I committed to the 30-day challenge on August 1 this year. I have been primal for almost four months, so it is time for a progress update.
My first two weeks were tricky. I had intense carb cravings but didn’t always have the self control to stay away from them. This is when I decided to make the primal kits. I needed something primal to turn to when I had cravings so that I would not go on a carb binge. After the third week the cravings started to go away. I also started to have more energy, partially due to actually getting ~8 hours of sleep a night and partially due to the absence of processed sugars and grains in my diet. When the end of my 30-day challenge came along, I felt great and already saw some weight loss. I decided to keep going beyond my 30 days.
The last three months have gone by very quickly. I’ve had a busy and demanding fall semester at Hillsdale, topped off by traveling and freelance work. Staying primal at the cafeteria is a challenge. I’ve never eaten so much broccoli! Luckily there are always vegetables on the salad bar. Sometimes it is difficult to come across meat that is not covered in some sort of sauce or sandwiched between bread, but I’ve made due.
I’ve done quite a bit of cooking and baking at my house here in Hillsdale. I find primal cooking very easy and I already have many favorites that I turn to when I am crunched for time. I have a house mate who has celiac disease, so it is nice to be able to share what I cook and bake with him, because he can’t eat much of what the rest of our housemates cook.
I’ve had great benefits so far from going primal. I have more sustained energy throughout the day. I don’t have the “3pm slump” anymore. I’ve only had three headaches since August, which is a huge improvement. I used to have headaches at least once a week, sometimes more, most likely from stress because of my lack of sleep and poor diet. I’ve finally made sleep a priority and that has made a big difference in my life. This took some schedule restructuring and some effort on my part to kill my procrastination, but it has been worth it.
Most importantly, my heartburn that I’ve had multiple nights a week since I was 6 is entirely gone. This in itself has been a major improvement in my quality of life. I would eat Tums like it was my job. I always had some nearby. I switched to taking ranitidine a few years ago, but even this amounted to treating my symptoms but not the cause. If this was the only benefit being primal gave me, I would still do it because living without heartburn has been absolutely wonderful. I have fallen off the track a few times and each time I did, the heartburn came back that night. Those occasional derailments help keep me on track the rest of the time and serve as a reminder of the benefits of the primal lifestyle.
When I started in August, I measured five points on my body. Just before I wrote this, I remeasured those five points for the first time in four months. I could tell by looking in the mirror that I was losing weight, but I didn’t know just how much. Here are the results:
I lost three inches from my waist, one inch from my chest, one inch from each thigh, and an inch and a half from around my hips. That translates to 18 lbs since August and 36 lbs since Christmas last year. (I tried Tim Ferriss’s Slow Carb diet before I went primal.)
I’ve had the diet, sleep, and slow, frequent movement parts of the primal lifestyle down for quite some time now. The part I have been weakest on is the exercise, so this past weekend I committed to a workout plan, which I will post about soon.
The most difficult part of staying primal for me has been the late night binges. You know what I am talking about; you come home starving late at night and you just want to eat everything in site. This is when I have the hardest time staying away from grains, sugar, and processed food. I’ve been able to control it by having some go-to foods like almonds, beef jerky, almond butter, bananas, and primal crunch in the house. I am still working on this area. Even hard rules are tough to keep.
Thank you guys for all of your encouragement here on the blog! I intend to keep going strong indefinitely. Stay tuned for my post on my new workout plan and what I plan to do to stick with it. (Coming soon!)