Thursday, July 19, 2012

Blind Faith, No More

I hope everyone survived the northeast storms last night. While it didn't rain here until late last night, my plans to sell t-shirts for the Chilmark Volunteer Firefighters Association were derailed by ominous, grey clouds and rolling thunder.

Today marks the eleventh day since I embarked on my journey of going Primal. To a certain degree, many behavioral researchers believe that it takes about 21 days to break in a new habit provided a baseline of situational variables are in order. Basically what this means is I'm just over half way there, and as I will describe later, I'm seeing real results.

In my personal experience, the most difficult period was the first few 'transitional' days. Feelings of irritability and mental fog had me questioning the validity of the 'so-called benefits' of this diet. Memories of the horrors I have read about from other diets *cough* Atkins *cough* played at my inner monologue.

Reading over the forums at, my concerns were put at ease, if not completely abated, by fellow members who, for the most part, had  similar experiences with varying degrees. It seems as though my symptoms were somewhat trivial compared to others, and after a few days my temporary 'schizo' mood swings subsided. ***on a side note, if you find yourself becoming irritated (most likely for reasons in a normal state of mind, would be perceived as irrational) at your friends, family, or significant others, take a breath, explain that your dietary shift is making your mood unstable, and excuse yourself if necessary. It is important that they understand that this is normal, nothing personal, and it will settle soon***

Since these early days, my energy levels have stabilized. I no longer experience "the itis" (a sudden onset of sleepiness following meals). I also find myself waking up refreshed, and no longer go through my morning zombie-to-human metamorphosis.

Now let take a second to preface this next part by saying this: I don't believe in scales. Yes I know they exist and you can buy them at various home supply stores, but in my opinion you should ditch the damn thing. Seriously! That number isn't helping you. Sure it makes for a great conversation piece (I know I'm personally guilty of this) especially when bragging about losing 5 pounds. But only if you see yourself going in the right direction. The truth of the matter is, weight is too variable to use as a benchmark, and as a result it will stress you out.

Let me give you an example. When I roll out of bed at 9:00 A.M. I weigh 198 pounds. At 9:10 A.M. after concluding certain morning rituals (not checking email if you catch my drift), I now weigh 196.7 pounds. Breakfast comes... then lunch, I now weigh 200 lbs. Shit! I'm gaining weight! But this doesn't necessarily mean my body weighs more, it just means that I am carrying some extra 'baggage' if you will...

Researchers have found that the increased stress of monitoring these daily fluctuations releases a steroidal hormone called cortisol. This stuff is great when you have a case of poison ivy or a pesky mosquito bite, but, on the downside it also promotes weight gain. Therefore,  by logging your daily weight, you are potentially inhibiting your body's ability to shed fat.

Anyways, I digress... The purpose of this post was to say that after 11 days, my pants fit! No more waist band marks after taking them off, and no sucking it in when I put them on.

I must admit having dived into this lifestyle head first, I've had a little skeptic sitting on my shoulder whispering discouraging words into my ear. I've been eating lots, getting full, and defying almost every dietary principal I've ever known... but as I said before, my pants fit! Until this point, my faith in this diet has been purely based off the experience of others, and to see results this quickly... well that's just an added bonus. So to you skeptics out there who think that cutting out carbs, eating meat, eggs, an initially unsettling level of saturated fat, and a ton of veggies is bogus...

Give it 11 days, and then we'll talk.

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