Gary - 49, Public Servant

I have been suffering from an inflammatory bowel disease for over 15 years and was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2009. With it I experienced urgent diarrhoea constantly, almost every day. By 2012 I was on high doses of medication, I’d ballooned in weight and ended up hitting 91kg (I’m only 174cm tall). My cholesterol was high too. I felt like I was in a black hole and I couldn’t get out. So I ate more rubbish and drank more alcohol and became more and more sick.

I have been suffering from an inflammatory bowel disease for over 15 years and was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2009. With it I experienced urgent diarrhoea constantly, almost […]

Before The Paleo Way

After The Paleo Way

"Within weeks my Crohn’s disease symptoms slowed down… then they stopped completely."

Going to work as a public servant was troublesome, as I would spend the day circling toilets. I barely coped at one stage and had some ‘life events’ I desperately don’t want to repeat.

I was introduced to the Paleo lifestyle when my wife, Melvina, was diagnosed with a brain infection and this spurred her into looking at her general health. She began running and eventually built up to a half marathon.

Truthfully, I was jealous and I thought we were slipping away from one another because she was exercising and I wasn’t, and I didn’t think I had the willpower or enough enthusiasm for life to follow her lead. But one day I’d just had enough and put on some old running shoes and decided that I wasn’t going to let my diagnosis beat me. I managed to get about 200 metres before realising how poor my fitness was. But it was a start!

I started to read and research Paleo for myself, and then I bought every book and watched every clip I could online and it just made sense to me. The penny had finally dropped! By August 2014 our whole family had adopted the lifestyle. My son Callum, 13, adopted it easily and my daughter Poppy, 17, is vegetarian so she made changes based around that. All of us were eating better though.

Within three weeks I had lost several kilos and I noticed that my Crohn’s and Gastric Reflux Disease symptoms were slowing down. And then they stopped completely. I even managed my first 5km race without running to a toilet.

As things progressed I just began to feel even better. After being on the lifestyle for about three months I stopped seeing my gastroenterologist as I had lost faith in him. Not once did he ever mention diet as a way to alleviate my symptoms. However my GP was fine with me giving the Paleo lifestyle trial and I stopped taking the medication I had been on for so long. I gave it a go when I was off work on annual leave and I was fine.

My wife and I attended the Paleo Way Tour in Perth in February 2015 and I was enlightened. I then joined the 10 Week Activation Program, which I’m still on now.

I wanted to fine tune what I was doing and to drop alcohol altogether. I am now 100 per cent Paleo and I exercise every day. I do tabata, circuits, cycle, walk, sprint sessions and love gardening and growing our own veggies. I am much fitter and stronger than I was when I was 25. I’ve now lost 22.5kgs, 9.5 inches off my waist. And I’ve dropped six trouser sizes. But because I’ve been doing all the exercises I’ve put on muscle and have never looked so good. Or felt so good. My cholesterol is normal and I take no medication. I can now do 86 continuous push-ups. I’m currently on week eight, but by the end of the 10 weeks I want to be able to do 100 push-ups and have the six pack I only ever dreamt of before making this lifestyle change!

Many of my friends have seen the changes in me and have then asked for advice and are now following the lifestyle. Several have lost many kilos and some are addressing serious obesity and corresponding health issues. To know I’ve given good friends extra years of life just by leading by example is fantastic. Also my relationships are all dramatically better. My wife and I are enjoying a lifestyle together we never thought possible and are closer than ever. We have a passion for food and exercise and the outdoor lifestyle Perth offers that we didn’t optimise before. We sleep better, our moods are lifted and I never feel down even when I’ve been working night shifts. My coping mechanisms are so much stronger.

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