17

votes

Do you have to have a perfect "bod" to represent primal/paleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 15, 2011 at 7:28 PM

This question came about because of my desire not to derail another conversation going on here on PH. My question relates to those of us who have been doing this for a little while and who have had a measure of health improvement and/or physical improvement on the plan, but who are not now, nor may ever BE, perfect physical specimens. Is the general impression that we should not speak up about paleo (or whatever it is that you call your version of healthy ancestral eating), lest we give people the wrong idea and give this movement a figurative black eye, or is our success enough to overcome some of the stigma of, frankly, still being FAT?

Thanks for the responses.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 23, 2012
at 09:27 PM

Top comment totally misses the point of this question....

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 23, 2012
at 07:53 PM

One of my vegan friends who is really into it and goes to conferences couldn't get a conference t-shirt in her size, and you had to wear the t-shirt as kind of your "ticket" into the conference. Basically turned her away at the door because she was a L and they only carried up to M. So sickening.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on April 23, 2012
at 06:22 PM

I guess the problem is that when you meet me, you see an overweight woman, not a formerly sickly overweight woman. And without that context, it's a hard sell. It's too bad more people don't understand that it's being "sick" that makes you fat, not being fat that makes you "sick".

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on April 23, 2012
at 06:19 PM

That is so true. I personally had so many health issues, that when people (doctors) said "just go do some exercise" I wanted to punch them. Seriously, who wouldn't love to just go get some exercise if they were able?" Now after almost 9 months paleo, I haven't lost much weight, but I am finally in a position where I feel like I can start focusing on it. I'm no longer sick all the time and have the energy to go to a yoga class, and find myself spontaneously saying "it's faster to take the stairs." This to me is a miracle, even if I never lose more than the 20 pounds I've already dropped.

8c509aac21bdb54b3ca91de2da994b9b

(248)

on April 23, 2012
at 03:09 PM

Firestorm, awesome answer. Kudos.

A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on April 23, 2012
at 01:40 PM

I just fell in love with all you guys....I'm that chubby little 47 year old that has lost 60 pounds, feels awesome (mostly) but is so not the "picture" of paleo and still struggling with 40+ years of crappy food intake...it's good to be in GREAT company :) thanks for that.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 23, 2012
at 01:07 PM

That sounds like an amazing book. It seems like every "health" book just MUST talk about losing weight and looking great. I'd love to check that book out!

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on April 23, 2012
at 12:28 PM

I bow to your erudite exactitude. Can you graph this, please? :)

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 23, 2012
at 12:07 PM

I think once other health issues are taken care of (if there are any), then one can make the necessary tweaks to get the body they want.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 23, 2012
at 12:05 PM

I agree with Melissa that pale should not be marketed as a fat loss plan or a way to drastically improve body composition.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on November 16, 2011
at 05:54 PM

I have a couple friends who started the paleo "diet" after they saw my weight loss. Unfortunately, they are just in it for losing weight and don't have any idea why they are eating the way they are. I'm afraid once they reach their goal, they'll be back to SAD eating.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 16, 2011
at 04:15 PM

Kewpie, we'd just have to wear "Proud to be Paleo" buttons, then find a breakout room to hang our banner, "Welcome to Those Who Are Less Than Perfect but Proud to be Paleo." I'm sure we'd find ourselves in happy company.

C4e0f94c75f8f945cf166e005cb32331

(305)

on November 16, 2011
at 12:33 PM

Firestorm, that is one of the best before and after stories I've heard. That is definitely the kind of before and after people should be hearing about!

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on November 16, 2011
at 11:49 AM

*nods* I think it's hard to hear that there isn't an instant 'fix' to years of messing with yourself -- the biggest change for me has been the ability to WALK -- and while people who've known me for years know about me being in a mobility device, new folk have no idea just how good it feels to be able to stand up... and for me, that's the big 'bonus' I got from making this choice -- not always easy... but SOOO worth it!

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on November 16, 2011
at 11:46 AM

I've always loved the Venus statues!

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on November 16, 2011
at 11:42 AM

I have to say that this was my motivation -- I'd gotten up over 450 lbs (I don't know how much more -- that's as high as the scale would go) and was bound to a mobility chair -- MS and super-obesity do NOT mix!!! I wanted my mobility and I wanted to restore a measure of independence --and I got that and a lot more... and I LOVE being under 300 lbs... but I don't think that, for me, getting 'ripped' was ever the goal. Still, I think that this way of eating gave me so much life back that I want to share that adventure, you know...

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on November 16, 2011
at 11:24 AM

That just like today, we tend to find most beautiful what is hardest to attain.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on November 16, 2011
at 07:39 AM

Actually the thing that I find compelling about paleo and about this community is that unlike most "diets" out there it has a concern with whole person health, which = good energy levels + good mental health + good physical functioning, and not just some random social ideal of "the perfect body". There will always be the obsessors about six-packs and being thin, but it seems to me in this bunch there's room for us all.

Medium avatar

on November 16, 2011
at 03:27 AM

That, or people don't like to hear that it's not possible for everyone to be thin.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 16, 2011
at 03:18 AM

I guess people don't like to hear that paleo doesn't make everyone thin?

Medium avatar

on November 16, 2011
at 03:18 AM

I have no idea either, up to one now lol

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 16, 2011
at 03:14 AM

I have no idea why you were down-voted, but there you go back to zero.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on November 16, 2011
at 12:17 AM

Nice and thick.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 15, 2011
at 11:58 PM

This! I would never, ever, ever go to AHS after seeing some of the blog posts about it. Although I feel great and have lost a significant amount of weight, I do not look like (nor do I aspire to look like) a 25-year-old body builder. I am quite sure I would not be welcome.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 15, 2011
at 09:38 PM

So well said! You speak for many of us and I feel exactly the same way. If I had walked into AHS I would've been perceived as a chubby 60s lady who must be lost, poor thing. In fact, I would've been a much-improved, feeling great lady whose life was in transformation. That said, of course, every morning as I walk my dogs I keep peeking at my much slimmer shadow and celebrating inside. :-))

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 15, 2011
at 09:18 PM

BTW I once read A yoga book from the seventies. The author pretty much admitted to practically running off a "larger woman", who was actually quite good at performing the art and poses simply because she would not be a good "representation" of a yogi....That pretty much sickened me to the point that I tossed the book.

559a1bf85bfe38a0fbbf56377c7278b4

(1548)

on November 15, 2011
at 09:11 PM

That's fantastic, sounds like you might be a bit of a role model... I have lost 40lb over the last 10 months and my health is hugely improved. Still some way to go, though.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:42 PM

I don' think this question is about the professional melissa so much as it is about how we represent.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:40 PM

+1 I let people ask me what I'm doing. I no longer talk about my diet unsolicited, except to specify gluten-free when invited to eat at a friend's house.

Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

(1669)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:39 PM

This lady looks like she had some serious GI problems.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:38 PM

I'm starting to get funny looks at the supermarket. Because of my higher energy level, I stalk into the store "looking for prey" and have to remember to slow down and walk like the other sheeple. Friends I haven't seen in months are all asking, "How did you do that?"

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:37 PM

that was "personal Trainer" not persoanal training.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:22 PM

You're setting your goals much too low. AT 55, I have more cred than at any other time as a Personal Training. Not only do I look better than thirty years ago , I have the advantage of being thirty years older! What a hoot. Can't wait till I'm 75.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:13 PM

Efficient metabolism was the ideal, the worshipped! I was born 25K years too late! :-))

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:11 PM

How is that devil's advocate. It's what I said above "look/feel better than you have for years." :-))

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 15, 2011
at 08:10 PM

If they know you, they will notice you look better. If you look worse, maybe there is something wrong.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 15, 2011
at 08:10 PM

I believe that the original conversation was regarding individuals who either have published weight loss books or whose spiel involved telling other people that a particular nutrient makes you fat.

Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

(1669)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:09 PM

@Nance I couldn't agree more!! Playing devil's advocate here, it's more easier to convince friends, family, co-workers that the "diet" works when they're visually seeing the results.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:08 PM

That the women wore hats that were too big for their heads.

Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

(1669)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:06 PM

IMO it's relative to what problems they've had before and whether Paleo fixed their issues. Body composition probably has more to do with the whole CrossFit crowd endorsing a "Paleo" lifestyle, and people adopting this diet that are concerned with aesthetics than overall gut health.

D3f3b91d1dd9ce60865654faeb2ec809

on November 15, 2011
at 07:48 PM

Your body composition will eventually reflect the Paleo lifestyle if, and only if, you consistently stay true to it over an extended period. Until you "go the whole nine yards" with Paleo, that is, stay on it for several months, you're preaching something you've not yet fully practiced.

D3f3b91d1dd9ce60865654faeb2ec809

on November 15, 2011
at 07:45 PM

Your body composition will reflect the Paleo lifestyle if, and only if, you consistently stay true to it. Otherwise, by pressing others to do so, you're preaching something you're not practicing.

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on November 15, 2011
at 07:39 PM

I'm not sure you've really answered the question. The OP is asking whether overweight Paleos are "qualified" to give advice, or if their speaking on behalf of Paleo will tarnish it.

  • Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

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17 Answers

best answer

16
C4e0f94c75f8f945cf166e005cb32331

(305)

on November 15, 2011
at 09:30 PM

The conversations, before/afters, etc definitely need to include more "normal" people. Otherwise the expectations that are set up are inevitably going to disappoint some people. Not everyone is going to get six pack abs and start killing their own food with Paleolithic hunting tools. A year of clean living, no matter how clean is not going to reverse 30-40yrs of sedentary junk. Hopefully a few years will but for many of us that remains to be seen.

I think the unstated premise in the question (at least as I've interpreted it - could be I'm just cranky from dead lifts and not enough starch in my diet) is that there is a lot of emphasis on the lean and ripped in the community, to the point where it seems to be a bit cliquish at times to those who are not lean and ripped. You can see this in some of the commentary about the AHS this year. From some descriptions of the event one gets the impression that lingering spare tires or sallow complexions would get you stopped at the door (or at least possibly get you noted derisively in a blog later). And the variety of reasons for starting to eat/live this way often lead to assumptions about the reasons others should be doing it and just plain lack of empathy for those who may be starting from a different place (thus comments that those still not being of ideal composition after a period of effort maybe not doing it right or not being "pure" enough).

Personally, I still got that spare tire but it's 6in smaller in circumference than it was. I still have plenty to go in terms of weightloss (down 35, should lose another 20). People do notice it, but the effect that's made the most impression on me is the various improvements in how I feel (no IBS, more energy, in general nowhere near as cranky as I used to be). That's the part I end up talking about to others. It's not the ripped abs (of course maybe if I had them it would be, whose to say), but not having to go sit on the toilet 10 times a day that I want to share. Or just having the energy to participate in life, chase a dog, run up stairs, etc...

In the end, I say it's the health aspects that are most important to share. If you are seeing a big difference in life because of eating/living a more "paleo" lifestyle than please share it even if you do have weight to lose. I don't think you have to be a perfect specimen to represent and I think the community needs more imperfect specimens... or at least in progress ones!

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 15, 2011
at 11:58 PM

This! I would never, ever, ever go to AHS after seeing some of the blog posts about it. Although I feel great and have lost a significant amount of weight, I do not look like (nor do I aspire to look like) a 25-year-old body builder. I am quite sure I would not be welcome.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 16, 2011
at 04:15 PM

Kewpie, we'd just have to wear "Proud to be Paleo" buttons, then find a breakout room to hang our banner, "Welcome to Those Who Are Less Than Perfect but Proud to be Paleo." I'm sure we'd find ourselves in happy company.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 15, 2011
at 09:38 PM

So well said! You speak for many of us and I feel exactly the same way. If I had walked into AHS I would've been perceived as a chubby 60s lady who must be lost, poor thing. In fact, I would've been a much-improved, feeling great lady whose life was in transformation. That said, of course, every morning as I walk my dogs I keep peeking at my much slimmer shadow and celebrating inside. :-))

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on November 16, 2011
at 11:42 AM

I have to say that this was my motivation -- I'd gotten up over 450 lbs (I don't know how much more -- that's as high as the scale would go) and was bound to a mobility chair -- MS and super-obesity do NOT mix!!! I wanted my mobility and I wanted to restore a measure of independence --and I got that and a lot more... and I LOVE being under 300 lbs... but I don't think that, for me, getting 'ripped' was ever the goal. Still, I think that this way of eating gave me so much life back that I want to share that adventure, you know...

C4e0f94c75f8f945cf166e005cb32331

(305)

on November 16, 2011
at 12:33 PM

Firestorm, that is one of the best before and after stories I've heard. That is definitely the kind of before and after people should be hearing about!

8c509aac21bdb54b3ca91de2da994b9b

(248)

on April 23, 2012
at 03:09 PM

Firestorm, awesome answer. Kudos.

A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on April 23, 2012
at 01:40 PM

I just fell in love with all you guys....I'm that chubby little 47 year old that has lost 60 pounds, feels awesome (mostly) but is so not the "picture" of paleo and still struggling with 40+ years of crappy food intake...it's good to be in GREAT company :) thanks for that.

best answer

16
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 16, 2011
at 02:58 AM

My father isn't svelte on paleo, but he looks SO MUCH BETTER. Ditto for my mother. I don't think they are going to regain the slimness they had in their twenties, but everyone notices they look better and people have adopted paleo because of them.

But then again, they aren't going around marketing paleo as a weight-loss diet fad. On my own site I've never promised people they will become lean on paleo. There is no study showing that this diet has that ability. But people have the potential to return to a more comfortable weight and feel much better. I just read an advance copy of "Why Women Need Fat" and I was amazed that the book didn't promise women that their dietary regimen would make them thin. The real struggles diet book authors themselves encounter are a testament to how hard it is to get lean, particularly when you have been overweight for a long time, are a woman, or are older.

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on November 16, 2011
at 11:49 AM

*nods* I think it's hard to hear that there isn't an instant 'fix' to years of messing with yourself -- the biggest change for me has been the ability to WALK -- and while people who've known me for years know about me being in a mobility device, new folk have no idea just how good it feels to be able to stand up... and for me, that's the big 'bonus' I got from making this choice -- not always easy... but SOOO worth it!

Medium avatar

on November 16, 2011
at 03:18 AM

I have no idea either, up to one now lol

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 16, 2011
at 03:14 AM

I have no idea why you were down-voted, but there you go back to zero.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 16, 2011
at 03:18 AM

I guess people don't like to hear that paleo doesn't make everyone thin?

Medium avatar

on November 16, 2011
at 03:27 AM

That, or people don't like to hear that it's not possible for everyone to be thin.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on November 16, 2011
at 07:39 AM

Actually the thing that I find compelling about paleo and about this community is that unlike most "diets" out there it has a concern with whole person health, which = good energy levels + good mental health + good physical functioning, and not just some random social ideal of "the perfect body". There will always be the obsessors about six-packs and being thin, but it seems to me in this bunch there's room for us all.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 23, 2012
at 01:07 PM

That sounds like an amazing book. It seems like every "health" book just MUST talk about losing weight and looking great. I'd love to check that book out!

10
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 15, 2011
at 07:53 PM

If you want to influence friends, family, co-workers and others who know and love you the best way to start is to look/feel better than you have for years.

If you want to be a guru, I assert you don't have to have an ideal body profile you just need to give advice that works.

Coach K is a lion of college basketball yet he's a little short guy. Coach Bellichek is a lion of the NFL and he looks more like an accountant than anything else. If I were a player, I'd want those coaches over one who looked the part but didn't have a winning record.

Just win, baby!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:38 PM

I'm starting to get funny looks at the supermarket. Because of my higher energy level, I stalk into the store "looking for prey" and have to remember to slow down and walk like the other sheeple. Friends I haven't seen in months are all asking, "How did you do that?"

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:11 PM

How is that devil's advocate. It's what I said above "look/feel better than you have for years." :-))

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 15, 2011
at 08:10 PM

If they know you, they will notice you look better. If you look worse, maybe there is something wrong.

Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

(1669)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:09 PM

@Nance I couldn't agree more!! Playing devil's advocate here, it's more easier to convince friends, family, co-workers that the "diet" works when they're visually seeing the results.

5
7d64d3988de1b0e493aacf37843c5596

(2861)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:14 PM

It kind of depends on whether you see Paleo being a weight loss diet or a diet for health. Weight loss is much more than just eating healthy and maintaining weight.

If the idea is that paleo is weight loss for the masses, then I would expect to see a lot of lean people speaking for it. Actually getting to your goal weight is often the most significant achievement.

I do think paleo helps with a lot of basics towards losing weight, but actually losing weight can be very difficult and is a lot different than just preventing obesity. I am skeptical for most people that just eating paleo will get people to their goal weight.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on November 16, 2011
at 05:54 PM

I have a couple friends who started the paleo "diet" after they saw my weight loss. Unfortunately, they are just in it for losing weight and don't have any idea why they are eating the way they are. I'm afraid once they reach their goal, they'll be back to SAD eating.

5
559a1bf85bfe38a0fbbf56377c7278b4

on November 15, 2011
at 08:09 PM

Some people (like me) are never going to be perfect physical specimens! And whatever I do, I am not going to stop being middle-aged. I will never be as appealing a role model as a young, hard-bodied person!

I think actually it would be a bit odd if people were encouraged not to speak about paleo just because they were a bit fat.

Who would decide who was fit to be a spokesperson/role model? What are the criteria for judging their fitness?

At the end of the day, the rational criterion would be their good health (or a big improvement on previous ill health).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:22 PM

You're setting your goals much too low. AT 55, I have more cred than at any other time as a Personal Training. Not only do I look better than thirty years ago , I have the advantage of being thirty years older! What a hoot. Can't wait till I'm 75.

559a1bf85bfe38a0fbbf56377c7278b4

(1548)

on November 15, 2011
at 09:11 PM

That's fantastic, sounds like you might be a bit of a role model... I have lost 40lb over the last 10 months and my health is hugely improved. Still some way to go, though.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:37 PM

that was "personal Trainer" not persoanal training.

5
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:06 PM

Well, here is a paleolithic female body ....

http://arthistoryresources.net/willendorf/willendorfdiscovery.html

So - what do we conclude from this??!!

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on November 16, 2011
at 12:17 AM

Nice and thick.

Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

(1669)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:39 PM

This lady looks like she had some serious GI problems.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:08 PM

That the women wore hats that were too big for their heads.

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on November 16, 2011
at 11:46 AM

I've always loved the Venus statues!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:13 PM

Efficient metabolism was the ideal, the worshipped! I was born 25K years too late! :-))

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on November 16, 2011
at 11:24 AM

That just like today, we tend to find most beautiful what is hardest to attain.

5
Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

on November 15, 2011
at 07:35 PM

IMHO Paleo has more to do with overall gut health and body composition is just value added.

Apart from healing my gut and my overall GI challenges, I can honestly say that my body composition accurately reflects my food composition. 250 g of protein daily, 70 grams of carbs on training days (strictly PWO), 20 grams of carbs on off days, and the rest in fat in the forms of raw almond butter, grass fed butter, and avocado.

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on November 15, 2011
at 07:39 PM

I'm not sure you've really answered the question. The OP is asking whether overweight Paleos are "qualified" to give advice, or if their speaking on behalf of Paleo will tarnish it.

Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

(1669)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:06 PM

IMO it's relative to what problems they've had before and whether Paleo fixed their issues. Body composition probably has more to do with the whole CrossFit crowd endorsing a "Paleo" lifestyle, and people adopting this diet that are concerned with aesthetics than overall gut health.

4
Medium avatar

on November 16, 2011
at 03:17 AM

I've always told women I've known who ask me for tips to help them lose weight that weight doesn't matter, it's about how you feel. Some people will be thinner, others will be heavier, and body fat percentage is more important than weight, but even that varies. Any diet that's specifically focused on helping you lose weight is bound to fail because it's working on the wrong problem. The Paleo diet will help you reach your optimal weight, whatever that may be, because the reason most people these days are either underweight or overweight is due to not eating the way nature intended them to. You know yourself better than anyone else, and you know when you feel good and have lots of energy, so experiment with your diet til you find one that gives you the most energy and health. Then you won't need to count calories anymore.

3
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 23, 2012
at 05:16 PM

I think the conception that any non-mainstream item has to put it's "best foot forward" to the world by displaying it's brightest peacocks is detrimental to that item. People who look perfect are not relateable, and can come off as corny testimonies like "look! Eat steak and lose 10 lbs! Are my teeth white enough yet?". It isn't very relateable, and really takes the genuine message out of the picture. That's one of my major problems with the vegan movement- there are conferences where they do not supply L or XL shirts, just in case people didn't get the message enough.

Being an inspiration is not about embodying perfection- it's about experiencing feeling good, and sharing it upon prompting without feeling judged. My mom is my role model, and she is never going to have the body she had when she was 20, and that's fine, because she is still a strong, happy woman. She will never look like she didn't have three pregnancies and a few surgeries that caused major scarring, nor does she want to- she's not ashamed of her kids or being sick in the past, so why should she be ashamed that her body reflects that? She is just as "qualified" to give advice and discuss her lifestyle as anyone else is.

In my internship I've had morbidly obese to moderately overweight patients who receive unsolicited advice in random places from complete strangers who tell them they "have the answer to their problem". People who glare at the one chocolate bar in a grocery cart full of food, or tell them that if they just moved more they wouldn't be so darn imposing. I think this is totally invasive and heartbreaking, because nobody knows what is going on in their life!! Are they recovering from surgery? Did they just have a baby? Are they at a really stressful point of their life? Are losing weight gradually, which is the healthiest most sustainable way to lose it? Are they on anti-psychotic medications? Are they treating a thyroid problem? The answers to these questions don't matter anyways, because it is not our place to judge people we don't know, and people shouldn't have to justify their appearance for anyone. I say, we should all be taken on the value of our advice and our personalities, not our appearances in a perfect world. Hopefully we can move away from our projected prejudices in our own way, and appreciate healthy and advice in every form that it comes.

3
D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:26 PM

noo. I've always been skinny, and Paleo has made me skinnier, but more musclely looking. To have a nice body, I need to be able to put on fat, which is something I havent had since I was 1 year old.

2
Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on November 16, 2011
at 03:28 AM

i was under the impression everyone at PH was chiseled like marble...

lol but who said "Paleo" had to be a perfect gym body? Not that we're ruminants but even as Kurt Harris mentioned, wild animals are not as lean as you'd think. We shouldn't be fat and obese, but depending on your genes/ancestry, I don't think everyone's optimal would equal Rocky or Brad Pitt.

2
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 15, 2011
at 09:15 PM

Comes down to your personality. Do you readily share your beliefs and/or scientific claims for healthier living with other people? If so, shout it to anyone you want to. Talk about it in the grocery line, at the bank, or to your postman if you want. If not then its fine to just do what you do with a clear conscience that you are making an informed effort to live a healthier lifestyle.

I do not think your current physique is going to nor should it trump how you wish to express yourself to others...

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 15, 2011
at 09:18 PM

BTW I once read A yoga book from the seventies. The author pretty much admitted to practically running off a "larger woman", who was actually quite good at performing the art and poses simply because she would not be a good "representation" of a yogi....That pretty much sickened me to the point that I tossed the book.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 23, 2012
at 07:53 PM

One of my vegan friends who is really into it and goes to conferences couldn't get a conference t-shirt in her size, and you had to wear the t-shirt as kind of your "ticket" into the conference. Basically turned her away at the door because she was a L and they only carried up to M. So sickening.

1
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on April 23, 2012
at 11:56 AM

I think there is a misconception that eating healthy (i.e. cutting out grains and eating more produce and choosing quality wild and free ranging animals) is the same thing as eating to significantly improve body composition. And, eating to improve body composition is different than eating for weight loss. There are certain tweaks that must be made to improve body comp. Off the top of my head, things like reducing saturated fat and increasing lean protein consumption. Whatever you lose from not eating things like ghee/butter/cream, liver, and an abundance of animal fat will likely be outweighed by the health improvement of increased physical fitness. The nice thing about getting into shape is that once you're there, you can add these foods back in without hardly any detriment to body composition, but getting there they have to go. YOu can eat for weight loss, you can eat for fat loss, and you can eat for health. All of these are slightly different.

However, you can be "overweight" and still be healthy if you are taking good care of yourself with quality diet and at least some exercise and stress reduction. A pale diet can definitely improve health w/o resulting in any weight or fat loss.

I think the pale diet as a base is great for so many reasons, but improved body composition is not one of those.

I hope this helps. Oh so to answer your question no you dont have to have a perfect bod to represent

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on April 23, 2012
at 06:22 PM

I guess the problem is that when you meet me, you see an overweight woman, not a formerly sickly overweight woman. And without that context, it's a hard sell. It's too bad more people don't understand that it's being "sick" that makes you fat, not being fat that makes you "sick".

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on April 23, 2012
at 06:19 PM

That is so true. I personally had so many health issues, that when people (doctors) said "just go do some exercise" I wanted to punch them. Seriously, who wouldn't love to just go get some exercise if they were able?" Now after almost 9 months paleo, I haven't lost much weight, but I am finally in a position where I feel like I can start focusing on it. I'm no longer sick all the time and have the energy to go to a yoga class, and find myself spontaneously saying "it's faster to take the stairs." This to me is a miracle, even if I never lose more than the 20 pounds I've already dropped.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 23, 2012
at 12:07 PM

I think once other health issues are taken care of (if there are any), then one can make the necessary tweaks to get the body they want.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 23, 2012
at 12:05 PM

I agree with Melissa that pale should not be marketed as a fat loss plan or a way to drastically improve body composition.

1
E95216c62a14d21c371fcbf2fed8469b

(1867)

on April 23, 2012
at 11:25 AM

Image obsessed culture will always want perfect looking people to push a message. We ought to be focused on health improvement but we aren't. Should be though. Cancer will eat a pretty face just as fast as a fat one, maybe faster with less body fat. I know that the PETA vegans look to put naked thin chicks on billboards and pretend that there aren't any old fat people. I'd hate to see the paleo movement do that.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 16, 2011
at 11:44 AM

After "converting" from vegan to Paleo, it took only a few months to lose body fat and gain muscle to the point of reaching my ideal body composition. My general opinion is that if you're eating a Paleo diet, getting regular physical activity (some weight bearing exercises, high intensity intervals, and being active outdoors), sleeping enough, and not suffering from a thyroid problem, your body should reflect a state of optimal health (and optimal weight). If you're fat after several months, and not losing anything, check in to see if perhaps you're eating too much food and not moving enough.

1
Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:28 PM

Why speak up? You're doing it for your health, and if someone likes what they see in you they'll copy. My sister walks a lot more than she used to, has lost a lot of fat, and I'm partly to blame. Others see me walking and ridicule me.

My first exposure to paleo was my brother-in-law's "caveman diet". It had no effect on his distended gut and I thought it was just an excuse to eat more red meat. His bragging didn't match the visible results, and so for several years I regarded paleo as some kind of a joke.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:40 PM

+1 I let people ask me what I'm doing. I no longer talk about my diet unsolicited, except to specify gluten-free when invited to eat at a friend's house.

0
Medium avatar

on November 15, 2011
at 07:43 PM

There's an amount of abdominal fat deposition that increases mortality (in males usually, though some females have an android fat deposition pattern) due to the higher transmembrane flux of the visceral adipocytes. This creates more FFA in the bloodstream, which the liver packages as TGs. We know VLDL-TGs to be prone to oxidation and may form arterial plaques as a result. As such, a level of fatness that deranges blood lipids is of course unhealthy, but anything below that threshold is likely innocuous, unless it deters an individual from being active, which we know to decrease most types of common causes of death. What I'm getting at is that there's a somewhat narrow range of "fat and healthy" that exists.

Regarding the ability to effectively proselytize people to a healthier lifestyle, you'll find that it becomes decreasing difficult as BF% declines up until you become ghoulish, at which point it starts to reverse.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on April 23, 2012
at 12:28 PM

I bow to your erudite exactitude. Can you graph this, please? :)

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