(Scroll down for before and after pictures!)
Hi guys, fairly new to the forum. My names Bennett. I'm a southern boy at heart, born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. I'm about to turn 19, and I currently live in Auburn, Alabama. Some of you may know me from recent posts. Some of you may be involved in the current fasting challenge with me. I have been on a paleo diet since November 2011. I started on Loren Cordain's version. His book was absolutely life changing for me and I did well on his diet with a loss of 20 pounds in a period of a month and a half. I realize a lot of this was water weight. I hit the wall and after doing some research online I found Mark's website. I realized that Cordain's low fat version of this diet was very flawed and I particularly did not like that he wouldn't let me eat bacon and made me limit eggs and other fatty meats. I'm a southern boy and my Mimi raised me on bacon and eggs breakfasts. I also used to love grits, obviously I don't eat grits anymore. I also added dairy back in with no problem after abstaining from it for so long. This was in the form of butter and pasteurized greek yogurt at the time, later adding back in pasteurized whole milk. If you have read any of my post you know I consume lots of raw dairy now and stay away from pasteurized products. When starting the paleo diet I weighed 195 pounds. As a child I would eat all I wanted, of whatever I wanted because I was never informed on how to eat healthy, or why one would want to eat healthy. And by god did I love to eat. My mother regularly fed me fast food because she did not cook much. My Mimi on the other hand fed me home cooked southern meals. Not that they were the healthiest meals, we regularly enjoy fried green tomatoes, fried okra, sweet cornbread, lima beans, grits, potatoes, ect. You get the picture. Lucky enough for me I never ate any soy products and always ate large portions of meat. I always loved my meat, particularly fatty cuts of meat. At 15 years old I weighed a whopping 216 pounds. I lost the first part of the weight by starving myself out of desperation. It worked, but I soon realized I could not continue to do this. I would regularly breakdown and eat whole bags of Cheetos's and other processed food I loved at the time, only to make up for the mistake by starving myself again. I also tried other diets like Bill Phillip's "Body for Life." I was absolutely brainwashed by the mainstream media that fat was making me fat. There could be no other answer I told myself. I could never sustain myself on these low fat diets and would always breakdown, eating whatever processed junk available that I could stuff my face with. I also couldn't sustain myself enough to exercise so I quit that all together. I also decided I was going to quit school, I hated it and began to make poor grades. I now regret this and believe that I was depriving my brain of the fuel that it so badly need at the time. I began to work in the restaurant business. My love of food turned to a wild passion for cooking and I dreamed of being a famous chef one day. I started in a catering company that also had a very successful lunch business. I washed dishes and bussed tables. I befriended the chef who also happened to be good friends with my mother. He really took a liking to me and I to him. I was so inspired by this man. He also happened to be a type two diabetic who was very sick. I went on to work in other restaurants moving up the ranks to being a line cook. I met another chef who was a really cool guy, Mike King. I wanted to be just like Mike and still show some characteristics that I picked up from him. I spent a year with them and left on bad terms. I still today have not spoken to Mike, I miss Mike very much. He not only was my chef, but a best friend. I highly regret the way I left these people and have no idea where Mike is today. I often wonder what he is up to and reminisce about the wonderful times I shared with this extraordinary character. I moved on to work in other places gaining more experience. I spent some time at Carrabba's Italian grill and began my primal journey the day I took that job. Since then Ive moved around cooking from place to place with no real stability. I lost my Mimi in February. She was one of the most important people in my life and I loved her very much. I di not get a change to see her before she died and this absolutely kills me. I decided I would work myself to death working to full time jobs on the line cooking all day everyday. I did not want to have to think about the death. I worked an average of 70 hours every week and did this for three months straight. I no longer want to be a chef and I'm absolutely disgusted and fed up with the restaurant business. My mother moved from our home in central Alabama to Beaufort, South Carolina. I went with her, and have since moved back. I enjoyed my time up there and learned a great deal about myself this summer. I performed many dietary experiments up there, some of them no carb diets. In South Carolina I joined the big leagues and worked in one of the nicest restaurants on Hilton Head Island, Wise Guy's Steak. I here decided I no longer wanted to be a chef. I didn't want to be like these guys who worked crazy hours with no stability in their life or relationships. There is more to life than this I told myself. I still continue to cook today and will continue to do this to put myself through school and work towards whatever field I chose. I'm not sure what I want to do, but I am wildly passionate about healthy living and preventing the obesity epidemic. I cannot do this as a chef, I only add to the problem. The story of my darker days as a morbidly obese, depressed, malnourished child goes like this. (A recent post on westonprice.org.) In a Children's Psychiatric Hospital - Weston A Price Foundation
As a young teenager I was admitted to two different children hospitals for the treatment of depression, anxiety, and suicidal behavior. I was depressed, had regular thoughts of dying, anxiety was through the roof. Had been on 6-7 different medications to treat the problems. I constantly changed medicines because I felt nothing worked and some even worsened the conditions or caused new problems. I was morbidly obese weighing 216 pounds at 15 years old and I was roughly 5'6. I lacked sunshine, physical activity, watched too much TV and spent too much time in alternate internet reality games such as World of Warcraft. My diet was a disaster, full of processed starches, sugars, oils, ect. Luckily i still ate good portions of meat, but I did not drink milk at this time. I was turned off from milk by my mother because she only drank skim which I hated. I decided to just stay away from milk since I only really liked whole and I believed at this time that fats were making me fat. The hospital visits did nothing to improve my situation except for the fact that I had to see others who were much worse off than me and had very very serious medical disorders. I was just the kid who was sad. I had no motivation to do anything, I recall spending my first two days in bed, refusing to even leave for meals. My conditions began to improve when I left the hospital. I made a personal decision to never take any of the medications ever again. I threw them all into a sewer, I was very angry at this time. Not only at myself for coming to such a low point in my life, but the doctors because they could do nothing to help me. They only worsened things. I began to try to lose weight and made a small effort to start walking. I didn't walk much because I lacked fuel and my "healthy" diet was not working. Over the years things slowly improved, although a had some huge stumbles here and there. My parents divorced shortly after my depression days. I blamed myself like any other kid, I felt I was the source of their financial problems due to my hospital bills. I was still mildly depressed, but was determine never to slip back to that low point of wanting to die. I kept myself happy with friends. I knew I was on a long journey to good health, didn't know where I was going, and knew I had a lot of work cut out for me. Today I am about to turn 19, I weigh a healthy 160 pounds and carry a fairly significant amount of muscle mass. I am happy for the most part. I have friends and maintain healthy relationships with my parents. I am in the process of getting back into school and working towards joining the military. I maintain a healthy diet, eating a low carbohydrate diet that is closer to my ancestors largely based on meat with the inclusion farm fresh raw cows milk and pastured eggs. I currently walk roughly 5-7 miles daily, often with a 35 pound weighted vest. Resistance train 2-3 times weekly using my own body weight and the vest. I also enjoy sprinting and taking long hikes. I am on no medications and have no plans to take any medications for the rest of my life. My interest now are in the well being of my mitochondria and strengthening myself mentally and physically. I also have an interest in homeopathic remedies and using natures own forms of medicine. I regularly drink herbal teas(unsweetened)and lately have used raw honey to help with congestive health problems. I hope you all enjoy my story and perhaps it will be inspiring to any current day healthcare professionals and many others!
Looking forward to feedback and making new Grok brothers and sisters on the forum. I'm very open to questions and suggestions from fellow Groks and Grokettes. I will plan on posting some before and after pictures soon but my schedule is fairly busy as of right now. Wish everyone the best and again I hope you enjoyed my story, looking forward to learning with you guys and helping to promote a primal diet.