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My Primal Journey (cdmuscle)

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  • My Primal Journey (cdmuscle)

    I did some research and came across Mark's site. The information was truly eye-opening. My dad died a few years ago from a heart attack due to numerous health issues related to diet and lack of exercise. The information Mark provided helped me to understand how his body shut down and why. I decided I do not want to end up that way. My current goal is 10 pounds off and to get my blood pressure in check (and avoid diabetes).

    I plan to track emotions, challenges, and any health issues that I notice as I go along because I feel that is always important. Tracking calories and macros helps, but it doesn't give the background needed if something appears during the process.

    Another thing I will be doing during this journal is something called calorie cycling. I plan to keep my calories between 1200-1500 (alternating) 6x week and then have a free day where I do not track anything. I am a weight trainer which I love so I will continue to do 5-6 days per week of weight training unless health or life challenges stop me. I will also do slow activity (walking the dog is always nice). I've inserted a HIIT day for the 'sprint' session (which will replace a weight training day).

    So, that's the plan. Looks great on paper. Now let's see how we do in action...

    B = eggwhites + 1 egg, veggies
    S = chicken, almonds
    L = chicken, yams
    S = eggwhites + 1 egg, almonds
    D = tuna, olive oil dressing, big salad, 1/2 avocado

    Kcal = ~1250 - 60 g fat/50 g carb/120 g pro (all approximate)

    This will be my plan Mon-Wed-Fri, on Sun-Tue-Thur, I will add a piece of fruit or something to add around 200-300 calories. Saturday is my day off.

    So far, today has gone very well. Being at work helps a lot because the routine makes it easy to stay on the plan. I feel good and am a little sore from the leg workout yesterday morning but nothing serious. It was very hard staying on the diet over the weekend but after reading some of Mark's book, I realized that it is challenging for me to give up carbs since I was vegan for 3 years prior to this and I LIVED on carbs. So, it will take some time to get over that. Now that I know why, it is easier to handle.

    Today's workout = chest and tricep training + 20 minutes walking

    weight = 148 lbs as of this morning (I will start weighing in on Saturday mornings before my free day begins to keep track of any weight changes).
    ***Project Under Construction***

  • #2
    Overall Assessment:

    Yesterday went pretty well. I managed to stay on track and hunger didn't become an issue until the evening. I think I am a little front-heavy on my calories and may need to distribute them a little more evenly. The evening meal was pretty meager in calories and bulk so I ended up going to bed hungry (not ravenous at least which always happened when I ate carbs). Overall, I have to say that this is much easier and my energy levels are better than when I ate a higher carb meal plan. However, my prior meal plan's carb level never went over 200 unless it was a major blow out (which did happen weekly or more frequently depending on how tight my diet was).

    Workout Notes:

    The workout went ok, my strength is still a little low and I fail quickly (10-12 reps is all I manage with weights I can usually do 15 reps with).

    Physiological Assessment:

    Physically I noticed some tightening up and definition coming through even though I have only lost 1 pound in 2 weeks. Sometimes the road to success is paved with small stepping stones instead of big ones. I will take any I can get to keep me motivated right now.

    Sleep was not so great last night. I kept waking up but at least I could get back to sleep. My usual potassium/magnesium combo helped some but not quite enough so tonight I will use a product I found that has helped me sleep better.

    Today's Diet:

    Today's diet is the same as yesterday except I plan to add a piece of fruit at the end of the day. ~1500 kcal


    Back & Biceps My favorite!
    ***Project Under Construction***


    • #3
      I didn't put my personal story in earlier but will do so here just so there is a little background on where I am at with all this.

      Each of my family members has various problems related to obesity including high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as various cancers. Even as a child we were ALWAYS on some type of diet but the cravings were terrible. In my 20's I began using laxatives to help me keep the weight down (an old Army trick). It did but in a very bad way. At 26 I got married and immediately pregnant, so I stopped the laxative abuse. At that point it had been going on for 3 years. I will spare the details.

      My weight went up and down for a few years and then my daughter was conceived. During the pregnancy, I gained so much weight that I was borderline diabetic and had to leave work early to avoid toxemia. After she was born, my weight did NOT go down and my doctor was ready to start the blood pressure pills (there would be 3 different pills 3x per day). I asked if we could wait and let me try to lose the weight before embarking down that road. So, I did manage to get some off and the blood pressure went down a little - but it was not enough. The next step in my logic was to increase activity, so I decided to join a gym. After working wth a trainer for a few months, I noticed some of the bodybuilders and really loved the way they looked (all natural bb's). My trainer was amazing and helped me prepare for a competition.

      Of course, the diet program she had me on was just not going to work fast enough for me so I tweeked it here and there. By the time the competition rolled around I was at 8% bf and working out 2x per day on an 800 kcal diet. I was about ready to eat paint at the end of it all. After the competition, I ballooned up to 168 and 28% bf. Due to the metabolic damage I DID TO MYSELF - I stayed there for 7 years - no matter what I tried.

      My last recourse was to just give up and at least eat healthy. So I decided to go vegan. I totally stopped counting calories and just ate as close to natural as possible. By doing that, I was able to get to 148 and then another plateau. Unfortunately, my blood pressure is back up and I believe blood sugar levels are reeking havoc on my system which is why have incredible mood swings and eating binges. My weight will go down to 146 and then I can't stand it anymore and will eat until I am almost 156! So, just the ability to not binge helps tremendously.

      After reading Mark's book, a lot of things really started falling in place for me. My goal is to try and get the last 10-15 pounds off which have been an absolute nightmare and then hopefully my blood pressure will follow. It is my ultimate goal after that happens to once again get on stage, but this time in a healthy balanced way and not so depleted I can barely pose...

      So, now back to assessing...

      Overall: I feel good today but didn't sleep at all even with my special supplement AND magnesium/potassium. Then got up to another pounds lost which may be great for some but for me its not because that means I am too depleted. So, I am going to have to slow it down at the gym a bit. I had done my training and then a little low-level cardio but for a little while I am going to take out the cardio all together. I want to lose, but if it comes off too quickly I will not only lose muscle but will also increase my chances of having a major blow out binge (at least always have in the past). Besides - I really NEED the sleep.

      Tonight - legs - only.

      Today's Diet: Same as Monday. ~1250 kical
      Last edited by cdmuscle; 10-31-2012, 11:54 AM.
      ***Project Under Construction***


      • #4
        Today is a bit rough after a very long night. My daughter didn't get home until late and I just cannot sleep until I know she is safe. So after not sleeping well this past week, it did just made issues much worse to work today. I am in a fog. I also noticed I have lymph gland swelling on the side of my neck and under my chin due primarily to allergies which are bad in Colorado right now. All the dry wind is blowing around a lot of dead leaves, grass, and weed material. So given the lack of sleep and just not feeling myself, I am going to take today off everything. Still eating primal, but I will eat over my normal calorie set.

        Calories: - as much as I need - all paleo approved.
        No workout.
        Weight down to 145 as of this morning.
        ***Project Under Construction***


        • #5
          Are you sure you're getting enough calories and fat? Especially with 5-6 days of weight training? How tall are you?


          • #6
            Well, for my age (I am 48) 1200-1500 should be fine to lose weight slowly. I am 5'4" and am pretty solid but have usual fat stores for a woman (butt and thighs mostly). I would like to get down to 130-135 and just hold there. But recently I have noticed that I am showing symptoms of overtraining - strength down, no sleep, anxious feeling during the day.

            The change to Paleo is pretty new for me also. I am just now getting through Mark's book so I am still in the learning phase...
            ***Project Under Construction***


            • #7
              Yeah, it took me a while to get everything figured out when I switched to primal. I weight trained 5-6 days a week for years and years, but I've had great results lately (and more free time) switching to just lifting 3, maybe 4 days a week and making my lift days full-body. On my off days I'll do something light like yoga or something random and fun.

              You might consider dialing down the training a little until you get your nutrition totally figured out. It took me a couple of months, really, to feel like I really knew what I needed to be doing, eating-wise on primal. Now my workouts are great, but there was definitely a bit of a transition phase in there while I was figuring everything out. You could be tired from overtraining, or from not having your nutrition quite right yet, or both.


              • #8
                Thank you for the info, I think you are right about dialing down the workouts. Truth is, I really don't even need to work that hard. I am getting leaner faster than I expected which tells me that the program is working great. It will sure be nice to work out 3-4 days rather than 5-6 and actually have a life again...

                ***Project Under Construction***


                • #9
                  So yesterday I took off everything and have to say I feel much better today. I did indulge in some chocolate (ok, a lot of chocolate) but did not even eat enough carbs to refill all my glucose stores so at least it won't take long to get back to keto stage. I am back on my eating plan today but think it would be wise to increase my calorie level a bit. I am also going to take 2 days off training per week. I can use those days to go on a nice long walk. We have great walking areas here in Colorado and the weather is wonderful right now.

                  I also started a blog. It is something I have always started but never kept up with primarily because I was working full-time and going to school full-time, plus being a single mom there was just never enough time in the day. But now that my school is done, I can maintain one. I love researching food, exercise, and other health related things so it should be fun.

                  Happy Friday!!
                  ***Project Under Construction***


                  • #10
                    The weekend was nice but I always manage to overeat in the weekends. I stayed true to paleo - but the amount of food and eating at restaurants set the stage for my weight to go up instead of down.

                    I allow a little room for water retention in this scenario since restaurants use a LOT of salt in their food and I always wake up puffy-eyed the next morning.

                    Today I am back at work and on schedule so my weight should go back down in a day or so.

                    I am going to have to really work on the weekend eating challenge... I am a huge "celebration" person so I tend to eat more at times when I want to experience the holiday or party feeling. Needless to say, tailgaiting and super bowl parties are a huge downfall for me also.

                    Otherwise, I feel good this morning and am not sweating the few pounds extra. I am trying to put on more muscle right now anyway and will probably not start tightening up my diet until the spring. There is a physique competition in early summer I would like to shoot for at that time.

                    Until then, it's all a learning curve. Now, off to work!

                    This morning: 149 lbs
                    ***Project Under Construction***


                    • #11
                      Some how I managed to pick up a stomach virus. I have a terrible belly ache and so today will be IF until it passes... It started when I went to bed last night so hopefully it will be gone early today.
                      ***Project Under Construction***


                      • #12
                        seems intresting.but, i can't adopt these kind of things
                        Paleo Cook Book


                        • #13
                          Ok, so things are better today. Stomach is still a little grumbly and I have a headache but overall things are much better than yesterday. I ate what I could manage to get down and that seemed to keep things under control. So, today we begin again and start fresh. My diet is pretty much the same as before. I try to keep calories around 1300-1500 now so I don't go too low and I keep lean protein level rather high due to the weight training. I also have yams during lunch to give a little extra boost during workouts. Today is leg day which is a love-hate relationship for me. I have always trained legs hard but they never respond as well as the other muscle groups... Genetic expression.

                          By the way, if others would like to post on my journal, I think that's great. However, if you do not agree with things I do or say, or if you have negative things to say in general - don't post here. You are just wasting my space. I'm not interested in negative opinions.
                          ***Project Under Construction***


                          • #14
                            I had a quick minute tonight and wanted to start logging my workouts. They keep me on track and help highlights times when I may be over-training or not training hard enough. Since I took yesterday off, I was able to really do a great workout tonight. Since I worked pretty hard, I was more hungry than usual and had a few extra macadamia nuts which settled everything up nicely. Calories for today are 1430, weight 147 this morning.


                            Leg press 5 sets (2 warmup) alternating with jump squats - 15 reps
                            Romanian single leg squats - 3 x 15 reps each leg
                            Walking lunges - 3 x 15 each leg
                            Step up to reverse lunge - 3 x 15 each leg
                            Lying leg curl - 3 x 12 reps
                            Dumbell deadlift - 3 x 15 reps
                            Adducter/Abducter machine back-to-back 3 x 15 reps each
                            Leg extension - 3 x 15 reps
                            Stiff deadlift - 3 x 10 reps (I was really wiped out by this point)
                            Seated calf raises - 3 x 15 reps

                            Legs were jello. Loved it. I know it looks like a lot, but I have been training for over 12 years now and have adapted to it. It only takes me 45-60 minutes to get through this workout so it is very fast and intense. I am dripping sweat by the time I get to the deadlifts. I drink a lot of water during and afterward and eat some pickle slices to help restore salt.

                            I have noticed that my restless legs still bother me at night (even the nights I don't train) so I have increased my potassium and magnesium intake to help me sleep. I go to bed early but given that I wake up quite a bit, I only get around 6-7 hours of sleep.

                            Overall, I feel really good though and am not dragging during the day and my workouts are still very intense. I have found that 5 days per week training is a good place to be. I also walk the days I don't train. Since the weather is getting cold, it is nice to walk to the local Starbucks and have a cup of hot tea and then walk back. One of the best ways to get in the seasonal spirit.
                            ***Project Under Construction***


                            • #15
                              I finished Mark's book this past weekend. It was a great read and I am feeling more motivated. I am also reading the book "Good Calories, Bad Calories." It is a really long one and full of research (which I enjoy reading). I am absolutely amazed at how the data has been skewed to make the general population believe eating fats is bad for health especially when one is diabetic or has high blood pressure. As a post-grad, I knew data is always somewhat skewed to support an individual's own hypothesis, I guess I never realized just how far some would go to uphold their own agenda. The more I read, the happier I am with my decision to go paleo. I was having some serious trouble staying on track as I have always eaten loads of carbs and had been taught that grains were more important than anything else in the diet (fiber, fuel for workouts, etc.). I watched my dad die slowly and painfully due to multiple health problems related to his diet. All the time his doctors were telling him to eat low-fat. It makes me very angry that we are all fed the same song and dance when it may not be true for each individual's physiology.

                              This past weekend I ate and ate so no weight lost. I even had a higher carb day yesterday which gave me nightmares since I ate a simple sugar so close to bedtime.

                              But, I am back on track today and armed with a new frame of mind.

                              Today's workout - back and biceps with ab/core work on the side.

                              Diet calories are pretty much the same, so I will see how it goes this week before I decide whether or not to change it up a bit.

                              Have a great Monday!
                              ***Project Under Construction***