Minuteman's Primal Journey

Discussion in 'Survival of the Fittest' started by Minuteman, Mar 27, 2014.


  1. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    You can add me to the list of monkeys who have gone primal. I have been watching the progress of the different members here who are on it. Quiq's story inspired me the most and really got me to thinking seriously about it. I ordered all the books and are reading them now. But from what I read so far and what I have seen on here I got started right away.

    This is my testimony. I have battled my weight all my life. I always blamed it on metabolism. I had a best friend growing up who was skinny as a rail. He ate twice what I did and never gained a pound. I can, and have, starved myself trying to lose weight and ended up gaining a pound or two. I have tried every fad diet that has come along. I can lose easily but then I gain it right back.

    The only time in my life when I was really fit(not overweight really, I have always been very fit) was from about 16 to 25. I had an uncle who was heavily into bodybuilding. He competed and won several titles. I started working out with him and got very into it. I never competed but it was my desire to. I was in such good shape that when the oil bust hit in 1980 I easily got a job working in a gym. I taught mens weight lifting and I led 2 aerobic classes a night during the week and 5 on Saturday. I was in top shape.

    But it wasn't a career that I could pursue. I was an oilfield roughneck and as soon as I heard of rigs working I started a 10 year period of chasing the work from one field to another all around the country. Living in motels, or tents, even my car sometimes. Eating mostly fast foods or bar food.
    And living in the bars.

    And as I moved up in each position the physical work got less and less. Until I finally moved off the rigs and into management. With each move up, my weight went up also.
    I have always been big in stature. I hit 6' and 200 pounds at 14 years old. I topped out at 6'3" and when I was bodybuilding I maintained a 220 to 230lb weight. But by the time I was in my 40's I was running around 260. I reached my max weight a few years ago of 315.

    My work now consists mainly of sitting in an office, at the rig site, watching monitors and doing reports. My only real exercise is climbing the stairs to the rig floor a couple of times a day and walking around the location. My room is 20' behind my office and I am in one or the other 95% of the time.

    One reason I was considering going primal was the fact that it is a low carb diet. When I was bodybuilding that was my main focus when trying to cut up and lower my body fat was the carbs. I didn't care about calories but I counted every carb I put in my body. I ate massive amounts of protein and very little if any carbs. I was basically eating a primal diet but didn't know it. And the results were always fast and effective. But not lasting. If I wasn't intentionally trying to cut up I would go back to the bread and carb rich diet and the body fat would increase. We were told back then that to maintain the "cutting" diet for long periods was not healthy.

    So when I started reading about this primal diet it was something that I was familiar with and knew to work. Also I know me and to deprive myself of something only makes me crave it more. The fact that I eat normally, just differently was very appealing. I finally quit smoking after many years by using a similar method. It was a program that allowed you to smoke all you wanted, you just changed what and when you smoked. I went through the 4 week program and have never wanted a cigarette again. I had tried and failed so many times and this system was so easy I couldn't believe it.

    Last month I was at home and we caught a stomach virus. A bad one. And I couldn't eat anything for several days. When I returned to work I thought to myself,"this is the time to start the primal diet if I am going to."

    I work for 14 days at a time on a remote drilling site. I live here for the entire 14 day hitch. All our meals are prepared by a catering company so it is easy to order what you want. They bring my food to me at the rig site. So March 3rd I started my first day back on the rig and made a list for the cook of what to send me.

    I eat breakfast every morning at 05:30. I specified eggs and meat. One day it is fried eggs, one day scrambled, one day a cheese omelet. No toast, no pancakes, no potatoes.

    Lunch at 11:30 is meat and vegetable. We have steak,chicken or fish. carrots, broccoli, cauliflower etc. No rice, no potatoes, no pastas. Meat and veggies.

    Then I have always skipped the meal at night. I usually go to bed around 8 or 9 and don't like feeling full when I sleep. So the 6:00 meal at night I always skip. So I fast every day for 18 hrs. But I had been having snacks during the day and in the afternoon. They bring them to the rig at 9 in the morning and at 3 in the afternoon. And it is always some kind of bread. Donuts, cake, cheese rolls etc. That is the only thing I have had to force myself to avoid.

    As for drinks, I have never been a soda drinker. Unless it was mixed with bourbon! I don't like sweet things much. I'm not a candy eater. So really it should be pretty easy for me to stay on this diet and not feel deprived of anything. And like I said I have not finished reading the whole book yet and am probably making some mistakes but I think I am on the right path.

    After my first two week hitch, eating primal the entire time, I had a Dr. appointment and I had lost 8 pounds. My shirts were fitting looser in the mid section and my pants were getting droopy. My wife noticed the difference right away.

    But now the hard part. I am off for 7 days every 3rd week, so that is the time that it is more difficult to try to maintain the eating habits. We go out to restaurants frequently when I am home. I tried to eat pretty much the same. I ordered a cheeseburger the first day and threw away the buns and ate the meat and the vegetables. I ordered steak and fish mostly when we went out. But I did have some pizza a couple of times and a baked potato with my steak. So I have to try to curtail that when I am off.

    I could tell the difference when I got back to work too. Even the little bit of carbs I had the week I was off made me feel bloated and sluggish. So now I am back to work and back on to strictly primal fare. I am anxious to see where I am at after this next two weeks. I can see this becoming a lifestyle I can stay with. I started a work out program this hitch. I have a set of dumbbells in my room and I work with them 3 days a week. The rig gym has a treadmill that I am going to start using.

    I am going to avoid the intense weight training that I used to do and go more with the walking and sprinting. Weights to bulk up my arms mainly (has always been my best feature).

    Now my wife has started the program. I downloaded the books into her Kindle before I left home and she has been reading them. She is a nurse so she has to overcome some of the traditional teachings about what is healthy and what isn't.

    So thank you to all who have shared your experiences here. It is really a help to know others are doing the same and having great results. I am looking forward to getting back in shape and feeling good again. I can tell my energy level is much improved in just this short time.

    I am officially into my 4th week and will be 5 weeks into it when I leave for days off next. I will be curious to see how much change I notice after this next two weeks.
     
  2. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    I just finished reading the 21 day primal body transformation book. Having embarked on the diet, I hate calling it a diet, it's more of a lifestyle change. I don't feel like I'm "on a diet". But I started before I finished reading the book and was going with what I had seen here and what I know of nutrition from my bodybuilding days. And actually I was pretty close to what the book recommends. My only mistakes were in snacks. I was having mixed nuts, including peanuts. So now found out peanuts are a no-no. Also I was having a glass of fruit juice with breakfast. I like to boost my vitamin C when at work to prevent getting sick. Lot's of guys coming in from long international flights and there is always something going around.

    But I did learn some good news. My primary drinks are coffee in the morning and sweet tea with lunch. The rest of the day is water. Both of those are approved in the diet, with the caveat of little or no sugar and creamer. However I have been using a natural low calorie sweetener for years and was very pleased to see it as one of the only ones that the book actually recommends. Stevia, it is great, all natural and barely any calories. And it tastes good too! Not like some of the saccharine or aspartame based ones. I sweeten my tea with it also. So I'm good there.

    I was reading about choosing healthy and primal approved foods when shopping and I can see where it would be difficult in the U.S. But for me it is almost impossible to not shop that way. I recently moved to Cyprus and one thing I have noticed is the lack of the processed, pre-packaged foods that are the main fare in the states. it is against the law to put preservatives in many things, including bread. And the vegetables and fruits are all locally grown, the meats from local grass fed farms. If you want anything besides free range eggs you have to search for it.
    And the main cooking oil is olive oil. They cook everything in it. So the shopping part is going to be very easy.

    I have just finished my 4th week, with one week that I only semi stuck to the plan. I noticed my pants were getting baggy and I was on the last hole in my belt. This morning I dug through my locker and found a pair of jeans one size smaller than I have been wearing for the last several years. I always kept them for that "someday". That someday was today. They fit great. A little snug but by the time I finish this hitch in one more week I think they will be fitting just right. I don't have a scale at work so won't be able to see any weight loss until I get back home next week.

    I am going back to the US next month and that will be the challenge. We will be primarily eating out for most of the time and I am going to have to be very choosy in where and what I eat. But I can definitely see a shopping trip in the schedule while there.
     
  3. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    Wow, congratulations! It does sound that you were eating semi primal but after a bit of change you were able to make the leap! That is really great that they feed you so well on the oil rig. I would have thought they would serve you cafeteria style with powdered eggs and all that nasty filling food.
     
    Minuteman likes this.
  4. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Congrats MM. Take some measurements of you to track the shrinkage when the scale holds up.
    I sat last night at the local bar with a few couples and listened to them talking about being in pain and buying expensive beds and the pills they take everyday.
    I grew up with these friends and I felt guilty while listening. I was thinking man... I feel great.... And the only pills I now take is the damage control supplements and omega that mark sells on his site.
    They did ask what I take etc. I said just what our great great grand parents ate. Lol
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014
    Minuteman likes this.
  5. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Congratulations MM on starting your path to being fit and eating healthier. Don't let yourself get discouraged and keep at it. Looking forward to hearing about your progress and results. Sounds like you can't go wrong with your new lifestyle, if you stay the course.
     
    Minuteman and Quigley_Sharps like this.
  6. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Thanks all. One reason I decided to jump into this was the group support I have seen here on the monkey. It makes it much easier.
     
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  7. Elessar

    Elessar Monkey+ Site Supporter+

    I have found the secret to the success of the Primal Blueprint is in the three P's: Plan, Prepare, and Prosper. Plan you menu, Prepare the correct ingredients, Prosper by reaping the benefits. It's great to see another monkey in the Primal tree!
     
  8. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    Glad to see you make the Primal change MM. I wish you well with it and sounds like you are having great success already!!
    YD
     
  9. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    So far so good. I am just finishing my 5th week. I don't have a set of scales on the rig but the size smaller jeans I started wearing last week are already getting lose. I see a shopping trip on my days off. I am going on a month long vacation so that will be a test. See if I can stay on a primal eating diet while traveling. Unfortunately I am coming back to the states and that is the worst food in the world. I don't have a problem when traveling abroad, where fresh and natural are the norm not the exception but the SAD (standard American diet) is just that, sad.
     
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Coming in thru New York or Boston?
     
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  11. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Dallas direct from London.
     
  12. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    Ewww that is a long flight... Done the Frankfurt to L.A. not fun.... though you do get caught up on current movies it seems.
     
  13. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    We are traveling with a 2 year old so that's going to be very interesting! Don't think I will have much time to watch movies.
     
  14. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    Drug the whipper snapper...the trip will be quitter...:D
     
    Minuteman likes this.
  15. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Benadryl works wonders on youngsters, when traveling... Just enough to make the drowsy.... GrandPa knows, how GrandMa's secrets are passed down to the next generation....
     
    oldawg, Minuteman and Yard Dart like this.
  16. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Just finished week 5. I went by the docs today to renew a scrip. I had them weigh me. Woo hoo!!!! 297. First time I have been under 300 in about 10 years or more. So that means after 5 weeks I have lost 18 lbs. and it was easy. I don't feel like I deprived myself of anything. I ate good and was satisfied. Now the test. 4 weeks of travel and eating out. I'm going to do my best to order smart and to pick good resteraunts.
     
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  17. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    Congratulations on the great loss MM!!
    I have become a big fan of lettuce wrapped Angus burger and assorted sandwiches since the switch. I used to think wrapping a burger with lettuce was just wrong.... guess you can teach an old dog new tricks. ;)

    The big trick/challenge for me when I visit a restaurant, is not getting the potatoes or bread products with my meal..... I hardly ever did substitution's in the past, now I feel like I am becoming one of those difficult customers...... oh well, the tip will have to cover me being a pain :)
     
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  18. Elessar

    Elessar Monkey+ Site Supporter+

    Minuteman: Excellent job on your progress. Good luck on maintaining while on the road. It can be done easily, if you manage to stay out of the fast food restaurants. There are only a few places that can provide primal fare so you're better off in a sit down/to go environment. You're really making great progess and I know how good you feel about crossing into the under 300 teritory! Grok on!
     
    Minuteman likes this.
  19. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Just back from vacation and all in all did pretty good. Ate mostly at sit down restaurants and found a lot of Primal friendly fare to be had. One thing that is very hard to find overseas is good TexMex so couldn't wait to hit a couple of those. Had a "naked" burrito without the tortilla. Skipped the chips and dip. Had a lot of sea food. But have to admit I didn't stay strictly primal the whole time, and I could tell the difference. I'm still wearing the size smaller jeans and size smaller shirts but the shirts were starting to get a little tight around the mid-section and the jeans were a bit snug. But I usually gain several pounds when we go on vacation. I haven't weighed but can tell that I gained some but nowhere near what I would have normally. I'm back to work and back to my routine and the jeans are already getting loose again. I will go to the doctor in about 10 days and will see where I am compared to the last time I was in.

    One thing I was craving and was determined to have at least once was good southern biscuits and gravy. The wife and I both had them one morning and it just didn't live up to our expectations. Didn't have them again.
    That's one thing we have both found is that our tastes are changing. Has anyone else had this?
    She always had creamer in her coffee but now she doesn't like the taste of it anymore. I found a lot of my favorites that I thought I was missing, when I had them on vacation, they just didn't taste as good as I remembered. Maybe psychological? I don't know but I found it much easier than I expected to be "good".

    We went to a book store and bought all the PB books and some other Primal cookbooks. We had them on Kindle but the wife likes to have the book when she cooks.

    I was reading on another Primal Journey thread about coffee. We have always used Steviana, a brand name of a stevia product. We use it to sweeten our coffee and tea. I was very pleased to see it recommended in the Primal Blueprint. It really is a great, all natural product. We are looking for coconut milk but haven't been able to find any so far. I am reluctant to try that as I absolutely detest the flavor of coconut. Blech!!

    So now it is back to a strict Primal lifestyle and I will be looking forward to a weigh in at the doctors. I bought several pairs of a size smaller jeans while in the states. Hope to be wearing them when I go home the end of the month.
     
  20. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Yup my tastes has definitely changed too. Some bland foods now have great flavor. and the opposite being to strong on some now.
     
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