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Posted By Mark Sisson On April 29, 2012 @ 9:47 am In Health | 2 Comments


In the Making - 04/26/12

Age: 38

Jeff’s Goals: “I started Primal eating in earnest on July 5, 2011. I’ve included two photos, one from when I started in July and one from December, 2011. It’s hard to tell in the photos, but in the first one I am straining at the very last hole in my belt and wearing 42″ waist pants (with an elastic “give” in the sides that allowed me to get up to 44″!). In the second photos I am wearing the same belt, with a new hole punched in it because I couldn’t pull it in far enough to keep my pants on — and the pants are 38″ waist! I also quit snoring completely, to the relief of my long-suffering wife. And, most unexpectedly and certainly the most fun, I’ve been able to begin running and playing outside with my two young boys, something I could not do at all earlier last year.

So call my story a half-way-there success story. I think it’s great because even where I am today, with a ways to go ahead of me just to get to “normal”, I feel so much better than I did before and, most importantly, I am completely motivated to keep on to the next level of progress. I know the “secret” now, and I have no doubts in my ability to move forward toward optimal health.

I’ve already lost 40 pounds while following more of a 60/40 principle, and I’m thrilled with my energy levels and progress. (My original goal was just to be able to bend over while sitting and tie my shoes without discomfort!) I am inspired to up my efforts to something more akin to 80/20 and to begin PBF this year, which I didn’t really do at all in 2011.

I also got my sister and brother turned on to Primal. They’re way ahead of me in their own health and fitness, but even they are benefiting from Primal living. My wife is going to join me in 2012 with more ambitious Primal living as well. It’s a family affair!

It seems like Primal takes whatever you give it and just keeps on making it better. Sounds good to me. Sign me up for some more.

Initial weight in July, 2011: 247 lbs.
Weight on January 3, 2011: 207 lbs.
No specific goal weight – I just want to get leaner and stronger!”

Update – 04/26/12: “How has progress been so far?: Well, I made a cake for Christmas, and that really threw me off early in the year. It basically took the month of January for me to get back on track with Primal eating. Sugar is indeed a drug! My wife and I started Primal Blueprint Fitness (PBF) in February, and I also started taking Kempo training with her at a local gym (very fun!). We also did the Primal 21-Day Transformation Challenge in February and March, and that was a great boost. I documented those 21 days in my Primal Journal, so you can read more about that there. Between the good weeks and the bad weeks, I’m only down about 10 pounds and another pants size (36″ waist now!), but I’m pleased with that and expecting a whole lot more starting May 1 – see below for more on that. And I am MUCH stronger than just a few months ago, and loving the challenge (and fun) of PBF.

Current weight: 197 and falling!

Is progress slowing down or speeding up?: I really plateaued around 200 pounds, which was kind of discouraging, but I was able to blast through that barrier with only a little intermittent fasting (IF). My lack of weight loss progress has mostly been from significant and lengthy deviations from Primal eating. And even with those, I have been able to pretty easily maintain my recent weight loss. My new “cheating” is so much better than my “normal” just a year ago! I really have changed my thinking about food. Now it’s just a matter of building up to greater levels of consistency and intensity with the entire Primal lifestyle.

Here’s the good health news: I have not been sick for one day this last 90 days. I got through a weird hot/cold spring season without so much as a sniffle. I can feel my body reacting poorly when I eat sugar or too many carbs, and that is the best incentive to stop eating that stuff. I love this new sensitivity to what my body is telling me about what I’m eating.

Here’s the bad health news (but with a happy ending): I have been struggling with some pretty serious constipation since I ramped back up my Primal eating in early February. I have been at a loss to explain this, as I did not experience this to near the same degree between July and December, when I was very consistent in my Primal eating. I’ve tried supplementing with Vitamin C, probiotics, fish oil, extra servings of vegetables, extra servings of animal fats, honey diluted in water – everything I could think of based on things I’ve read at MDA, natural healing books, and gutsense.org. I even tried some saltwater flushes and Smooth Move herbal tea (with senna leaf) – which did get things moving but did not feel very sustainable. So I purchased the colorectal recovery regimen from gutsense.org and started having great success with it almost from the very first day. I couldn’t figure out why, though, since the regimen consisted largely of the things I had already been trying on my own. At about the same time, I read Mark’s blog post on micronutrient deficiencies – and it clicked that I was severely deficient in magnesium. In the July-December window, I had been eating plenty of spinach and nuts/seeds, but I stopped eating so many nuts/seeds in February (to accelerate weight loss) and stopped eating spinach completely (not for any reason, we just didn’t buy any from the store!). So, problem solved, I think! Magnesium is apparently a very important nutrient to my colon! I plan to complete the colorectal recovery regimen, and possibly do another round of the powder that contains the magnesium supplement. I’ll also begin adding spinach back into my salads, have the more occasional nut and seed, and possibly even add some kefir into my regular routine for some good probiotics. It was no fun going through all this, but I am immensely pleased to have listened to my body and figured out what it needed naturally. I can only imagine consigning myself to a lifetime of laxative use or some such nonsense, which may have been the route I went down a year or so ago!

What are your goals for the next 90 days?: We’re ratcheting up our adherence to Primal principles, slowly getting more consistent and more rigorous over time. We took a little break from Primal after our 21-Day Challenge, but we’re committed to beginning a 40-day 100% challenge on May 1, where we’ll eat as close to 100% Primal as we can for 40 days. We’re really looking forward to that and we’re expecting great results! It will be fun to report on our progress at the midpoint of the year.

On the fitness front, we’re planning on doing a 40-day 100% PBF challenge sometime over the next few months. We’re doing great on Lifting Heavy Things, but we need to get a lot better at consistently Moving Slowly/Playing. With gardening season really starting to take off, I’m hoping that will be easier to work into our regular schedule in May and following.

I’ve also really enjoyed the recent blog posts on IF, and I’ve started experimenting with doing workouts in a more fasted state. Very cool stuff to start digging into, and I’m going to be experimenting with that more over the next few months.

I’d like to be down to my ideal weight (somewhere in the neighborhood of 175, I’m guessing) before the end of the year. So, if I can be down to 185 by the time of the next update (mid-year or thereabouts), that would be good.”

My Primal Journal [7]

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