Max's Uncreative Journal Title
So after lurking on and off this forum for three years now, I have decided to make a journal. Perhaps I will update it daily, or perhaps I will post a bunch at first and then forget to ever post again. Only time will tell.
I am a 22 year old male, live in NYC, and just graduated college. I have been a long distance runner for the past 6-7 years, and have regularly ran up to 60-80 miles a week for a few months at a time each year (usually two 3-4 month blocks per year). I ran cross country and track for my high school and college.
Anyway, I'll start by saying how I actually got involved with primal in the first place. As a freshman in college, I felt the need to take my running to "the next level" (whatever that means). I began to cut out junk food in the hopes of performing better, but got completely sucked into the conventional wisdom dogma and began cutting out most fats and meats. This was not the problem though, the real problem was that I was cutting calories too much, and rapidly began to lose weight.
After 6 months, while running up to 10-11 miles a day, I dropped from 135 pounds to 115 pounds (I am 5'5). During the time, I would weigh myself every day and then notice that I weighed less, thinking the weight loss would improve my running. I would purposely eat less each day just to lose more weight, basically becoming mildly anorexic. During those six months, I felt depressed, tired, cold, hungry, and had no sex drive (I might have masturbated once a month during this time). I counted calories at the time, and probably ate around 2,000-2,500 (which definitely was less than I ate in high school). By the way, I severely underperformed for the training I did, and only ran well once I stopped restricting myself. It's amazing what only six months can do.
A typical typical meal was 2 pieces of whole wheat bread, 2-3 slices of turkey breast, no cheese or sauce, and a BUNCH of raw vegetables. YUM. I also drank water and tea all day long to stay "full."
After "snapping out of it," I spent a month eating excessive amounts of food, and for some reason a lot of fruits and smoothies. I stumbled upon Mark's site here and there while starving myself, but I thought he was crazy for eliminating healthy whole grains. After watching Tom' Naughton's movie "Fat Head," I was convinced - and declared that I would never ever eat wheat again. I was so surprised and enlightened to find out that saturated fat was actually GOOD for me, not the evil macro-nutrient I had thought it was.
And so I ate, and ate, and ate, and ate. I ate until my stomach hurt. I would not go to bed until I was completely full (since I went to bed hungry so often before). There was another problem though, for the next 6 months I ate a LOW CARB diet. Here I was, 125 pounds and 20 years old, eating a high fat high meat low carb diet. I may have eaten around 50-100 grams of carbs a day at most.
After realizing it was okay to eat potatoes and rice and bananas, I got into another issue - binge eating. I would often stuff myself silly in the kitchen, and I still find myself doing it now a days (not to the point of discomfort though). During this time (sophomore year), despite running 50-70 miles a week, I ended up gaining weight and fat to reach over 140 pounds.
Fast forward another year, after a good season and back to my normal weight, I decide that doing intermittent fasting for months would be a good idea. At least 5 times a week, I would run high mileage and lift on a 16-24 hour fast. I also over the last 2 years dialed down to lower caloric intake towards the end of the season to get to "racing weight." (No, I didn't go through that awful anorexia mindset again, just ate a little less to get down to 130ish pounds instead of 140.)
Here I am today, after starvation, low carb, binging, cutting calories for race weight, and fasting. I have not done anything crazy in the last year. I have been getting very interested in what Zach has to say about nutrition (randomly popped on here a few months ago to see Derp and Zach posting crazy stuff and couldn't stop following them). The last few months I have been eating a low low PUFA diet, much more sugar and salt, a good amount of saturated fat and starch, and less meat and more gelatin. I'm also not eating gluten, but will not go crazy avoiding it since I don't think I am actually intolerant. I am also not crazy strict anymore.
I have stopped running for 6 weeks now as my final season just ended. I finally can approach fitness in a more balanced way now that I am not on a scholarship and a team. I have been weightlifting, been doing sprints, playing basketball, and plan to run here and there just to stay in shape to run with the people I will be coaching this fall when I want to.
I fear that I did mess up my metabolism during this 4 year nutrition adventure. After reading about metabolism by Matt Stone and Emily Benfit (Low Body Temperature? What Your Thermometer Can Tell You About Your Health | Butter Believer), I am convinced that I screwed myself over. I am over 140 pounds again, but definitely have gained some strength (and perhaps muscle). I also have been severely overeating these past weeks - a) because I could care less if I am not light since I don't have to race b) I love eating and c) I want to "raise my metabolic rate" (Although I don't think that's the right way to go about it ?). Also, I'm sure the restriction from a few years ago still effects me today in regard to overeating. I just know that, I ate more in high school without gaining fat. Some days I feel I look rather muscular and lean, and other days I look bloated and chunky.
I am grateful to have been able to learn a ton about nutrition and health over these last few years. I am also glad that I found out that I love nutrition, health, and exercise.
Wow, that was pretty long. I guess I'm just bored and rambling. Anyway - if you actually read this, thanks.
Also, here I am 6 weeks ago 944314_4931465409460_1574690444_n.jpg.
Here I am almost anorexic Max-1.jpeg.
Here I am now - BUZZED 312164_10200141882492608_659210090_n.jpg
Last edited by max219; 06-13-2013 at 09:53 AM.
Oh yea, and I'm not sure what I will be journaling about. Like most people I'd like to be strong and lean, but I don't really feel like cutting calories anytime soon. I'd like to be healthy and fit in many aspects though.
I guess I could post metabolism updates? Maybe random things that pop into my head about nutrition and health?
I orally checked my body temperature upon rising a few times (without leaving my bed) the last few days. It was below 97.5, and once 97.1. Although my thermometer my not have been accurate. Is my slow metabolism all in my head?!?!
Last edited by max219; 10-31-2013 at 03:06 PM.
I just started reading Matt Stone's book Diet Recovery 2, some good information there.
Hey Max! You're looking good! The 1st picture from 6 weeks ago totally trumps the anorexic one.
I've been wanting to check out some of Matt Stone's stuff. I get emails from Danny Roddy and enjoy those.
Glad you started a journal.
Thanks Brooke, Matt Stone certainly is an interesting writer to say the least. I just subscribed to Roddy's emails.
Hey Max, great stuff! You look like your in pretty decent shape, certsiny a lot healthier looking then your anorexic photo. I think since your young, pretty lean and decently muscular, you will have a really easy time gettting your metabolism back up. Keep lifting heavy!
I will be interested to see where this goes. Please update once in awhile with daily eating and workouts.
Thanks Zach, I'll try to update often. I am not even sure if my metabolism is actually slowed or not though. Either it really is or I have been reading too much metabolism talk lately.
Anyway - as for today -
Woke up and ate some rice krispies with some half and half. Had 3 small bananas with a coffee with gelatin, maple syrup, honey, and some half and half. After doing some body weight exercises and playing some basketball (and lots of walking), ate two slices of pizza - yes with gluten. The combination of being anorexic and strict primal left me 4 whole years without eating any pizza (except for a few times while under the influence of alcohol). I've had it twice so far this past month and I regret restricting it so much. Tonight I am going out for my teammates birthday at a bar - so plan to drink some long island iced teas. I don't drink too often, maybe once every month or two. When I do though, this drink hits me fastest.
Last night I visited my primal uncle and grandma's house for dinner and playing some guitar. The dinner was only grassfed steak, broccoli, and salad. While a delicious meal, my craziness was thinking about the goitregens in the broccoli and the lack of carbs. I'm not so crazy anymore though, so I enjoyed the meal and hit up some haagan das and bananas dipped in honey once I got home.
It's crazy how different I am eating now then last year at this time. I was eating much more meat, eggs, fish, and less starch and practically no sugar. Also, I am not counting calories, but assume I am eating between 2,500 and 3,000 most days (unless I purposely binge/overeat, then I must reach up to 4,000).
Hitting the gym tomorrow to lift. I have been following "Strong-lifts 5x5" program trying to get stronger. The program adds 5 pounds each session to 4 compound lifts (Day A - squat, overhead press, deadlift. Day 2 - squat, bench press, bent over barbell row). I barely lifted while running, so I hope to gain some strength. It was cool being a 4:40 miler and a 16:00 5k runner, but I have no desire to improve my running anymore at the moment. As I go on six weeks of no running, I am carefree and more excited to see how the training program I made for my teammates (who I have coached for 2 years and am officially coaching next season) turns out.
Last edited by max219; 06-15-2013 at 09:56 AM.
Dude, sounds like you are doing great. Stronglifts is a great strength routine for begining. Also holy hell, those are some fast running times!
So last night I went out with some friends, and ended up drinking way more than I ah planned. I really don't like to drink a lot, and usually regret it when I spend most of the night throwing up.
Anyway, when I woke up I didn't feel to bad and had rice krispies with half and half, some sheep cheese dipped in honey, and a few eggs. Went to work and then lifted after work - did 5 sets of 5 for squat (120 lbs), overhead press (did 85lbs but failed the last set), and 1 x 5 dealifts at 135 pounds. The deadlifts are the easiest for me so far, along with the bench press.
After the workout I biked around before biking home. Post workout meal included 2 bananas, 4 white potatoes covered in grass fed butter, syrup, and salt. Had a CAFO hamburger patty with provolone cheese.
Edit - ate a few scoops of vanilla haagan das and a bunch of mozzarella cheese and some more rice krispies after dinner.
Last edited by max219; 06-15-2013 at 09:46 AM.
I did Stonglifts for a couple of months. Did you start with an empty bar like he recommends? I didn't. I probably should have started out with less weight than I did because it took me 2 weeks to add weight to the bar for my squat. How long have you been doing this program?