So as promised, I'm finally blogging about Paleo.  When I started writing this post, I had no clue it would end up this long :)  So grab a cup of hot tea & a seat and hopefully I'll be able to answer a few questions you may have.... 

What is Paleo?  Why am I doing it?  How is it going?

First of all, I am no expert by any means, so I would suggest browsing these websites to get a general idea - Paleo wiki, this site, and this blog.

Now here is my simple, layman terms definition of what the Paleo lifestyle is: 

Simply eating like the humans ate during the Paleolithic era - eating whole foods following mostly a hunter & gatherer diet.

Lean meat, seafood, fruits, veggies, nuts/seeds, and healthy fats = GOOD.
Processed food, sugar, dairy, grain, legumes, starches and alcohol = BAD.

Restrictive?  Yes.  Very!
Scary?  Yes.
Worth it?  Absolutely!

I was super turned off by Paleo when I first heard about it!  I mean how could I ever give up carbs & diary!?!?  But as an avid worker outer (cause that's a word, right!?) I've felt so frustrated in the stalemate that my body has seemingly stayed in for the past few years & I knew deep down that I needed to try something different!

Several weeks ago, Jennifer at Life in the Green House blogged about her Paleo journey & why Paleo?  She pretty much summed up my thoughts exactly!

There's a bit of a background story concerning my weight - during my middle school and high school years, I was close to 20 pounds overweight.  Somewhere during my junior year of high school, I decided to do weight watchers and dropped most of that 20 pounds and kept it off until my first year of college!  Then, I gained the ever popular freshman 15 & was really upset with myself for putting that weight back on!

So second semester freshman year, I started avidly running and I really cut back my calories.  Once I lost that weight, I've successfully kept it off!  

But there was always that last 5 to 10 pounds that I could stand to lose.  I'm only 5'1, it would be totally appropriate and healthy for me to weigh 110 pounds, but I haven't seen that weight since I don't even know when!

I work out more than most girls I know - from running, to weights, workout classes and videos, P90X, Insanity....I've tried it all and I continue to work out a lot!  And I enjoy it!!  (Most of the time, that is!)

But it's not even about a number on the scale!  It's more about my body never changing.  I typically don't gain weight, but I don't lose any either!  I never seem to get more toned or stronger and my body just stays the same....despite all my my efforts.

So logically, the only thing I can really change and take control of is what I put in my mouth!

But I love food.  Like LOVE!  I always joke there's a fat girl living inside me that's trying to get out, except I'm only half joking.....because seriously, THERE IS A FAT GIRL LIVING INSIDE ME & sometimes SHE TRIES TO GET OUT!!!

Typically, I have strong willpower at the grocery store and tempting, unhealthy foods don't even come home with me.  But every now and then they do.

And at times, my love of food can get out of hand and I borderline binge.  Clearly, for the most part, I have control of this as I don't have an eating disorder or anything of that severity, but, for example, if I make a batch of cookies - I would totally eat 4 (or 5) if no one was watching!  (Thank goodness there is usually someone watching!)

If there are sweets or a temptation in the house, I'm typically of the mindset that I need to just finish off the temptation in the house - the rest of that chocolate bar, the rest of those cookies or rice krispy treats, etc - so the temptation is no longer there!

Also, I'm an emotional eater, and I know it!  I like to reward myself with food, treat myself for something I did well.  Or if I eat something unhealthy (snacks or candy), then I convince myself well today's already a wash, I might as well keep eating whatever I want for the rest of the day.


I must be restrictive!  Paleo restrictive!

I've been following Paleo for a little over 6 weeks now!  I'm down 5 pounds and truthfully feeling really, really good!  It may not be a lot of weight gone, but I can tell a huge difference in my body and the way my clothes fit.  And my workouts have been fantastic lately, I'm running faster and feel stronger.  And I think it has everything to do with what I've been eating.

For me, because Paleo's so restrictive, I'm not concentrating on the one thing I can't have!  For instance - oh I've given up desserts or no more carbs for me, etc. and then all you can think about is desserts or carbs!  I'm typically more focused on what I can eat and finding new ways to prepare it!

To be truthful, the past week and a half I haven't been as strict and I can tell that it's not good!  So I'm really trying to be serious about it again.  

The hardest times are when I go out to eat.  I can usually find something Paleo wherever I go {surely a garden salad just about anywhere is probably Paleo or very close!), but I am tempted by all the other things on the menu I shouldn't eat!  They just stare at me and scream EAT ME!

Haha, but thankfully, Brandon is very encouraging with me trying to follow Paleo!!  He's said he'll eat whatever I cook when he's home and he encourages me when we're out to eat to not deviate!  He can definitely tell a difference in how I look and he sees the confidence it's given me!

Because it's so restrictive, I obviously don't live by Paleo 24/7.  If I have a cheat meal or 2 a week, I'm not going to beat myself up about it!  If it's someone's birthday, you better believe I'm having a piece of cake!  And if we go out for Mexican, I guarentee you I'm having a least a few chips with my salsa!

But I really do want to follow Paleo the best I can for as many meals a week as I can!

Paleo really takes planning, I can definitely vouch for that!  So in the next week or so I hope to blog my meals for the week so I can prove to those Paleo doubters out there that it's not so hard and totally doable!!

Paleo has totally changed my mindset about food.  And for the better!  It truly is a lifestyle.  And while I know I'll eventually incorporate small portions of dairy and grain here and there in my diet, I really plan on keeping this up!  The feeling's just addictive!

If you're stuck, in a stalemate, wanting to lose weight or adopt a healthier diet - I dare you to try Paleo for a month and see if you choose to go back to your eating habits before!!

So, so worth it!


Annie said...

Ahh this is so awesome to hear your feedback on this! We have another friend who did it and felt so much better too. I'm glad you're feeling good!

Dee Stephens said...

This is GREAT! My weight has been up and down throughout the years too.
You can read about it here.

I admire you. I could do it but I would probably end up coming off of it and binging. That's what I typically do on eating plans like that.
I just know myself.
So, the one question/topic you didn't mention is BOOZE. What does Paleo say about that????!!

Ashley said...

One of my friends from college is on Paleo with her future hubby. I can't wait to learn more about it and see if it's right for me!