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Welcome to the Happy Grappler. The key to a consistent practice is joy. As an aging athlete, I continue to seek out methods that help to keep a smile on my face, relatively fit and pain free. This is my mental graffiti. Enjoy!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Primal Blueprint Week 1 reflections

Greetings one and all!

If you pay attention to the blogs that I follow, one of those is Mark's Daily Apple. Pretty much the Guru of the Primal/Paleo world. As a scientist, he investigates and explores things thoroughly and comprehensively and shares a "no bones" (insert paleo pun here) approach, which brings him back to a paleo/primal approach to food/fitness/lifestyle.

Insert jiujitsu related problem: every IBJJF tournament I have done, my weight has been a problem. I have tried nearly every dietary approach possible and the night before I always have to cut weight. Plus, since the Winter Open, I have been very undisciplined about my habits. A Pepsi here, some Ice cream every night, french fries with fast food, etc. and presto I am at around 220lbs and I am not carrying it well. Plus with the injuries that I have experienced in the past weeks, I have sought solace in food. This has compounded the problem.

Thus in order to address it, my wife and I started Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint 21 day Transformation Plan this past Sunday. I took the week off of jiujitsu in order to recover and thought I would share my insights.

Basically, if you have been living under a rock (another Paleo Pun....OMG... I am hilarious!!!) and are not aware the primal blueprint is a no refined sugars, no refined carbs plan. Moderate proteins, High in Fat and low in carbs. My big waterloo was going to be sugar in two forms: no soda and no sugary desserts, which are my big culprits. Plus, I despise the taste of water. Even with flavoring, etc. I would rather have a soda.

So here we are on day 6. While I do not have any numbers to share with you (I won't weigh myself until day 21, June 16), I can begin to notice subtle changes in my body and not so subtle psychological changes. First of all, cravings.

I haven't had any.


As long as I keep sated with proper levels and sources of fat, I haven't had any desire to raid the convenience store or hit up fast food, which I used to do all the time. And while I am not a fan of water, I have had no desire to drink soda. I am keeping decently hydrated and I can certainly tell a difference in my joints, which arent as stiff. As far as hunger goes, I am decently satisfied after meals, but not so bogged down that I want to take a nap. I feel lighter after meals and I am enjoying the feeling of slight hunger. My first intermittent fasting period was on Wednesday and I soared through it pretty well. I am having consistently high energy levels with little to no afternoon slump. And while I am drinking about the same amount of coffee in the morning, I am not drinking anything with caffeine in it after about 0830 am. And while my energy level is sustained and high, it is not so high that I feel anxious or buzzing.

As far as fitness goes, I am subscribing to the move slowly often, lift heavy things frequently and sprint once in a while and play as often as I can camp. My first sprint session is going to be tomorrow. My wife and I will talk long, slow walks after dinner and even played tennis this week. The lifting sessions have been calisthenic and outside based and done in bare feet. I even found a couple of tree limbs in the yard to do pullups from.

Socially, my wife and I are attempting to turn the tv off sooner and wind down naturally and enjoy reading and good conversation (the reading and conversation we have always done well.) And although I have been waking with an alarm, I have been more refreshed after a night of sleep.

Psychologically, I am more upbeat, less irritable and much more optimistic.

As long as the clothes are looser and I can approach my natural weight, (I have no idea what this number is maybe between the 175 - 190# range) I will continue with the plan. I plan on doing it until the Chicago Summer Open on August 18 and then I will re-assess and determine a new direction if neccessary.

I also plan on updating my progress weekly.

Thanks for reading and Oss!!!

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