Primal Journey [MattM]
I'm a long time MDA blog reader and occasional forum lurker. I figured it was about time to register and start up a journal. I guess like many of you, I don't have many 'real life' people to share my enthusiasm for paleo/primal eating and lifestyle. Being part of this community to share tips and ideas really appeals as does being accountable.
Quick bit of background: I'm 35 and from the UK. In my early twenties, my weight ballooned up to near 330lb. I was tired and out of breath just climbing stairs, so I did what most people do when they want to lose weight - I took up running and partook in high carb/low fat controlled starvation (aka a 'diet'). I lost over 130lb in the space of a few years and have maintained my weight between 190-220lb since. I will admit to being a bit of a food addict. I have an insanely sweet tooth and would happily live on breakfast cereal (well, maybe not so happily). For the past number of years, my diet has mostly SUKD (Standard UK Diet). I tried Zone for a bit (got bored of weighing out food) and even online trackers (Daily Burn) but got bored of counting calories.
A friend put me onto Paleo via Robb Wolff. After reading his book, I devoured the Primal Blueprint. I especially liked Mark's twist of applying 'primal living' in the modern world. A good base of paleo nutrition with sensible indulgences appeals to me as a lifestyle choice that is sustainable.
I started out last year on this path but couldn't get a handle on my food issues and often made bad choices or over indulged in fruit (often covered with cream). I didn't tackle sleep or stress either which guaranteed that I didn't get the results I had hoped for.
I became aware of the Whole 30 plan. Essentially super-strict paleo for 30 days. No dairy, no sugar (not even a trace in a list of ingredients), no additives, no alcohol. It seemed like a massive challenge but it promised to act like a 'reset' for the body and increase food awareness. I completed the challenge but sadly fell into old habits shortly afterwards.
So here I am. I'm looking to make a long term sustainable change. I'm currently 4 days into my fourth Whole 30 run through. I intend to finish it and then introduce small amounts of dairy back into my diet and see how I feel. Long term, though, the MDA way is what I want to do. I'm still battling food issues, especially sugar demons which is why I feel it's important to forge links in a primal community of like minded people.
Phew, sorry about that.
Exercise wise, I picked up a barbell six years ago and have been mildly threatening with it on and off since. The last few years has seen very poor focus in my work-outs so I've made little progress. This year, I'm starting back on a beginners strength program based around core lifts like squats, bench, press, etc. I've cut out running to focus on building strength. I do strength work three times a week (M,W,F), twice a week I walk at a brisk pace wearing a weighted vest to keep the old heart rate up.
Foodwise, a typical day is something like:
B: Eggs and (quality) bacon
11:00 Tuna, Sweet potato & onion hash
S: Nuts or bacon or left over meat
D: Meat, spices with veg
S: Toasted coconut flakes or boiled egg
I keep fruit to around 1-2 servings a day, I try and stick with melons, cherries and other low sugar fruit. I find it too easy to over indulge to prop up sugar cravings.
That's it! Thanks for reading!