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Sunday, December 12, 2010

How I started my journey - Victor

Since Harvey has introduced himself, I guess its my turn.  Hi, I'm Victor and I just turned 44.

My journey to a healthier life began a few years ago when I reached a high of 170 lbs.  Being 5'6" (if I tip toe) and 170 lbs. wasn't the epitome of health.  I wore 34" pants and wasn't particularly fit or strong. Like many parents with young children, I did not have a regular exercise regimen.  I seemed to suffer from backaches which I blamed on golf. Worst of all, I had no plan or system of nutrition.  I just ate whatever was culturally appropriate and satisfying.  In my case this meant cookies, cakes, ice cream, bubble tea, Coca Cola, lots of rice, noodles, bread & pasta. The result?  Take a look below.

January 2008

The picture above was taken January 22, 2008 when I was 42. I had double chin with a puffy, bloated look from eating too much wheat, sugar and refined carbohydrates.  My clothes became tight and I had trouble breathing when I wore dress pants due to my gut straining against the waistband.  My blood pressure was 135/90. Blood sugar was high.  If I carried on like this, diabetes and heart disease would be waiting around the corner.

Sometime in the fall of 2009, my wife and I decided to take control of our eating patterns.  We researched various approaches to nutrition with a view to produce healthy weight loss, and to minimize the risk of heart disease and cancer.  Our research led us to the Paleo approach to nutrition, exercise and sleep.  Beginning October 2009, we tried to cut out wheat from our food intake, drastically reduced the amount of rice and noodles consumed and increased our intake of organic meat, healthy fats such as butter, olive oil, coconut oil and nuts, and ate fresh vegetables and fruit.  Whereas in the past we used to eat corned beef and sardines from cans along with tinned vegetables, we changed to buying raw food and cooking the food ourselves.  We stopped having any cakes or cookies or candies in the house.  For the first time we felt as if we were taking control of our nutrition.

I was afraid I would feel hungry when I gave up eating bread and rice during this period.  But in fact, the opposite happened.  My appetite reset itself and I felt full earlier and longer eating the Paleo way compared to my old way of eating.  I cut out all sugary drinks and avoided fruit juices sticking with water, tea or coffee.

Giving up bread, pasta and noodles was hard.  But with the encouragement of my wife, I managed to keep at it with the odd cheats here and there.  I was compliant with the Paleo Way of eating 80% of the time.

My wife and I could hardly believe the results.  My weight had dropped to 146 lbs.  My blood pressure was down to 110/68.  I bought tight fitting Gap t-shirts to reward myself. My wife dug out a picture from 2002 for comparison.  Here it is side by side with a recent picture taken in October 2010.

Eating the Paleo Way has helped improve my quality of life.  After I lost weight, I started to exercise again.  Doing the right kind of exercise in turn stimulated testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH) which basically revived my aging body.  I became leaner, stronger and fitter with greater cardiovascular endurance.

If you are in your forties and wish to improve your health by losing weight and getting fitter, you really should checkout the Paleo approach to managing nutrition and exercise.  For further reading about Paleo Principles, jump to these links below:

How To Get Started
Modern Paleo Principles
Primal Blueprint 101

In future posts, I will discuss exercise and share picture of the foods I cooked using the Paleo approach.  If you can't wait, just search "paleo foods" on the internet and jump right in.

Harvey and I started this blog to share with our forty-something friends who are struggling with weight and health issues.  You can take control of your weight and get your life back.  You can minimize your risk of heart disease or diabetes by choosing Paleo nutrition and exercise.  There is a saying, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."  All we can do is share with you what worked for us.  The rest is up to you.

Being on Paleo nutrition and adopting a Paleo approach to exercise led to some unexpected benefits.  Using mainly bodyweight exercises such as chin ups, pull ups, various push ups and kettlebell work, I worked on toning the body.

Remember earlier I mentioned my waist was 34"?   The following picture shows a pair of shorts I bought from Old Navy this spring.

That's a size 28".  I haven't been 28" since I was a teenager.

Healthfully yours,


  1. Keep it up, Vic! Stay healthy! And it's good to share with others too. Good for them, good for you. Well done :)