Combination of aesthetic interest and health concern. I had tried multiple diets and workouts to loose weight (although I've never been obese). At the time my grandmother was in her last days of her battle against cancer. There was a nurse that came over from the morning till noon. After that I took care of her until dad came home and I stayed with her on the night if she needed something to wake dad up. I guess that seeing her so frail kind of made me care more for my health, because I remember feeling afraid that I might end up like her.
I think it was out of coincidence that after she passed, I was internet surfing on blogs and I found the fitness site Bodyrock, I stayed with it and loved it, and I think (honestly don't remember) I read on one of the comments about Marks Sisson's site and PB nutrition. After I read around MDA I decided to dive straight in and haven't looked back! But I think the time I spent with my grandmother made me feel less hesitant to try it.
I first read about the paleo diet in an article in Men's Fitness, but didn't think much of it. In 2010, whilst researching kettlebell exercises, I came across one KB blog that had a post on Weston Price and the health of various isolated tribes. What stuck out for me was how they got their health from the saturated fats they ate. I went looking through several low-carb websites before coming to various Paleo sites via Jimmy Moore's site, and I've stayed since. My own personal experience has shown me that I feel better omitting wheat and concentrating on nutrient-dense food.
I suppose I never had any problem accepting this 'radical' approach from my time reading conspiracy theories since 2006 and questioning the official story if something didn't seem quite right.
I found MDA and the Primal Blueprint completely on accident. After yet another weight loss failure I started looking on youtube for diet videos and stumbled onto Sean Croxton's Underground Wellness videos. A lot of the stuff he said made sense, and a comment on one of the videos mentioned MDA so I checked it out on a whim. I've always been really open to trying new things and never really read into the "fat is bad for you" hype anyway, so I was interested right away and figured I had nothing to lose.
The more I read and researched, the more it made sense to ditch grains and sugar, and I become convinced that this was the way I should eat according to evolution. It was hard at first, but not for long. When I decided to hop on the scale a mere month and a half after going strict primal and found I had lost 9 pounds (almost half of what I had hoped to lose!) effortlessly, I was hooked for life. Once I had the weight loss side of things taken care of I became more interested in making sure I adhered to the other primal blueprint laws too. I stick to it now because I love not having to count calories or kill myself in the gym 6 days a week, and because in a few years I want to be a fit and healthy parent whose kids don't have the love of sugar and grains (or the extra body fat) that I did growing up.
Some five years ago I noticed that not eating sugar helped relieve my depression and anxiety (that were then diagnosed as severe depression and generalised anxiety disorder). Unfortunately, while eating grain products (i.e. the "healthy" rye and whole-grain) it was impossible for me to kick the habit of munching sugary or carby foods that I craved immensely. Also grains caused stomach issues and bloating which made me less keen to go out, do stuff and socialise with people, which made things worse. I tried to stop eating both sugar and grains, which greatly stabilised my mood. This wasn't sustainable though, since (thanks to CW) I tried to avoid fats as best I could and would only use small amounts of rapeseed oil and organic olive oil. I set myself up for failure every time.
One day a friend of mine posted Robert Lustig's "Sugar: The Bitter Truth" on Facebook, which got the ball rolling. I watched it and then, on YouTube, clicked on several related videos going through lectures, clips and interviews of people like Gary Taubes, Dr. Donald W. Miller, Dr. Mary Vernon, Dr. Andreas Enfeldt, Sean Croxton and, yes, Mark Sisson. Things started to make sense and I began to adjust my diet taking out sugars, grains, and milk products and increasing fat in the form of raw coconut oil. The better I felt, the more paleo I wanted to become, and the more paleo I became, the better I felt. Only recently I stopped eating legumes (which used to be something I enjoyed), artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils (aside from olive oil) and cut back on nuts.
The switch for me has been very gradual, but I've gained benefits with every change I've made, which makes me want to keep going. The stories of others inspire me, as do all the big and small good things I notice and rejoice about. Additionally, the science behind paleo makes sense for me, which is something CW never did. It was obvious that something wasn't right when I watched some of my very overweight friends eat lettuce on plain rye bread while some of my super skinny friends were eating greasy, real foods like they're going out of fashion. I just consider I've now found the answers to the questions I've been asking myself for many years.
I finished reading the PB book yesterday so am slowly trying to be primal. I'm still addicted to caffeine so limiting one cup a day for awhile before giving it up completely. Is Whole Foods a good place to shop for grass-fed meats? I never been so am wondering...
I answered this months ago when I first joined the forum and started my primal life... which was short-lived (only a few months). Now, I'll say why I'm back.
Since my departure from Paleo/Primal-living in November, I still ate few carbs compared to my pre-Wheat-Belly-reading, pre-PB-reading life. But, I ate plenty of junk - candy, the occasional bagel, cookies, etc. but definitely not in such abundance as the rest of the USA... if I had to guess, I'd say I was eating about 200mg of carbs daily. During this time I swam laps 2-3 times per week, spinning class once per week, and strength training 2-3 times per week.
With a reduction in carbs and steady activity, I got my blood work done for the first time in a year and my total cholesterol went down to the lowest it's ever been in my life (but still over 200, but oh well!), my good cholesterol went up, and my triglycerides are better than ever. I took this as a sign that whatever I've done so far has helped my health, so why stop now? The answer: don't! Go full steam ahead!
So, I returned here and picked up from where I left off in November. I have specific goals for fitness feats and I am in love with grain-free and Primal cooking once again! It's glad to be back!
I look forward to seeing my blood work a year from now!