Success Story | Allowing My Body to Reach Its Optimum State

Success!Sorry for my absence, dear readers. Yours truly took advantage of the summer and didn’t spend too much time in front of the computer, making sure I had enough time to play out in the sun. Now, however, begins resumption of a more steady blogging pace.

This success story is LOOONG overdue and it involves a dear college friend of mine who went on a parallel dietary path as myself. He says his diet is not strictly Paleo but is high-fat and low-carb which is close enough to this evolutionary way of eating :-)

Here is his story:

I follow a high-fat, low-carb diet that matches in most respects with the Paleo diet. I include high-fat (butter, marbled meat), dairy (cream and 10% yogurt) and only added fruit 3 months into it. I believe the biggest benefit came from dropping simple sugars, grains, starches and processed foods from my diet.

Background
I’m in my late 30’s and was born in Peru. My diet growing up was mostly mixed. The main staples were potatoes, rice, meat and vegetables. I was not fit during my childhood. After moving to Canada I tried hard to get fit in my late teens, sometimes going to the gym a few times a week, with little success. I was weighing 180 lbs most of my 20’s. During my early thirties I was eating lots of sugary stuff – dessert (mostly cake) after most meals – and weighing up to 225 lbs. Then I cut back most desserts and had a smaller breakfast (a bagel, orange juice and peanut butter.) I went down to 205 pounds that way.
Becoming Aware
In early 2012 a woman at a highschool musical I was part of (yes, I was in the adult cast of a highschool musical) mentioned a low-carb diet and I researched it. She said her doctor recommended it as a quick way to lose weight before surgery. I happened upon a high-fat, low-carb diet on the Internet. I was intrigued by it and found out more. It didn’t sound too hard. I have always had an affinity for counter-intuitive knowledge so I decided to try it. I went to the grocery store and got myself more veggies, high-fat meat, nuts and some high-fat dairy.
The Changes
I saw the results a few days after the diet started. I noticed weight loss (10 pounds the first month,) and more energy. I wasn’t gassy anymore and the bloated feeling after a meal was gone. I ate as much as I wanted and still lost weight. I didn’t supplement with more exercise than before. I walked every day.
The different aspects of my diet came together in the second and third months. Three months into it, I weighed under 190 lbs and I never felt as if I’m starving myself.
Telling Others
As I become more aware of the pitfalls of the conventional nutritional pyramid, I want to tell others about my experience. I must be like that woman who first triggered my curiosity; I will leave a small seed in the mind of those who seem interested in seeking a change in their health. The journey for them, as it was for me, means first being aware of the gaps in their diet, then becoming educated, and finally making a permanent committment to their health through nutrition and exercise. My family now accepts my diet with less trepidation. The high-fat aspect worried them at the beginning. They are glad that I’m feeling good, and I have convinced my mom and sister that the human body does not benefit from the intake of simple sugars and grains.
Having a friend who has gone through it and understands what it’s like helps a lot, and I’m lucky to have someone like that (ed: cough, cough…that’s me) . It has inspired me to help my own family with their diet.
The Benefits
I’ve already reaped many benefits of my diet, including weight loss, well-being and confidence. Another important benefit is the added control I have in my life. At this point I also have a lovely family (patient, loving wife, two healthy children) and a job I really enjoy (after 12 not-so-great years in the workforce). None of these come easily. Each one takes ongoing hard work, but as my mom says, nothing worth having is every easy to attain.
Next Steps
I have access to a gym at work and have started going again after a long hiatus. My goal is not to lose weight, but rather to allow my body to reach its optimum state, to prevent illness and to do the same with the rest of my family. I’m very curious about nutrition and may take a course on it.
Is it really for everyone? When I meet someone who is skeptical about giving up sugars and grains, I say: Try it. What have you got to lose?
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