“Being a full figure person, weight has been something I’ve dealt with my whole life. I’ve been on every program known to man; Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins, Zone. I’ve counted calories, fat, points, carbs, and who knows what else. I’ve also always been pretty active my whole life. But the problem with all of these programs is that they limited food intake. Once I started losing weight I would start working out again and that’s when the trouble would start. I’d get hungry and start eating more and then I’d gain weight….It was a vicious cycle.
That all changed in September when I started Elements at Crossfit Kaneohe. I had heard about Crossfit through some of my mainland friends who raved about it, so I was eager to give it a go. And it didn’t take long. After just 2 months I could see changes happening in my body. Clothes were getting looser and things were fitting better. But I wasn’t losing any weight. There clearly was still something missing.
Then the Natural November challenge came up. If you’ve been concerned about weight or health issues you’ve heard about the Paleo diet. I’d been moving towards ‘clean’ eating for the past couple of years and Paleo seemed the next logical step. Also, as a scientist, the reasoning behind the Paleo diet made sense to me. Still I was a little nervous about it. Even though I had been eating ‘clean’ with Paleo I would be giving up a lot of my standard foods; mayonnaise, salad dressing, soy sauce, etc. This was going to be tough but clearly what I had been doing wasn’t working so it was time to try something new.
I decided to do the challenge at level 5 for a couple of different reasons. I would be completely changing how and what I ate so I wanted to do it at a level that was manageable. Also, I really wanted to find something I could live with. Not just during the challenge but after too. The first week was hard. I had headaches and lethargy. I generally felt like crap. The good thing was I thought these feelings were from stress at work and I never connected them to the change in diet. After the first week though, things got a lot better.
Around the 2nd week thing really started changing. My energy level was going up every day. I was sleeping like a baby at night. My clothes began to get even looser on me. And I just felt fantastic. I no longer had intestinal problems that had plagued me for years. I didn’t feel bloated and stuffed after a meal. I didn’t have any of my blood sugar spikes that I got before. I also didn’t get that feeling horrible feeling of starvation if I haven’t eaten in 2 hours. In fact, for the first time in a long time, I would forget to eat a meal and not even notice it. It was amazing. For the first time in a very , very long time I felt truly healthy. It was nice. And I finished the challenge having lost 10 lbs, all of it bodyfat, and 6 inches all over. That was pretty amazing and the first time I had been able to lose any significant amount of weight and/or inches in years.
As I stood in line for the final weigh in of the challenge, I listened to people around talking about what they were going to get right after this. There were drinks and sweets and candy and all manner of non-paleo items. As I stood there listening I realized there was nothing I really wanted. I felt so good that I did not want that to change. I also thought that I could totally live at level 5 with a little treat of honey now and then. I don’t ever want to feel the way I did before and if that means eating Paleo for the rest of my life, so be it.
I am really looking forward to the January challenge because I plan on doing level 10 and losing even more. I have only just begun this journey.”