How did you get to this point? It seems that folks on this site have come from several backgrounds. I see: low carb weight loss; a search for solution to health issues; and physical fitness (CrossFit) I came by way of low carb (Eades), Gary Taubes NY Times article, then GCBC, Kurt Harris and Mark Sisson blogs.
really long story told in a short manner: history of hard drug use, smoked a pack a day, drank a lot, didnt sleep much, never had a taste for traditionally unhealthy food but lived a pretty unhealthy lifestyle. never exercised much. punk rock kid who was young and cute and could get away with trashing my body with no immediate consequence. stopped drugs, stopped smoking, got married, left the city, found myself really, really really really tired all the time. gained some weight. tried to get pregnant and couldnt. did fertility treatments. gained some weight. got pregnant with my daughter an gained more weight. 6 months post-partum my hands went numb and i was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis which explained the crushing fatigue and heat sensitivity. had a week of daily mega-dose solumedrol steroid) infusions and gained a bunch of weight in my sleep, except i enevr slept. started drug therapy. tired tired tired. my daughter had a horrible accident 2 months after i was diagnosed and we (barely) lived in pediatric ICU with her in a coma and on an intubator for a month. the most intense amount of stress you can imagine with continued exacerbation of the disease and one of the most unhealthy lifestyles you can imagine. they do not make it easy for parents of (at the time) terminal pediatric patients to survive in hell. needless to say, gained some weight. daughter pulled through, miraculously unscathed and i got pregnant again. gained a bit of weight. birthed my son, went right back on the MS drugs to avoid another flare and more steroid infusions, and my husband was laid off. STRESS. started reading about high-fat diets for MS, anti-inflammatory diets for MS. also wanted to lose infertility/MS/steroid and baby weight. a woman i know with MS told me about paleo, i tried it and after 30 days experienced a TOTAL, COMPLETE, ABSOLUTE, RECESSION OF ALL SYMPTOMS. my MS functionally doent exist, even the symptoms i was told i would experience forever. i can exercise for the first time in about ten years. no fatigue. no paresthesia, no vertigo, no nothing... so, im in it for life. i dont do the autoimmune protocal, and im probably only about 80-90% compliant, but its sure as shit working. ive liost 30 pounds, and have about 30 more to lose to where im comfortable, but im in no rush. i feel great, and my daughter lived.
I had cancer, was obese, had been over weight and ate poorly all my life, was addicted to drugs and drinking, was a over 20 year smoker. Lived a party hard rock and roll lifestyle filled with stress, bad eating and living habits.
What happened? I had children, it changed my life. I finally realized my self worth. And even more, I realized it was my job to be at my best for them. After all they learn from me.
I was a fat child.
I come from a family with metabolic syndrome, alcoholism, and a penchant for indoor malls and sitting.
I got busy being active and eating "healthy" at around age 12 (Jane Fonda and low fat Snackwells) and got nothing but flak from my family.
I escaped to college, started lifting in a real hardcore gym and fell in love with being strong.
I met my husband in grad school. He has the coolest job ever which allows us to move all around the U.S. living the the most amazing places (think iconic parks). We can hunt, fish, garden and gather wild edibles (don't get me wrong I still go to Costco too).
I read the Paleo Diet in 2005 ish and never looked back (a few vacation slip ups).
I've birthed and breastfed two exceedingly healthy boys whilst living this lifestyle.
Right now, I am on the hunt to find the "sweet spot" of diet, lifestyle and exercise.
One day I was eating a bowl of "Fruity Pebbles" and God came to me and asked, "Thomas, why do you foul your body with 'Fruity Pebbles'?" That's how it all started. I haven't been the same since. I have been through a lot: divorce, doctors, "friends" that never return my phone calls.
Anyway, thanks for letting me share. I wouldn't have done it if I did not feel so close to my Paleo Community.
i came from this perspective....Evidence based medicine is based upon assumptions that are not correct in many cases. The best way to see that if you’re a patient is to follow their recommendations and see if they work at all by following your own labs and data. I do this myself now for the last 5 years. I call this my QSelf assessment. I draw quarterly labs on myself every year for the last 4 years. If my labs don’t support what I am doing based upon biochemistry and physiology I change them immediately until I get the desired result or outcome. I no longer rely on the conventional wisdom I was taught. This is how I lost my weight and dealt with my torn knee meniscus. I made the decisions to treat based upon my own customized data points. It was the only way I could gain control over my medical destiny and remove the helplessness I felt when I became a patient.
Health issues!! I've had on and off sinus issues for years and years. But I didn't really think much about all the antibiotics I took on and off. Everyone gets sick, right? I was lactose intolerant, but took lactaid pills and continued to eat ice cream. For the most part, I was in good shape, and had a lot of energy. I was working full time as a school teacher and working out at the gym 3-4 days a week. I used to eat what I thought was healthy (lots of grains, fruits, etc) and I worked out with a functional trainer. Then 3 and a half years ago, I got sick and never got better. Turns out I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. Long story short, I'm trying to treat my CFS naturally and have refused to take meds. I tried a variety of diets and stumbled upon paleo. I'm currently doing the AI protocol and just really focusing on meat and veggies. Just a little over a month and I think I may have energy to go to a regular yoga class tomorrow. Woo Hoo!
I actually just wrote a blog post called "Why Paleo" on my new blog. http://culinarycavegirl.blogspot.com/2011_05_01_archive.html
I got here by first becoming gluten free. Eight years ago I was trying to find a reason for my many health problems(peripheral neuropathy, fatigue, shortness of breath, brain fog, etc, etc). Getting rid of gluten greatly improved my health. I then slowly realized that I felt better off all grains and sugars. For the past 2 years my diet has been low carb paleo. I have to watch my carbs because of blood sugar spikes. This is not a "diet" this is my life.
Several years ago, I was in an unhealthy relationship, and because I did not feel safe or stable in the relationship, I eventually developed an eating disorder that nearly killed me. I fled the relationship and to regain some semblance of control in my life, became vegetarian. Just like the ED, my thought process was that if I could not maintain the chaos outside of my body, I'd control what I put into it. Big mistake.
The combination of restricting/binge/purging and going to a high grain/soy/dairy diet absolutely destroyed my digestive system. I systematically began cutting foods out of my diet in order to seek relief: first dairy, then soy, then gluten, then finally all grains. Finally got to a point where I was literally living off fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
I was tired of being weak and bloated and hungry all the time. After poring over pages and pages of research that unequivocally determined that the Paleo diet was optimal for my health, I decided that my restrictive lifestyle would be tolerated no longer. On my 26th birthday, I satisfied an unrelenting craving for salmon. Suddenly, instead of taking food out of my diet, I was adding food back to it.
Paleo has given me so much freedom from my eating hangups and finally has permitted me to feel somewhat normal and functional. My digestive system has improved exponentially, and I'm actually able to be a viable member of society instead of staying cooped up in the house with a heating pad pressed to my abdomen, wondering when the pain in my tummy would pass. Many of my mental health issues have been resolved, too: I'm no longer as obsessive about eating, and I feel free to eat whatever I want and feel comfortable doing so. I'm much less anxious in general.
I know this is a vast understatement, but it's succinct and true: life is so much better now that I eat Paleo. :)
I'm a weak and cowardly geek, and am in constant awe of the people here who have climbed virtual mountains to improve their health and repair their lives - some have recovered from debilitating illness or weight or chronically impaired health. I couldn't have done it, certainly not with the wisdom, poise, grace and determination I see in so many of the folks here. My hat is off to you all!
I'm hugely fortunate that I was relatively healthy to start with - no severe allergies or illnesses, and I wasn't obese even though by rights I should have been. Like many I was in dismay at my increasing weight and decreasing vitality, but stayed away from diets out of a fake pride - I was smugly "too good" for diets, but in reality I was sure that I'd fail at any I attempted - and had failed the few times I tried - and didn't want to face certain failure.
I vaguely knew that refined flour was 'very bad' but couldn't eliminate it for long. What made the difference - don't laugh - was the 'Shangri-La' (god I hate that name) Diet. It was geeky, experimental, and had a very active forum of very smart people (like Paleohacks!). And to a certain degree it worked.
In following the conversations on the Shangri-La forums I had a huge education in the role of flavor, insulin, metabolism etc. One of the more brilliant participants recommended Good Calories Bad Calories. It was the most amazing book - and it literally changed my life! I went low to zero carb almost immediately, and as my weight dropped I suddenly realized: I actually can turn this around! I can't tell you how empowering that was - that I could actually make a difference in my seemingly inevitable decline? Astounding!
Once I went very-low carb and I began to lose weight, I began to read about how others were doing their own version of 'low carb'. There were plenty of recipe sites and books, but I was looking for more than that - I already had the thing to avoid (carbs) but needed something to move to - and that turned out to be Paleo. I had read some internet sites with great interest. My first book was Robb Wolf's and even though I can't stand his writing style (sorry - it's just me), it was clearly the kind of smart thinking I was looking for. So over time I've been adding more and more 'paleo' interests - reading, conversations, foods - and it's all been great.
What keeps this important for me is that I want to be there for my daughter as she grows up. I'm an 'older parent' and there are so many times I find myself counting off the years in my mind. When she graduates from High School I'll be x old. From college I'll be y. When she has her family and - if she wants - kids, will I even be alive still?? I don't want her having to tend a frail parent when she's in her twenties for god's sake. And during the time she's moved out and starting her own life I want to be active in my own and not a burden to her. And she's a fantastic kid and it's just so freaking fascinating to watch her grow and mature that I'd hate for the show to end too soon!
And of course, I've now reached the utter pinnacle of Paleo geekdom, and participate frequently on PaleoHacks - what could top that??
I read Ray Audette's "Neanderthin" years ago, but it didn't stick (I want to get in a wayback machine and go slap myself). Then a couple of years ago I found some paleo blogs (Free the Animal, Mark's Daily Apple) and decided to give it a try. This time I stuck with it, and it worked so well that I know this will my way of eating for the rest of my life.
Is avocado paleo or not? 4 Answers
Has anyone read any John Yudkin? 21 Answers
Our Alien Ancestors 0 Answers
Paleo Timeline and Foods that were eaten 6 Answers