Erma’s Paleo Journey

I became a part of this Paleo Lifestyle for all the wrong reasons. I had successfully dodged a few people (I won’t mention any names lol) over the last 1 1/2 years who kept insisting I should try it. I finally caved when asked to be a part of the Sept 2013 group challenge but I didn’t really want to do it. It had taken me several years to come to terms with the fact that I would never reach that standard out there…..you know the one for a small frame woman of 61′ in height to be of a healthy weight had to fall between 95-116lbs. I was never going to be “skinny” and I told myself I was done dieting for good. This was just going to be one more big slap in the face and I was going to take two poor women down with me. My initial Bod Pod started at 153.8lbs, 34.5% body fat, 65.5% muscle mass. I was actually a little shocked because the last time I had a bod pod before starting Crossfit I was 15 lbs lighter but my body fat was over 35%. I had proof in my hands that Crossfit was changing things even though that scale was still tormenting me. This was my first ever break through. I am not gonna lie, I was a little excited and the challenge had just started. I have struggled with my weight all my life and this was the only improvement I had ever seen with just exercise.

Prechallenge I ate healthy food but not a good ratio. Giving up bread and pasta was easy for me but OMG all that meat….ugh! Definetely had to kick up the water intake but I love fruit and veggies. I would make a habit of eating half a watermelon for every meal when they were in season. I would skip meals all the time when I was busy and then late evening I would eat alot! I would get sick everytime I ate in a restaurant. I never ate breakfast except maybe a handfull of berries. Oh and did I mention I love ice cream. I realized for all the exercise I was doing that I was underfueling my body. My protein was pretty much non existant. I was lucky to get 20 grams a day and that was usually from nuts. Post challenge I had more energy, broke 4 PR’s, lost over 4lbs, 32.4 body fat, 67.6 muscle mass. CONCRETE CHANGES! No it wasn’t weight loss in double digits like some of the winners but it was life changing to me.

The first challenge was over but Paleo was not over for me. People probably don’t want to hear this but I found Paleo really easy. I kept it simple and didn’t try all those crazy recipes to replace bad habits….I just ate whole unprocessed food, didn’t skip meals and made sure to increase my protein. I didn’t want to run out and gorge myself on all the food I had restricted during the challenge. The best thing of all was the fact that I felt good for the first time in as long as I can remember. I think you get used to feeling shitty and just accept it. Health issues that I had struggled with for years that had gone undiagnosed with only medication to alleviate the symptoms were no longer issues. I also found trigger foods like dairy and corn products that irritated my stomach so I know what to stay away from. I’m not saying I won’t splurge and have a little ice cream every once in a while or devour my husbands homemade cinnamon rolls like they are the last meal I will ever have. But I never want to feel like I did before Paleo again and that is incentive enough for me to keep going!

I signed up for the second strict challenge having really never stopped the first. It was definetely much stricter but I was good with that. Again confident that I would be no top loser but liked the idea of helping others figure things out and having a support system in place. Started this challenge out by doing a shakedown in the kitchen. The hardest thing on the last challenge was fixing Paleo food for me and bad food for my family, way too much work! Not only did I sign up but it was important enough to me that this time the whole family was gonna make changes. The only non Paleo items in my house are milk, breakfast cereal and ice cream. My family has adjusted with no problems and actually beg me to make a few of my Paleo inventions. They still eat school lunches and I don’t make them stick to Paleo when eating out but we only do that once a month unless traveling. I do make a treat like cookies or something everyonce in a while but they really don’t ask for it that often. Logging in my fitness pal showed me I still have some work to do though. I still struggle meeting that protein goal but seeing that number helps me force myself to kick it up. I have lost an average of a couple pounds per month, lost average of 2% body fat and gained 2% lean muscle each month from the start. The biggest change for me this time is actually starting to see definition in my arms and legs. My clothes all fit different in a good way. February Bod Pod totals were 141.2 lbs, 26.4% fat, and 73.6% lean muscle. I was in the
middle of the “moderately lean” category of the Bod Pod and this was big…….as in NOT OBESE!

The most important things I have learned with Paleo:
1. Food is fuel so how well do you want your body to run?
2. Forgive your slips and get back on track
3. The number on the scale in nothing!
4. This is not a diet and it is forever 🙂
5. Slow progress is progress no matter how frustrating
6. Logging foods holds you accountable
7. Strong and fit is much more beautiful than skinny

PS Sorry for the novel 🙂

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