I’ve had issues with food as long as I can remember. According to my mom, I seemed mildly allergic to one cereal as a baby, but she didn’t think anything of it at the time. Babies were started on cereals since they were the least likely to cause problems, right? That was just the beginning of the reactions I started exhibiting to food. I was also violently allergic to pork products, so pork was eliminated from my diet. In addition to these issues, I was diagnosed with asthma and allergies by age four.
I have always had an iffy digestive system. My stomach got easily upset by things I didn’t think of as allergenic. As I went through high school, more and more foods began to bother me. I could no longer eat most fruits, especially oranges. They would undo my system for days afterward. I began to take antihistamines in order to eat any fruits or vegetables after my pediatrician diagnosed me with oral allergy syndrome. This helped for a time, as I was able to eat a wider variety of things though still no citrus or pork. Towards the end of high school, I developed thyroid problems and began to take several medicines for it. I also developed an inability to process vitamins B12 and D in my digestive system.
About a year ago, I lost half my liver to a benign tumor. That was probably the lowest point in my life health-wise. My mom is a physical therapist and did what she could to help me regain my strength. Since the liver surgery had to cut through so many of my abdominal muscles, I had lost the ability to get up off the floor and had trouble carrying anything up the stairs to my apartment. I was frustrated with my inability to overcome these issues and my mom suggested I find a personal trainer to work on my overall endurance and strength. I asked around and was referred to Dutch.
I began to work with Dutch at the end of January, 2012 to get myself back to my pre-surgery condition. We started by working on my overall strength and condition. We also began to talk about diet. I was highly skeptical initially, but figured I had nothing to lose. I was just going to do it for thirty days to prove him wrong. Dutch told me I might not feel any different for at least 30 days.
I have to admit, it was so hard in the beginning. I craved sweets and breads and would search online for recipes that I could use for paleo cookies and muffins. However, I gradually lost my cravings and began to enjoy this new diet and exercise regimen. It was probably six weeks before I realized how much better I was beginning to feel. For the first time in my life, I realized how really awful, chronically tired, and cranky I had felt for years. I have cut back or eliminated many of my medications. I no longer take antihistamines in order to eat. I no longer take asthma medications. My B12 blood level has increased significantly and I am slowly eliminating my B12 shots. Through changing my diet, I have discovered that I am gluten and soy intolerant but I can now eat pork (bacon is amazing and I am not sure how I lived without it) and citrus fruits without any problems. I can run up the stairs to my apartment carrying a load and am not even out of breath.
I feel better now than I ever have in my adult life (*fist pumps the air, Rocky style*). I am calmer, more focused and happier. I am going to stick with this, it is the best thing I have ever done for myself. I am in far better shape physically and mentally than I have ever been, all because of Dutch.
Everyone over the age of thirty knows the signs. You are a healthy six foot (plus or minus) male and you remember when you weighed in the 180’s. Each year you go for your physical and each year there is another pound. The years go by, the pounds add up and eventually you must face your problem: It’s the creep!
That pound per year seems fine until ten to twenty years go by. The years have left you a victim of the creep and now, instead of one pound per year, it is closer to five and you are now tipping the scale at 220. You dread your annual physical, with good reason. “Lose 10% of it” comes your doctor’s orders. Realizing quickly that is over twenty pounds I ask how? My doctor advises Weight Watchers food. “I heard it tastes okay.” With my life seemingly over (Weight Watchers?!) I look for a better way…
Dutch, says the email. Having attended a family wedding a few days after getting the word (or words, Weight Watchers, arghh), I asked my cousin Meredith who owns Level 10 Fitness (www.l10la.com) in Manhattan Beach California. She knows from which she speaks and she spoke Dutch.
So began my journey last November 2011. Dutch immediately got me off the sugars and the processed foods for starters. Any diet without Weight Watchers has to be a step up and Dutch got me going in the right direction diet-wise. Exercise-wise was another matter. Let’s just say Dutch can work with what he’s given which is great because in my opinion I needed a lot of work just to reach beginner.
The weight started to melt off from the beginning. In February, Dutch had his thirty day challenge of diet and exercise. I had some momentum going in so hopefully the challenge could allow me to move further towards my goal. Sure enough, by the end of the challenge I was at 207 and on my way.
One of the hardest and most essential thing for me to learn was that all this exercise and diet stuff takes a while. You might think you can rush it, but I’d argue with you over it. Diet and exercise takes time so you might as well learn it, accept it and move forward…slowly. Given time, and of course the work and discipline, you will get the results you are looking for.
Today, a year later, I am at my best weight of 196, having achieved my doctor’s orders. Thanks to Dutch, I defeated the creep without one Weight Watchers meal ever passing my lips. Great Success! Now it’s back to work with my newest goal: getting into the best shape of my life.
KURT L SMITH
John Paul Keesy
About three years ago in the summer of 2011 I was at my heaviest, about 330 lbs. I couldn’t even walk in the mall for too long without having to take a seat at one of the benches that are riddled in the malls. I was getting out of the shower and while looking in the mirror I noticed a “pudge” where I never ever thought one should be. It is hard for me to admit this in writing, but I know there are others like me out there and this is part of my healing.
My “adopted” little brother was at a party I attended and told me about a book he had read, but would tell me anything about it. Nothing at all except the name; The Paleo Solution. I had no idea what that was or what it was about. He just said “read it!” If you knew me, you would know that I don’t like to read a lot unless it is short. I got the book and read the first 4 chapters and realized it was a diet book. My brothers subtle way of telling me what I had already discovered about myself a few days before. I read the first 4 chapters and just decided to try it. I have a very addictive personality and when I put my mind to something I go balls to the walls with it. So I did with this as well. I drove my family nuts but after about a month I started feeling better, but not much weight loss. So, now that I felt a little better, I decided that I was going to do more and started walking on the treadmill we had gotten a couple of years earlier. At first I couldn’t do 5 minutes and I was sweating like a pig in heat and it took 30 minutes to get my breath back. But I kept at it. Paleo, walking, paleo, walking…. For about 3 additional months I did this and I dropped about 50 pounds and hit a plateau. I realized that I was not going to move forward until I made a better change.
In comes Dutch Lowy and BlackBox. I met Dutch at a networking group we both belong to and during a one-on-one he convinced me to come try the other “half” of the Paleo stuff I was doing and workout with him. I did and over the next year I dropped another 30 pounds and more than that, I shrunk inches and inches and got stronger and stronger. Dutch and his team have worked hard with me. Since going to BlackBox and eating healthier (I am not as orthodox with the Paleo as Robb Wolf calls for, but I do eat much more healthy) I have gotten off my blood pressure and acid reflux medications completely. I have also not gotten sick in over 2 years, which is a remarkable feat from my past life.
I am working on three goals right now:
1. To do one un-assisted strict pull-up.
2. Run one lap around the Tough Mudder
3. Be one of the best looking 50 year old men my wife has ever seen