Journeys – A guest post.

With so much already happened this year, it is hard to believe we haven’t even cleared January.  There’s been little time to reflect on 2012 other than to recognise it as a year of thrilling highs and emotional lows, achievements and frustrations, of welcoming new friends into my life and on closing the door on others, and venturing off to new lands whilst appreciating the land I call home all the more… such is the ebb and flow of life.

When I first dove down this rabbit hole called paleo, part of my motivation was adventure.  Learning this stuff, applying it to my life (with great results), and seeing how it could help others (when they wanted to listen and be helped), learning and relearning the science-side of things, travelling overseas to link with like-minds, was all part of the adventure.  People ask what I want out of all of this and I honestly don’t know what to tell them.  I love the simplicity of it all and the health it brings me, but I don’t really have a set destination; I don’t have a number.  I don’t have a certain weight to get to, nor a certain waist measurement.  I haven’t set perfect blood lipid markers as my goal, nor do I want to achieve 50 double-unders.

In my mind, all of the “life will be good when I’m skinny at XXkg”-type goals are a destination I don’t really want to get to… because right now, the journey and the adventure is a lot of fun.  The diet and training are getting tinkered with all the time, and in what seems like a case of convergence, there seems to be more of us focused on things other than safe starches, calorie counting, and whether 6 days of METCONs are better than 5.  I’m talking Paleo 3.0 here – the focus on sleep before exercise, on socialisation, on being in natural environments, and on engaging other senses than the ones required to look at and tippy-tap on a screen all day (huh… irony).

One of the turning points in my 2012 journey was the selling of virtually everything I owned (not much – I’m a bit Zen about material possessions), to aid the moving to another country (the healthy socialisation part).  I was in the throes of disengaging my life from New Zealand when I was contacted by a chap wanting a consult about his diet, exercise, and lifestyle.  Being only literally days from skipping the country, I was reluctant to be taking anyone on… more for the fact that my head wasn’t in it.  But I do like puzzles and when someone contacts you to say that their paleo-leaning GP wife recommended he come and see me, well, my ears prick up a bit.

So a meeting with Tim was arranged.  We caught up late one Sunday afternoon, and before me I saw a guy who wasn’t the best physical specimen in the world, but also a guy who was quite nervous, anxious, and seemingly fearful of what his future might hold if he didn’t do something different.  Maybe I read too much into it, but I saw a guy who could see the imminent arrival at the destination of his own mortality – albeit far too early for a man of his age.  Had this been a case of another person wanting a promise that they just need to eliminate starches, perform torturous exercise, and still eat brownies whilst enjoying the best of health, I’d have likely not kept the appointment (the good thing about not doing private for a living is that I get to chose who I want to work with – so refreshing after so many years as a PT having to take all-comers).

What made me take Tim on?  The fact that he had relocated his family to the other side of the world to give them a better life… That he had likely had to move away from familiarity, from family, from friends, for something that  meant a whole lot more – his and his family’s health.  And he chose New Zealand… and better yet, Christchurch.  He made all the right noises and I was keen to help him out, albeit it in the basis that I was off to the land of Oz (his country of birth), and would have to work with him remotely.

Below is Tim’s journey from that point on.  As you will read, I put him through a Whole30 as a reset point to work from.  He shares his honest account of that, his praise and his criticisms.  Some of the criticisms you read from Tim, both on the Whole30 and on a lack of a path to exercise, I don’t agree with.  But I also take responsibility for his criticisms.  There was a promise to write him some sort of exercise routine, but I didn’t… on purpose.  You see, it is all too easy, when giving out something like the Whole30 and a structured exercise programme concurrently, to fall into the diet+exercise, calories in, calories out trap.  I didn’t want Tim doing that.  But I did want him finding the energy and confidence, from his dietary changes, to explore his new home town… to come into the summer and to embrace cycling, walking the hills, getting out to the beach, etc.

So his comments around exercise, what he thinks is paleo exercise (Crossfit), heart rate training zones, and so on, are more a reflection of a lack of information and guidance.  Yet despite this lack of guidance, he is doing everything I had hoped.  He has embedded a change in both the food he eats and his relationship with it.  He has taken onboard some of the key aspects to just moving.  And best of all, he seems to have taken this on as a form of adventure… as a new journey.   Tim has been kind enough to share his journey, thus far, here.  Enjoy.


Only 13cm 12.5cm 10.5cm until I finally become a man!

Jamie asked me if I would write a guest blog for him on how I have found trying a Paleo diet, so I thought why not?

Now for those of the Internet generation or with Internet-provoked short attention span disorder:

  • I have always been a fatty,
  • At my age this made type-2 diabetes a real prospect,
  • With a push from the doctor-wife and great steer from Jamie I started the Whole30 approach to Paleo,
  • I am still fat,
  • But not as fat,
  • And one day I hope to become a real man.

I met Jamie only the once – that was enough.  As you may have guessed however, the meeting with Jamie was all about long-term health and wellbeing – mine.

I grew up in a small town, country NSW, Australia.  The freezer was always full with half a cow or a sheep, and fresh frozen vegetables; the pantry was packed with preserved fruit and the cupboard full of homemade cakes and biscuits.  I was a chubby child.   Chocolate, however, did not really feature, whether it was too expensive or just ‘not good for you’; it was a rare treat to be savoured.  Something I don’t think the Teenager [my daughter] would understand.

As an adult, I blame the Americans.  Up until 1998, I was always at the upper limits of ‘healthy’.  Then the Americans went and changed the guidelines and like 29 million Americans I suddenly became ‘Overweight’, ‘Obese’, and let’s face it just plain old FAT!  I was devastated (or I would have been if I had known it at the time), so I consoled myself with the three essential food groups: beer, chocolate, and pasta.  And so, thanks to the Americans, my BMI crept up to over 33 (well okay, this may be a bit of exaggeration and I can’t really blame the Americans).

In reality I have always been a chubby adult.  In 1997 thanks to some serious personal stress, obsessive exercise, and lots of beer I dropped to a healthy weight.   A few years later another stressful event also led to serious weight loss, this time successfully dealt with only with the aid of alcohol.  A few happy “3rd time lucky” years later 10+kg was lost over three months thanks to a no (ultra-low) fat diet and cycling for about 8-12 hours a week.  I confess I did feel a lot fitter after this period, but sadly winter came, it got dark and the three essential food groups beckoned.

In my head I have always felt 22, this year my wife reminded me (with only just a little bit of glee) that my body had actually achieved two score and 10 in spite of the abuse and neglect it has received.  The nature of what I do is really rewarding.  It can also be rather stressful and is quite sedentary.

It is because of what I do we had the opportunity to move to New Zealand and this is where I met Jamie.   Christchurch is a great city and I feel privileged that after all these years I can use what I have learned to be able to give something back to rebuilding this community [post-earthquake].  In return I get a better work/life balance and the Teenager gets an opportunity to grow up in a way that is now longer possible in the UK.  To me, my weight needed a little bit of attention (to my doctor-wife I was five-eighths on the way to diabetes), but I was unable to see what I could do differently to achieve a sustainable weight loss and healthier lifestyle.  After all I had tried pretty much all accepted dietary practices and the old habits and essential food groups always returned, so why bother?

I am (or rather was) an emotional eater. I liked to eat when I was happy, when I was sad, or when I was stressed. I could rationalise eating anything at any time.  Some may say I was an addict and they may have right.

My doctor-wife, the clever girl, knew that if I didn’t do something Type-2 diabetes, prostate cancer, and/or heart disease were just around the corner.  So for her it was all about me living longer, not just my weight.

She pointed me in the direction of a Paleo diet.  I had never heard of it.  I had tried an Atkins diet for a few weeks and felt lousy so I may have been a little sceptical when she first mooted the idea.  Gently she poked and prodded, found, and then introduced me to Jamie & the Paleo concept.

When I first contacted Jamie he was a little surprised that a GP was promoting Paleo.  She still has some reservations regarding some of the claims and ‘science’ surrounding a Paleo diet (its benefits, scientific interactions, and the need to lift tractor tyres), but as one who herself has to live a lower-carb lifestyle (weird but interesting medical condition that no nutritionists seem to want to tackle), the overall benefits it could bring to me outweighed her concerns.

I met Jamie one sunny afternoon in the Coffee House.  Not your Dutch-style coffee house, but a real Christchurch survivor and great coffee.  Over a couple of hours we talked about what I was looking for, what I was willing to invest, and what he could offer.  During this period he did drop in the fact he was buggering off to Australia.  He also explained the Whole30 concept and gave some rather pragmatic and helpful tips as to how to approach and get the most out of Paleo.  Apart from getting more sleep, possibly his best and most used tip from that day was to go out and buy a Soda-Stream [water carbonator].  The simple act of drinking carbonated water has helped break habits formed over a life time – go figure?  He also said don’t worry about exercise just yet give it six months or so.  This seemed odd (or an accurate assessment of my physical fitness) but it has allowed me to get to grips with and focus on the dietary aspects of Paleo rather than get diverted looking for tree trunks and tractor tyres.

Jamie supplied some of the Whole30 information and pointed me to other web-based resources.  We said goodbye and I’ve never seen him again.  But thanks to the wonder of the Interweb he has remained a great source of information and support.

One of the things I did like about my initial reading on Paleo was the F-you [tough love] approach they took.  It is up to you if you make it work, no one else; no magic cures or anyone else to blame if it doesn’t work or something goes wrong.  If only teenagers could be imbued with this.  But at the same time it provided solid advice and practical steps to identify the route, highlighting pitfalls, and letting you know that you are not alone.  Others have done this so it’s less a seldom trod track up a mountainside and rather more like you’re on a 6 lane highway (something that doesn’t actually exist in New Zealand).  Having a map for this ‘track’ exposed has been a critical success factor in my diet.

Now one piece of advice proffered in the Whole30 was to cut the excuses and just start the Whole30 that day; that minute.  I do not subscribe to this approach to anything, so I didn’t.   Instead I spent a week following a Paleo-esque diet before leaping into the Whole30.  This worked for me and you know what? I don’t think the authors would really care so long as it works – FU mate.

The concept of a 30-day diet was not a challenge.  Fairly regularly I could control what I ate or drunk for a month and lose 4 or 5kg.  So it was with gusto I leapt into the diet.   With a bit of will and lots of preparation (Jamie did say starting out finding time for preparation is an initial challenge – he was right) the days soon turned into weeks.

After about two weeks, we were out at a horse show with the Teenager.  We hadn’t planned to be out so long and the only food available was a sausage sizzle.  A dilemma!  The sausages were not from home-raised pigs, fed only organic scraps, then lovingly killed and stuffed, additive and grain-free, into natural skins. They were pre-cooked, additive, flour, sugar and fake-flavoured -filled bundles of joy.  I was going to stay true to “the 30” and go hungry.  The doctor-wife (in her best GP voice) said “don’t be so stupid, the human body is designed to be resilient, one sausage is not going to kill you or break the Whole30”. It didn’t.  Indeed it showed that this diet was possible.  I didn’t realise at the time but this was one small step to realising that a Paleo diet could be a sustainable way forward for me.

The doctor-wife is very clever and knows what can motivate and demotivate me.  When I would ask “Is this paleo?” she would look it up and let me know a précis of the web’s opinions.

Only towards the end of “the ‘30” did she let me look at the forum.  Just as well!  Whilst I do like attitude, the Stalinist approach adopted in the forum for staying on the Whole30 would have quickly brought out my Bolshevik side – not always a happy ending.  Looking back this is a mild criticism now.  At the time it was not.  But I can see that for some, Stalinism is needed and necessary and history tells us it worked well – for a time.

During “the ’30” there was no epiphany.   I didn’t wake up one morning a convert.  I never leapt out of bed and reached for the nearest pile of rocks or tractor tyres.  I did, however, go to sleep without feeling bloated and without my ‘normal’ 30-40 minutes of agitation.  I did begin to wake up feeling rested, settled, more, well awake.  During the day there was no longer this mid-afternoon energy drain – someone had stolen my biorhythms! Now when I drive to work in my big white Ute, I have a smile on my face, probably due to living in New Zealand, but I do think it is helped along by the diet.

About 3 weeks into “the 30” I decided I needed to reward myself, so I bought a pineapple.  It was only a baby and I only had less than a quarter. It was so, so sweet.  I then bounced around the house for about an hour with a silly grin on my face, my wife laughing at me whilst I was on a huge sugar rush.  A sobering thought.  It was at this time I began to understand just how food had affected not only my health but also my moods and how I looked at life.

At the end of 30 days, there was no question about not continuing; indeed I felt no desire to ‘treat’ myself to any non-Whole30 treat.  Okay – 3 months on I will now have a glass of wine, or cider, eat a little goats cheese and put a knob of butter in my pumpkin mash, but chocolate biscuits, pasta, specialty breads, hot chips or even jelly beans no longer have appeal.

Jersey Caramels, however, have a different hold.  For the record I have not had one, but they represent the power of my emotional association with food.  A Jersey Caramel is a small square of fudge made up of a white layer sandwiched between caramel coloured layers.  They probably taste of nothing, but as a child they were the lollies we were allowed to occasionally have as a treat and they were my Father’s favourite.  They represent every warm and fuzzy childhood memory – good times, freedom and security.  An emotional eater’s nirvana and I have to pass them every time I go to the local supermarket!  We now have a relationship that seems balanced, I acknowledge them as they sit quietly in their pick-a-mix home and in return they help me remember the good times associated with them but that I don’t need to eat them to gain this comfort.  They now ask for nothing in return, not even to be taken home.  Then gently after our brief interaction, they point me in the direction the dry-roasted cashews.  More importantly they have become my friend and they have helped me change my relationship with food.  I still (like any ex-addict) fear a relapse, but so far, thanks to support I have received from my Jersey Caramels, the doctor-wife, and Jamie, this fear is growing into confidence that this diet, unlike previous attempts, will provide a long-term, healthy solution.

Before we do look to the future, another issue I’ve found with the Whole30 approach was that there should be absolutely, positively, no measuring.  Whilst I can understand it for those who demand instant results, I’ve found this odd for two reasons: the Paleo-approach is looking to found itself in science.  Science requires a hypothesis to be made and then it to be proven by careful experimentation and data collection.  Secondly, unfortunately, as humans we are judged and monitored every day, and as interactive creatures, we need feedback. For some of us ‘listening to our bodies’ needs interpretation via statistics.  So another piece of Whole30 mantra duly ignored.

So just what do the stats say… what has 15 weeks on a Paleo diet achieved?

My weight has dropped 14.3%, my body fat has dropped 15.6% and my water content has increased 3%.  I have no idea what (apart from the kilograms) all of this means, but the same set of scales were used and the Doctor-wife tells me all have headed in the right direction.  Another useless measure is BMI – this has dropped from 32.02 to 27.43.  In six weeks (because I forgot to start measuring this from the beginning), my waist has reduced by 7cms.  Sadly however, I remain fat, and according to some articles, I am therefore not a man.

To date the diet has been easy, but it is only half the story.  To make any diet sustainable, a sustainable level of exercise must also be achieved.  Just as 4 months ago, despite understanding the science and theory of diet, I did not know where to look for the right sustainable-exercise track – it remains hidden from view.

Now here is a tip for those super-thin, super-fit Crossfit exercise freaks who may or may not have  been overweight but who are now finely-tuned athletes who eat babies for breakfast and lift tractors for fun.  Images like this are a real demotivation to fat people like me.  All these images do is reinforce “them” and “us”.  If you want to join our club, it’s up you and you alone.  And until you join us, we are going to go on about how fit and healthy we are.  But where is the path?

An example, or perhaps a metaphor, of the challenge exercise presents, I own several, seldom used bicycles and Christchurch is a great place to ride because it’s flat.  If I were to keep my heart rate under 85% HR max, I would have to get off and walk.  To achieve an exercise level of 75% I may well just walk to the fridge and grab a beer.  Christchurch also has, within 5km of the city, the Port Hills.  These are short, sharp hills which, I am told, are great for cycling on and off road. They lead to the Port of Lyttelton and I am going to go out on a limb here and guess why they got their name.  On the bike I am sure I know where to find them (there are also sign posts), but mentally there is no clear path or road map to the top.  Where the Whole30 so successfully provided the dietary map equivalent, no such tool seems available for exercise – for me at least.  Of course as I type this I hear you all screaming “just get off your arse and get out there”.  If so my point is made.

The Port Hills of Christchurch. Roaming in these – something I [Jamie] miss dearly and a goal for Tim.

I read an article, written in that tone which seems to be a requirement of fitness articles, that suggested that to be a fit, healthy, and therefore a real man, you must be able to run 2km in under 10 minutes, your waist dimension must be less than half your height, and you must be able to lift a cow, or several tractor tyres single handed.  Well maybe not the last bit but it was something equally as silly and macho.

I have never run more than 2km in my whole life, and I don’t own a tractor, so I thought maybe there is a chance of one out three.  So I am looking forward to the day when a further 10.5cm has disappeared, waking up, and for the first time in my life, being fit, healthy, and at last calling myself a true Hominid.

I’ll stick with a Paleo diet.

Tim Anthon

22 thoughts on “Journeys – A guest post.

  1. Robert Lawrence

    Tim, you are doing fine! I started my Paleo experience just over a year ago. yes I do miss treating myself to the old super sweet foods- however the few times I have done so the extreme sugariness has been a bit repellent. So the emotional urge is quashed by my logical knowledge that I will be disappointed. As a guy who builds and rides mountain bike trails in Wellington, I suggest walking the Port hills as a refreshing, reaffirming way to “getting some exercise”. Being out in the hills really is just plain good. As a former Aussie myself, I can say that Kiwiland has some great attributes, so welcome !

    1. thegintree

      Thanks for your track building. I walk the Polhill/ turbine tracks almost daily. You track pixies rock! And Paleo is a great fit. See you on the tracks.

  2. PamuknowwhoIam

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading the whole post, both Jamie’s intro and Tim’s personal reflections. We read and hear a lot from the people who experience great magic from Paleo and other similar lifestyle and dietary changes. not so much from people for whom the changes are far slower, far more subtle but no less important. I am one of the latter. My initial intro was via chance conversation regarding Prof Tim Noakes and his personal change of heart with regards to conventional dietary advice. Many hours of non Paleo computer activity I have ended today on day 7 of whole30. After 8 months of pretty clean eating I am now tackling Cross Fit. My muscles are sore but I’m going back tomorrow. This journey continues. I am happy. How do I convince my patients that the Paleo framework is so important to their future health? I’ll get back to – some day.

    1. Tim Anthon

      Crossfit is one of favourite topics. It is not for me at the moment. My mental makeup does not get off on being macho, who got the biggest, or who can lift the biggest is of no matter. Jamie, perceptively, recognised this in me and in the first instance has actively discouraged thoughts of exercise. (Of course as I was a fat b#%^<!d he may have also seen the risks to my health.)
      Interestingly he alluded to the irony in my post regarding measure ing things and statistics. The title of my piece is reference to an (I will call it Cross Fit) article that was incredibly macho and very definitive about what were, not only measures of success but also health and indeed masculinity. I find it hard to understand that at a waist of 90cm I am unhealthy but at 89.5 I am. I applaud Jamie's campaign on the measurement topic. Although when I talk to people about my success to date I do have to use measures that they understand, or can relate to, otherwise thy have no idea what I am on about.
      So at the moment Cross Fit is off the radar, but who knows as I fitter it may come back onto the agenda, but when it does it will about me not other peoples measurements of male-dom :)

  3. Michael

    Wow, Chch has a ‘paleo’ GP that is lower-carb herself? If she actually practices in Chch, would you mind disclosing where? I’d love to have a GP that would be more familiar with such a diet, as it it not easy to explain to my GP and specialist – they think it is nonsense actually. Good luck with your journeys, both Tim and Jamie.

    1. TimMalinGirls

      Hi Michael,
      Unfortunately she cant work at the moment, but we are hoping that she will get well enough to start practicing at some point, in the mean time she just badgers me. :)

      1. Michael

        Thanks for your response Tim. That’s a shame, but all the best to you and your wife. I hope she gets well. Certainly diet has influenced my Crohn’s disease for the better, so much so I’ve been able to be drug-free for the first time in ten years. Cheers.

        1. Tim Anthon

          Hi Michael,
          I have a colleague with the same condition, would be interesting to here your experiences as it may help him as well.

          1. Michael

            Sure, I’ll try and keep it short.

            Conventional wisdom: Idiopathic; no cure; diet plays no or very minor role.

            My case: Moderate to severe Crohn’s – extensive stricturing of jejunum & ileum; fistulae. Minimum 75mg 6mp daily was only way to suppress fistulae consistently (its use, however, is not without concerns – cf, e.g., Peter Karran’s studies). No drug would consistently curb inflammation, further strictures, and pain. Well, that is, except diet and lifestyle changes.

            Stumbling upon Alessio Fasano’s studies (via the now defunct Crohn’s dad website) as well as the Hyperlipid site around 2 years ago led me to embark on a paleoish high-fat diet: the standard no grains, no legumes, no vege oil, but limited dairy (butter, cream, hard cheeses) and virtually no fruit and vege. I don’t bother with supplements either. In other words I eat: meat (incl. organ), fish, butter (butter tea – learned to love it in Nepal some 20 years ago), tallow (french fries – pretty much my only starch), eggs, olives & olive oil, avocado, nuts, bone broth, not much else. Results after more than 1 year, so early days yet… but still: surprisingly enjoyable & delicious diet (that’s important – I love food), no fistulae (impossible without 6mp before), no inflammation, no pain! Those were radical and very welcome improvements after years of suffering at times debilitating pain. All without any drugs or supplements. Other changes I made: more and earlier sleep, earlier waking, morning sun exposure, less evening light exposure (circadian rhythm).

            My specialist thinks this is pure coincidence and in no way due to the above changes. I suppose I should submit to his superior wisdom.

            My current thinking (very speculative): perhaps Crohn’s and other ‘autoimmune’ diseases are metabolic disorders. Peter’s Hyperlipid site has had a recent focus on mitochondria and cellular respiration I have found fascinating. Ties in nicely with Thomas Seyfried’s talk at AHS12 (also see Georgia Ede’s current posts on Seyfried’s recent book – very interesting).

            Appologies to Jamie for taking up all this space here.

  4. Amber

    Great read, thank you for sharing… I have been on this journey for 4 months and I notice subtle changes in my health and wellbeing almost daily! It’s the way to go, I just feel quite alone in the journey when most other people have barely heard of paleo. I’m in North Otago. But I guess more and more people will be jumping on the bandwagon soon… I hope!!

    1. Tim Anthon

      Hi Amber,
      May I confess that I have had to look at the map to see where North Otago is. But have only been in NZ since August.
      As they say in the movies you are never alone.
      I have been on this journey only a little longer than you -21 weeks – but who’s counting :-). I found to get people to relate (and not feel quite so alien) rather than start off saying Paleo, I would introduce the diet as low carb, high protein and no grains and see where the conversation went from there (I do hope the Paleo purists will not night my head off for this). This soon established a common language and allowed the conversations to develop naturally.
      Another trick, which Jamie will not approve of, is that each week I religiously measure my weight, body fat & water levels (via a fancy pair of scales) and my chest, waist, hips and thigh measurements. These all have to be taken with a grain of salt but the relative changes and natural fluctuations provide a positive reinforcement to how I feel and what other people say. Oh (and so Jamie doesn’t throw the book at me completely) and I measure calories at all!

      1. Tim Anthon

        *bight not night

        That last line should read “and I don’t measure calories at all.”

        That’s what I get for not double proof reading before clicking the post button ;-)

      2. thatpaleoguy Post author

        You measure what??!!

        Actually I’m okay with measurements that actually reflect what might be happening. Mass on scales – crappy. BMI – crappy. Body fat on fancy scales – crappy. Waist – really good (and you can throw in other circumferences too). I always find the eye-o-meter the best (though generally using someone elses eyes can be a bit more objective.

  5. Elenor

    Beautifully beautifully written! (I’m a tech editor, I know of such things! {wink}) And motivational besides (I have not yet done a Whole30… and I’m not even sneaking up on one — but it’s a consideration. I’ve been insufficiently low-carb for a couple years, have lost 60 pounds, but still have just over 100 to go. Tim, please let me suggest you look in to Dr. Doug McGuff’s “Body by Science” weightlifting. You start where you are, you do the (*restricted* amount of) lifting oh-so-carefully per his instructions (and he’s got a ton of vids on YouTube: his book is superb and your Dr-wife will love the well-written science in it too), and you will probably, as I do, find it exhilarating, both during and after!

    I do water aerobics twice a week (hips and ankles won’t take land aerobics!) to get some (Mark Sisson/Robb Wolf-style) “sprinting” in and do the weightlifting once a week (before class). The weightlifting is amazing!

    1. Tim A

      Hi Elenor,
      Thank you, it is sad to say that the art of writing is an art, not as well practised as it could be.
      Thank you for your recommendations I will have a look at it.
      To be fair since writing this part of the story I have started to address the exercise bits. Jamie kindly pointed me in the direction of Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint which I could relate to. Interestingly this is something I could not have done when I started this journey. So as a starter, I am cycling to & from work. It’s only 8km but at 20-25 mins each way at a reasonable pace (not too fast to be sweaty in the mornings but, when it feels sprint like Grok on the way home) it soon adds up. I have also started Nordic walking session. I do bring the average age of the group down considerably but the flexibility and upper body exercise is a good start, with this mastered I will move onto bigger, heavier things – small steps.
      The Port Hills are also calling, to be fitted in around family life and mowing our little quarter acre block wi a push mower (dandelions permitting).

      1. Bifcus

        Great post. Glad to hear you have got into the Primal Fitness thing. It is the first training system I have seen that starts low enough for the truly fat and unfit. I can’t do the pull ups yet, so I do pull-along-the-floor modified from Stumptuous.

  6. koritt

    Thank you for sharing your story. Everyone’s journey is different and we need to have more stories out there that talk of the subtle changes and the challenges that changing how we live our lives brings. Not everyone has that bolt of lightning moment and it would do us all good to realize that those stories are not necessarily the norm. Your down to earth honesty is much appreciated. :)

    1. Michael

      Thanks for that! I haven’t had the need for a GP for quite a while now, but I’ll be sure to keep this handy – will save a lot of explaining. Cheers.

  7. Amber

    Glad you know where north otago is now Tim! Only 3 hours drive south of chch. Yes I have been saying ‘no grains’ to people and going from there. It’s amazing how alien it is to people! I’ve lost 13 kg, and decreased two sizes, have been following Dr Jack Kruse advice and have been getting as much vit D this summer as I can, plus swimming in cold rivers (cold thermogenesis). It’s fascinating stuff!! I have been measuring myself too, clothes are getting looser even when the scales are not moving. People are really noticing the difference now, but I still have a long way to go!!

    1. Tim Anthon

      Hey Amber, that is fantastic, the great thing about Paleo is that once you have got the hang of it your body changes almost all by itself. I think Jamie should add Dress or Trouser size to his approved measures list :-). I have gone from 40″ pairs of trousers to 34″ pairs (sorry for the old money measurements, living in England for 15 years can have a negative impact on some aspects of your life). I am almost considering that sad photo of me in over-large trousers, well on second thoughts, perhaps not.

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