My name is Harry Mossman. I am 69 and have done ancestral health since about July of 2010. For about a year, I was pretty close to Primal. Now I am probably closer to Archevore. I am semi-retired but do small web design jobs. (hmossman-web.com)
About 8 years ago, I had an angina attack. The doctors did an angioplasty and put in a stint but there was some damage, leaving me with congestive heart failure. That shook me up and motivated me to try to take better care of my health. I refused statin and some other strong drugs, but I started on Coreg. I made an effort to cut back on salt, saturated fat and cholesterol. But it didn’t help a lot.
On a trip to New Orleans about 4 years ago, I wound up in the emergency room having trouble breathing. The doctors said it was lucky I didn’t wait another couple hours. Part of the problem was that I had pneumonia. But also the very salty gumbos and other NOLA foods filled my lungs with water. I was “under water” like the Big Easy itself had been. The doctors also informed me that I had diabetes. They started my on Metformin and a diuretic.
I like to think of New Orleans and myself recovering together. I started working harder on conventional health techniques like cutting way back on sodium and avoiding saturated fat and cholesterol. You can see how “successful” that was. It was a Dickens fair. I look like the ghost of Christmas something. (The top hat now falls down over my eyes and the coat is too loose to wear.)
Two years ago, I had physical therapy for sciatica. Somehow the therapist convinced me to start walking every day and I decided to train to walk a half marathon. Fortunately, the walking/running group I joined (SacFit) took a primal approach to exercise, two sprint sessions per week, light walks/runs, cross-training, and one increasingly long walk or run that was slower than we thought we should go. I walked the half in my target time of 4 hours. See picture at right.
I had already been mostly avoiding gluten for many years and got stricter about it. And I read about the danger of sitting for too long at a time. So I started looking for opportunities to be active.
Then the running group invited Mark Sisson to speak. What he said brought everything together for me. (Ironically, I stopped doing distance events except slow 5Ks focused on charity rather than time.) But being old and stubborn, I keep thinking “But what about this? And what about that?” I had done so many diets (vegan, vegetarian, macrobiotic, Atkins, etc.) that I wasn’t about to get yippy skippy without plenty of proof. Mark always had, and has, the answers.
One of the most important thing I have gotten from primal is the importance of vitamin D3. For example, I believe it has dramatically helped my respiratory system. I had been on singular and flonase, which I no longer need. The year before I found out about primal, I had lots of bad colds and flus. My immune system is still not perfect. But this year I had three very mild colds, which lasted only a few days.
About three years ago, the dentist had to pull one of my teeth because my body was reabsorbing the calcium. My conventional doctor said to take calcium, which I did until learning about vitamin D. Now I take vitamins D and K, but get my calcium from dairy, sardines and leafy greens. (I was already taking magnesium.)
And I can walk. Well, I could always walk but going as fast as I could, elderly, obese people in walkers passed me. That is only a slight exaggeration. Partly, I learned to walk better from the running club. Throwing away my conventional running shoes helped considerably too.) Finally, thinking about exercising my whole body made a big difference too. I walk with my whole body now.
My weight has not dropped dramatically. But my body had been begging for nutrients after decades of avoiding saturated fat and cholesterol, and not properly absorbing calcium and other minerals. So to heck with the scales. My lean body mass is growing.
My glucose level is still too high (~105) but down from around 170. There is still too much abdominal fat. But I’m getting there.
For exercise, I do brisk walks most days, water sprints once a week, and body weight and other casual resistance sometimes. My hands are still arthritic but otherwise my body is looser and fairly pain-free.
I get 8 hours of sleep most nights and a nap most days. My diet is quite clean. I sometimes have ultra-dark chocolate, but I have trouble limiting myself to a couple squares. Other than that, nothing really tempts me. The only medication I’m taking is Metformin for insulin sensitivity. I hope to get off that eventually too when I lose more abdominal fat. I don’t have a good current picture. I am not quite as thin as my avatar but getting there.