Tell us a little about yourself (location, occupation, family, hobbies, etc.)
Moved to Colorado 3 years ago as my wife was in the Army and stationed at Ft. Carson. I have three kids (also eating paleo now). We love the outdoors, hiking, running and camping. Also love training and working with dogs.
What was your health/dieting/workout experience *before* paleo?
Lose a bunch of weight through crazy workouts, get tired and stop, gain it all back and more.
What was the “clincher” that persuaded you to jump on the paleo bandwagon?
When I first moved to Colorado, the altitude killed me. All I wanted to do was sit on the couch, and so that’s exactly what I did. On top of my couch sitting I did a ton of junk food. I took a video of myself training a dog so I could send it to a friend for evaluation. When I saw myself in the video and how big I was, I knew it was time for a change.
How did you approach going paleo – gradually or dive right in?
Gradually. At first, I didn’t even know I was on paleo or that paleo even existed. I was just trying to eat better and stay active. I focused on whole meats and veggies. I was still eating quite a bit of processed foods at first, but slowly phased out the rice, candy, soda and white potatoes for starters. I was a year in to it before I found out the diet I was on had a name. Once I actually discovered paleo as a lifestyle I made the rest of the changes to go all in with paleo.
What improvements have you noticed in your health?
I can outrun my three teenage kids!!!!!! Really just feeling better and energetic. Colds don’t last as long. I recover quicker from bigger workouts.
How paleo are you? (80/20, 90/10, autoimmune, etc.) I’d say I am 90/10. I cheat now and then, but I have learned not to feel guilty. I am still working on eventually being 100%.
How did you find the transition? Going gradually helped me. I’m not one for cold turkey changes. Once I was about 60%, going all in was easy.
Tell us about “A Day In The Life Of Bill” – a typical day especially from an eating and exercise standpoint:
I like to run as often as I can with my dogs, usually 3-4 times a week for a few miles each. On the weekends I try to get up in the mountains for some challenging hikes. I’m planning on hiking my first 14,000 ft peak soon. On work days, I get up and pack a big grab bag of goodies: Hard boiled eggs (organic cage-free), berries, apples, pineapple, avocado, oranges, bananas, almonds, pistachios…) I snack all day as opposed to eating a full meal at any one point. Dinner is usually a good quality meat and some form of fruit, veggie or salad. I have a love for baking, so I am learning to make some paleo desserts and sweet snacks (love my raw local honey!). I make a chocolate sauce with butter, raw honey and 100% cocoa powder and use it for dipping fruit. It makes for a great late night snack.
What helped you when you were struggling?
Last fall I injured my knee and had to stop running. I focused strongly on my diet, but I was getting discouraged. I took one of my kids to the doc for a routine appointment and stopped to step on the scale. I had lost 20lbs in 3 months with NO exercise!!!!! I was stoked and re-committed to a more strict paleo diet.
What, if any, exercise routines do you do?
I run and hike. I hate the gym and I hate workout videos. I want whatever I do to literally get me somewhere. I have plans to hike all the 14,000 ft peaks in Colorado, run a few half marathons and a full marathon on my 40th birthday (38 now).
What do you think are three critical factors to being successful with paleo?
- Don’t feel guilty if you have an off day. Guilt can eat you alive and leads right back to your old comfort eating habits.
- Learn to like a varied source of fruits and veggies in combinations you might not have thought of before. Boring steamed veggies and apple slices can get old quick. Try some exotic fruits you might not have liked before.
- STAY ACTIVE!!! Stagnation isn’t good for anything.
What do you say to people who ask you about paleo?
I tell them how I started and let them see the results for themselves through pictures. I encourage everyone I know to try, even if they don’t need to lose weight. Paleo is about so much more than weight loss.
What has been the reaction to your paleo success from those around you?
Nothing but positives, but I am a bit surprised at people’s hesitation to try it. Most don’t want to give up bread and cereal. Too bad.
How has your life changed now? (More activity, promotion at work, stronger relationship, etc.)
Without going in to detail, my libido is off the charts! I haven’t had this much energy since I was 16. I was also able to land a great new job with my increased confidence.
What activities do you do now that you didn’t do before?
Hiking is the big one. I used to be too tired to even walk my dogs.
What books/blogs/support groups did you use to help you? Just Eat Real Food
, Paleo NonPaleo and other Facebook pages have given me great ideas and motivation. I even started my own Facebook page – Real Food for Real Men
to share ideas with my friends. I find that some recipe sites make things really complicated and intimidating if you don’t know your way around a kitchen. I like to dumb things down a little.
Besides weight-loss and/or “losing” your health problems, have you lost anything else (good or bad?) I lost my low self esteem if that counts. I lost all my big clothes. I lost all my fear and hesitation.
Have you experienced anything negative as a result of your changes? (Earlier success stories mentioned having to lose certain “friends”, others have said there are restaurants they now avoid because they can’t eat their former favorites.) How have you dealt with those negatives? I do get some negative reactions from people when I suggest paleo to them. I personally don’t get that. The results are right in front of them. Maybe my approach is wrong? With the friends I have managed to get on paleo the bonds are now even stronger.
What three practical tips would you offer our readers based on your experience? (Refusing bread being brought to the table when dining out, packing all lunches yourself, asking other family members not to bring home cookies, that kind of thing.)
You have to convert the family. If you are the only one in the house eating paleo, it becomes so much harder to resist temptations. I cook paleo. If my friends come over to eat, they eat paleo (and they love it). Lastly, get out and experiment. Try new foods and new combinations of food. If you eat the same things everyday it is too easy to slip back in to old habits
What advice would you give people who are struggling with health or weight issues right now?
Forget weight loss. Weight loss is a by-product of a healthy lifestyle. I think sometimes we let the scale be our judge and that can be very disheartening if we don’t see instant results. For those with health issues, I ask them one simple question when suggesting paleo, “what do you have to lose?”.
Is there anything else you’d like us to know? Just to stay active and have fun. Stagnation is the enemy of any healthy lifestyle.
“Stagnation is the enemy of any healthy lifestyle.” Please don’t forget to share this story because this message should be stuck on everybody’s bathroom mirror, car dashboard, school file. Seriously. Buttons are below and to the left.
Would you like to be featured as a Paleo Success Story? I am looking for success stories to feature on the blog. If you have had major health gains or inch/weight loss with paleo, or paleo and T-Tapp, and would like to tell your story to inspire and help others, please email me. Thank you!