Blog Archives

Primal Case-Studies: An update from Phil

Those of you who follow my blog regularly will recall I interviewed Phil back in November.

Phil switched to a low-carb life-style  September last year in an effort to manage his diabetes. His early results were spectacular. He lost 14 lbs / 7kg in 3 weeks, and he cut his use of insulin to a third of what it was previously.

Phil has agreed to update us on his progress periodically. Here is the latest instalment.

What has happened since we last spoke in November?

My weight has stabilised at 85Kg. I probably could lose a few more Kg, but everyone I meet notices the loss of weight.

My ill fitting clothes were getting embarrassing, so I have had to buy a new suit, and lots of new clothes.

And I feel fantastic. None of the drowsiness that I used to have almost every day. Generally I am full of energy.

What challenges have you come up against in maintaining your new life-style?

Every time I find myself in a different place or situation, finding something suitable to eat can be a challenge. I used to be very flexible and would eat whatever was available. But now it is the opposite. But then, when I do find something, I almost always feel really happy with what I have eaten and rarely regret not having what I would have eaten. If that makes sense.

How do people react to the changes you have made?

Everyone seems to be very respectful of it. Last week we went to dinner with friends and they went to so much effort to make the meal suitable for me. I was moved that people react so well.

What have you learned over the past two months that have caused you to make further changes to your life-style?

I have learnt that this way of eating can be really enjoyable. And the benefits are clear. I have done lots of reading, which led me to stop taking the Statins that my doctor had recommended.

What are the health questions that pre-occupy you at the moment?

The main thing that I haven’t sorted out yet is my exercise. I love doing exercise, in particular running and playing football. But I was finding it hard to manage the sugar levels. Then I got an Achilles problem that was not going away. I am seeing a specialist about it and he recommended a change in exercise routine.

What changes to your health do you hope to see in the coming months?

Once my Achilles is sorted I am looking forward to starting a new regime of exercise. I hope to get back to my old fitness levels and lose a few more Kg.

Weight Loss Success Stories

Other people’s successes inspire me whatever goal I am pursuing, and weight loss is no different. I particularly like stories about people who have both lost weight and transformed their health in the process.

Here is a selection of weight loss stories I really like. Not everything these guys advocate would work for me, but the success they have had is irrefutable and amazing. We can all learn from their journeys.

Read how Greg got rid of hypertension, pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome and 75lbs in 6 Months.

Kristy Griner tells us how she conquered depression, lost 120lbs and discovered the joys of being a strong and healthy Mum.

I wonder how you must feel when like this guy you have lost more than half your total body weight going from 538lbs to 268lbs.

The Unconquerable Dave has become a bit of a celebrity on Mark Sisson’s website. No surprise, his transformation is amazing and he is quite a character too.

Jay Meyers lost 80lbs along with his dandruff problem by eating primal. It’s hard to believe his before and after pictures are of the same person.

Tell me about the success stories that have inspired you by leaving me a comment below.

How tying my shoes became a daily joy

“The only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones
is the way you use them.” – Proverb

Tying shoelaces is a trivial task for most people. But when I was at my heaviest it was a daily challenge and a constant reminder of my generous girth and poor health.

Kneeling down or bending down to reach my feet was very uncomfortable. So, to put on my shoes, I would sit myself down in an armchair. As I reached down for my feet my gut would press up against my diaphragm, which severely restricted my breathing. This meant I had to hold my breath as I was tying my laces. After finishing the first lace, I would sit back, take a little break, and snap a gulp of air before diving down for the next shoe.

When both shoes were tied, the next challenge was to get out of the chair. To do this I would rock my bottom to the edge of the seat and then push myself up out of the chair whilst making various strained noises. All this made me toy with the idea of wearing slip-on loafers. Thankfully, I managed to lose weight before this became more than a fanciful idea.

Nowadays, things are very different. I stand when I put on my shoes. I simply balance on one leg, lift up the other and slip on the shoes without making any strange noises or feeling any discomfort. To tie my shoelaces I kneel or bend down without thinking about it. It takes a fraction of the time it used to, and I view it as a daily opportunity to take satisfaction in the changes I have made to my life.

My weight loss has taught me that small things make a big difference. That’s why I advocate writing down the niggles and discomforts that are part of overweight life when you first embark on an effort to regain your health. Here is a list of things to think about to get you started:

  • When you get home from work, do you change into comfortable clothes like sweat pants with an elasticated waist?
  • Do you sit down or stand up when you put on socks?
  • Do you hide behind other people when someone is taking a group photo?
  • Do you have any aches or soreness that won’t go away?
  • Are there times of the day when your energy level crashes?
  • How do you feel after you have walked up more than two flights of stairs?

After you are back to normal weight, it is easy to forget how your body used to get in the way, and it is worth reminding yourself frequently. Take pride in all your little victories and resolve to make them permanent. Once you have escaped the limiting impairments of obesity, you won’t want to go back.

My personal trainer at PaleoFX 2012

So, I have a bit of a guilty conscience. I have not posted any material to this blog for a while, and I have not done any exercise for nearly a week.

Work has been taking my attention, so there hasn’t been much time for play. In a week’s time I should be in the clear.

In the meantime, my personal trainer Darryl Edwards appeared as speaker at the PaleoFX 2012 conference in Austin, TX. He also did some Primal Play classes at the conference. I really like this video he posted of it on YouTube.

I am a fan of Darryl’s methods, and I really hope his appearance at PaleoFX helps raise his profile. Check out the testimonial I wrote about my experience with his Play Camp classes here.

Primal Boot Camp

“Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”
Lance Armstrong

It’s Monday and I am walking like an old man. My gait is stiff, uncertain and slow. Colleagues in the office offer comments of sympathy and concern. They wonder why I am nearly always limping on a Monday. Sometime on Tuesdays too. They don’t know I spend Saturdays crawling around on all fours in an attempt to get fit.

Primal Boot Camp is unlike any other fitness class I have taken. Crab walking across a wobbly bridge in a playground is not exactly what I expected when I signed up. But it is great fun. Our trainer, Darryl Edwards, is very inventive. He runs a class that is physically challenging, and far from boring.

I have attended the class once a week for two months now, and I have seen progress in all areas of my fitness. Strength, stamina, agility, flexibility and balance are all improved. So I have decided I want more of it. I will be starting personal sessions with Darryl soon. My wife and I have also decided to have regular family session with him. We tried one before Christmas and our 7-year old son loved it!

If you happen to live in or around West London and you are interested in giving Primal Boot Camp a go, check out Darryl’s website and blog. The class is very affordable and open to people of all ages and abilities.

The Guardian newspaper recently pronounced this kind of class the latest trend in fitness. Hopefully, this is a sign that primal living is becoming more mainstream. I for one prefer this kind of outdoor exercise to stuffy indoor gym sessions.  Even on cold rainy winter days.

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