Tuesday, 17 May 2011

From Darkness to Light (continued...)

I left off talking about the changes I saw happening within 1 month of doing the Whole30 challenge.  One thing I was surprised with was how fast the inches were coming off.  I didn't notice a huge change in the mirror, but when I took out the measuring tape it was obvious this was working.  Within one month I lost 9 inches, mostly in the hip and waist area.  Talk about motivation!  As far as weight lost, 10 lbs were gone within 4 weeks.  I thought "OMG, I found something that WORKS!".  This came as a huge relief, I thought I was destined to stay just under the 200lbs mark.

Like I mentioned, I slept better, and this within a few weeks into the challenge.  I used to have to take sleeping pills to fall asleep and stay asleep, and then I moved on to melatonin pills when I decided the sleeping pills were too addictive (I have a crazy addictive personality).  Now without taking any kind of pill I was falling alseep and having deep sleep to boot.  I actually liked going to bed, knowing that I'd have a good night's sleep and that I wouldn't be tossing and turning till the wee hours (and therefore disturbing the husband with my moving around).  And HE got better sleep because of it.

As for other benefits that I noticed, my acne cleared right up.  I had mild acne when I was a teen, then it got worse after having babies.  They call it adult acne, I call it hell.  Anyone who has had bad acne knows what I'm talking about.  Here's the thing, my adult acne got worse before it got better on the challenge, and I felt like crap because of it.  I asked around and people were telling me it was because toxins were leaving my body, and to hold on and wait.  I waited and it paid off, after 30 days my acne was gone!  After trying for 15yrs to try and get rid of it, I finally realized it all had to do with the foods I ate.  I tried every damn soap, lotion, cleanser out there, from the inexpensive to the ultra pricey, and nothing worked except changing the way I ate.  Well hell's bells, what a revelation!  I now use water on the days that I wear no make-up, and on days that make-up is on I use a mild cleanser.  And now I can use day and night moisturizers, while before any type of moisturizer made my acne worse.  This is great news for my winter dry skin!

Bon alors, on to dry scalp (eww).  I never, I mean never, had a problem with dandruff until I started taking medication a few years ago, and then BAM, I had the worse dandruff possible, and NOTHING worked.  I tried all perithione zinc shampoos out there, and although they all boasted that it would make my hair shiny and flake-free, it didn't.  I tried a vinegar rinse, I tried washing my hair every day.  I tried washing my hair only every 3 days.  The flakes were still there.  And like my acne it cleared right up after changing my diet. 

I'm not painting a pretty picture of how it was for me before trying a primal lifestyle, I know, but it's necessary to expose myself this way to show how much progress has been made in many areas of my life due to The Primal Blueprint.

Of course, eating patterns changed.  I learned it was ok to skip breakfast if I really wasn't hungry, to eat when I was, and to throw away all bad foods and feel ok with it :) .  The kids also learned to eat the way I was eating, and learned to love good, whole foods.  It took some adjustment since they were used to eating conventional (re; school snacks, the kind that is loaded with sugar), but I can safely say that after 2 months they prefer their fruits and veggies for snacks instead of bread and granola bars.

After a month of the challenge I felt motivated and energized.  I wasn't existing to survive anymore, I had a purpose and new goals in life.  And all this from changing the way I ate.  And I ain't kidding, the first month truly changed my perspective on life.  I'm reading and learning more each day and it feels great to be passionate about something.

With the warmer weather in April I started working more outside to incorporate The Primal Blueprint's Fitness , since I had been sitting on my butt for far too long and needed to build muscle and strength.  I have the perfect yard for copying the movement patterns of our ancient forebears.  1 acre to clear and cut brush, move heavy logs, haul rocks, stack wood, till garden, build enclosures, the list goes on.  So on a daily basis I was moving around at a slow pace, lifting heavy things, and sprinting once in a while.  It felt great getting out there and moving my tushie, and it was fun!  Since I love the outdoors so much I am in my element, and even though I've got a farmer's tan, sore muscles, blisters, scrapes and bruises, I am happy.

Like I mentioned earlier, this is a lifestyle, NOT a diet.  And it didn't end with the Whole30 Challenge, every day I live with a better mental attitude due to changing my eating habits.  In later posts I will be talking about the Conventional Diet and how I really thought I was eating healthy since dieticians, doctors and our government are telling us the food pyramid is gold and why it's the best way to eat for optimum health.  In the meantime, I suggest you read Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes, read up on The Primal Blueprint, and check out the forum Mark's Daily Apple.  Happy reading!


  1. This is so great Gen! I am very envious of your natural space for primal workouts! Can't wait to see photos of the progress as you clear you land and build your homestead!

    I'm so happy you embarked on this journey Gen, its wonderful to read such happiness in your voice! <3

  2. Thank you Robin! For some reason comments were not showing up until today, so I just read it this morning. I should take before and after pics of the yard, it'll be night and day for sure.