Primal Journal (Seth "BONZ" Williams)
Well here it is, my testament to a lifestyle choice that has proven itself in vainglorious fashion. Really, who can blame it for being a little on the boastful side? HAVE YOU SEEN SOME OF THE PEOPLE FREQUENTING THIS SITE!? See the sticky for "before and after" photos if you still have any doubts.
I'm Seth, a 33 year old former Marine and current mercenary for hire (maybe a slight exaggeration) who's spent the better part of the last decade living in the Middle East supporting USCENTCOM. I work in telecommunications generally, plus whatever other non-sense the US military happens to come up with month to month. I love what I do, if not necessarily the location I do it in but you can't win'em all.
The nickname BONZ (pronounced bones), a moniker coined by my uncle "Rabbit" (I know what you're thinking, yes I have a colorful family, you really have no idea!) came from my body type as a kid. All of my male cousins, with little exception, were built like football players. Me? More of a small forward/ 2 gaurd. I graduated high school at over 6 feet tall weighing in at about 135 lbs. Graduated Marine Corps boot camp at a grand total of 154 lbs and no discernible body fat. All down hill from there!
I stayed in relatively good shape, despite being a heavy smoker and by any stretch of the medical definition, an alcoholic. Even later toward the end of my time on active duty, when my cardio fitness was at it's worst, my build was vertical. I could still run 3 miles, do pull ups and crunches. Must be in shape right! After I left active duty, I had a nice thin layer of adipose tissue around my waistline, and if I bent over in just the right fashion you could make out the beginnings of man-boobs. In short, I hid my weight well. If I was standing up you'd hardly know I was a fat kid. I kept a fairly muscular build in the arms and shoulders, but my mid-section was mush and my high weight reached about 205 lbs.
Several years back, in an effort to preserve my sanity and because I had finally shamed myself into admitting that I wasn't in shape at all, I became a gym rat. The first time I had ever really stuck to a weight training program with any consistency. Six days a week, shy of an hour at a time. Of course, I didn't bother to change what I ate. I took this as license to simply eat more garbage and would routinely put down a whole pizza. Of course, I was supplementing protein and a laundry list of other things that were completely unecessary. This lasted for a year, right up until the first vacation I took back to the US. I had improved, adding muscle mass and improving personal bests in the gym. I was as strong as I'd ever been. Anybody want to guess what happened when I got back from that vacation? That's right, never went back to that routine. I was stronger, and that was good, but I didn't feel better. It was unsustainable. This is also about the time I met my wife, so you can imagine where my attention was focused. Isn't that typical male false advertising, ladies? I bust my rear to get her, but once I've got her, all that extra effort just isn't necessary anymore! But seriously, it was completely unsustainable.
The image stuff is important, sure, and I can say that now that I'm somewhat pleased with mine, but here's what really mattered to me and the reason I tried PB in the first place. My entire life I've suffered blood sugar swings. The first time this came out, I was a child. I jumped up one morning, popped in the bathroom to brush my teeth for school..... and BAM! Passed out standing up and snapped my head on the floor. I woke up with my mother standing over me and had no idea what happened. This would be a common recurrence throughout my life, and I adjusted to it. I knew at any given time if I stood up quickly after sleeping, I may very well have to brace myself. If I didn't eat on a regular basis, I'd become confused and weak. Several times I'd grab candy or some other sweet and start eating it right there in the isle of a grocery store for fear of a blackout. This wasn't all the time, which made it very difficult to predict, but when it happened it was severe. After I got married, I realized that I had swelling in my hands but the lack of a ring previously meant I'd never noticed it. I'd had pain and weakness there for years leading up to this, to the point I was starting to worry about atrophy. I wasn't weight training, and when I did have to lift heavy items at work it was so painful that I would avoid it if possible. This was a stark contrast to earlier in my life. I'd always been relatively strong in certain respects, and weakness in my hands was becoming a big concern. I've been an insomniac since my teens, and I don't think you could ever call what I felt like when I woke up "refreshed". Even with all that, and still being a smoker, my wife and I signed up for a life insurance policy.... and I got a preferred rate! MY NUMBERS WERE ALL WITHIN NORMS, WTH?!?!? If that's the case, and I'm so "healthy", why do I always feel like garbage?
Here comes Mark Sisson to the rescue! I heard this guy giving an interview and thought "what's this hippie talking about?" I KID, I KID!!! No, he was interviewing with a guy I listen to often.... and at the end of the interview I checked out MDA. Signed up for the newsletter and started reading the definitive guides. Holy hell, are you serious?!?!? It made so much sense and all I could think was why didn't I know this before. The weight loss was a complete surprise, and wasn't my prime concern. It was more of an adventure just to see where it took me. If good, great.... if not, no loss on my part. Good doesn't begin to explain the benefits I've seen over the last four months. First off, the raw numbers: I started on 20 December 2011 at 220 lbs. Currently 4 months later at 178 lbs and I haven't' felt this good since I was a 20 year old Marine. Swelling in my hands is GONE, my wedding ring is loose now. Pain is gone from my joints, my hands are strong again. I started weight training again a little over a month ago, and I'm already approaching those personal bests I hit back in my carb-loading, supplement-loading gym rat days. The difference is that took a year and then I was 210 lbs and looked like I was in good shape. Now, I'm 178 lbs approaching the ability to lift the same weight as then.... but I ACTUALLY FEEL like I'm in good shape. What does that tell you? Yeah, me too. No more weakness or confusion, I can fast all day with no issues. I sleep like a baby! If I lay down at 8 p.m., I'm out. I wake up at 4 a.m. daily, make coffee and feel like a champ. I feel like a completely different person, like a "who I always thought I should've been" kind of dude! That's it for the who, when, and why. I'll do separate posts with the how and the what for simplicity's sake.
Went Primal: 20 DEC 2011
Starting: 6'1" 220 lbs
Starting Energy: "bleh...."
Current: 183 lbs @ 8.33% BF (Jackson/Pollock 4 caliper method)
Current Energy: "WOOHOO!" See my journal HERE.
"Paleo? Try it, but be wary of the cult mentality that comes with it. Paleovangelists are everywhere and a bit scary."