For most of my life I have been pretty active. Like most people though I have had bouts of inactivity, as I let life get in the way. Post college, I was toiling away in the corporate world trying to climb the corporate latter. In 1997, I decided to take better care of myself and start eating better, or my perception of what eating better was.
I have typically followed the health pattern of my mother. She has had significant problems with her health much of her adult life. Her list of ailments includes high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and congestive heart failure. She is on several medications. Her mobility has been limited to the point that she uses a scooter to get around sometimes.
It is my mission to avoid that kind of life and to help others avoid that life. Twelve years ago, I changed careers to pursue fitness. For most of these years, I was a Personal Trainer using many different fitness methods trying to help clients get in shape and stay healthy. Sadly, I was off the mark on the nutrition piece as much of my nutrition education led me along the food guide pyramid path.
Several years ago I discovered CrossFit and became hooked. And I became Level 1 Certified in 2008 and have since attended 2 other Level 1 Certs as well. And I opened CrossFit West Houston in January 2009. CrossFit changed my life in many ways. It was by far one of the most effective training methodologies that I was ever exposed to. With that came the introduction of the Zone and Paleo styles of nutrition. At first, I ventured into the Zone. I will be honest I never thought that I could ever give up cheese and dairy. I found decent results, but found the process to be cumbersome and a beating. During this time I started getting questions about Paleo and was becoming increasingly intrigued by it.
In this process, I was starting to stress nutrition more and more at our box. Currently there is a void in the nutrition education from CrossFit HQ, so we sought out other sources. One that was very high on the list was the Whole9. We discovered that they were on huge road trip tour and coming to Austin TX. Luckily, Dallas and Melissa were open to swinging back through Houston on their way to Colorado. For me it was a great event for our box and for my own personal knowledge and practice.
After taking the workshop, several of the attendees from our box took on the Whole 30 challenge. We eliminated all processed foods, alcohol, grains, dairy and sugars. Little did I know that allow I thought I felt normal, I really did not know what normal felt like. In truth until I added some of these items back into my eating did I know how much I was affected. It was astounding how much the grains and dairy make me feel.Until experiencing the Whole 30, I did not think that grains or dairy affected me. I could not have been more wrong. I found that my normal was not normal, but I really liked the new normal.
After being on the Whole 30 and totally switching to Paleo, I am able to keep my bodyweight down to under 177. Prior to Whole30, I could not sustain under 180 for more than a few days. It is now 5 months that I am under 177. And I have been breaking out a rash of PR’s both strength and met-cons.
More importantly for me though, is that I was able to share it with my family. My wife, son and I went to visit my parents in July. Prior to the visit, I was determined to introduce Paleo to my parents, sister and brother in law. About 2 weeks before our visit my mother came down with a bout of pneumonia. For a congestive heart patient that is a dangerous situation, so she went to the Cleveland Clinic where much of her cardiac issues are treated. She was released from their care on the Saturday we were to arrive for our visit. That night I went to work on introducing my family to the Paleo Lifestyle. It was a tough sell, but I fought through lots of sarcasm and moaning. A funny thing happened to my sister and brother in law, they started feeling pretty good. They were now in my corner. We had a small intervention with my mother. I felt the way she was eating was contributing to her inflammation and fluid accumulation. Fortunately we caught her at the right time; she did not want to continue on that path.
Three months later, my mother is down 50 lbs from the day she was released from the hospital. Many of her rheumatoid arthritis aches have decreased. Her cravings have gone away. She is moving around better and actually was able to walk around the county fair and go to a high school football game for the first time in a few years. I am really proud of the way she has chosen to overcome her years of eating habits to completely change to this lifestyle. In addition to her results, my father has lost 23 lbs, my sister 12 lbs and brother in law 15 lbs.
- Good Calories, Bad Calories
- The Paleo Solution
- Food Rules