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 Rob’s story below.
My story before Paleo was that I weighed 215lbs, had bad GERD, was on Lexapro for depression, had high blood pressure meds just to keep me at 135/85 also had some serious IBS issues that I chalked up to spicy foods.
A friend talked to me about Paleo a while ago but never had a drive to give it a try. So I continued eating the way I was which got me to a weight I never believed I would ever see.
So it wasn’t until Christmas Eve I was wrestling with my niece and my mother stated the obvious, “Is that a gut on you?”. I was a little taken back but said yes I guess it is. It was that moment I said I was going to set a day to start this Paleo thing.
I bought Robb Wolf’s Paleo Solution book and read it cover to cover and said this really isn’t going to be that bad, because I was already lactose intolerant and was pretty sure I must have had an issue with grains, because I would either get IBS or GERD after eating them. It’s sad that I never even put 2 and 2 together to realize I may have had a gluten issue all these years. I cleared out the fridge and went shopping to get started the next morning.
January 9th, 2011 was the day I started eating 100% paleo. It was a little tough getting up earlier to make breakfast and still have energy to drive 20 minutes to my downtown job. But each day got easier and easier and by the end of the first week I started to feel a little more energy during the day. My usual 2pm crashes were not happening. Granted, I still drink coffee, but went from cream and sugar to all black. It took some time to get used to black coffee but I actually enjoy it more now, because I can taste the coffee.
Each week I went to my BJJ class and would weigh in just out of curiosity and was shocked to see I dropped 4lbs in one week and this rate continued up to the 4th week, resulting in a 16lb loss in those 4 weeks. In weeks 5-8, I was still losing but it was a pound or two at most, but hey, I was still losing.
My actual goal was to get down to 190lbs as that was my normal weight for years and I felt decent at that weight. I hit that goal after 10weeks so I said lets see if I get to 185lbs? Then I will start adding more carbs (good ones) as I was probably only eating 50-70 grams a day but still felt great. No more GERD, IBS, and my blood pressure was getting better (still on meds) but the numbers were slowly going down.
Now it was time to try to get rid of Lexapro because I honestly HATE taking meds unless it’s absolutely necessary. But from the horror stories I read online about the withdrawal effects I was nervous but determined.
At this point my mother had to chime in to tell me I was too thin now. I just laughed and said I am fine. According to the bullshit BMI chart I was still over weight, but I never go by that and at least it was a good enough answer for her to hear.
Around week 16, I surpassed the 185lb mark and was shocked to be around 183lbs. I was still ecstatic because the lightest I have ever been since I was 21 years old was 185lb. This was the week of my annual doctors appointment and she was shocked to see I lost over 30lbs since my last visit 6 months ago and my blood pressure was 120/70. She never asked what I did. She just said whatever you’re doing is working because my blood work was great. She was also glad to hear I was able to kick the Lexapro to the curb. Since my BP was good I asked her if I can start working on getting off of the BP medication? Sshe said absolutely, so I am currently working on taking smaller doses and keeping track to make sure I stay in range.
It’s been just over 18 weeks and I am happy to say I now weigh in at 180lbs. I still have not increased my carbs yet, but may need to start doing this soon once I get back into my 3 days a week of BJJ as it can be a very draining, demanding sport and I believe my body will be looking for another source of energy.
My journey continues on Paleo, all my IBS, GERD issues are completely gone ever since I started paleo. I sleep like a champ, eat like a pig, feel great. I love when people notice the difference and ask what I did. Most people say “forget that” I need my pasta, milk, cheese etc. I just say that’s your choice as this was my mine and I am #winning 🙂 .
Thanks to JakeMate for the redirection to Paleo, Robb Wolf for providing the reading material I needed and Sarah Fragoso for your website of great recipes and also your new book which is fantastic. These all allowed me to change my life forever.
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Wonderful! I’ve had a similar thing happen to me. I lost abuot 30 pounds in a month and was able to get off a medication of depression. However, I wanted to ask you, Robb or anyone else about stamina issues when playing endurance sports. I play soccer twice a week and sometimes I get really winded from the beginning. I’ve been playing soccer for years and years and I expected to have a bit more stamina after losing 30 lbs. I also stopped smoking in January. Somedays, I do feel like I can run like the wind and I outrun everyone on the field. However, other days I get winded immediately. Up until now I haven’t been able to link it specifically to what I eat, but I was wondering if anyone eating mostly paleo/primal had any suggestions/ideas. Thanks.
Crunchy Pickle says
Awesome! It is inspiring to see the weight loss, but truly amazing to realize that food can change emotions like that – no more depression meds! Now THAT is great!!
Cool story. Congrats. I noticed a big improvement in my GERD also when I eat paleo/low carb. I have fallen off the wagon recently and the heartburn has returned. I gotta get back to it!
Rob I am so proud of you! I am not only your sister but a certified personal trainer and your success inspires me. Your story has benefited so many of my clients to take their nutrition to the next level. Many of my clients have plateaued or wanted to just crank it up a notch and I recommended the Paleo Diet and shared you story. Thanks for firing me and my clients up!!! Love you.
Kristie Campbell says
Thanks for this great success story. I have been on the fence about whether to try the Paleo diet, but I am definitely going to give it a go and see what happens. Wish me luck!
Hugh MacEachran says
Firstly, Rob WELL DONE!!
Poster Chuck, you may need to play with what Robb calls “Cyclic Low Carb.” In other words, some pre and/or post workout carbs are in order. Try some fruit and nuts or something similar (meat & a little sweet potato) as your pre-game meal. And then play with some carb re-feeding after too (again, a little fruit or, as Robb says: “A big whack of protein and carbs – he often cites yam/sweet potato.”). Remember Paleo certainly CAN be low or low-ish carb, but it doesn’t HAVE to be low carb. For athletes, a bit more fueling may be necessary. Cheers!
Hey Robb, Congratulations on your fantastic progress. I have a similar story regarding the Paleo diet, which transformed my health along with my eating habits. (For instance, one benefit of eating Paleo was the improvement in my teeth and gums, which are no longer sensitive. Going to the dentist was always a pain, because I needed anesthetic just to get my teeth cleaned. Now I practically go to sleep in the chair while the hygienist does her thing.)
Just one comment, which is also a question: why do you feel you need or want to add carbs back into your diet? There are plenty of carbs in fruit and there’s no restriction on amount, just on eating the high glycemic index ones. If you’re going to be true to the Paleo formula, you wouldn’t want to “add back” grains, beans or dairy in order to get carbs in your diet.
But, since you’re a high-intensity athlete, have you checked out The Paleo Diet for Athletes, by Dr. Cordain? Maybe you’ve already read it. That’s where extra carbs (in the form of sweet potatoes, for instance) might come into the picture.
Anyway, thanks for the inspiring story.
Janeway, the only carbs I have added back in is a sweet potato maybe 1 a week. But I do get them from the fruits as you said.
Also, just working on my 2nd week doing Crossfit so I was waiting to see if my body would be fine eating as is.. and currently its still working great.
I have not checked out Paleo for Athletics but I will add it to my queue.
Thanks everyone for the comments, they are appreciated.
Would you be willing to show a sample day or two of your diet so I can see the 5-70g of carbs and how it looks? Thanks!
Here you go, here’s my meal yesterday and today’s plan