21 July 2009

Who are you anyway?

So I've been hitting you with a lot of boring facts lately. Today, I'd like to give you a little background on me and why I'm so interested in what you eat.

It all started about 3 years ago when, as a junior in high school, I became interested in rock climbing. I'd never really been a "sports" kind of guy. Sure, I played tennis okay, and had dabbled in your typical soccer and baseball as a kid, but was never very good. I had decided that at with a 165# 5'6" frame, I just wasn't built to be an athlete.

Climbing introduced me to a whole new way of thinking about strength and sport. I began to realize that I needed to drop some weight if I was going to get any better. Through a combination of intense workouts and a severe calorie restricted diet, I lost 27 pounds in 3 months. Great, right? Yeah, except I was miserable, weak, and tired just about 24/7 (quite the opposite of the goals I was hoping to achieve).

I slowly worked my way back up to what I felt like was a weight that balanced my climbing performance with my overall happiness and well being settling in at 150#. My next goal became the maintenance of this new weight. Over the next year or so, I limited my overall fat intake as best I could (something probably practiced by 95% of dieting Americans) since that is what I had come to believe was a healthful and correct way to live my life. I also abstained from red meat and hydrogenated oils. This is about the time that I really came to be fascinated with nutrition and food. I studied it. I read about it. I practiced it. (Though you could make the argument I still hadn't gotten it yet.)

About 8 months ago now, after climbing had led me to weight lifting, weight lifting then led me to Crossfit, a community of dedicated gym goers and intense workouts designed to help one maintain fitness in all areas of strength, agility, flexibility, endurance, so on, and so forth. A series of conversations with fellow Crossfitters led me to a completely novel and new approach to eating (note: not dieting). Loren Cordain calls it Paleo. Mark Sisson calls it Primal. I call it the natural approach. This new way of thinking about food led me to new books and new studies and new experts that are out to turn what we've been told about eating upside down because quite frankly, what you've been told is wrong. Unfortunately though, the what has to come after the why so I will be continuing our conversation about lipogenesis in my next posting before outlining this natural way of eating, though you are more than welcome to visit Loren and Mark's fantastic sites.

So that's where I am today. After graduating from Appalachian as a Food & Nutrition Science major, I hope to continue on to graduate school for food chemistry or something similar. Ultimately, I'd like to do research on obesity and diabetes.

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