This is just a quick update post, since I still get questions about the Paleo way of eating I posted about early in 2012. People ask me all the time if I’m still doing it, and how I’m progressing.
The things I said in that earlier post still hold true, and after doing this for some time, I am an even bigger believer.
Being cursed with good genes and youth throughout…well…most of my youth, I was still trying to fight certain areas of this way of eating and lifestyle, even over the past couple of years. I’d take principles like Mark Sisson’s 80% rule and go at it full force, greatly expanding what eating 80% good foods really meant, and pushing that envelope out closer to 50% much of the time.
I made progress and lost weight, but it was much slower and efficient as it could be if I only did a few small things differently. Drinking sodas even 20% of the time makes a difference over simply not drinking them at all, for example.
Health is one of those things that get people all kinds of crazy about. We all know intellectually that this is the only body you get, and should eat right and exercise more, and any different flavor of that basic advice.
There is so much conflicting information in so many areas of life about health and nutrition, it just confuses a lot of people and they end up giving up on it. It’s hard to say who to trust without doing your own thorough research and trying things out on your own.
There are so many conflicting versions of what is actually healthy or optimal out there, that different factions are constantly at war with one another over this complex issue of how the human body works. We’re learning stuff all the time in some ways, but parroting old, bad science from the 50’s in so many other places.
But basic things just piss me off. Like friends who said, “OMG! James Gandolfini died! Only 51! So young!!1!”
Are you shitting me?
I was a big fan of James Gandolfini, and by all accounts he was a fantastic human being and an amazing actor. I friggin’ loved that guy. But you can’t tell me you were shocked to find out that his fucking heart stopped?! Had you seen the man? He was yooge!
If a person is walking around so heavily overweight, you can’t possibly delude yourself into not realizing he’s only alive because his heart hasn’t quite given out just yet. No matter the conflicting health advice in the world, there is nobody who will tell you that’s a healthy weight and body composition.
Be sad for him, sure. But to think he died “so young” being in such obviously bad health? No. What’s actually amazing is that he didn’t die earlier, if you understand how he lived.
We all know this stuff on some level, but people just ignore it or hope it somehow will just go away if they don’t think about it. Our bodies are very durable, but they can only take so much direct and chronic abuse before one of the links in the chain has to give.
My Progress Making Small Changes
I don’t have anything to sell you. No supplements, diet system, workout tricks, gadgets or gizmos. You can take my advice or call me a jagoff and leave. It doesn’t matter to me.
I haven’t picked up a weight, been to a gym, bought any gizmos, need any special workout clothes, drank any secret potions or other utter bullshit like that, and here is my progress:
I finally weighed myself again last week, which I haven’t done for months, and I’ve lost 50lbs. I’ve also lost about 11 inches off my waist, but I’m not tracking all my different measurements anymore. My blood pressure, cholesterol, and other numbers are probably better than they’ve ever been, as they were already headed that way last I checked. My breathing is better, skin issues disappeared, and I haven’t had any form of indigestion since I stopped eating grains and sugars.
The Only Thing You Need
The change has to be different if you want to make the change. You aren’t going to find it in any diet, guru, or magic pill. You don’t need anything outside yourself. Either you are going to make your health your priority or you aren’t. And it is your choice.
The biggest change I made was just making my health a priority. I gave up my excuses to miss workouts, I eat better, and stopped trying to cheat, since I was only really cheating myself. It’s really just a choice. I’m not going to convince you to do anything you don’t want to do. Of course you can spend a bunch of time being healthy so you’ll live longer, only to get creamed by a milk truck anyway.
There is no valid reason for not taking care of yourself. If you simply don’t want to, just own that. It’s still your life, for the most part. But stop making excuses like complaining that you don’t have time, it’s too hard or insurmountable, or it’s too expensive to eat healthy, or you don’t have a gym close enough, or the gym doesn’t have the kind of machines you like, or what the hell ever.
You don’t have to be a personal trainer or have one, you don’t have to know anything other than you need to know what you’re eating, and move in some way. Use your body and know what you’re putting in it and on it.
Learn as you go, but decide to just go.
- Go walk around the block.
- The next day try to walk around twice. Nothing hard.
- Roll out of bed and do some push ups. You can do that even if you’re in prison.
- Can’t do push ups? All the more reason to do push ups, for one. And so what? Start pushing on a wall. Work your way down. Work your way further around the block.
I wasn’t about to try to run a marathon the first weekend when I hadn’t gotten off the couch in 15 years and looked like I should be fluent in Huttese.
Don’t just not do anything if you want to get healthier.
Will it take you a long time? Maybe. If it takes you two years to lose a hundred extra pounds or so, great. Then spend your time doing that. The time will pass anyway. Where will you be in two years if you do nothing different than you do now?
I made simple little rules for myself like I will take the stairs instead of an escalator, and always two at a time. Sometimes it’s a pain in the ass, but really? If walking up a flight of stairs is too much trouble, then you might just be living unhealthy.
Then again, these are the stairs leading out of the subway by my house. These school kids always think I’m insane as they slurp down their fizzy sugarwater and candy, but I can bound up them without hardly breaking a sweat after doing it regularly.
I’m not posting these photos so I can get accolades and be told how I’m personally responsible for bringing sexy back. I really don’t like posting them publicly because of that kind of attention. I still have a ways to go, and am working on certain specific things (strength, body composition, and conditioning goals), but these undoctored photos should give a pretty decent idea of average progress doing simple things and making small and different choices.
I had 5,000 words or so written up on this, but I realized Steve Kamb already did the work over on his excellent Nerd Fitness blog, and I was basically just re-writing his post and using the same links when I went to link to his page. If this topic interests you at all, that is the perfect place to start and not get too overwhelmed with information and nutritional dogma.
I may spin some posts off onto health-related topics here in the future if people keep asking me about this stuff. It is a critical part of life (it helps with that not dying thing in some cases), personal development, and living life however you want. Taking care of your health opens up so many more possibilities in life, that if you’re neglecting it, it will cost you one way or another.
In the comments or privately, feel free to ask any questions, make fun of my chonies, tell us your own experience, or share my semi NSFW photos with anyone who might find them helpful.