I am 33 years old. For a long time I consumed a lot of bad things on a regular basis: Mountain Dew, Monster, all kinda of carbs (especially rice; my wife is Asian). I wasn’t taking good care of myself.
In 2013, my body started rejecting the abuse. I knew this would be coming, but I didn’t expect it at that age. I was very active (military). Vigorous exercise for at least an hour every day. Then, I started gaining weight, and my knee got real bad. I had chronic tendinitis in my knee caused by Osgood-Schlatter (misdiagnosed many times as Chronic Osgood-Schlatter). I started getting stomach issues; diarrhea, inconsistent BMs, bloating, gas, heartburn (I never had heartburn!), trouble sleeping, hip pain, shoulder pain, and back pain. It all came to a head when I got diverticulitis. My diverticulitis was actually on the lower right side. So, everyone (including me, I did my research before going to the ER) thought it was appendicitis. It was like, “Oh. It’s appendicitis. No big deal. We’ll prep you for surgery. Meanwhile, we’ll take this CT just to confirm.” Well, that CT showed diverticulitis, not appendicitis. And, the doctor’s were freaked! They made me think that was way worse than anything else. Why? My age. They concerned about the pockets that form to create the diverticula, or if I had other issues. Scared the crap out of me. I had a colonoscopy on my birthday in 2014. Some minor polyps were discovered. I had surgery on my knee a month later to do a patellar tendon cadaver graft. I felt horrible. I felt like my body was giving up on me, and my knee never recovered.
So, started my journey towards trying become healthier. At the end of 2014 I started a calorie restrictive diet. Whole foods, low fat, lean meats, plenty of veggies and fruits…and, more resistance training. Yes, I lost a little bit of weight. I started feeling a little better, but I couldn’t sustain it. It was too expensive, and cravings started to kill me. And, I started feeling bloated all the time, gassy, and heartburn. Then, I started a high protein diet, and restricted my carbs. The advice at the time was like 20% carb, 30% fat, and 50% protein. Not exact, but basically stick with low carb intake and only whole grain products. I continued exercise as well. My knee had a brief period where it felt a lot better (but, still about 60%). Again, not sustainable. Same feeling with my gut, still too expensive, and my energy levels started dropping. I just couldn’t stop the cravings for Mountain Dew and energy drinks. I wouldn’t last a day without them. So, I tried going back to calorie restriction again, but extreme this time. No more than 1,200 calories a day. Still didn’t work. Unsustainable. This was over the course of 3 years. I had been back to the doctor with another case of diverticulitis, my knee had gotten worse again, my hip got worse, and I had some serious BM issues. I gave up. Just figured my body was breaking down and there wasn’t anything I could do about it.
So, since January of 2018, I’ve been listening to the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. I heard him speak about keto several times. High fat, when it was broken down seemed like it was a good idea. I looked into some things to get started, and realized it was a lot of counting macros. And, I just didn’t have the money to ensure I was on that kind of level. Then, a little over a month ago he brought up the Carnivore Diet briefly, and mentioned Dr. Shawn Baker. So, on Wednesday, March 21st, I listened to the episode with Dr. Shawn Baker. I was blown away. I started doing my research into evolution, brain size, digestive systems, and cholesterol. I realized what was Dr. Baker said wasn’t crazy. Finally, that Friday, I came home from work, and said no more carbs! Only meat and water. I ate just the meat of what my wife had cooked that night. Ended up getting hungry before bed. Ate some hamburger and eggs. The next morning I woke up starving! I hadn’t had an appetite like that in years! I had been eating for two reasons: random cravings, and I knew I had to. That day it continued. I was ravenous! I wasn’t bloated, I didn’t have heartburn, and I felt good! I could not believe that in just a few hours I was feeling that much better. I said to myself, I need to slow down, and not get too excited. Some of that had to be attributed to a placebo effect, right? Maybe. I don’t know. What I do know is the feeling continued for the last month. Also, that day, I drove almost 10 hours. Got out of my vehicle when I got to my destination, and my knee was fine! It wasn’t stiff, or painful at all!
Maybe it’s too soon to know everything. I’m only a month in. But, this is what I know: down 14 lbs., no bloating, no heartburn, I have an appetite, knee pain way less than before, no hip pain, no back pain, no shoulder pain, sleeping better, waking up easier, more energy, and I can afford it! It’s just so simple.