to eat grains, that it's fodder for the masses, cheap easy feed to keep the workers going at minimal cost to the system, that by feeding them grains the people are constantly hungry, looking for the next meal, fat and tired - so compliant with the system.
I don't do what the govenment wants :p
That's funny, Tribal Rob. I use that same view point when people who constantly complain about 'the government' and how they distrust it, hassle me about not eating grains. It happens here at work on occasion. I ask them why they follow the food pyramid if they distrust the government so much.
I was introduced to Paleo when I was a member of Albany Crossfit. It was just starting to replace or enhance the Zone Diet there, and not many people knew the science behind it, especially me. I could see people getting results, but I attributed that to the intense workouts. I went semi-paleo. I still ate bread, but not as much. I didn't change my habits because I wasn't convinced that fat wasn't going to cause health problems as we've all been taught growing up. One day, killing time waiting for my wife in the book store, I wandered into the diet section to see what paleo resources they had. That's when I found The Primal Blueprint. I read most of the first chapter in the store and was hooked. Mark actually explained the how's and why's. I never looked back.
[QUOTE=Graycat;1023449]So many compelling stories. What a nice thread.
I basically never worried about a single thing I ate up until about the age of 35. I was always basically skinny and athletic. After that it got harder not to gain weight. At any rate, I gained about 25 pounds after the death of my husband, basically eating and drinking too much, I guess to comfort myself. On Jan 1, 2012, a little over a year after he died I decided it was time to get back to living myself and I started Weight Watchers. I lost 20 pounds on that and I'm not going to bash it, for various reasons. But I did get sick of sort of constantly monitoring every morsel going in my mouth, and constantly fighting not to put weight back on. I stumbled onto PB through a friend at work and the more research I did the more it made sense. I started on Oct 1 of this year, so I haven't been at it for very long. I haven't lost any weight but I've not struggled to not gain either. I also had to buy smaller clothes so I know changes are happening. I love just being able to eat really good REAL food, not feel like I'm starving myself to maintain a weight on the scale, and pretty much not count points or calories. Plus it's fun reading this forum. :D
This thread is such a great read for anyone considering primal it should be made a permant feature in some way, a sticky would be great but I don't think that's enough - imagine the influance it would have if you were considering going prinal to read 50 or more short paragaphs from people who have actually done it, whay and what it did for them (obviously my previous response would have to be cut :D )
Well I touch on it some in my welcome post -> [url]http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread72470.html[/url]
Basically woke up paralyzed one morning, about 95% paralyzed and my potassium was 2.4 (where your heart can stop), hospital thought it was hypokalemic periodic paralysis a genetic thing that's triggered by carbs, sodium, alcohol, too little walking, too much walking, too little exercise too much exercise blah blah blah... but primary care said they are nuts and it was just super excessive sodium intake the days before.
Real wake-up call for me!
On Boxing Day last year I woke up at 6am with terrible indigestion, sweating, nausea. I felt like S**T!
Anyway, it turns out I was having a heart attack and was rushed to hospital. They only kept me in for 2 days and sent me home, but I had to wait 2 weeks for an angiogram. When I got the angiogram done they could find no significant deposits in my arteries and the cardiologist said " You have the arteries of a 21 year old, you're so lucky to know that at the age of 52".
They really did not know the real cause of the attack but it was probably a spasm of a cardiac artery brought on by stress.
Well, I almost had a clean bill of health, and I wanted to stay that way. I weighed 245 lbs and knew that I had to get that down somehow.
Now my neighbour Paul had been banging on anout this Paleo thing for months, so I thought, "I'll give it a go". He lent me Robb Wolf's book and told me about MDA. 11 months on and I'm so much fitter, stronger and 50lbs lighter.
I love this lifestyle!!