“Insulin was one of the first hormones to evolve in living things. Virtually all animals secrete insulin as a means of storing excess nutrients. It makes perfect sense that in a world where food was often scarce or non-existent for long periods of time, our bodies would become so incredibly efficient. How ironic, though, that it’s not fat that gets stored as fat – it’s sugar. And that’s where insulin insensitivity and this whole type 2 diabetes issue get confusing for most people, including your very own government.”
– Mark Sisson
Weighing in on weighing in
In the spirit of putting the first things first, let me just say that I am not a fan of chronic scale stomping, daily caliper abuse, or even a weekly cuddle with the tape measure.
Every four to six weeks I dust off my scale and tape, but that’s about the extent of my concern with precise measuring. Weight can fluctuate greatly from day to day, even from week to week depending on more factors than I can hope to track.
A monthly check, on the other hand, is perhaps a fairer tool with which to track progress over time and – IMO – less likely to give me depressing news.
This long-view approach to monitoring body re-composition just strikes me as incredibly intuitive. And for me that is very important. It fits the natural flow of my life and nullifies the built in stress factor that comes with obsessing over every pound every day.
And for the record, Yes, I do eat vegetarian . . .
Vegetarian cows. Vegetarian lambs. Vegetarian Deer. Vegetarian rabbits . . .
Of course, that’s not to say I shun the occasional omnivore. Pig, chicken, shrimp, crab, lobster, scallops – they’ve all had a place on my plate.
Now, a quick look at the Primal Challenge food guidelines will show that eating primal does not have to mean eating low carb. But I do. Both to control my diabetes and to encourage fat loss. The bulk of the food I consume is animal product. Meat, eggs, butter, some aged cheese (very little, usually only as a garnish), and (even more rarely than the cheese) I will sometimes use whole milk or cream as an ingredient in a dish I’m preparing.
I do eat some vegetables. Fresh, raw spinach is a favorite, as is raw homemade salsa. And occasionally I will sear onions, peppers, or mushrooms in coconut oil. But yeah, that’s pretty much it. I will very rarely indulge in a bit of fruit and nuts as a snack or with my eggs, but I’ve found I really can’t eat nuts by themselves because I tend to not stop.
That’s my diet. I spend the bulk of my time completely not hungry and – consequently – not eating.
Generally speaking I consume two meals a day, sometimes with a little snack in between. Most days finds me taking my first meal sometime between noon and 2pm and my second (and final) meal at (or shortly after) 6:30pm. It’s rare for me to eat anything after 8pm.
That said, I don’t purposefully starve myself in the morning. Most days I’m just not hungry before noon. On the rare occasion that I do wake up hungry, I’ll scramble up some eggs – usually with a bit of bacon or leftover meat from a previous meal, and start my day from there. On those days I usually have 3 smaller meals rather than two relatively large ones.
If couch-potatoes eat chips, is it an act of cannibalism?
At it’s core, the primal fitness philosophy is pretty simple. Our bodies were made to move. To get (and keep) them in peak condition we need to let them do what they were made to do. Basically, for me, that boils down to walking 30-60 minutes a day at least five days a week. Not power walking or hiking – just regular walking. Then one day a week I include 10 minutes of short sprints.
Which leaves strength training. Despite recent news that exercise doesn’t actually help you lose weight, I firmly believe that strength training is an essential tool for health and fitness. It also helps to normalize insulin sensitivity – and as a diabetic, I am all about anything that helps me in that regard.
My strength training routine is currently based on bodyweight exercises, and I work through a cycle of Australian pull ups, squats, and pushups, going to failure on each set and doing as many sets as I can in 20 minutes.
I give myself a minimum of 2 days to recover between strength trainings, but I also like to fit in a day of conditioning work – usually 20 minutes with the kettlebell – in between my first and second strength day each week. Typically that works out to strength training on Monday and Friday, conditioning on Wednesday.
Scale and tape measurements – then and now
Height: 5′ 11″
. . . Weight: 330lbs Belly: 58″ Chest: 52″ Neck: 20″ Biceps: 16″ Thigh: 26″
. . . Weight: 299 lbs Belly: 52″ Chest: 52″ Neck: 20″ Biceps: 17″ Thigh: 25″