So this is it. The final day of the Lurong Living Paleo Challenge of 2013 (not the final day of this blog). One of our requirements is to submit a testimonial of our experiences with the Challenge. Here’s what I wrote:
For me, the best part of the challenge was learning how to keep a Paleo diet. I enjoyed cooking for myself and learning new and creative ways of preparing food. When out to eat, I developed an appreciation for studying my menu carefully when forced to eat out and question what was going on my plate. I also got a kick out of scaring the waitstaff by telling them I was “gluten-free, wheat-free, grain-free, soy-free, and dairy-free.”
At the beginning I was frustrated with food-shopping. The first round of grocery shopping to get ready for the Challenge took 6 hours to find everything I needed and was looking for. The issue: reading ingredients on foods I would normally eat. I had no idea that corn derivatives, soy derivatives, or sugar in some form was in nearly every food that wasn’t a raw ingredient (i.e. produce, raw nuts, fish, meat, spices and herbs). As the Challenge progressed and I knew where to find what I could eat, shopping became much quicker and easier as I was no longer going up and down aisles but rather around perimeter of the store (with the exception of the one aisle for almond flour, olive and walnut oils, and spices). I came very close to throwing in the towel when I had strep the first time. I came even closer to giving up on the whole Challenge when I had strep a second time. But I didn’t. My motivation was my perfectionism: I needed the perfect diet score as it was the only thing I could truly control and the only thing I had any chance of winning a prize from.
Now that the Challenge is barely hours away from ending, I have the time to reflect on the past 8 weeks in their entirety. The frustrations of that first round of grocery shopping were worth it. Getting sick twice (and now having a cold) stunk but fighting through and not giving in was rewarding. When we did WOD 1 (L3; wall balls, dead lifts, box jumps) the first time, I was ready to walk out the door after the round of 15. It took me over 4 minutes to complete the round of 21. I said there was no way I was going to finish it. Well, I did with 1:26 to spare. The second time through I knocked 2:01 off my time and never felt like I wanted to quit. I’m actually looking forward to doing this WOD again so as to see just how low I can get my time. WOD 2 was just awful the first time around and even worse the second (I missed by 2 swings and 30 burpees the first time; completed my swings and missed 36 burpees the second). WOD 3 was fun (cleans and shuttle sprints). I’m a slow runner so this pushed my limits. I shaved 23 seconds off my time at the end. Never giving in to my frustrations with the diet paid off.
This morning I stopped by my box for my final round of measurements. I am down a total of 2 pounds. My chest and thighs stayed the exact same size. I lost 1/4” in my waist and gained 1/4” in both arms. My hips lost 2-1/4” inches. The lack of change in these numbers annoyed me. I saw someone at my box lose 30 lbs and 6 inches in their waists. I read posts on Facebook of people losing that much and more. Where was my loss? My coach warned me at the beginning I wouldn’t see much change in my measurements because I was lean to begin with. He was right; but, I am still annoyed. I wanted to see a bigger change. I wanted my biceps to get bigger than they did. I wanted my waist and chest to drop a whole inch. I wish I had someone who knew my body help me with diet to get me the losses and gains I wanted.
Overall, this was an amazing experience and I look forward to doing it again.