Nike co-founder, Bill Bowerman, once said, “If you have a body, you’re an athlete.” The first time I heard it, it really didn’t make sense to me. It wasn’t until I was forty pounds overweight, had severe back pain and was always tired that I really thought more about it. I mean, I was 52 years old, still felt like I could do a lot of things I had given up like softball, mountain biking and weight lifting. But all I heard was that I was just getting old and that’s what happens. We get fat, we can’t do sports any more and we get aches and pains we didn’t get when we were younger.
After six months of the Paleo lifestyle, I have been pleasantly surprised that weight loss is not the only benefit. I have also discovered things that have made it easier for me to continue eating clean and stay focused on my goals. Here are the top five things I’ve learned after six months of Paleo.
This Is Not A Diet – Believe me, I have seen and tried many diets and in some cases, had great results! But every time, I would give up at a certain point and get right back to sweets, processed carbs and other foods I knew were bad for me (but they tasted so good!). But that’s OK because if I gained weight, I’d just start up a newer, more improved diet! But I finally feel like I have found something that is a lifestyle and not a diet. I do not feel like I am missing out on good food and I’m not depriving myself of food.
Something I’ve been trying to do more is cooking in advance. What I mean by that is cooking one or two days a week for the full weeks menu. I’ve found a great way to do this is buying from the big, bulk stores (Costco, Sams, etc.). I noticed that when I did not have these items in my freezer, I was going to the store almost daily and this was costing a fortune. Usually due to the fact that I would purchase more than I planned. Having a bag of frozen chicken and fish as well as a big bag of frozen organic veggies gives me options. And by getting a little creative, you can come up with some great meals! With the cooked chicken, for example, I can make chicken soup, stir fry, chicken lettuce wraps or perhaps a chicken with rosemary and mushroom glaze. Having the food already cooked not only is saving me money, it’s also saving time. By not having to make so many trips to the store and cook five nights a week, my life is a little less stressful.
Everyone knows they can lose weight and get healthy. You cut calories, eliminate bad foods and do some form of exercise. Sounds simple, right? Than why is it so difficult? Why do so many of us fail to see it through all the way and give up? As I’ve mentioned many times, the first thing we need to do is to stop believing it only takes 30 to 90 days or we can have abs overnight.
I read a great book by Brian Tracy titled Reinvention and applied some of his teachings that have helped tremendously, not only in eating and working out but in many other areas of my life such as finances, relationships and spirituality. The premise is to decide what it is you would like to be doing in five years and create the plan on how you get there. Sounds very simple, I know, but there is a lot to it! First off, you really have to want to get to your goal and you have to be passionate about it. But more importantly, you have to KNOW you can get there and have FAITH. And when I say faith, let me define.
This week was really an eye opener for me. As I’ve mentioned before, I have tried many of the quick weight loss fads. And they work! I would do them for as long as the program advertised (90 days, 30 days, whatever they may be) and I would get comments about my weight loss. Usually they were something like, “You’ve lost weight, haven’t you!”. Or, “You look skinnier. How much weight have you lost?” But I am getting different comments and twice this week, I got completely different compliments that I had never received before.
Has it been three months? My, how time flies. I guess it’s true what they say about habits forming after a few weeks because Paleo has become a lifestyle for me. A couple people asked what else I was doing besides Paleo so I thought I’d list my typical weekly workout schedule as well as an update.
But first, my three month results! After starting at roughly 209 pounds, I am currently at 187.5. A loss of over 21 pounds! I’m not even sure what my goal weight is now, since my original goal of fitting into my tan pants has been surpassed. But I’m thinking a six pack would be something to shoot for! Also, I’m sure a lot of that is muscle weight so I may look into a fit test somewhere down the road. One thing I have really noticed is that the mid section will be the last to go (darn!), but I have already lost just over four inches.
I had planned on not weighing until week four but couldn’t resist. I knew the results would not be as dramatic as the first two, but progress was made! Weight down two pounds and another half inch off the belly.
DIET – Not a lot of changes here. I have come to rely on eggs for breakfast (with some chorizo and served in a lettuce wrap is fantastic!). Lunch is a mixture of salad with some grilled chicken thrown in, an occasional can of smoked oysters, and leftovers (mostly chicken, fish or steak). I have stuck to a variety of fruits for snacks, mainly cherries, blueberries and watermelon as well as carrots with hummus and also cut up a jicama and squeezed some lemon juice and a little Tajin seasoning. I again have to admit a slight cheat. Invited again to my sisters to celebrate my nieces birthday and dinner was vodka pasta and birthday cake. Didn’t over do it but also brushed aside any regrets and enjoyed it! I am contemplating looking into the Intermittent Fasting next month but we’ll see.