I Was Unhealthy and Getting Sicker: Something Had to Change
Posted Jul 11 2013 10:13pm
It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here . I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!
I’m 47 years old, happily married, and have a 12-year-old son. I encountered The Primal Blueprint in May 2012, and it’s changed my life.
I’d been working on some health issues for a few years and had seen solid progress. However, something wasn’t clicking. My weight was still going up and down and my triglycerides were always high, never falling below 240. Nine weeks after I started following The Primal Blueprint, I dropped 12 pounds and my triglycerides fell below 100 for the first time in years. After 9 months with The Primal Blueprint, my triglycerides are at 105 and I’ve lost a total of 25 pounds.
I like The Primal Blueprint because it targets overall health, not just weight loss and physical fitness. It’s also about playing, thinking, resting properly, and managing stress.
Some background: About 10 years ago, after a lifetime of “enjoying” the Standard American Diet (McDonald’s was my kind of place), I began experiencing a steady decline in health. I developed painful tendonitis in both Achilles. I had occasional bouts of gout in my big toe. (One of the most painful things I’ve experienced in my life.) My forehead was constantly broken out with rosacea. I was overweight. I easily became irritable and got the low-blood-sugar shakes when I went more than a couple of hours without eating. I was having dizzy spells and at times stumbled while walking down the hall at work. And I was starting to really be concerned about my weight, which at 190+ pounds was the highest it had ever been. (I’m 5’ 7” and feel that my “ideal” weight is somewhere between 140-150 pounds.)
During a bout of Achilles tendonitis in 2009 that kept me home from work, I felt it was time for some self-examination. I looked at myself and saw an out-of-shape, overweight middle-aged man (I was 43) who couldn’t walk, who was experiencing dizziness for no apparent reason, and who had embarrassing acne on his forehead. I was unhealthy and getting sicker. Something had to change.
It was at that time I was told by my chiropractor/nutritionist that I had Metabolic Syndrome, was suffering from insulin resistance, and was in an almost-constant state of inflammation. Over the next 3 years under his guidance, I cut out soda and fast food and began to eat organic vegetables, farm-fresh eggs, and grass-fed beef. My health improved markedly, and I felt a lot better. My tendonitis flare-ups were less frequent and less severe. And my rosacea cleared up completely. My weight, however, was still going up and down, generally hovering in the mid-180s. And my triglycerides remained above 240, topping out at 446 in March 2012!
There is a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease in my family (not to mention gout), and I was concerned I was heading down the same road. I knew I had to ramp up my efforts to get my triglycerides down. I had learned over the past few years that excessive dietary sugar is stored in the body as triglycerides, so I decided to get serious about eliminating grains and sugar from my diet.
Shortly thereafter, in May 2012, I came across a copy of The Primal Blueprint in my acupuncturist’s waiting room. It was beside a sign that read “This is the type of eating style we recommend.” I opened the book and knew right away I had found something special. The stories of Ken Korg and his family really spoke to me. I was exhilarated! I bought a copy and haven’t looked back.
The book’s description of the role of insulin in fat storage and retention fascinated me. I had known that grains and sugar were problematic, but I began to understand exactly why. I became convinced that controlling insulin production and exercising Primally were the keys to not just burning stored body fat, but to finally reducing my triglycerides. The Primal Blueprint was the missing piece of my nutritional puzzle, the missing link in my nutritional evolution.
I immediately cut processed carbs from my diet. I started exercising with the Primal Essential Movements . And I made a hobby of discovering more and more local sources of pastured meat, organic vegetables and fruit, farm-fresh eggs, and grass-fed raw-milk dairy products. (Living in the Black Dirt region of southern New York is very conducive to my foraging.)
Using The Primal Blueprint carbohydrate curve as a guide, I started losing 1-2 pounds a week. Nine weeks after first reading The PB I had my next round of blood work. My triglycerides, which had measured over 400 two months prior, were now down to 76! “You’ve reversed your insulin resistance” my nutritionist surmised with a smile. That was incredibly fulfilling.
My wife, who has always been supportive of my attempts at improving my health, was so impressed; she joined me for a 21-Day Challenge . My 12-year-old son joins me on my weekend foraging trips to local farms and farm markets and is learning where his food comes from. He’s gotten used to bun-less burgers, enjoys yogurt and fruit for dessert, and prefers raw grass-fed cheese to “that flappy cheese” as he calls process cheese product singles.
After 9 months with The Primal Blueprint, my triglycerides are in a healthy range at 105 and my weight, now at 160 pounds, continues to go down. While I love the drop in waist size, I know that the real signs of my improved health are on the inside, where my systems are functioning more as nature intended, and my lifestyle is promoting optimal expression of my genes.