I recently wrapped up a Paleo challenge at my gym, my third 100% Paleo challenge. And for the first time ever, I weigh what I did when I graduated high school almost 12 years ago. I reached my goal weight in a year. But if you had told me a year and a month ago that this would have happened, I would have laughed in your face.
It’s been a year since I had the light bulb go off, the one that “clicked” in my head that I had to do something about my life and my body. I looked in the mirror one night while drying my daughter after her bath and didn’t recognize myself. How had I gotten this bad? Well, I know how, but still. I didn’t know that person. I was done. DONE. Done being fat. Done feeling like an embarrassment. Done telling myself that I’d lose weight someday. Done waiting for that day to come. Done being weak.
Then everything fell into place. I saw my reflection and click. I started weight watchers. I lost some weight. I started running on the treadmill. My friend Sara, a trainer, moved to town. I finally “gave in” and tried CrossFit with her. I couldn’t do a single sit up or run more than 200m, but I did it. I started Paleo. I joined a CrossFit gym. I never looked back. I got stronger. I got more confident. I got more savage.
Turns out Paleo worked really well for me because back in college I was diagnosed as gluten intolerant. I went to the doctor complaining about stomach issues and I had a battery of tests run, including a colonoscopy at age 21. I complained about being overweight and bloated and that the weight never fell off. Even after my diagnosis, I was told to “avoid greasy food”. I was never told to avoid gluten. If I had only known. I gained more than 40 pounds after that. I did not change my diet. I didn’t know how to.
Thankfully, I found Paleo. I was hesitant of course; I didn’t want to give up bread or cheese. But I was desperate and miserable. I was told that anyone can do anything for 30 days. So I did. I went all-out cold turkey. I lost 10 pounds that month and felt better than I remembered ever feeling. When the 30 days was done, I tried adding things back in and learned what my body could and could not process. Today I am content to maintain and eat 80/20. I have lost 60 pounds. I have had non-weight related results as well. My skin cleared up and my contact prescription improved for the first time ever.
I didn’t ever take my measurements when I started; I was too ashamed of what they were. I still have the pictures though. I don’t even know who this person in the beginning pictures is any more. She’s gone, thankfully. I wouldn’t trade the experiences that got me here for anything but man, if I had CrossFit and Paleo 10 years ago, I can’t even image where I’d be! I am more confident about myself than I have ever been in my entire life thanks to the changes I made. And thankfully I have a great husband who supported me throughout.
But I have so much more I want to accomplish. Integrate more weightlifting into my workouts. Get an unassisted pull up. Do full push-ups every time. Run further and more consistently! Eat less sneaky sugar. Have more muscle definition. String together 20 double unders (my max is 16). Have an over 200 lb. deadlift (max is 185 right now). Go overhead with more than 100 lbs. (max is 95). Maintain my weight.
But most of all I just want results.
Pictures don’t lie.