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    Primal Journal jtholland

    Primal Fuel
    Ok, I have no desire to keep a daily log here of what I'm eating or doing for exercise. I'm sure that would bore the heck out of everybody anyway ;) But I have read that keeping a food log keeps you committed, and so I will do that in my own personal journal, but do weekly/bi-weekly updates here.

    Quick story: I was a chunky kid growing up, but played football and basketball in Kentucky, basically did ok. I was 6'2, 220 as a high school senior, not terrible for a football player, but I'm sure my body fat was high! College I got away from my parents bad food habits, and lost weight mainly just by eating less, I didn't really change what I ate that much. My 20s/30s were pretty good, and I gained muscle mass, and grew into my adult male body. My late 30s/early 40s have been a bit of a roller coaster, but I've noticed in the last 5-6 years, things got pretty bad, I think mainly due to stress in my life. I've gained weight, I drink way more than is healthy, and in general, I'm just too chubby. I'm putting in a pic I took today, mainly just to embarrass myself, and to serve as a reminder of what I want to look like!

    Lucky for me, I'm educated and curious, so I have learned a lot about nutrition. I read the Paleo Solution, and recently have been perusing other Paleo/fitness blogs, which is how I found this site. Mark's stuff is great, I particularly enjoy reading everybody's success stories. Nice work folks! I hope to write my own in a few months.

    I'm actually physically rather strong, and I can play basketball competitively against guys half my age. I've been doing Crossfit off and on for a couple of years now, but I keep end up having to take months off due to injuries, and then weight creeps back on. Mark's comment that body composition is 80% diet really resonates, and I'm finally deciding to commit.

    Here's where I am (5/20/2013)

    Weight - 265 or so, I don't have a scale, since I think tape measurements are more important anyway.
    circumference at belly - 46 inches
    Arms - 16 inches
    Thighs - 25 inches
    blood work - going to get this checked next week
    body fat % - over 25%, maybe over 30%. Also something I'd like to get checked soon.

    Here's what I want to hit:
    Weight - 205-220? I'm not sure yet, I'm more concerned with ...
    Body fat % - I'd love to get this to 10%. 15 will be worthy of a celebration though!
    circumference at belly - 36 inches or so. I've read over 40 is dangerous

    Why this will be hard for me:

    I actually don't have much of a sweet tooth, with desserts I can take it or leave it. I hardly ever eat pasta, and if a restaurant puts bread on the table, I'll eat it with butter, but I never buy it. I've been kind of sort of trying to eat paleo for some time now, so my kitchen/pantry is pretty well dialed.

    My big problem is alcohol. I love to drink and be rowdy with my friends, and it's almost impossible for me to stop at 2 a day. Once I've had 2, I lose all inhibitions related to food, and I eat lots of junk. So, a perfect primal day gets ruined after 6 beers and nachos. Those extra 2000 calories are bad! Who knew? ;) A secondary problem is dairy, but that's a very distant second. I can limit myself to small amounts of cheese, not drink milk, no yogurt, no ice cream. Not a problem. Another challenge is creams/sauces that add flavoring (pre-made curry sauces, mayo, that sort of thing). I'm going to not worry about those for now, as long as I'm reading the label, and trying to keep my carbs between 25-50g per day.

    I'm making major changes, including moving! I gave up my apartment in the city, cancelled my cable, and I'm going to rent a place in the mountains for the summer, just to inspire my life change with a change of venue. I also think it will make it easier to get out the door and on a trail in the mountains of Oregon. Oregon summers are very motivating, this place is beautiful! I might even take up kite surfing.

    I'm on day 7 of my new Primal regime, and so far I'm doing fine. Not feeling the low carb "blahs" people talk about. However, I have yet to go a single day without alcohol! Tracking food/drinks has made me much more aware of the actual volume, and cash! Drinking in bars is pricey. I have noticed that I'm snoring less at night than before, my face seems a bit thinner, but that could just be because I shaved my beard ;) I'm also noticing that my calf muscles, which are perpetually tight and sore, are much better now, particularly in the mornings. I used to wake up in the morning and have trouble walking for a few minutes, now I'm moving normally immediately. I suspect a drop in inflammation may already be happening.

    I'll get back online soon with some updates for you. Wish me luck.

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    By the way, I have NO idea what some of the acronyms you guys use mean. I figured out that SW means starting weight, CW is current. But LPW, PSW, UGW, HUH?

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    Ok, it's been a couple weeks, so time for an update!

    I'm continuing to improve on a number of fronts, mainly related to getting enough sleep, drinking less alcohol, and eating more paleo. I'm becoming hyper aware about what's "real food" and what isn't, and I'm getting to the point where some things I might have eaten before I'm turning up my nose at now. I just went to a Mexican place yesterday for a taco salad, which was the only Primal thing on the menu, and it was so bad, I now know I should never set foot in that place again.

    My diet has not been nearly as clean as I would like, but I'm not going to let that lack of perfection influence my commitment. I'll just recommit myself as often as necessary. When I need some inspiration, stories at MDA are proving to be helpful. I've also been listening to Robb Wolf podcasts, though I'm noticing that they are starting to get to be redundant. The answer to everything is eat more Paleo!

    I've lost about an inch in my belly measure, and I'm going to do waist, chest, stomach measures again tomorrow morning as my new baseline. My fridge is stocked with good paleo stuff, and I just found an Amazon local deal for grass fed beef that will probably feed me for the rest of the month. Oh, almost forgot! To keep myself accountable, I'm signing up for the Primal Blueprint Transformation Seminar and True Nature Training later this month. It will be a good placeholder in my mind, to keep myself as Primal as possible over the next 26 days. And hopefully I'll learn some things.

    That's all for now, have to run some errands and get some exercise.

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    Chest: 47.5 in
    Belly: 45.5 in
    Hips: 44.5

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    Ok, here's my update.

    I'm doing well, more than anything from a mental/happiness perspective, this has been a great summer. I continue to challenge myself with new Primal challenges (headed out to the park right now to work out) and I'm doing a pretty good job on my Primal nutrition goals. I'm trying hard not to call it a diet. Got a grass fed steak ready for dinner, and have been avoiding alcohol rather well, with some slips here and there. Results are obvious, I'll post new measurements next week. All in all, good stuff, and I have some visitors coming in August/September that I want to impress, so my motivation is high.

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