CrossFit South Rockland

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Zach's Paleo success story: "It really has changed my life."

Posted: Monday, November 21, 2011 8:55 am | Updated: 12:03 pm, Mon Nov 21, 2011.
If you've been getting annoyed with me lately because all I do is write/talk about the Paleo lifestyle and the goings-on at my CrossFit gym, well, you should call up my family in Chicago and commiserate.
No, really, I'm not going to apologize for being a broken record, or for bragging about the great results I've seen since going Paleo over the summer. Because I now know my blogs have made a positive impact.
I got an e-mail over the weekend from Zach, a reader from Louisiana, who has lost 42.6 pounds in six weeks. You guessed it: He did this via Paleo, which for the 1,000th time means eating meat, veggies, fruits nuts and seeds and not eating grains, legumes, dairy or anything artificial.
Zach -- that's him in the picture, by the way -- said he got interested in Paleo after reading my musings on itbut initially didn't want to take the plunge. Which all of you non-Paleos, a.k.a people who enjoy a piece of bread or a beer every now and then, can understand.
But he changed his mind and hasn't looked back. Here's his story, in his own words.
Background on me...I'm a 28 year-old married father with a spectacularly terrible family history of every obesity related health issue possible. Add to that the fact that I'm from Louisiana, one of the unhealthiest states in the Union (we tend to believe anything tastes good if you batter and fry it), and I obviously had some issues. I have always been active, but I still carried anywhere from 30 to 80 extra pounds, depending on what end of the diet yo-yo I was on at the particular time.
I finally got fed up about a month and a half ago after a particularly depressing shopping trip where I realized I was one size away from being unable to buy my favorite brand of jeans and decided I was going to do SOMETHING, and I remembered this Paleo gig I had read a little about after seeing it on your blog. I picked up Robb Wolf's book ["The Paleo Solution"] and it started to kind of click with me. I have since realized that there are tons of "Paleo" blogs on the Internet that are full of the kind of misinformation that scared me off initially, but if I stick to Robb's (as well as his podcast) along with a few select others I really get the information.
I'm pretty strict diet-wise. I do a fairly low-carb version of Paleo (carbs are my crack). Zero grains/gluten, zero legumes, virtually no dairy, no alcohol, one serving of fruit a day (usually an apple or blueberries), maximum two sweet potatoes a week, limited nuts (maybe two times a week). I eat a lot of veggies I never even considered before, and lots of protein. Breakfast is usually three eggs scrambled with some onion and peppers. I also take two 600-mg fish oil capsules daily, though I do it right before bed because I hate the aftertaste so I don't know how much good I'm doing there. I've also finally broke my Diet Coke addiction, so I'm caffeine and artificial sweetener free.
I just have to break in to say Zach is doing way better than me, because I don't think I'll ever be able to break my caffeine addiction. I drink three or four cups of coffee a day. And even though we lose points for in my current Paleo Challenge at Wrightstown Health & Fitness for drinking alcohol or using sweetener, I have been known to slip a Truvia packet in the daily coffee and slip some Tequila in my glass on the weekends. But, back to Zach...
As far as exercise...I basically follow Mark Sisson's primal fitness guide. I do sprints 3 times a week, lots of body weight exercises (squats, push ups, pull ups, etc), and walk, walk, walk.
Zach has lost a good amount of weight, as I said before, but I think this next paragraph is the really important part of the story.
I feel fantastic. If I'm an hour late for lunch, I don't feel like a raging lunatic with plunging blood sugar. I don't feel the need to constantly mainline sugar. I can watch someone eat a piece of cake without having to eat the rest of the cake myself. After probably 13 years of dieting and disordered eating, I don't spend most of day eating a meal, planning my next meal, or feeling like crap because I made poor choices. I know I sound like some kind of Paleo-pushing fanatic, but it really has changed my life, even if almost all of my friends and family think I'm crazy for doing it.
Now, you've got me researching CrossFit, though I don't know if I'm ready for that yet. LOL.
I've got news for you, Zach. Based on the exercise regimen you described earlier, you're already doing CrossFit. It's clearly working, so all you need to do is keep it up. And that includes the Paleo-pushing fanaticism. Keep that up, too.
I am so happy not to be the only nutcase around here!

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