Saturday, August 28, 2010

Primal Vacation Food

Just a quick note on the awesome food we have been having here in Florida - eating primally has been so effortless here. I took pictures but they are trapped on my phone which has stubbornly decided to stop talking to our laptop....

Anyhow some of my favorites have been plump shrimp cocktail, seared Ahi tuna, crab cakes (no fillers- just crab), a nice fatty steak, and a wide array of veggies and leafy greens. Last night dinner came with sides of green beans, cooked cabbage, and spinach....can't beat that - so yummy!

It's funny people always tell me how much will power it must take to lose all that weight -I laugh a little to myself as I find everything I eat luxurious and wholesome.

I try to explain sometimes how much sweeter everything tastes now, broccoli is sweet on my palate, berries sans sugar are almost too sweet, and I absolutely savor any kind of nice juicy fatty meat (ribeye is my favorite)!

Anyhow - off to grandma's place down the coast where I may be without internet access for a day or two.  See everyone on the other side of the weekend!


Friday, August 27, 2010

Standard Life verse Primal Life Plane Ride!

Wanted to share a quick note in one of the joys my low carb/primal transition has brought to me.

The last time I flew was to Europe on business at or near my high weight of 415 with a waist size of 56 inches. At the time I knew I was not going to fit into one seat and decided to purchase a second - one of the most embarrassing things in my life at the time was asking the administrative assistant to add a seat and informing my wife I had to spend our money on an empty seat to accommodate my girth. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Logical Dietary Goals

After a lot of reading and researching it was apparent that a diet low in sugar (i.e. carbs), high in saturated fat, and moderate protein made the most logical sense. I am not going into details here but a couple quick simple logical arguments/thoughts that support these for those repulsed by the idea of "low-carb/primal" diets:

1. We evolved without abundant sugar and carbs over tens of thousands of years - does it really make sense to make carbs the main component of our diet? Nothing evolves that fast.
2. Our body fat is saturated, our brain is approximately 2/3 saturated fat, and cholesterol is essential for cell structure and repair - why avoid these if the body runs on them (and if you critically review the studies they really do not increase heat disease/deaths)?
3. Your body can make carbs from protein - but not protein from carbs - which is essential?
4. If you were surviving in a forest or any other wild area and could only eat what grew naturally or what you could kill - what would your diet look like? Have you ever seen any overweight true hunter gatherer's?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Throwing out the standard approach to diet and excercise Part 2.

Part 1 of this post covered what I think almost all approaches overlook/do poorly - how to implement change regardless of what the change to should be. A lot of research on what type of diet is better, which macro nutrients, which exercises, etc... but in the end if you can't change permanently or effectively the right "formula" is pretty much useless or in my theory detrimental for certain people susceptible to the "failure penalty" spiral I have outlined.

After this initial analysis I needed a direction - something different from the standard approach. So I took a step back and looked at my profession - a professional change agent (continuous improvement engineer/six sigma black belt). I was responsible for making changes and transforming an entire organization - I was effective at this why not use some of the same principles on myself? Why not apply principles I had proven worked in other areas of my life?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Throwing out the standard approach to diet and excercise Part 1.

Diet and exercise, diet and exercise, diet and exercise...

That is all I can remember growing up as an obese kid and then into adulthood and still hear it today. Before even venturing into the subject of what the diet and exercise regimen should be (low fat/high fat, high carb/low carb, processed/organic, free weights/machines, cardio/strength, ad infinitum......) I believe from my experience and reading/observing  others there is a fundamental problem with the way almost all of the regimens are administered.

It came to me as I was examining how I got to my super-super obese state. I had a history of repeated attempts at diet and exercise (of differing varieties) with the same result time after time. An all out effort on the diet and exercise front with clean eating and regular exercise for some period of time - a real commitment because this time "had to be the last". The initial results and consistency were outstanding!

But you can only burn a candle so brightly for so long and eventually there would be a burn out - a special occasion that would lead to a poor food choice, or a business trip that precluded the normal workout, then after such intense effort up to that point it was the almost an immediate reaction to punish myself for throwing away the prior efforts I had so diligently exerted.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Losing it logically.....

Eat right and exercise - that's how you lose weight.

Simple, logical, and straight forward - add in the food pyramid, a 1500 calorie per day limit, the number of minutes to exercise, and the number of days and you have exactly what an engineer like myself loves.  A straight forward specification to follow.

Being an engineer I believed in this specification, backed by "science" and recommended by our well respected medical establishment and struggled to follow it for many years. Being an engineer graphs and charts are sometimes how I speak so below are the results of trying to follow this specification with weights taken from the 2001 through January 2009:

Obviously I gained weight pretty steadily until I found myself at 415 lbs in size 56 pants and 4XL shirts. I felt miserable and lost without a direction - my life should have been great, wife, kids, and job all the components of the American dream. Instead I was a physical mess with no end to the spiral in sight.