I have been 90% Paleo for about 7.5 months now. Why did I do it? A handful of reasons I suppose. Weight-loss. Get more toned. Become healthier. I wanted to eat cleaner, which is tough to do in this carbalicious world we live in. Basically I just wanted to be fit.
This morning, I thought I’d hop on the ol’ scale. I’ve managed to get rid of an extra 25 pounds and probably half as many inches. My clothes fit better, I need to buy new belts, and I’ve started to see muscle tone. Flabby to firmy. 7.5 months to get to where I am. 3.5 months until I turn 30. Well on my way to being in the best shape of my life.
When beginning a fitness journey, a solid support system is HUGE. Start with the people who you live with. Are they on board? Encouragement from family is super important. Next comes friends. Do you have a workout buddy? Fitness group at work? Super close CrossFit class? This is key. My family has been great. Constantly encouraging me and keeping me accountable. The last time that my mom came to visit, she noticed that I looked more fit and asked to borrow one of my Paleo books (It Starts With Food). My family is always telling me that they’re proud of me. At work, there’s a cork board as soon as you walk into the women’s locker room. We hang motivational sayings, workouts, witty fitness one-liners (for example: Exercise, the poor man’s plastic surgery), and clean recipes. I know I find it encouraging. I also belong to a pretty close-knit CrossFit community. We are constantly encouraging each other. If someone misses a few workouts, they will hear about. Support system. Gotta have it.
Man oh man, it’s tough. One day I just started eating 90% Paleo cold turkey. Shortly thereafter, I joined a fitness challenge group put on by my friend, Laura, over at Fully Fit. I believe the challenge group was 60 days. I did my CrossFit, ate Paleo, and threw in a couple Insanity workouts a week. This group is what kept me accountable. I wrote out every single thing that I ate during that time. Laura and the rest of the group were free to comment, critique, criticize…encourage, motivate, and give advice. During that time, I decided to create a Facebook page, then furthermore create this blog. I wanted to post recipes. Pictures of my food that many of my Facebook friends were sick of seeing. Motivational pictures that helped me get to the gym, eat cleaner, or just give me a good laugh. I just wanted a place to document my journey I guess. Really keep myself accountable. I can’t just up and quit being the Paleo Paramedic. Well, I suppose that I could, but that’s lame. Accountability is a must. Sneaking that handful of M&Ms from the ice cream bar at the work cafeteria is less likely to happen if you have a clean-eating buddy and are obligated to tell them all about it.
So many people are wanting a quick fix. Quick fixes work great…but then fail. It won’t last. Also, it’s not the healthy way of going about it. The tried and true way to be fit is old fashioned change up your diet and get moving! Again, it’s slow, but it works. Within about a month, you’ll start seeing changes. Within a few months, other people will notice. Stick to it. The days that all you want to do is hit snooze, don’t do it. Get up and get after it. All the times that you’re starving and would love nothing more than reach for those Combos or cupcakes, don’t give it. Not worth it. One day at a time. I consider each day that I eat clean and workout a victory. By now, it has become a habit. It’s just what I do. Hosting a party at my house, of course there will be Paleo snacks. Out of state for training for work, of course I’ll get a workout in every day. Make fitness a part of your daily routine. Just something that you do. As much of daily occurrence as brushing your teeth.
There are great days and there are amazingly difficult days. You will fail. You will get frustrated. Happens to everyone. Give yourself a few minutes to be frustrated, feel guilty, what have you….then move on. Don’t let one bad meal ruin your entire week. No such thing as a bad workout. As they say, the only bad workout is the one that you didn’t do. Furthermore, when you’re frustrated, don’t turn to food. Super good mood….don’t turn to food. You’re not a dog, don’t give yourself a cupcake treat every time you accomplish a goal. When emotions are running high (or low), take it out in the gym. Take on a tough workout you’ve been dreading for days. Pound the pavement with a pre-sunrise run. Heck, one can even walk the dog with aggression. Many times, emotion-fueled workouts are the best. AND, you feel better afterwards.
Set goals for yourself. Reach them. Set new goals. Write them down and cross them off as you reach them. Here are my CrossFit goals for the year. I have added to the list and crossed out as I’ve reached the goals. It’s like creating a to-do list. The best part is checking stuff off.
No matter what, never ever, ever, ever quit. Don’t do it. Take rest days. Have treat meals. But don’t you quit. Keep going. Stay motivated. Every day, stay motivated. Write notes on your mirror. Label your cellphone alarm clocks with inspiration such as “TIME TO BE AWESOME!” Do what you need to do to stay motivated, especially on the rough days. It’s worth it. I promise.