So, How Did We Get Here?
It’s been a long and winding road–mostly winding outward. I was the kid who had to get his clothes in the “husky” size. I’m still getting my clothes in husky sizes, only now they’re called “big men’s,” which is no more flattering a term than “husky.”
As a young adult, I hovered in the 185-195 range up until my mid- to late-20s. A desk job, less exercise, and enough money to eat out (or otherwise eat badly) when I wanted all combined to bring me to the 220-230 weight class by my 30s. Even though I increased exercise, playing racquetball several times a week and cycling 30 to 100 miles most weekends, I managed to keep my off kilter diet ramped up to offset the calorie burn (my standard line in those days: “You really have to eat a lot to exercise this much and still gain weight”). A job change which provided access to an on-site cafeteria and a group of friends who liked to eat out a couple of times a week, combined with the closing of my racquetball center and a lowering of my bike riding frequency, brought the gift of another 30 or so pounds.
Somewhere around 2009 I discovered Mark’s Daily Apple through a link from the blog of a coworker who had adopted a primal/paleo lifestyle. I started poking around that site and following the links to the sites of people who commented on the MDA blog posts. I ordered Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint book not long after it was published, and over the ensuing years have added to my primal/paleo library The Primal Blueprint Cookbook; The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Transformation; Practical Paleo, from Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites; and most recently (as my birthday present this year from the everlovely Mrs. MyPrimalJourneyToHealth), Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution. I’ve signed up for several e-newsletters, downloaded numerous free e-books, and bookmarked dozens of sites. But I never have done much with them (which is why I’ve topped out this spring at what I hope will be my all-time heaviest weight). I did a Primal Blueprint 30-Day Health Challenge (and started a couple of others) and also tried banding together with some coworkers for our own health challenges, and had success, losing about 30 pounds during one of them. But I always fell off the wagon–succumbing to the draw of my favorite unhealthy elixir, Mountain Dew soda–and each time regained all the weight (and then some).
A New Start
But all of that is in the past. I truly believe in the primal/paleo approach. I love eating real food. And for far too long I’ve given myself the easy way out of taking responsibility for my health. I’m addicted to convenience, prepackaged food, short cuts, and the lure of sugary liquid treats. And like any “real” addict, I probably will always struggle with these unhealthy desires. But I have to make a change, or the subtitle of this website (the “middle-aged” part) may become inaccurate if I don’t find a dietary/lifestyle path that leads me to a long life.