“Mr. Salter, if you gain 5 more pounds, I will put you in the hospital for bariatric surgery.”
My doctor dropped that bombshell during a routine visit. Things were not looking good. As I drove home I thought (like so many times before) that I could reduce portion sizes, quit binging on ice cream and candy, and maybe do a few pushups or something. That would help me lose some weight, right? Of course, it didn’t matter that this approach had never worked before. For almost 2 months I stumbled around the Internet, looking for some way to lose some weight. The array of “diet” information on Google is voluminous, bewildering, and contradictory. You find the “programmed food” diets (Weight Watchers, NutriSystem), the “named diets” (Atkins, South Beach), the fads (Cookie Diet, Cotton Ball Diet), and the traditional (calorie restriction and chronic cardio exercise). But there was something truly different in store for me.
I ran into a former colleague who had a copy of Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso with her. I asked to see the book just out of idle curiosity and the colleague told me a little about her own experience eating “Paleo”. In a few minutes looking through the book, I realized that this nutrition program might actually work for me. There was nothing for me to lose (except maybe some weight) by trying it. I picked up that book and several other Paleo books at the local library on my way home.
When I began reading, I finally saw a nutrition and lifestyle program that made sense. Aha! Eating fresh whole natural foods for fuel, eliminating fattening inflammatory foods, and building a rational workout program all were easy enough to do both for a short period of time and possibly for the rest of my life. I committed to following the paleo approach to life.
From the very first day I worked toward establishing positive patterns. Rising early each morning to get outside to do a 30 minute bodyweight workout. Working different sets of muscles each day and enjoying the sensations of the exercises in my evolving workout. Back inside for a shower and breakfast (usually 2 naturally-produced eggs and sometimes bacon, ham, or steak). Lunch was something very simple like fruit and nuts or tuna just because I really wasn’t hungry. Dinner became a big salad, cooked vegetables, and some kind of protein source. Functional movement was sprinkled throughout my day. It was easier than I could have hoped.
After living paleo for 9 months, I discovered some things about myself. The biggest changes were the weight loss (85 pounds) and the reduction in pants size (38 to 32). Mentally I felt great and realized that my commitment to the ancestral lifestyle was permanent. I had followed my plan for about a year when I enrolled in the Primal Health Coach program and finished in early August 2018. Going forward I’m continually researching the art and science of the Paleo lifestyle and nutrition program. I’m building on what I already know and have experienced so that I can help others follow a similar path. Paleo may not be part of everyone’s life yet, but I’m working to change that!