A few months of paleo

I guess I’ve officially been a paleo eater for four months now. There has been the odd slip up (some accidental and some that I knew full well as I was stuffing the non-paleo item in my mouth). Slap the hand that feeds me!

cookie monster 2It’s been an interesting experience and I’ve had to rethink my relationship with food. Food is, and I guess, always will have an emotional attachment – I just need to manage it better. If I’m having a bad day I want to eat (even if I’m not hungry), and my will power is weak so I give in. I know it’s wrong, and that it only fuels the bad feelings. Pretty nasty circle isn’t it! Is it a female thing or do males experience this too?

I’ve made a handful of new friends recently, mainly paleo eaters, and those wanting to ask questions about what paleo is, how to do it and most commonly “what do you eat for breakfast?”. That’s an easy answer – bacon and eggs!!

eggs, bacon, spinach, avocado - paleo breakfast

Ok, so not every day but certainly on most mornings. I attend two or three business breakfast meetings a week, and the venues have been very accommodating. If you are cheeky enough to find what you want scattered throughout the menu, then ask for it. Most restaurants or cafés are willing to help with specific food or dietary requirements, as it’s becoming more mainstream.

The type of exercise is changing too. Only 2 or 3 Zumba sessions a week, bootcamps have dropped to 1 a week, and I’ve increased my low impact cardio. A casual bike ride, a walk in the Port Hills and at least once a week I’m going up and over Bridle Path. Even if it’s been torrential rain causing damage to the track, which turn into mini mud runs…

mud run

I’m still not happy with my results (even though I’m still under my new threshold) and my weight seems to fluctuate on a weekly basis. The measurements are variable but slowly trending in the right direction. I honestly thought I would have less fat by now – even though I know it’s a slow journey from here. I need to be a tiny bit more disciplined and perhaps I’ll get there eventually. One snack, one meal, one day at a time.

Attitude change has kicked in

I’m starting to dread Monday mornings and it’s not for the obvious reason. For me it is weigh in and measurements in all of it’s glory and failure and this morning was pretty average results. But that is ok, as I’ve had an attitude change! Last weeks blog post was shared on my facebook page and I asked for feedback and advice. Wow, what a diverse group of friends I have, all with various ideas, tips and suggestions. It was a real eye opener for me as to how my friends see me and how much they are willing to support me.

This week I’ve eased back on the cardio, just 4 Zumba sessions, 2 bootcamps and 2 hill runs (plus incidental exercise) and this will be a standard week for me with all the events I’ve got scheduled. On Sunday morning I was out running with my mate training for A Run To Remember and we had a conversation while running freestyle down one of my favourite pieces of the track (the downhill portion)…

RapakiThe conversation was about how people think we are crazy for attempting all this exercise. I had a ‘light-bulb’ moment and said “nah, we were mentally crazy to let our bodies consume all the crap we used to love” and it was only then that I realised that I’m not crazy or mental. The old overweight fat unhappy me was off the rails and damned if I’m letting that happen. We also joked as the night before I’d had a moment of weakness and had eaten a Perky Nana, which at the time was absolutely lip smackingly good but it was short-lived. My stomach decided that it was poison and gave me horrific tummy ache and totally ruined my Saturday night – although I was only hanging out at home by myself, so it was hardly a tragedy in the first place.

Meanwhile my food intake has been pretty good. A few of my mates are now using myfitnesspal to track their calorie intake and we are comparing notes and encouraging each other. I’ve finally got some yummy chocolate treats that are homemade and look like this! Best flavours in my opinion so far are lime and chilli, and raisin.

Paleo chocolateWhat I’ve realised is I need to do some more strength/resistance training.  So I’ll be speaking to my favourite personal trainer and see what she can suggest for me to do, and it needs to be without joining a gym or heading to crossfit. It has to be activity I can do at home so I can fit it around my already crazy schedule. If I can continue with my current level of cardio plus add some weight resistance in the mix, I think I might see some good results. Let’s see what happens, eh?

Dragging myself up hills

I’ve started training for my next event, a 12km hill run. The course is a local one and as usual, I want to get some of the route under my shoes before race day.

What this means is that I’ve completed six hill walk and runs in seven days. Twice up Bridle Path, once up Bridle down to Lyttleton and back, and then three runs on the actual course I’ll be running in 22nd February for Run To Remember which was started as a practical and healthy way to acknowledge the tragic event that rocked my city (and how it impacted my weight loss journey).

My food has been pretty strict and although I’ve been experimenting with paleo recipes – this gal had got a sweet tooth – I’ve only slipped once. Being out with my teenage nieces, we ended up at one of their absolutely favourite restaurants, Strawberry Fare. They specialise in desserts, so I took the opportunity to relish every last morsel of this lip smacking combination…

Strawberry FareAlso, I’ve also gone out for three meals and have been the annoying one at the table by modifying what was on the menu to be as paleo as possible. Most restaurants can be tweaked to 99% paleo, which is close enough for me. Best food to order is the steak or fish of the day. Normally they come with sauces (which you can request for it to be on the side), and either salad or veges. Nearly all of the dishes come with potato fries of some description, so I’ve been cheeky and asked if I can have salad AND vegetables but no fries. All have complied at no extra charge, which was a pleasant surprise.

So when I jumped on the scales this morning to take my measurements, I felt completely deflated. I’ve put on weight and it wasn’t just muscle. My body fat percentage has gone up and I’m a bit stumped. All my other measurements have remained the same, except my thigh (it’s gone down 1 cm). How is it possible when I’ve been watching everything I’ve eaten or drunk. To say I feel flat is an understatment.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to bury my face in a pile of chocolate and wash it down with a bottle of bubbles. As tempting as it might be for about 5 minutes, I think I’d throw up and feel worse than ever. The only thing I can think of is the quantity of fruit that I’ve been eating, or perhaps it’s something else that I’m not aware of. Zumba starts back tonight and combined with some more hill runs, I’ll reduce my fruit intake and see what happens. Wish me luck!

Week Two of Paleo

Hmmmm, bit of an odd week.  I’ve got the food under control, although I think I’m eating a few too many kumara, eggs and stone fruit – but that will change in the coming days. Gosh I love stone fruit, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches… I salivate at the thought of it.  I grew up in Central Otago and I’m pretty sure they grow the best stone fruit I’ve ever tasted and if possible I’d eat it all day everyday. But too much stone fruit has an adverse effect on me, if you know what I mean!

I’ve come across some amazing recipes and that’s something I really enjoy about Paleo as it makes you think differently about your food. While it’s easy to have meat with salad, it gets a tad boring. And if you call upon your favourite meals all the time, they quickly become your least favourite as you eat it all the time.

As for the exercise, last week was a bit mixed and although I tried to do cardio each day, I had two rest days (which I honestly can’t remember when that last happened). It’s partly because I was in final training for my first event of 2014 – the Christchurch CBD Stampede – which was an 8km run around the city with 40 obstacles (under fencing, over shipping containers, under cars, over barriers and some cargo nets over diggers.

So you probably want to know my updated weight results – well, it’s not as impressive as last week. My measurements have slightly increased and my body fat has increased by a teeny tiny amount. Not exactly what I wanted to see this morning but it’s ok.  I know I’ve stuck to the paleo way, but I’ve got to reduce the fruit component. However, I’m going to eat what I have in the fruit bowl and fridge and not purchase any more.

As for doing more cardio, I squeezed in a bit of active recovery this morning with a short hill work and tonight I’m walking with perhaps a small jog of my next event which is in 7 weeks.  Some days I feel like I spend equal amounts of time sleeping, training, eating and working (thank goodness I’m self-employed!).

Right, it’s lunch time again, so it’s BBQ leftovers from last night. Yummy!

Fitness challenges

Over Christmas and New Year of 2012/13 I caught up with a few friends. After a few beverages, an idea was born. If anyone I knew was endeavouring to do a food or fitness challenge in 2013, I would match them on that particular challenge. Here’s where I am at so far:

No booze until reaching my goal weight – this was a twitter friend and at the time my goal weight was my pre-Christmas weight. I was desperate to get there before another friends 50th birthday as she was having a cocktail party. I made it with one week to spare.

Running the Christchurch City to Surf 14km circuit – this was a close friend of mine and although this challenge was accepted prior to the beginning of 2013, it proved to be an interesting one as my friend twisted her ankle on our first training run. We ran the whole way, no stopping and it was an emotional crossing at the finish line.

Muddy Good Run – this is exactly like it sounds. A 5km run in mud. The same friend who did the City to Surf joined with my trainer and I to do this run. We were in costume and although we went through some mud pits, it was more wet than muddy. This actually kick started some future events and proved to be a good cross fitness event.

This is what my feet looked like after the run:

Muddy Good Run

Paleo Food Challenge – you might be asking yourself what the heck is paleo. Google it. Essentially eating food similar to caveman, unprocessed and clean food. I only did this for 3 weeks with my trainer but have carried on most of the food regime since finishing the challenge.

No booze for the month of May – this idea was created with a friend who does Zumba with me. Great idea until we realised May has 31 days. Oh well, these challenges are actually easy once you get past the first weekend.

Great Auckland Bed Race – this was a charity event held in Auckland and I got involved after suggesting to a group of people they should enter a team. Long story short, I got flown up for the day and ran 2.7km pushing a bed around a course and lifting it up way more steps that should ever be allowed.

Running the Christchurch Half Marathon – this was a challenge thrown at me after I’d had a couple of drinks. Several months of training, numerous hours of running long stretches by myself, I took on the half marathon and kicked it to touch. Never again though as this required a lot of time in training.

I’ve got several more coming up this year, including Mud Sweat & Tears, Spring Muddy Good Run and no doubt some others that mean I do something fun and stupid in the name of fitness.