Primal Journal (PBNewby)
I am a 48 year old male, 5' 10", 180 lbs. Until I was 30, I had been what I would consider to be in very good health. My weight was well controlled, that is to say I was quite thin, but not too thin. My high school weight was around 135, and I held that until I was 30. Two things happened when I turned 30. First, I got married, and second, I became employed in a very good paying job. I suppose my metabolism changed a bit also, but I believe that my good fortune led me to eat just about anything I wanted, anytime I wanted.
While it is true that I began eating well (or at least what I thought was "well", thanks Primal Blueprint!!), I didn't really gain a lot of weight immediately. My weight gain began in earnest at the end of the 1990s. While the gain was unintentional, and not a huge amount, I breached 200 lbs by 2003. I don't remember the date, but I do remember stepping on the scale and seeing "204". It was quite a shock to me! So much so that I decided I wasn't going to gain another ounce. And I didn't. That was the most I ever weighed.
For the next couple years, I dieted. Well, I cut back on my portions, and tried very hard to lose weight. I was able to get down to 170 or 180, and my weight fluctuated quite a bit, although it never returned to the 200 range. At one point a few years ago, my annual cholesterol reading went to 266, and my doctor was leaning toward putting me on some chol reducing drugs. The next day, I started dieting (reduced portions) like mad. Over the next year, I lost 30 lbs and was down to 150. I did this without exercise, foolishly thinking I could start a weight training program once I reached 150 - in order to put muscle weight back on (instead of fat). Well, I never started any weight training, and eventually, over the 2009-2011 timeframe I gained back 30 lbs. I have been at 180 for about a year (again) now. (See the chart in my post on 17-Oct-2012)
Earlier this year, I was laid off, and I have taken the summer off. In August, I began experiencing days where I would be tired in the daytime, or mornings where I would sleep solidly until 10 or 11 a.m. (12 to 14 hours of continuous sleep). I don't know what that was, as I have tried to be active throughout the summer - working around the house and yard, cycling a bit, and generally trying to do whatever it takes to NOT be a couch potato in my time away from regular employment.
I knew I had to do something, but didn't know what. I stumbled upon and began reading the book Primal Blueprint in late September. The book intrigued me and I felt it was doing a great job of explaining many issues with people's health these days. In late September, I began trying to eat zero carbs from grains, and zero sugar. I also began doing push-ups, chin-ups, and bench-press. Started at 1 chin-up, now can do 4...improvements have come in the other exercises, too.
I finished the book today, and over the last week to week-and-a-half, I have been eating as primally as I can. In the beginning I ate a couple salads. Now I eat lots of broccoli, apples, yogurt, and almonds. All for carbs. I also eat bacon and eggs, some dark chocolate, avocados, as well as small amounts of cheese and milk. I have no problem following the rules of eating primal. I'm very intent on changing myself, and because of that (and the engineer inside me) I don't stray. I think my desire to change and lose weight over-powers any desire for sugars or processed carbs (which I used to eat quite a bit of).
My goal in all of this is to lose some weight. My scale tells me I have 22% body fat, which means I am carrying 40lbs of fat around everyday. I'd really like this number to be closer to 20 lbs, or maybe 16% body fat. I realize, after doing weight loss wrongly over the past 10 years, that I must exercise while changing my diet. I don't have any sort of regimented exercise plan. I just go downstairs to the weights and do some bench-presses and chin-ups 5 to 6 times per week. I also do push-ups (10) once or twice per day. When I started, I could only do 3, so that is some progress.
In all, I am pretty fit, but I carry most all of my fat in my belly. If the six pack is under there like Mark says it is, I have a long way to go to get it out in the open again. I've taken measurements of my biceps, and my belly, with hopes of seeing some changes in time. To be fair, I have lost about 3 pounds over the past 14 days, but most of it was at the beginning. I know I have replaced some fat with muscle, since I can do more push-ups, chin-ups, and more bench-press weight than when I started. So I am not too concerned about the weight loss not being more (I believe if I could weigh 180lbs and have 16% body fat, that would be one form of progress!)
I've been tracking my meals, but I have a bit of a bone to pick with the BMR calculators. One thing I have learned while tracking my weight daily for 9 years is that if I eat an average of less than 1200 cal/day I will lose weight. If I eat an average of more than 1500 cal/day I will gain weight. The calculator says my BMR is 1740 or something like that. If I were to stop exercising and eat that many cal/day, I am sure I would balloon up! For now, I am trying to eat only when I am hungry, but there are times when I get super hungry. Times when I wake up early in the morning with my stomach growling. In those cases, I fear that I am burning muscle while I sleep. So I am not sure I have the combination of fat/carb/prot correct. More learning, I guess.
I felt it important to start this journal, if only to get my thoughts down so I can refer back to them. I truly believe that "Primal" is the way to go. And I look forward to healthier living. I've not been sleeping as much as before, so that is a plus, and I am excited to be lifting weights again!
Today's weight: 80.5kg, 178-ish
Today's belly: 40"
Thanks to Mark for the great book and this website!
Last edited by PBNewby; 10-17-2012 at 08:44 AM.
Just for the record, here are some food logs from the past week or so. Comments welcome!
100g banana 24g carb
90g broccoli 4g carb
1/10th cup milk 2g carb
Some cheese 1g carb
1/4 of an avocado 4g carb
Two eggs - less than 1/2g carb
Two slices bacon - zero carbs
44g almonds 8g carb
Total: 43g carb brkfst.
180g yogurt 14g carb, 9g prot.
250g milk in coffee 13g carb, 8g prot
2 eggs 2g carb, 12g prot
2 slices bacon 0g carb, 5g prot
150g yogurt 12g carb, 7g prot
75g fruit 10g carb 1g prot
28g minced almonds 5g carb, 6g prot
October 9 - Lunch
Two cheese slices six protein one carb, 10 g of fat each.
1 ounce salami. Six protein one carb 8 g fat each.
One serving of fruit one protein 17 carb 0 g fat each.
One serving broccoli one protein 4 carb 0 g of fat.
One serving yogurt 11 protein 18 carbohydrate 2.5 g fat.
One oz almonds 6g prot, 5g carb, 15g fat.
140 g of egg, or three eggs. 12g fat, 3g carb, 17g prot
28 g of 2% milk. 0g fat, 1g carb, 1g prot
113 g of fresh broccoli steamed. 0g fat, 8g carb, 3g prot
16 g of bacon cooked. 4.5g fat, 0g carb, 7g prot
60 g of fresh sliced avocado. 9g fat, 5g carb, 1g prot
8 g of butter 6g fat, 0g carb, 0g prot
135 g apple, raw 0g fat, 18g carb, 0g prot
Total fat 33g
Total carb 35g
Total prot 29g
One serving of yogurt 2.5g of fat 18 g carbohydrate 11 g protein.
One serving of berries 0g fat 17g carb 1g protein.
One serving almonds 15 g, fat 5 g, carb 6 g protein.
Total fat 17.5g
Total carb 40g
Total prot 18g
125 g of sockeye salmon 14g fat, 0g carb, 34g prot
Daily totals 64g fat, 75g carb, 81g prot
3 eggs, . 12g fat, 3g carb, 17g prot
30g shredded cheese F11, C0.5, P8
126g broccoli, steamed F0, C9, P3
3 slices (16g) bacon F6, C0, P7
60g apple F0, C8, P0
40g bacon grease cooked into eggs
4g butter in broccoli
125g banana F0, C28, P1.5
Lunch. One serving of berries 0g fat 17 g carbohydrate 1 g protein
200 g of yogurt 5 g of fat, 17 g of carbohydrate, 9 g of protein.
20g tomato F0g, C2.5g, P0.5g
40 g avocado F6g, C3.5g, P1g
130 g turkey burger F17, C0, P36
110 g of steamed broccoli F0, C8, P2.5
Some butter for the broccoli
28 g of feta cheese F7, C2, P7
Total: F110 (incl 40g), C96, P92
180 g yogurt F4 .7, C15, P8
28 g almonds F15, C5g, P6g
130g berries F0, C17, P1
F20, C37, P15
3 blackened fish tacos w/o shell
28 g almonds. F15, C5, P6
F3.5, C26, P26
Chicken salad at grand view
Chocolate F3,C3, P0
Milk F5, C13, P8
+ lunch tacos + dinner salad. + 2 martinis.
The past two days, I have been working on putting a transmission back into my truck. This is hard work, using lots of upper body strength, and getting up and down from working on the ground underneath the truck. Although I have not changed my diet much from last week, I have skipped lunch both yesterday and today. I was working so intently that I didn't really notice the lunch hour go by. Granted, I was hungry at dinner, but it wasn't excruciating. I forgot to step on the scale this morning, so I don't know the effects of skipping lunch. Tomorrow will tell the story.
In other news, I believe that I may be eating too much dairy. Specifically milk. I like to have a latte in the morning, and I usually use about 250g of warm milk in my espresso. At first I convinced myself that it was OK since the carbs in milk come from glucose - and from what I have heard the body process glucose much much better than fructose. But now I am wondering if so much milk is preventing me from losing fat. May try to cut back on the milk. It'll be hard with winter coming, I love me some morning latte.
I read thru some success stories on this site, and WOW those are very inspirational!!
This mornings's weight was 79.5kg, or 175 lbs. So it would seem that skipping lunch did help a bit (1 lb or 2). Speaking of weight, I wanted to share the graph of my daily weight over the past 9 years. This chart shows how up-and-down my weight was, as I tried and tried to get to a stable weight. This chart begins 9 years ago in September of 2003, just a few mos after I hit my all time high of 204. The top line of the chart is 193 lbs, the bottom of the chart is 143 lbs. Toward the end, the data is kind of sparse, as I hit 180 last January and plateaued there, disappointed that I had once again reached 180. But I have begun to take daily measurements once again. Some would say that behavior is obsessive, but I find its the best way to encourage myself to do better (eating/exercise wise).
Last edited by PBNewby; 11-04-2012 at 09:06 AM.
The last two years of my employment, 2010 and 2011, I did a fair amount of cycle-commuting to and from the office. In the mornings, I would carpool with my wife to her work. We toted my bicycle on the car so that upon arriving at her office, I would cycle to the regional bus stop, about 1 mile away. Then I would ride the bus to the first stop in the town I worked in. From there I would cycle to my office, about 4 miles. Having no car, I would need to ride to lunch and back, about 7-10 miles round trip - depending on where we chose to eat that day. In the late afternoon, I would cycle to the downtown bus stop (4 miles) to catch a different regional bus home. Actually that bus took me within 5 miles of my home, resulting in at least 15 and sometime 20 miles per day of cycle commuting.
Last summer, 2011, I recorded nearly 1200 miles of cycle commuting over 3 or 4 months.
The thing about this is, and here's my point, I rarely ever lost weight. In fact, during heavy cycling summers I usually gained weight. What I am enjoying about the shift to Primal Blueprint is that I am gaining muscle (through lifting heavy objects, and semi regular work-outs/sprints/walking) but I am also losing weight. I attribute this to the dietary changes related to being Primal. In those past summers, when I cycled to my heart's content, I also increased my intake of calories. After reading Primal Blueprint, I am pretty much convinced that I was compensating for the increase in my calories burned by eating the wrong type of calories (more processed carbs than I should have).
I can now do 16 pushups without stopping. When I began reading the book 3 weeks ago, I could maybe do 3. This tells me I am gaining muscle. At the same time, I am losing weight. This is very exciting, since I believe the combination of gaining muscle and losing weight is a healthy combination. It sure beats gaining weight and losing muscle! And it absolutely beats losing weight and losing muscle.
Last edited by PBNewby; 10-21-2012 at 10:07 AM.
This morning I realized something, and it is a good thing. In the past, when I've tried to lose weight, I have done it by restricting my caloric intake. This has led me to be cranky during times of hunger, when I just had to push thru until the next meal. But over the past 2-3 weeks, since reading Primal Blueprint and changing my diet to exclude grain based carbs, and sugar, I have been losing weight without being cranky! This is a wonderful realization for me, and my wife appreciates it, too! I'm not ready to reveal any numbers, but at this point I AM losing weight, and I am gaining muscle. Simultaneously! This morning I did 20 push-ups. Granted, the 20th was a tough struggle for me, but I counted it. Yesterday, I did 6 pull-ups. My bench press continues to increase, and my new short-term goal is to be able to bench-press my body weight. Actually, it is to bench-press my body weight in 3 sets of 5 (15 times with a rest after every 5). Current estimates show that I should reach my goal within 3 weeks. I can't weight!! (wait. :-)
Here are my food logs from the past week or so. Mainly for my records, but shared here to seek comments...one thing I tried to do was reduce the qty of milk in my lattes. Hoping that helps in my weight loss. You may notice that I log everything (even liquids) in terms of grams - that is because I have a digital kitchen scale and it is so easy to use. Once I weigh a quantity of food, I go to the online food nutrients site and convert everything from the 100g portions they use to the amount of food I eat. Super simple!
29g milk (red fat)
40g shred cheese
4g coconut oil/fat
30g sliced avocado
3 slices bacon
Two coffes with milk (about 500g)
F10, C26, P20
Snarfs ham and cheese sandwich, no bread.
Lightly breaded buffalo chicken wings (12)
50g tomato F0, C2g, P0
90g avocado F13, C8, P2
150g steamed broccoli F1, C11, P3
65g steak F8, C0, P30
3 eggs scrambled F12, C13, P17
30g shred cheese F11, C0.5, P8
Coconut oil for cooking
250g milk in coffee F5, C13, P10
Snarfs ham and cheese sandwich no bread
150g grilled chicken
30g mushrooms sautéed
30g dark chocolate
140g red wine
two slices of bacon
50 g of avocado
200 g of yogurt
30 g of almonds
Wahoos blackened chicken tacos, no shell. Side of guac.
250g milk in coffee.
1/2 square of 70% chocolate.
170 g of broccoli
Three slices bacon
60 g avocado
196g steamed broccoli F0,C9,P4.4
30g shred cheese
2x Cx tacos, 1x beef taco. No shells. Fuzzys
17g of 88% cocoa F8, C7, P2
150g steamed milk in coffee.
145g red wine
145g yogurt, F4 C12 P6
126g berries, F0 C17 P1
28g almonds, F14 C6 P6
16g chocolate, F7.5 C6 P1.5
1 apple and a handful of almonds
28g salami, F8, C1, P6
56g cheese, F20, C2, P12
Club wrap, side of guac, no tortilla.
16g chocolate. 28g almonds, 145g red wine.
4g coconut oil
28 g beef jerky, F2 .5 C7 P 10
2eggs 4 slices bacon 2oz ham chz
Salad with chicken, bleu cheese dressing, mozzarella, and walnuts.
2 st Germaine martinis.
2 more Martinis, ugh!
125g milk coffee
Midnight snack, 3 slices bacon, 56g salami, 3 oz cheese, almonds.
125g milk coffee.
150g yogurt, F4,C12,P6.5
30g almonds, F14, C6, P6
105g berries, F0, C14, P1
45g avocado, F6, C4, P1
125g milk, F2.5 C6.5 P4
Made into a smoothie (blended)
Totals F26.5, C42.5, P18.5
100 g chicken
130 g broccoli
20 g cheese
10 g dark chocolate
125 g steamed milk
Mushrooms and onions with the chicken
1 slice bacon
16g milk 2%
5g coconut oil for cooking
Last edited by PBNewby; 10-21-2012 at 10:28 AM.
PBNewby, big kudos to you for staying so motivated. It's obviously giving you great results
Have you considered posting on a daily basis to give yourself an ounce more of motivation? It would be great to track your success that way. Also, how are you able to eat broccoli day after day? I love my broccoli, but I would become absolutely homicidal if that was my only option.
Keep at it
Thanks for the reply!
I suppose I am starting to get a bit weary on the broccoli front, but with a bit of butter, and some cheese melted over it, I find broccoli hard to resist! What other veges do people eat to get their carbs? (I can't stand Brussel sprouts, nor asparagus).
Last edited by PBNewby; 11-04-2012 at 08:57 AM.
So, this morning, I awoke at 4am with stomach pain, and a very slight headache. Prior to going Primal, this was a fairly common occurrence. It hadn't happened in so long (a couple weeks or more) that I had considered it gone. There were those two nights early on where I had awoke quite hungry, but this was different. I figure this was something I ate that I didn't agree with, or that didn't agree with me. Here's my log from yesterday:
1 slice turkey bacon
16g milk 2%
5g coconut oil for cooking
126g milk in coffee
Chef salad @ 3son's Restaurant
140g milk in coffee
20g dark chocolate. 20, 7.5, 4
This totals 1275 calories, plus the Chef's Salad I had at the restaurant. This salad had onions on it, and garbanzo beans (which I only ate 3 or 4 before stopping). It also had olives, and I ate all of them (6-8). Bleu cheese dressing, as well as bleu cheese crumbles. Nothing realy out of the ordinary, I just wanted to write it down. I awoke at 4am (the usual time for me to awake when I had this issue in the past) and stayed awake until, well, until now 6a. Probably won't go back to bed.
One thing I am wondering is, what can I do to calm my stomach? In the past, I would drink warm milk...but I wonder what Primal folks do to ease tummy pains... :-)
Last edited by PBNewby; 10-22-2012 at 06:17 AM.
It might be the milk that upset your stomach in the first place. My suggestion: drink hot oolong tea. It's amazing for settling the stomach and it tastes amazing too. Or you could go the Traditional Russian Self-Medication route and brew yourself a really strong cup of black tea (traditionally you add a spoon of sugar, but that's not very Primal) and stomach it down.
As far as veggies, I love all sorts of veggie latkes. Zucchini latkes are wonderfully moist and delicious with a touch of sour cream. Grilled tomatoes with a touch of salt and pepper taste pretty awesome too.
Anyways, hope you feel better!