Phocion Timon Goes Against The Experts’ Advice And Saves His Own Life

Today, Phocion Timon shares a success story. If you would like to share your own story, click here. These will be published on Fridays as long as they keep coming.
 
Success StoryMr. Gunnarsson requested a guest post from me after I commented on his post concerning food addiction and moderation.

My comment is at the bottom of page 2.

In 2009 I was diagnosed with very high blood pressure and pre-diabetes.

Oh happy-happy-joy-joy.

After whining for a few days I started researching methods to reduce the high blood pressure and the pre-diabetes and I was not encouraged.

I could reduce my blood pressure by deleting salt from my diet but doing that is impossible on the Standard American Diet (SAD).

The pre-diabetes solution was even worse. If sugar/refined carb intake was responsible for diabetes, why do the diabetes experts publish recipes using refined carbs?

Of course everyone advised exercise but when one weighs 290 pounds, one has a tough time getting out there to “just do it.” Everything I read was either nonsense or contradictory.

Holy moly, now what?

Well, I stumbled across Mark Sisson’s website and oh boy, what a difference. I immediately ordered his Primal Blueprint book and it changed my life.

My college years involved a few classes in anthropology and I knew exactly what Mr. Sisson was saying, even occasionally knowing what he was going to say before he said it.

I read the book non-stop. Fascinating stuff, boys and girls. (Also the books by Gary Taubes – Good Calories, Bad Calories; Dr. Weston A. Price – Nutrition and Physical Degeneration; Dr. Bernstein – Diabetes Solution; and a truckful of others.)

Actually I was paleo-ish. I tended towards “moderation,” eating baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, fruit, dried fruit, artificial sweeteners, etc. I would have a cheat day, a la Tim Ferriss, to the point of illness.

I did this for two years, losing about 25 net pounds, but with large fluctuations.

Well, a net loss is preferable to a net gain but two years? Sheesh, many of the success stories I read involved losing twice as much weight in half the time.

Obviously I was doing something wrong. But what? After a split-second of light thinking I knew it was the carbohydrates. Moderation was not working.

The solution was obvious but could I give up my drug of choice? Yepper, no problem. I have a mild case of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which I am usually able to control, so I turned the dial to “high” and let the OCD have its head.

At 8:30 a.m., September 15, 2011 I weighed 277 pounds, a net loss of only 13 pounds after large weight fluctuations over the previous two years.

My blood pressure was 129/106 (slightly down from the high of 140/110). My blood glucose was 121, not bad but not where I wanted it. Okay, OCD, do your thing.

I stopped eating carbs that day. Discounting the trace amounts in all foods, even meat, I have been 99% successful at avoiding carbohydrates.

I don’t count carbs so I am guessing my intake is less than 15 gm/day, some days zero due to eating only meat and fat. (Two to four days per week I use one scoop of Mark Sisson’s protein powder containing 5 gm of sugar per scoop.)

Within two weeks — two weeks! — my blood pressure went down to 115/80 and another month saw 110/75. Cool.

My blood glucose almost immediately dropped to 90. My weight was down a few pounds but at least it was only dropping instead of also up.

This morning, one year later, my weight is 231 pounds, my blood pressure is 109/67, and my blood glucose is 79 (it ranges from 76 to 88, very rarely getting to 90).

For those interested, my blood ketones were 1.5. (Yesterday I returned from a 10-day vacation. Today’s weight is a loss of two pounds.)

What do I eat? Steak, ground beef, several offal meats, eggs, bacon, butter, grass-fed tallow, skin-on chicken, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, coconut milk, coconut oil, coffee, etc.

Breakfast this morning was coconut milk, a scoop of Sisson’s vanilla protein powder, a bit of coconut oil, two raw egg yolks, ground nutmeg, and cinnamon.

As I type this I am drinking Bulletproof Coffee, a mix of strong coffee and salt-free butter.

Supper tonight will be ground beef smothered in sautéed mushrooms and onions, topped with a butter sauce. The veggie will be mashed cauliflower flavoured with whatever cheese I might have, (Daisy Brand) sour cream, butter, salt and pepper, and an herb or two. (My high-fat morning negates a middle-of-the-day meal.)

I have done the opposite of the advice given out by the government and other equally qualified experts.

Taking a wild-assed guess, my fat calories are about 75% of my daily intake. My wife says I am a lot friendlier than I was at the beginning.

I am walking/jogging 2 to 3 miles several days per week. I have not had the flu or a cold in three years. I no longer snore. I am losing weight.

In other words, I feel fine and the experts can go fly a kite.

I am always asked about my triglycerides, my cholesterol counts, etc. Feh. I don’t care.

There is too much available data for me to think my diet is bad. Besides, the doctors here in south-west Texas are too provincial; I would have to spend time justifying myself and I am not interested in arguing with them.

I do not have any before-and-after photos. I could publish today’s photo but without a comparison photo, what’s the point?

Moderation does not work. Period. End of discussion.

If someone wants to lose just a few pounds, maybe moderation works but if one is truly fat, forget it. It is a black-or-white argument, no gray area.

You either quit your drug or you sicken and probably die.

Phocion Timon

6 Comments

  1. Jonathan Swaringen says:

    Great story thanks

    I’m not there yet and probably because I haven’t been as strict. I generally eat Paleo but find myself eating things like Tortillas or Candy sometimes….as I’m surrounded by it. I work at Walgreens but its nice to see inspirational stories to follow.

    While I do like Mark Sisson I have come to really think that Jack Kruse has some potentially useful insight into being optimal that traditional Paleo is missing. Some people doing Paleo may even be doing Epi-Paleo.

    Have you read Jack before?

    http://jackkruse.com/brain-gut-6-epi-paleo-rx/

    The brain gut series is very interesting.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257695/

    This is just one reason I’m trying to eat more seafood. Apparently its packed in important brain nutrients that some people may not be getting enough of with just organ meats, pastured meat and such. It certainly isn’t a bad diet but I think the Epi-Paleo template adds something useful.

    Also have you read Body by Science? Seems like a really good workout book and its only 12 dollars on Amazon.

    • Phocion Timon says:

      Mr. Swaringen,

      I have not read Jack Kruse.

      I have read “Body by Science.” It sounds good but it’s removed from “natural” exercise. It’s just far simpler for me to walk, jog, and occasionally sprint and lift a few heavy weights two or three times per week. My life is simpler when I toss a few weights around and put on my (minimalist) shoes and go for a walk/run.

      I don’t bother with seafood a lot except for the occasional wild-caught shrimp. I have two reasons for not eating a lot of seafood:

      1) The mercury content I keep hearing about though I haven’t done any research to determine the truth. Based upon what I have read many times though are the horrible conditions involved in raising farmed seafood, particularly those from Viet Nam, which is the primary source of the shrimp available in my area. Besides, I’ve never been a big seafood eater anyway.

      2) I believe the majority of our ancestors did not have access to seafood due to their living in a mid-continent area. I’m not saying they never ate seafood, I just believe most of their existence was sans seafood, eating mostly meat killed while in their current location. Our mid-continent Native American brethren such as the Souix, Cheyennes, Apaches, et. al., have been described many times as perfect specimens of the human animal and according to what I read, they apparently ate mostly four-footed animals.

      I grant our meat supply is no where near the quality of a grass-raised buffalo or elk or deer or duck or whatever but I do well with the meat and offal that is available to me.

  2. Jonathan Swaringen says:

    Standard Paleo is very healthy and I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. There are reasons to believe that seafood is important to being optimal. Some of those things are talked about in the Brain Gut series of which part 6 talks mostly about the ideal things to eat.

    I’m aware Body by Science isn’t perfectly natural but they make the point that going through the natural range of motion with a machine works well to stimulate muscle growth.

    It is 12 minutes a day once a week so it really doesn’t take much to see if its good for you. On the plus side if proper form is used the chance of injury is nil.
    I haven’t read many studies on it…and I probably need to find more details but in one of the Brain Gut blogs he mentions the fact that Selenium naturally found in much of seafood….or fish I’m not sure which is at enough of a ratio to protect from Mercury toxicity or problems.

    My understanding is that when Mercury and Selenium intake occur at the same time Mercury bind to the Selenium and is taken out of the body without harm during normal processes.

    This is not true in certain kinds of fish like Swordfish, certain Tuna, Shark.
    I found a pdf online that had a chart with which fish had issues and which didn’t but its down right now.
    ……or it was

    http://www.wpcouncil.org/councilmtgs/145th/Selenium_Poster_final.pdf

    Farmed seafood has more issues for sure….and wild caught seafood would be ideal just as wild animals is ideal as far as eating land animals. With pastured and naturally fed being second. Too bad its not feasible for everyone in the world to eat only wild animals either land or sea or we would be much healthier.

  3. Congratulations on your new state of health!

  4. Congratulations, Phocion!

    “I would have to spend time justifying myself and I am not interested in arguing with them.” I know exactly what you mean…why don’t doctors welcome a discussion of health with patients who bother to read, research, and take an active part in their own health care?? I actually had a doctor tell me recently that he wouldn’t change his treatment recommendations for me simply because I felt strongly about something. That said it all, didn’t it?! I have been eating low carb, sugar- and gluten-free, high protein, saturated fats, etc. (the Paleo/Kris Gunnarsson protocol) for three weeks now and have lost 7 pounds. By the time I have my next bloodwork I’ll have been eating like this for several months, and I look forward to seeing positive changes there too. Continuing health to us both!

    • Phocion Timon says:

      Claudia,

      While I was growing up my dad’s social circle included a lot of doctors, of many disciplines. I grew up thinking these highly educated people were some of the smartest folks around. After having been out in the world for a while, my opinion drastically changed. They may be smart enough to make it through Witch Doctor University but their education seems to stop as soon as they get that diploma.

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