Healthy - Primal - Paleo - Healthier - full circle in 2 months(i'm so dumb)
I started on this primal/paleo kick about Nov 2012. I was reading MDA and all archives religiously not to mention other blogs (Robb Wolf, Archevore, Paleomg, NomNomPaleo etc etc), picked up books from the library. Found it all REALLY fascinating and it made total sense to me. This was not my first stint into the LC world...i follwed the SCD diet for years to clear up terrible ulcerative colitis...it worked. Although over the past 2 years i had been more leniant with wheat/grains/sugar.
Anyhoo, over the past few weeks i've read Robb Wolf's entries around misconceptions of low carb, browsed Anthony Colpo's site, realized Kurt Harris went MIA from Archevore because he was having doubts about LC... hmmm.
All this to say...today, i got it. Like a kick in the pants, my brain started working again...(maybe it was the lack of carbs?!?!). So let me preface the following by saying, if you have a different experience...AWESOME! that's the whole point...so read on. Now it is clear as day, should be to everyone, but rarely is.
1- OWN YOUR LIFE - No one will ever know how your body responds to different stimulus more than you. Take ownership over your choices, don't let Mark Sisson or Paleogirl#690 or whoever EVER tell you they knwo what's best for you and what will work, or not, under your circumstances. PUT IN THE TIME to figure out which "rules" work best for YOU...
2- FOUR FACTORS - will influence how your body looks/how you feel = lifestyle (desk job you hate vs work outside you love, stress, sleep, family, debt etc), food (duh), exercise (double duh) and genetics (not enough mentioned on this). Now which one plays more of a factor is HIGHLY dependent on the INDIVIDUAL. There is no magic macro ratio or exercise regime that an expert who hasn't met you or understand deeply your background, lifestyle, genetics etc can prescribe to you. Please get that. Put in the time to CARE FOR yourself. Stop thinking other people will. See #1
3- AUTHORS/BLOGGERS/EXPERTS USUALLY HAVE A SINGULAR GENERAL BASELINE - and i think this is usually the very unhealthy portion of the population eating KFC every night and downing 6 beer (or not, just an assumption). When dishing out singular rules experts are doing so (usually) with one or at least a narrow baseline in mind. I am a very active, 39 year old (but very healthy and feel 25) that can maybe stand to lose a little belly fat but otherwise am good to go. Is LC the way for me? Well, maybe if i decide i don't want to ocean swim, SUP and run anymore! But this did not work for me and i needed to tweak things for myself. I mean who am i to think the same "rules" will apply to an obese or overwait person or Mark Sisson who seriously does not consume a lot of food/day or Robb Wolf who does 3h jujitsu sessions? This makes no sense. Also, does just walking and doing strength 3x week satiate my personal need for activity? Hell to the NO. So, while LC and walking/lifting a bit is maybe ok for some, it's not the right mix for me. So YOU do the math, don't let others do it for you. See #1
4- WEIGHT LOSS IS DUE TO NET DECREASE IN CALORIES. Eating a huge bag of nuts or mass amounts of other fatty/protein primal foods in lieu of those evil carbs will not (rarely?? gah outliers!!!) result in weight loss. That is all. Does anyone really believe that if i ate 3000 calories of fat/protein only, was sedentary, that i would lose weight!??! WHcih brings me to #5...
5- CARBS ALONE STIMULATE APPETITE / PROTEIN AND FATS CAN SATIATE. This was a big one for me. I used to eat more carbs and drink more. Both of these things led to me consuming more calories daily. By increasing my fat and protein, limiting booze, i defacto control my FOOD intake (without trying all that hard) and therefore, get a better control of my total calories consumed. Example: i trained for the NYC marathon last year. thought for sure i wouls lose wait and my belly fat...nope. Probably because i thought i had carte blanche to eat ANYTHING and MORE of everything post runs...and for the rest of the day. I also didn't eat enough protein/fat with my huge carb loadings (mmmm waffles...with fruit...and maple syrup). You get the picture.
6- Exercise should include STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE - when i first read MDA i was a bit peeved cause i LOVE running and my swim sessions and my solo weekend SUP sessions (1.5h often)...all of which can be considered chronic cardio i guess. And while i agree that training to run 3 marathons/year or whatever may be hard on the body, i also see nothing wrong with good stints ot cardio. FOr me, walking, or slow movement isn't enough. I know Mark talked about this, so i'm reiterating. Do what you LOVE to do and what is APPROPRIATE. If you haven't exercised for 5 years...maybe a 10k is not the place to start. For me, that's my base so i can handle it. Differnet strokes for different folks. I do, however, agree that strength training is a great great thing. It can help on many emotional and physical levels and should be part (even if just body weight) of everyone's exercise regime. Conclusion = do some endurance AND strength exercise, increase volume or time AS APPROPRIATE (hunh, so weird, it's all about balance! duh).
7- Lastly (finally i'm gonna shut up) ...why don't you look like Mark Sisson?? Because you are NOT Mark Sisson. Move on.