This is part of an ongoing series of real life success stories from people all over the world who have been impacted by the Paleo lifestyle and The Paleo Solution. Read Dave’s story below.
In 2002, my wife and I made a commitment to live a more healthy lifestyle and lose weight. We followed conventional wisdom and marched right into Weight Watchers and signed up. We also joined a newly constructed gym facility in our town. At the gym, we joined the triathlon training program on a whim. The combination of working out regularly and the calorie restriction of the Weight Watchers diet plan worked well for a while. I went from 5’7″ / 172 pounds to a svelte 136 pounds.
After a while though, keeping that weight off became quite a challenge. I increased my activity level even further in an attempt to preserve the weight I had worked so hard to attain. Over the course of the next 8 years I went on to complete numerous triathlons (four of them were Ironman distance), cycling events, running races, open water swim events and several seasons of cross country skiing. However, the fit and slender body I had achieved in 2002 was nowhere to be found. I was back to 168 pounds and getting heavier with every passing month. My wife has always been my biggest cheerleader and supported me in everything I set my mind to. She spent 3 years working in a naturopathic sports medicine clinic as their resident nutrition specialist and got a masters degree in holistic nutrition, dishing out elimination diet protocols to hundreds of patients with fantastic success. I was not ready to listen to the message and continued on my conventional diet of eating just about everything I could fit into my mouth that tasted good. I was a platinum level member of bread & cheese-o-holics anonymous!
In May of 2010 my world came crashing down on me in a single day. While I was competing at a regional off-road triathlon, something in my knee went completely wrong and I came into the finish line limping. After several weeks of conservative treatment there was no relief. My next stop was a well respected local orthopedic surgeon for a consultation. It turns out I had a flap of cartilage hanging loose under my kneecap and the only way this pain was going to resolve itself was via arthroscopic surgery to remove the cartilage. He suggested that it was time to consider that my running career had seen its pinnacle and that from here on out it would be downhill. Chronic Cardio had dealt me a harsh blow.
During my foray into triathlon I became interested in becoming a coach. I followed this passion and within a matter of 4 years I was certified by both USA Cycling and USA Triathlon. Much to my surprise, in August of 2010, I was accepted into the ranks of the USA Triathlon Level 2 coaching program. Holy Cats! I was being invited to Colorado Springs, to be schooled by the USA Olympic Team coaches and possibly become one of only 215 (Level 2) certified coaches in the entire country. How on Earth was I going to succeed at this challenge in my current state of mind and body? How was I supposed to be a high level coach with a beer gut and five chins? Desperate times call for desperate measures so I started my search for a quick way to slim down, bulk up and get my groove back in a hurry.
That’s when I stumbled upon the myriad stories peppering the internet about this Paleo/Primal movement that was taking the athletic world by storm. The more I read, the more it made sense. I was finally ready to hear the message my wife had been trying to tell me for years. I was ready to go “full-paleo”. September 1, 2010 was the first day of the rest of my life.
Fast forward six months….. I passed the practical and written exams and am now a USA Triathlon Level 2 coach, specializing in coaching athletes who live a paleo lifestyle. I have been successful in following a paleo way of life and my weight loss-body composition shift is continuing in a positive direction. My body fat has gone from 20.1% to 13.4% and I have more energy now than any time in recent memory. Last week I weighed in at 145 pounds, my lightest since 2004. For the first time in my life I placed in the top 3 finishers in my age group at a local 10K trail run. The days of chronic cardio are behind me too. I still enjoy endurance sports, but I train a lot smarter now and have more free time to spend doing other things besides long workouts. My coaching efforts continue to expand as I’m getting athletes who are coming to me asking me if I’m “that paleo coach”, to Which I proudly answer “yes, as a matter of fact I am”. This summer my wife and I plan to launch our coaching and lifestyle consulting business, Dreamcatcher Fitness.
Robb, Thanks for all you have done in educating folks about how to regain control of their life in such a simple and easy to understand fashion. Listening to and implementing the concepts from the Paleo Solution Podcast as well as reading your book and following your suggestions have changed my life and has given me new direction. Thanks for making sense of a very technical subject and communicating it to the world. You have been instrumental in my success as a person, an athlete and a coach.
Walnut Creek, CA
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