Primal Journey (DiggerJoe) - My return to the military
In the past my attempts to maintain a journal have been as stop/start/stop as my dieting technique. This way I hope to maintain a fairly low profile as most people around me do not understand what it means to have issues with food or the direction I want to go in to remedy those issues.
My name is Joe and I live in Australia. I am 31 years old but I imagine that if I were to do one of those biometric tests where you find your biological age, I think it would show my age as at least double! I have been re-educating myself in diet and training for a couple of years, first by reading Anthony Bova's absolutely reality shattering program called The Spartan Health Regimen, and more recently by reading TPB which is of course the book that brought most of us here.
Through these new fountains of knowledge, I have diagnosed myself as chronically inflamed, severely toxic, malnourished, depressed and probably insulin resistant. I do not know how it is that I am not diabetic, however that particular malady would only be several years away at most if I were to proceed on my current trajectory.
Like most, I have fallen victim to the tricks of conventional wisdom....either misleading or false advertising/propaganda, government endorsement of garbage such as the food pyramid or the more innocent listening to other people's opinions.....they say all roads lead to Rome, but I'm willing to wager that all CW will lead here to MDA.
I have known for several years that I was doing the wrong thing with my health and that I was spiraling down a deep hole, especially in light of my new found knowledge, but I lacked the strength and fortitude to commit to the necessary lifestyle change. I knew everything that I was doing wrong, knew and worse yet preached all those things that I knew were right but continued on a near daily diet of chocolate and KFC, all the while blaming my busy lifestyle as a mature age student.
I always respected the old saying that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. I think that I have finally realised the many errors of my ways, and my spirit and body are finally ready to start walking the same path. I have had to make a serious decision to streamline my life as I am beginning a thesis in a few weeks and I now longer want my health to suffer under the excuse of being too busy.
My current stat's are (all measurements in cm's and kg's):
Chest - 126.5
Tummy - 138.5
Hips - 125
Neck - 52.5
Thigh's - 64
Calves - 44.5
Forearms - 33
Bicep's - 37 (arm extended)
Bicep's - 44 (clenched)
Weight - 150
I am a typical endomorph, a big solid build, with a large amount of heavy and inflexible muscle. I am broad shouldered, big chested with big glutes and leg's. Some have told me that if I was lean I would be the ideal template for a body builder but no thanks to that. Whilst my frame was never skinny, things were not always like they are now.
Back in the late 90's I joined the army and was a powerful, fairly fit young guy. In August 2000, I was involved in a freak accident where in I fell 6 metres of a tower, landing flat footed and knee's locked straight with my weight evenly distributed across both leg's. The result.....3 compressed and fractured vertebrae and significant damage to 6 discs. After a long and very painful rehabilitation learning to walk again, I was released to my own devices.
The military system stepped up to pay the bills however, and they gave me a former olympic decathlete as a personal trainer. Under his guidance, and after 6 months of sweat, I was in better shape than I was prior to my injury, able to run, lift weights and perform chin ups with ease. Unfortunately, I never realised that my feet supinated quite badly and one evening in late 2001, I snapped the 5th metatarsal in my right foot, thus undoing my 6 months of hard work.
I spent another 6 month's doing non impact training before again trying to rebuild my fitness and confidence. I managed some good measure of success but suddenly, after about 5 months of training hard.....my appendix burst. I just could not seem to catch a break.
In 2004, I soon realised I would still not be catching a break for a while yet. One day at work I noticed a sharp pain in my ankle but shrugged it off as just aches and pains. The next day, I struggled to work properly, and the next day I could not flex my foot down to put pressure on the accelerator pedal without being in agony....something was very clearly wrong. After referral to an orthopedic surgeon, I found the culprit. During the impact in August 2000, I had fractured the cartilage covering the Talar Dome of the right ankle and it had worn away and eventually collapsed, locking the ankle joint with grit from the dissolving cartilage. This operation saw me locked in plaster for 8 weeks then a space boot for another 12. A year later a second operation was required.
All of 2006 was written off as I came as close as I would ever want to go to a nervous breakdown. In hindsight I probably did exactly that. The woman that I proposed too turned me down and walked away citing, among other things, my physical appearance. My physical appearance had changed, I was very overweight being about 32 kg's heavier than what I was prior to the accident. MY hair had turned very grey and my teeth were rapidly decaying quite badly. Worst of all, I was tired ALL THE TIME, like my sleep was never refreshing. I used to laugh at reports of people that could awake feeling refreshed and without an alarm.
After being referred to a sleep therapist, I was diagnosed with sleep apnoea, and have utilised an APAP machine since. In 2008, in an effort to ease nasal passage collapse, I had my nose rebuilt to open the airways and reinforce the nasal rings. Whilst, identifying the apnoea was a major positive step, my luck was still not due to change.
In 2009 and 2010, I actually broke the same bone in my hand, requiring surgery both times. Clearly my bones were beginning to get weaker, though a full understanding of acidity and calcium absorption still escaped me.
2011 was a good year, it was the final year of my undergraduate degree and a turn around in my understanding of diet and nutrition. I understood more than I ever did, but still failed to have the courage to incorporate it into my life. All through out the last decade, if I wasn't trying to understand the complexities of CW, I was trying each new gimmick, fad or secret tip that I could glean. I would over-analyze weight lifting and nutrition tips, trying to find the magic trick that would unlock my weight loss. I never fell victim to chronic cardio due to my joints not being able to bear the beating but I think I fell for every single piece of conventional wisdom (read stupidity) for a whole decade. All the while I would suffer throwing my back out regularly due to my diminishing flexibility and more recently I would suffer absolutely crippling sinovitis. If any one has ever suffered this, they might attest to just how excruciating it can be.....
We are now at 2012 and I have 3 aim's for the year.
1) Be primal.....(and from there let my body lose the 50kg's it wants to lose)
2) Study hard and do well academically.
3) Keep myself decluttered.
To get the weight off and head back to peak condition, I have another 3 aim's...
1) Do Primal fitness most days
2) Eat Primally for the majority of meals
3) Keep a track on nutrient intake
All my aims are suitably free from complication and focused on living well - Grok would be proud.
That's it for now. More posts and pics to come.
Welcome! What I love about journaling here is the support that you get. I will be following your journey.
My DH says that this was the easiest way for him to drop 30 pounds. All he had to do was eat really good food. Granted, he eats what I cook but he has never felt deprived. If he can see those sorts of results at 65 then you will rock it!
Hi honeybuns, thank you for stopping by and you've me a very happy guy that someone decided to jump on and have a read. I have made multiple endeavours in the past wherein I have attempted to blog every detail of my journey, but in the interests of not disappointing this time I'm just plugging the big highlights and observations of the journey. I'm here for the long haul, and I'm buoyed by your support, so thank you very much!
I intend to rock it, but more importantly I have the belief this time in myself that I was lacking before. That and the results are already a bit catchy!!!
I'm very proud to say that I think this last week has been the single most positive week in terms of health and forming lifelong habits that I've ever had. For the first time I have not lacked the courage to acknowledge the crippling (or was it?) dependance on crap foods, and have been able to acknowledge and correctly blame my present state of poor health not on the myriad of physical setbacks described above, but on my lifestyle! Firmly on my "KFC and block of chocolate a day" diet!
The big observations of the week in no particular order are as follows...
- Have been sleeping better and more soundly
- Have not been turning in my sleep and tearing my sleep apnoea mask off which directly affects the point above
- Body acne clearing up
- General and particular aches and pains have declined significantly
- Energy levels have stabilised noticeably
- Appear to not get so shirty at everything that annoys me
- Been beginning to wake before the alarm
- Passing stools has been easier
- Cravings have been significantly reduced....virtually gone in fact. Chocolate cravings have been completely spanked by switching to 85% dark chocolate or for an even more bitter experience that still delivers the endorphins, raw cacao nibs!
I wont bore anyone here with details but having been, on average abstaining from all grains (except a few small instances - all were rational decisions based on best foods available at the time) plenty of fats, no milk chocolate, no takeaway and less than 100 grams of carbs.
There have been a few physiological observations:
- The day after I dropped the carb's back, I got an immediate dose of sinovitis (inflammation) in my right foot. Had to take the day off but the anti-inflammatories sorted it out. Just interesting that my body's first response was to blow up!
- Day 3 and I had a late breakfast of only protein before starting work when I got really quite dizzy and couldnt focus. So I tend to have my carbs from berries and fruit in the morning.
- My normal appetite for junk food was completely removed and replaced by a rational, balanced mind focused on its goals (first time ever).
I made a conscious decision to have takeaway today, and it was frankly very bland, disappointing, un-fulfilling and it turned the stomach for awhile. I have done no exercise beyond normal (which is bugger all) apart from walking the dog the other night. I am proving Mark's assertion that exercise is an ineffective way to manage weight loss. Interestingly, about 10 days ago I had to buy a new wardrobe. Today I had to replace a 10 day old shirt with a new, smaller size as I was not comfortable with the mu-mu look that it was starting to portray!
So my week of imperfect but significantly altered eating habits has resulted the following:
Chest - 124 (-2.5cms)
Tummy - 135.5 (-3cms)
Hips - 124.5 (-0.5cms)
Neck - 51 (-1.5cms)
Thigh's - 64
Calves - 44 (-0.5cm)
Forearms - 33
Bicep's - 37 (arm extended)
Bicep's - 43 (clenched) (-1cm)
Weight - 147 (-3kgs)
All in all an excellent start. I feel great, I dont feel that I'm missing out, ITS CLEARLY WORKING and I am focused, positive and confidant on my goals. However I am tempering this with being conscious of a slow and steady approach based on consistency. I decided to eat junk today, ate it, threw away the guilt and got on with it.