Monday, March 18, 2013

Here I Go Again On My Own

And you're welcome for that ear worm.

The Paleo Challenge is over!!!! Yay! Without further adieu here are my takeaways from living very strict Paleo for the past two months:

1. It has completely changed my palate. I am satisfied by simpler things, like a banana with unsweetened coconut and almond butter or two squares of 86% chocolate. These things would not have cut it if the sweets were calling two months ago. That said, if I do decide to indulge, saaaay a crepe with bananas and nutella at Megacon Sunday morning (drool) it is absolutely heavenly and I appreciate it so much more. 

2. Regarding reintroducing foods: I've realized that I can have one non-paleo meal, (be it bread or dairy)  and I'll be fine. But while at Megacon this weekend we took some points on Friday and Saturday (before the Challenge ended) and then went a little nuts on Sunday (first day post-challenge) and now I feel like death. I am crazy bloated, I'm exhausted, my breathing will even get rapid out of nowhere. In other words, if I eat crap now, I feel like crap. Not an actual gastrointestinal pain like some get, but just an all over run down feeling. 

Incidentally, we saw Billy West signing autographs this weekend. Voice actor IDOL!

Which is great, because once the foray into SAD eating is done, I am inspired to get back to it all the more. Which is a very good thing. In the past, I'd fall of the wagon and it would be so hard to find the motivation to get back on, aside from aesthetics and/or guilt. Not anymore.Now the mentality is, "That tasted great, it was fun, but let's get back to what's going to make me feel better in the long run."

3. Alcohol. We only drink once a week if that anyways, but being on the Challenge did make us think about our alcohol consumption a LOT. There were a few conclusions regarding how we drink that we were coming to on our own anyways, but doing the Whole 30, and then letting loose a little this weekend really made us realize how we want to imbibe as we go into the future. Good stuff, for both our bodies and our relationship. 

Seriously, if you drink a lot of Miller Lite you will not look like that. Trust me.

3. I need to track my food. I know I've already mentioned it but it bears repeating. For folks with disordered eating like myself, the mind plays games when on challenges like this. My brain sees the eat/don't eat list and tries to convince me that as long as I'm eating from the the Do Eat list it's ok to eat however much you want, portions be damned. I suppose the hope would be to eventually get control of one's appetite and hunger cues, but I tried and I just can't do it. Yet. Maybe someday...but for now I know that I am at my best self if I eat Primal Blueprint or Paleo while also tracking my calories/carbs. End of story.

4. I still need to weigh myself, not every day as I was in the past, but once a week. The scale is not the be all and end all, but it is still a tool. Also, when I do weigh myself it needs to be at the end of the work week. If I do it after a weekend wherein there might have been some transgressions, it'll depress me. I'll start the week in guilt-mode. To illustrate; I know the scale is not going to look good this morning after the fun and games this weekend. But that's ok, I'm back on plan and will remain so for the foreseeable future. I'm entering the week thinking, "I'm going to make the right choices for myself, because it is the right and healthy thing to do. Go me! Raaar!" However, if I had weighed myself this morning the thought would have been "I need to make the right choices for myself, because I am big fat nasty cow and I suck."

And I am also stupid.

5. And did I mention I'm off Diet Coke? Yeah, I know did, but it;'s a BIG FREAKING DEAL!!! Yay!

Artist Natalie Dee understands the addiction.

As far as tangible results, I'm not 100% certain yet. I know I gained a pound on the scale, but that did not surprise me. Remember what I said about portion control? Yeah. We did two Hero WODs for the Challenge and repeated one of them last week. I ended up improving my Rankel time quite a bit. Grace is this evening we'll see how I do. Inches-wise, I don't know. We did my measurements last Thursday, but Coach had misplaced our original measurements so I'm not sure if I lost anything. I have a feeling I may have lost a tiny bit in some areas and gained in others. Which is ok, once I realized that the not-tracking things wasn't going to work out for me, I really focused the Challenge on improving my health and really breaking the chemical/sugar addictions, which it did fabulously. So, a win in my book.

So where do we go from here? 

We'll be bringing the overall framework of our diet back in line more with the Primal Blueprint, than strict Paleo. A little bit of high quality dairy here and there is not something I'm concerned with. However, I am going to keep drinking my coffee black and I'm not going to reintroduce the babybell cheese back into my lunch. I can certainly live without them and they're just not worth it from a taste or nutritional perspective in the grand scheme of things. But if I want to make a recipe that has a bit of good quality cheese in it, I'll include it. 

The only other big differences between what we'll be doing from now on and what we've been, is worrying about the oils when we are out to eat it. Don't get me wrong, nothing but olive/coconut oil related products enters Casa de Fuchs, but if we're out to eat and they are cooking an otherwise Paleo-friendly meal in vegetable oil, we're not going to worry about it. It's not that I don't agree that they are bad, but all of life decisions are based on risk vs. reward and the occasional meal out cooked in a non-paleo oil is worth the reward to us.

In summary, we are both glad that we participated in the Challenges of the past two months. We learned a lot about Paleo eating and we learned even more about ourselves. We were already on the right path, but now we've gotten even more tools and a better understanding of how and why we have chosen this lifestyle. We know what works for us and what doesn't and are really happy to be back on our own again.

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