Downsized at 50 from my job as a government social worker! My body and mind were a mess….from too much stress, too much sugar (the office culture was big on sweet treats in the coffee room!), too much sitting in front of a computer!
Migraine headaches, back and hip problems (often the only thing keeping me going were my monthly massages and physical therapy sessions), menopausal issues, my weight creeping up in spite of my exercise regime…weekly aerobics classes, swimming laps, cycling.
Now was the perfect time to take control of my health! I signed up for a course to become a fitness instructor….and discovered I was performing some exercises incorrectly! Disappointed in the ‘Nutrition’ information module…not enough and very sketchy, but enough to get me started on my new passion…research into alternative healthy nutrition and active lifestyles.
That was more than a decade ago and, wow, have things changed since then….
The first thing to go from my life was SUGAR, although I still used honey occasionally and ate fruit, drank some fruit juice. Then, I eliminated wheat, but still ate a lot of grains…rye, oats, rice. Although my husband and I started to feel way less bloated and stopped gaining weight, I still had physical issues with my pelvis/hips/back. We led a very active lifestyle…cross country and downhill skiing daily for 4 months every winter….cycling, hiking, gardening, swimming all summer and fall, including a daily stretching regimen.
I was in my doctor’s office for an appointment to deal with a serious neck problem that had been plaguing me throughout a 2 month holiday in Mexico, when I discovered Dr. Perlmutter’s Grain Brain…I quit all grains immediately after reading this enlightening book! Then it was a visit to my massage therapist who turned me onto Mark’s Daily Apple…that was 3 years ago, and I haven’t looked back since!
I should also mention that throughout this ‘journey’, we lost my husband’s father to a very long slow decline…bedridden for 5 years… complications from diabetes. I believe that watching him (and others, e.g. friends who have died from cancer) die a slow lingering death has had a very profound effect on me. My mother passed away also from complications of heart disease and diabetes. (My father died 20 years ago at age 62 from pancreatic cancer.) So my husband and I were both concerned we were at risk for diabetes, heart disease and a host of other diseases!
I continued reading and researching and everything kept leading me to the Paleo/ Low Carb-High Fat/Ketogenic diet and lifestyle. I even took an online course offered by EdX Harvard, which helped me to understand the function and importance of our mitochondria and helped hugely in my understanding of how we burn fat more efficiently than glucose!
It has been 2 years now since we have adopted a Primal Lifestyle (leaning towards Keto and practicing limited intermittent fasting), and both of us feel better than we did in our 40s and 50s. My hip and back problems are under control, especially since I have adopted many of Katy Bowman’s (Nutritious Movement) practices…barefooting or wearing minimal footwear (I love my Vibram Five Fingers!), sitting on the floor, opening my hips, stabilizing my pelvic floor, hanging and generally getting my body into alignment. I have recently added yoga practice to my daily routine. Oh yes, and did I mention that I had suffered for 40 years with eczema? Now GONE! Despite the fact that my physician told me years ago that it would never go away!
My biggest issue now is holding my tongue! The social worker in me wants to help all my friends/family with their numerous health issues. Thanks, Mark, for the article about “leading by example.” I try very hard to not talk about diet/nutrition in social situations…sometimes difficult when people ask pointed questions about why I won’t eat….wheat, sugar, etc.
All of these things have contributed to more enjoyment in our daily lives of all of our outdoor passions…gardening, skiing, cycling, canoeing, tree climbing, hiking and traveling the world. I feel we are very fortunate that we have the means to live this wonderful lifestyle and look forward to many more years of health and happiness AND planning for another bicycle trip from Amsterdam to the south of France! (Whoops, I might sneak in a warm flaky French croissant!)
Gypsyrozbud (aka Rosemary)