01 December 2012

Reflections on Paleo


Yesterday was the final day of my 30-Day Natural November Paleo Challenge. This morning I go for the final weighing and measurements. I wanted to write this reflection before that so that whatever the numbers show do not cloud my judgement of the whole process.

Let's start with the somewhat superficial benefits. I'm wearing smaller clothes. When I started this whole journey I was wearing pants that were a large 14 and XL tops. Both of these things were somewhat loose and baggy on me and that's the way I liked it. I tried to hide behind my clothes because my body was not great. I am now wearing more form fitting clothes and really liking it. There is also the little things only I would notice. When I sit, my belly no longer sits on my lap. On the couch I can sit and bend my leg with my foot right next to my butt and be comfortable. I can actually suck my belly in. These are minor, possibly silly things, but when you haven't been able to do them in a while they become important.

Now, down to the more serious stuff. My body actually works like it should. I no longer get these uncontrollable cravings where I need to eat everything in sight. My blood sugar has not gone out of whack the whole month. I've been able to go without eating and not end up in a blood sugar nightmare. I no longer have that bloated feeling after I eat. My stomach doesn't hurt after I eat, except for the 2 times I ate things I should not have. Food is no longer constantly on my mind. After years of dieting and counting points and calories and fat grams, you have no idea how nice it is to just eat when I'm hungry and not constantly dwell on what my next meal is or when I should eat it. I have tried everything over the years; fasting, eating every 3-4 hours; Weight Watchers; Atkins; Jenny Craig; you name it I tried it. With every single one I became obsessed with something and as a result food was constantly on my mind. Now I can actually string together hours at a time where I don't think about food. I have found myself saying, "guess I better eat now since my next break is not until school is over." When I do get hungry, I get hungry. Not ravenous where if I don't eat something now I'm going to gnaw off my arm. But hungry like, I better get some food soon. I can still think and function when I'm hungry, food does not become the only thing on my mind. And I can actually delay a meal and not die.

Finally, my energy has just gone through the roof. On the weekends I still take naps in the afternoon. But now, instead of 1-2 hours, they are 20 minutes. I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to do something. And when I sleep at night I sleep good. I would sleep better if it wasn't for this carpal tunnel, but Paleo can't fix everything.

So today I find out how it went, but that part really doesn't matter a whole lot. I love the way I feel and I want to continue to feel this way. So I'm going to continue to eat this way. Maybe not so strict, maybe a little tiny indulgence here and there, but basically I'm sticking with the program.

Edited to add: the numbers are in. I lost 10lbs all of which was body fat. My muscle percent stayed the same as did my water. So all the weight lost was body fat. That's almost 2% difference. My inches also went down 6 inches overall. Everything went down. I am so pleased with this. I am going to continue to eat this way but I did go buy some raw honey and maple syrup so I can add a little sweetness now and then. Also, the lady who runs it wants me to do a testimonial so that she can publish it on their page. Woot!!! Woot!!! Woot!!!!

26 November 2012

One thing I know for sure


I've had some interesting things happen over the last few weeks and it's made me think. My eating and working out is really starting to show and people are commenting on it. When I tell people what I'm doing I usually get a couple of different reactions. Either they think it's great and move on, or they start the excuse train. You know the excuse train; I don't have time, I could never eat like that, those workouts sound hard, blah, blah, blah. I can't fault them really. I used to be the engineer on the excuse train. I kept that sucker running for years. It was hard to make it stop so I could get off it. But once I did I was so glad. I found it was easier to face my demons then to make excuses as to why I couldn't. I also found something that worked for me, Crossfit and Paleo diet. These things fit me and fit my lifestyle and I really, really enjoy them.

When I was running the excuse train, I tried every diet and workout program out there. I really wanted off the excuse train but I could not find the thing that would make it stop. But God knows I tried. Once I found what worked for me, it was easy to stop the train and get off. I also learned that what works for one person doesn't work for everyone. And the most important thing on this journey is to find what works for you.

One of the ways that seems to be really popular right now is the Body By Vi 90 Day Challenge. They have shakes and supplements that you take and follow the program for 90 days. I have heard this working for a lot of people. One of the weight loss pages I follow on Facebook is doing this and loves it. I think that's awesome. I should put out there that I'm not a fan of supplements for losing weight, but I am a huge fan of losing weight. And if taking supplements and following a rigid program is what it takes for you to get started then I am all for it. I am a fan of whatever it takes to get you off the excuse train. and if a Body By Vi 90 Day Challenge will do it, then by all means go for it.

I have to say, I enjoy the idea of a challenge. I like that something has a limited life. That allows me to go all out and really put my heart into it, knowing that it is not forever. That is what happened with this Paleo challenge. I knew it was only for 30 days so I went at it will everything. Now I have found I like it so much, I'm going to continue doing it after the challenge ends. But it gave me the jump start that I needed to really get off the excuse train and leave the station completely.

So whatever it takes to get you started, and by all means try a hundred different things if that's what it takes. Try a Biggest Loser type- heavy exercise program. Try counting calories. Try the Body By Vi 90 Day Challenge. Even try Crossfit if you're brave enough. But try. And keep trying until you find what works for you.

25 November 2012

Things I've learned


So, yes it was just the other day I said I was done here and taking a break. That's how it always goes though. I get frustrated, decide to quit and in a very short time the mood strikes me again. What I don't like about this is the feeling of pressure I get when I haven't blogged in a while. I've pretty much given up doing paid posts for that very reason. I don't like being pressured into blogging. But there are times. like now, when I really want to write. So from now on there is no pressure at all to write. Once a week, once a month, I don't care. I will write when the mood strikes me and I will never force myself to write a post. Having said all that, I want to write down things I have learned over the last few days.

Since November 1st I have been pretty strict on my Paleo eating. I have been reading labels and nothing with added sugar has slipped into my food. I have avoided all wheat and grains, I haven't even been eating rice which I'm allowed to have. It really hasn't been that hard, once I got into the swing of it. It requires a lot more cooking then I'm used to, but even that is turning out good. I'm getting into cooking and discovering that I like it. Sweet. As a result of this my energy has gone through the roof. When I'm home with nothing to do, I feel like a caged animal. It's been great because I've been getting things done. I look forward to the killer Crossfit workouts and I've been pushing myself more and more. I also sleep better - gotta love that. So for 3 weeks things were amazing and I felt awesome. Then came Thanksgiving.

On Thanksgiving I initially was going to stick to the Paleo and just avoid things that had sugar or grains. Basically I couldn't eat the stuffing or the pumpkin pie. Everything else was good. But while we were getting it ready I took a taste of the stuffing. I love stuffing. LOVE IT!!!! So I took a taste and decided to have some. I didn't have a lot, maybe 1/2 a cup or so. It was salty. Very, very salty. Even with the gravy, it was salty. After I ate my stomach felt so full and stretched out I could not believe it. I did not eat that much, I really didn't. But I guess the stuffing really made me feel overfull. I did not like that feeling at all. Then, if that wasn't enough, I decided to go for a piece of real pumpkin pie. OMG, what a freaking mistake. My stomach again felt full and stretched from a small piece of pie. I did not like the way these foods made me feel and their taste was not as good as I thought it would be. I decided that night that it was definitely not worth it. I decided to be real strict the next day and get myself back to feeling awesome. Then the next day came.

If possible, Friday was worse than Thursday. I woke up feeling pretty okay except for a small bout of loose stools...Not surprising. Went Black Friday shopping and got home around noon. It was hot, really, really hot which did not help anything at all. But after eating some lunch I just felt exhausted. I felt sluggish and drained. I think between the food the day before and the heat, I did not feel like myself and I did not like it. I was so sluggish and tired I could not drag myself to Crossfit. I forced myself to go on Saturday morning and the workout felt awesome. I ate strict Paleo Friday and Saturday and by last night was starting to feel myself again. Also, between the salt and sugar on Thrusday I was up 2 pounds on the scale. I know that's from the salt.

I decided that once this challenge is over on Friday, I am not going back to my old way of eating. I feel way too good by following Paleo and I want to continue to feel that way. I like having energy. I like not feeling like I'm pregnant. I like pushing myself in my workouts. So no more sugar, wheat, or grains. Ever!!!!!!!

The key to change is awareness

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