Eleven months. I’ve been eating Paleo (admittedly of varying degrees) and doing high intensity interval training for eleven months. I’ve seen amazing physical results, which is great. Socially sanctioned and it’s nice to have some numbers to spew out to make people understand. But here’s the thing–numbers are the topping on the cake. And since I eat neither cake nor toppings, I kinda don’t give a shit about them.
I keep doing this because of how I feel (energetic, alert, rested, satiated, strong, vibrant, optimistic, capable) and how I don’t feel (stuffed, hungry, cranky, wired, hungover, bloated, deprived, exhausted). For whatever reason this is not an easy thing to convey. People cannot wrap their minds around a different way of life and even people in my own life laugh it off like it’s funny they don’t know what they’re missing. I can chuckle at that, but it’s not funny. That is why this movement so heavily pushes skeptics to just try it. My most exciting and life-altering results cannot be measured. How then can I translate them for you to understand in your own life?
I probably can’t.
I can tell you I’ve lost fifteen pounds, but if you think what I do is “diet and exercise” you would probably freak if you dieted for a year and “only” dropped 15lbs. I can tell you I went from a size 10 to vacillating between a size 2 and 4 (not to say that I vacillate, just that sizing does). That might mean more to you. But I was pretty content to be a size 6 and while getting smaller provides some thrills, it’s mostly been annoying to need new pants so much. Also? I haven’t gotten a cold in almost nine months. And I live, breathe and kiss the cheeks of sickness with kiddos (seemingly non-stop this year). I’ve never had such a strong immune system.
I’m happy and healthy and I keep eating like this.
This isn’t a short-term fix. This isn’t a temporary phase. I have never felt so at peace with food as I do eating Paleo. And I have a tumultuous history that includes a half-dozen years of severe bulimia. In the four years of recovery that I acquired before discovering Paleo, I was still a sugar addict. I still had to be conscious to avoid getting too full (of grains and crap! I can eat a ton and it’s a non-issue now). And my husband and I still sometimes had what we referred to as “buffet hour” before bed. If you looked at where I’d come from I was doing great, but I know now that there is a way that’s much better.
If you’re just starting, or thinking of starting, your own journey into this lifestyle you can read my start, follow my early progress (and see my progression to more strict paleo), read my 90-day check-in and, six months in, how thankful I was/am for my gym and the online paleo community. And, of, course, there’s the 30-days of super strict Paleo I documented.
I’m just a regular person. I’ve got two little kids. I’ve got a husband and a house. Time is scarce (and energy used to be too). Money is tight. And, yes, I’m doing this on my own (even my paleo baby isn’t so with my anymore). But that doesn’t stop me. That hasn’t even phased me. Because my experience has been that great. And in the past eleven months I’ve come to the point where I couldn’t live my life another way. I couldn’t sustain my energy throughout long days. I couldn’t fit hour-long cardio workouts in 4-5 times per week. I couldn’t function with a 16 month old that still regularly wakes in the night if everything else was less than optimal.
How can I better explain that, yes, I spend more time cooking and no, I can’t easily grab and meal on the go but that is a small price to pay?
If you read my blog, I think it’s clear that I am more than what I eat (though still better for what I eat!) and you should be too. The paleo lifestyle isn’t suppose to be a religion you convert to. It’s a tool–a means to an end–to improve the life you’ve already got. And then expand it beyond what you could even imagine.
I just feel blessed.
[edit: I just realized I could also include some progress in the fitness department (duh!). Last week I ran a 7:45 times mile, beating my old record from the summer by 44 seconds. And just a few days ago I deadlifted 215lbs, a 40lb personal record from my previous one rep max record on 175 (in November)]