My Paleo transformation after six months!
My whole life I have struggled with my weight and health. There are so many diets, pills and quick fixes and I am sure that I have tried them all. When I was in high school I was athletic. Very athletic. I worked out between 3 and 5 hours a day. Then I grew up and moved out on my own. This meant cooking my own food, drive thru’s and partying. As the years went by I had two kids and I packed on the weight and my health started to decline. At my worst point I weighed 306 pounds. My feet ached, back hurt, and legs swelled. I had constant heartburn, depression, chest congestion, coughing, headaches and I wanted to sleep all day because my energy level was so low. At that point I was AFRAID to go to the doctor because I was horrified about what he might find or say.
We do a lot of traveling. My family always dreamed of hiking, but it just was not easy for me. I would be out of breath and having to stop every few minutes. This frustrated my kids, but they were patient with me. I would circle the parking lot of grocery stores for 30 minutes before finding a parking spot up close to the door so I didn’t have to walk as far. I flew on the plane to Culebra, Puerto Rico and my hips were so wide that I sat squeezed into the seat for 6 hours. Once we got there the beach was beautiful, but walking everywhere had me out of breath and exhausted. I just couldn’t keep up! I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted with reckless abandon. Pizza, ice-cream, fried foods and burgers were among my favorites!
After I had my boys I only wanted to feed them the best. I made their baby food and made sure that everything they needed was taken care of. I put myself last… like most moms I know. As the kids grew we began to eat at restaurants more and more. Not only was I unhealthy, but my whole family was on the same path I was on. Last summer my 7 year old wanted me to play soccer with him. It was THEN that I realized that I couldn’t. I physically could not run, jump or kick the ball because my body hurt and my lungs burned. I was so out of shape and weighed so much that I could not play with my kids. The thought of living life on the sidelines scared me to death.
At this point in our lives we were in Cheyenne, Wyoming and a woman I met at a homeschool group was telling me all about her experiences with the Paleo lifestyle. I had never even heard of Paleo before that. She was so passionate about it that it made me think that there had to be more to it! I got home and googled all about the Paleo lifestyle. That next week I decided we were going to give it a try. I thew out everything in the house that was not Paleo approved and made my first meal plan. My husband went along with this because he was used to me trying all the fad diets. We started full throttle with Paleo the next week and committed to one month. If we hated it we would go back to our old lifestyle. In that one month we noticed changes almost right away. My acne cleared up, my weight started dropping, and my sleep was improving. When we reached the one month mark we decided we would keep going. We were not missing the grains at all. The one thing I had held onto for the whole month was my morning coffee ritual. I would pour BOTH hazelnut creamer AND heaps of sugar in it. It wasn’t really even coffee anymore. I decided that if we were going to do this and change our lives I had to get rid of the sugar and creamer. I researched and talked to my Paleo friend and she told me about coconut oil in my coffee. Believe me… I thought she was nuts. Being me, I will try anything once. Sometimes twice. So, I tried it. I have to admit, at first it was a little weird, and totally different from my super sugar coffee. I committed to a full two weeks. I was going to have my coffee that way for two weeks. I was very surprised when I ended up LIKING the coconut oil coffee. I still WANTED and CRAVED the sweet coffee though. At this point another friend introduced me to Diane Sanfilippo’s 21 Day Sugar Detox. That book is the real deal! The whole point of it is to re-train your tastebuds. I committed to the full 21 days with an awesome support group. At the end of the 21 days I was super surprised that things that were once not sweet, like carrots, were now sweet. It worked! That is how I kicked my sugar habit. Even now I can only eat a few bites of something super sweet before I push it away.
We followed AND LOVED the Paleo lifestyle for the next few months. I fell off the horse a few times, but I got back up, dusted myself off and got back on track. Fast forward to today. Today I am 72 pounds lighter. All those symptoms I talked about earlier are gone and I started Crossfit at the local box. I am still out of shape and still overweight, but I was given a warm welcome at the Crossfit here in Helena, Montana! I am excited to be working on me. My kids see the difference and I can feel the difference! We enjoy long family hikes and cooking at home. It’s not about the weight. It’s about my health and the chance to get in the game instead of watching from the sidelines. The Paleo lifestyle has been a true game changer for our family. My only hope is that my story inspires someone who thinks that they could never do it. You can! Just try it! What do you have to lose?