Testimonial: I Almost Gave Up
Testimonial written by: Brian
I take no pleasure in talking about myself. I’m the least interesting of subjects. I write this story only in the hopes it may help or encourage one person. It might be a story a younger person could share with their parents to motivate them to not give up. I wanted to give up so many times.
At the age of 48, in 2002 (see picture) I was 3 years post SAH (subarachnoid hemorrhage from a ruptured brain aneurysm). My weight had ballooned to 245. I was fat, depressed, lethargic and physically unable to enjoy the activities of life that had once brought so much pleasure. I suffered constant migraine headaches. The doctors told me they would be permanent, a left over gift from the brain injury and prescribed more drugs.
I decided at the age of 50 to do something about my weight. I followed the FDA recommendations on eating (read ‘food pyramid’). I tried to exercise. I ate what the accepted body of nutritionists approved. Low fat, high fiber, limited meat and even more limited red meat. I lost some weight but could never break that 225# barrier. My headaches persisted, as did my depression. I was on anti-depressants and a host of headache related medicine.
The doctors told me I should be happy I was still alive.
I wasn’t happy and I didn’t feel very much alive.
When I had to buy a pair of size 40 jeans (I’m 5’10”) I reasoned this is what happens to middle-aged men. Our metabolism slows and we get fat. It seemed the same was happening to most everyone I knew. With all of the other things I was enduring, maybe I should stop complaining, surrender and stick to my high-fiber diet.
When one of our sons announced his engagement, I didn’t want to show up to the wedding as the ‘fatty from the mountains’. Since they were both so fit, I asked him what would be the best exercise piece of equipment to buy? Whatever I need to spend, just tell me. Instead he recommended a book: The Paleo Solution by a guy named Robb Wolf. He asked me to read it, put it into practice for 30 days and see how I felt. Would I give it a try?
I had my doubts especially since I am not an evolutionist, but read it I did. It was well reasoned and thorough. I read it twice. I went to Robb’s web site and read some more. It made rational sense and seemed an educated response to the accepted body of knowledge. It impressed me as worth a try.
It’s true I wasn’t happy about giving up my ‘healthy’ Muselix in the morning. I didn’t think I could survive without eating bread, the staff of life. But, I sure wasn’t happy with the status quo. It was worth a try.
I gave it 30 days and started feeling better. Another 30 days-my headaches started diminishing. Another 30 days-my pants were too big. Another 30 days and another until the weight was coming off, the headaches were almost gone, my energy levels were back and I didn’t show up to the wedding as the ‘fatty from the mountains’.
My wife, daughter, 4 sons and their wives have been a constant source of encouragement and never gave up on me. Now at age 60 eating Paleo, I look and feel younger than when I was 48. I’m cross-fitting (doing ‘The Open’ in the Master’s division), I play hockey every week in the adult winter league, I’m back to hunting and hiking as I did in my prime, my headaches are completely gone, I’m off all medication including the anti-depressants and pain meds. I’m down to 180 pounds and in the best shape of my life. You tell me in which picture I look the happiest. At 48 or at 60?
I can’t explain to people all of the science. When people ask, I just show them the 2 pictures and recommend they read Robb’s book. I’m still not an evolutionist, but it doesn’t conflict with the wisdom of the balanced Paleo lifestyle Robb so intelligently explains.
Thank you Robb, you have blessed me. Blessings to you.