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 07:44 AM.