GOD i get so frustrated with this…..and to be honest I was a sheep once….yup…I ll put my hand up, I started my health and fitness journey religiously reading women’s fitness magazines, trying all the fad diets, running from Fat like the plague, doing cardio for hours, never lifting heavier than 5kg dumbbells…..you catch my drift…..WELL IT’S ALL BULLSHIT……ABSOLUTE RUBBISH…..don’t believe me??? good luck to you….I certainly fell for it for the better part of 6 years……going to the gym 5+ times a week…..doing 1 hour cardio and a couple of bicep curls…..countless sit ups……constant calorie restriction diet. God at one stage I think I restricted it down to something like 800/900 calories a day and would go on cardio machines until I burned 600+ calories…..believing all that calorie deficit crap and thinking the less I ate and the more I ran, the faster I would get there….get where exactly?!?! god the damage I did to my body and my mental way of thinking about health and fitness following this routine day in and day out..and I am still paying for it and I still find it hard to break away from these ideas…I don’t even think I knew what the hell I wanted to get out of this….it started off as weight loss (I was quite pudge when I was 15/16yrs old) and then progressed to wanting to be skinny and toned but I sure as hell never did the right thing to get there…..it’s damn draining as well. I was going to the gym for the sake of it, not really enjoying myself in the slightest but just because I felt I had to go…..
I got results in the short term…..I spent one summer running non-stop….just running….and fair enough, I ran off 2 stone and then very slowly another 1 stone over the course of the year but that was about as far as I got…..and for 5 more years I kept killing myself in the gym trying to progress and getting nowhere…..in fact doing the whole 800/900 calorie restriction and cardio mania made me gain weight….my body clearly had a freak out and started to store everything I was eating!
Finally I just got fed up…..I was getting nowhere so what was the point? I actually started going backwards because as I said I felt drained, was tracking every piece of what I ate, always trying to eat less and either not losing weight or putting weight on…I was nutrient deficient….So first thing to change was diet….health and looking good is 80% diet and 20% exercise…no doubt about it.
So I did my research…..I will put my hand up that I am a geek so I love reading about all this stuff which isnt everyones cup of tea….most people just want to get told what to do and move on…fair enough….well I read and read and read…..in fact I am still reading…..and I finally stumbled onto the paleo diet……OK ITS DRASTIC….the general response is OH DEAR GOD NEVER EAT PIZZA AGAIN?!?! NEVER EAT OREOS!?! ARE YOU F***ING MAD!?!?!…..in fact I still have to listen to this two years on after making the change…….but I want to be healthy….I want to live long and be in the best possible condition I can…I want my body to be prepared to fight anything that comes at it…cancer, flu, the common cold, injury…I want it to be ready for attack….but hey that’s just me
In fairness I will admit it was slightly easier for me…I went through a phase of constantly complaining of feeling ill after meals….and eventually copped that I seem to be intolerant to gluten….on top of that I don’t eat dairy….it was never a thing in my house….yogurt was the only thing I gave up and even that was simple….and if I crave it, I ll have one…..but only full fat! Low fat is a load of rubbish because the amazing healthy fat is replaced with sugar…..and sugar is responsible for energy slumps and weight gain etc…..
Maybe I am weird but I saw a picture of some popular paleo pioneers and that was enough for me….I wanted to look like these people! These people are glowing! they are the picture of health! Call me crazy but that really was enough for me…I purchased Mark Sissons book straight away and later got ‘The Paleo Solution’ by Robb Wolf and haven’t looked back since…..How can people honestly diss this way of eating?!? Seriously: the basic idea is to eat fruit, vegetable, and meat! Don’t eat grain, legumes or dairy…….eat real food….single ingredient food…..how can this ‘diet’ be bad for you?! It’s impossible!!!!
Mark from Marks daily apple
Dallas and Melissa Hartwig from Whole9
Liz Wolf and Diane Sanfilippo from Balanced Bites:
I keep hearing people in the gym talking about how they are eating Paleo to lose weight…..classing it as a weight loss diet…..and nothing more…..this is very frustrating to hear…weight loss is the added benefit of eating like this….why? Well you clear your body of toxins (NO IT IS NOT A DETOX DIET EITHER) and reduce inflammation….you learn how to feel satiated and eat real food and it is in fact quite difficult to over eat….so your body finds its ideal….and ye nearly everyone loses weight……this way of eating resets your body to functioning like it is supposed to, it rebuilds all your internal systems to function properly…..most importantly your immune system…
So my point is that I do not look at this way of eating as a way to lose weight! What is my end goal? well here is my list:
1. Better skin: your skin is a great teller of what is going on inside….ever notice spots spring up when you are stressed?
2. Better sleep: getting rid of sugar and eating properly has an amazing effect on my sleep patterns…..you should ideally get 8hrs and be able to fall asleep easily, barely move (tossing and turning is not a good sign) and feel rested when you wake up
3. Number of times I get sick: Ideally I want to get sick a maximum of once a year….by eating the right food, my immune system will be at its best and ready to fight any pathogens trying to enter!
4. Energy levels: I don’t want to rely on coffee, pharmaton, berocca or whatever for my energy…..at one stage I was having 3 coffees a day, 1 pharmaton capsule and 1 berocca to keep me going…this is not natural….I should be able to generate the energy myself
5. MOST IMPORTANT:MY STRENGTH IN THE GYM…..my body is not made to be skinny…..in fact I don’t think many people are meant to be size 0…it’s very difficult to stay at that weight and be healthy….so I made a choice last year to be STRONG. Jessica Ennis has really brought this image into focus this year and I think it’s the way forward. Her body is UNREAL. Skinny-fat is out the window for me….bye bye!
What is your end goal?!
So to reiterate……the goal of PALEO is NOT WEIGHT LOSS. Paleo is NOT A DIET. It is a way of life….eating good natural food…single ingredient food. not processed rubbish…..and yes it is difficult…and unfortunately you will be the exception which is a whole other rant….it’s insane that trying to be healthy is the exception! I ll save that for another day…
When it comes to fitness, my biggest lesson has been that less is more…..I just went through a phase of 7 days hard training routines…constantly going hard and not leaving the gym until I was dripping in sweat….I was damn lucky I didnt suffer and injury but my body just shut down over christmas and I hit fatigue….I had to stop all activity for 3 weeks….believe me I tried to workout…..managed a 5 minute row one day and nearly fainted…..had to sit down because the room was spinning…..couldnt lift weights…I was so pissed off all the time but my body was just saying NO! and on top of it I was starving hungry all the time (again my body was telling me it needed nutrients) so i ate! I tried to fight it but in the end I had to listen….I am only slowly coming back into training now but again but I will not be making the same mistake again. And not only does this apply to the number of times a week you exercise but duration as well…..there is absolutely no need to spend hours on end in the gym every day…..in fact 10 minutes is plenty. Tabata intervals anyone!? You ll get far better results and be far happier! Again this is a rant for another day but I think I ve covered the basics!
And last point: we are only human…..yes I eat very healthy but that doesn’t mean I don’t crave a sweet treat from time to time…my go to? Dark chocolate or a paleo treat (coincidentally these treats are always gluten and dairy free)…..try my banana bread, or coconut nuggets or just google paleo treats!
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Categories: Paleo Rants