This is what I miss from the challenge.
I miss coming to work, logging on and getting my writing notepad and Primal Junction food dairy ready next to my pc, ipad, water bottle and to do list. I miss having to open up word in case sudden inspiration pops into my head mid mouthful of my latest frittata, zucchini slice or over sized omelette and I need to type it as writing is simply too slow.
I miss completing my food diary. Something methodical about documenting everything I ate, and then when seeing it on the page glaring at me with slightly judging, and very messy, handwriting, knowing that I should really leave the nuts in the draw.
I miss (ironically) having to say ‘I can’t eat that’ or ‘that’s not allowed’ which basically means I miss having an excuse to justify my new eating behavior.
When the word challenge is lifted, and I no longer have an excuse, this is what happens –
1 x Tim Tam goes missing from the container in the fridge not because I really want it, but because it has been staring at me every time I fill up my water glass and because soon I know the entire container will be eaten by husband and have an irrational fear of missing out
1 x Chocolate bullet is eaten from the bowl in the middle of a friend’s coffee table because they are apparently so good she purchased the last 21 packets of them from the supermarket and I just have to find out for myself
1 x piece (size of 50 cent piece) of Red Tulip Easter Bunny is eaten before realizing that I actually don’t like Red Tulip chocolate
1 x drink on Friday night turns into 1 x bottle (or more) of wine and leaves me with a headache so bad I miss boxing the next morning, sleep horribly and are well reminded of how much better I felt off it, and no I am not 21 anymore so stop acting like it
1 x adjusted flexibility leaves me with pork belly and cauliflower puree that is dribbled with maple syrup sauce and sends a sweetness shiver through my entire body and no amount of scraping that sucker off helps, and no amount of mineral water drives the sickliness from my mouth, and yes it was gluten free but that was about all.
1 x dinner party means I end up eating a handful of organic, sugar free popcorn before my blonde brain is replaced by the rational me, and I remember that corn is a grain. The same dinner party sees me actively choose to eat two full of sugar and nothing else lolly snakes, but refuse the homemade chocolate chip cookies and carrot cake courtesy of grandma and the small lovingly diced potatoes my sister prepared with their herb encrusted goodness.
Instead I drank two glasses of wine and four pieces of that double brie cheese I finally unwrapped from the fridge.
All of that and only 13 days after the challenge.
I have also been routinely asked since my 30 days were up – but I thought you had finished? And you are not STILL doing that are you? And so you are never going to eat those thing again? And when will you stop?
So why am I still trying to eat clean?
Because I feel better.
Because for longer than 30 days I have been able to keep the Imodium in the draw and the buscoapan in the packet – too much information?
Because when my skin fold tests results came in, while nothing too major, they were enough for me to see there had been a difference. It was real.
And while I hadn’t been one of those people who had made such a lifestyle change they lost four to six kilos, (well done guys!) that is mostly because I would look quote cadaverous if I did lose four kilos, and I should really just be happy with one.
I lost one.
In 30 days.
And when I was already below 60kilos and approximately 170cm tall (ok its 169.5 but I round up) this is enough for me.
But the weight wasn’t why I was doing this. Apart from the note above regarding the change in my previous irregular bowel moments and minor IBS, I could see a difference in my body. I did look leaner. My arms did look more toned (although not yet Michelle Bridges worthy) and I was putting on muscle (in some areas so much my skin fold actually went UP!). It might have been my hopeful imagination but I could see the outline of what could one day be a six pack and my stomach overall defiantly felt and looked flatter.
Here is the before and after nothing to hide–
So like I said, nothing major, but enough.
Personally, I’m pretty happy with 15% body fat. And while my ‘boring blog’ brother reminds me he is was 7% in his prime, his prime was 5 years ago, 7% for males is the same as 15% for females, and my prime is now, despite being older.
You might also notice, that in typical crossfit fashion my thighs actually got bigger…
But now 13 days after, when flood gates have opened and potatoes have almost entered my mouth, I suddenly have a vision of my long ago ‘tuck shop arms’ making a return.
Already I think the outline of the muscle is fading, and when most girls say it goes on their hips or their butt, mine goes on my arms and I promise you it is just as bad. There are shirts in my wardrobe that quite simply do not do up around my arms, and you know the ‘fat photos’ we all have and cringe over when they come out again – mine are all focused on my arms.
Sometimes when I see those photos I want to slap myself and yell WHAT WAS I THINKING, then I want to slap the person next to me in the photo for not telling me my arm fat was almost suffocating them. Of course they couldn’t say anything thanks to the flesh in their mouth and blocking their nostrail, but anyway.
It’s in my genes.
So apart from feeling better, I’m convinced the four pieces of double brie, and the Tim Tam, and the sugar that has found its way back in my food and my diet is going to send my ‘guns’ to ‘misfired cannons’ and then nobody will be happy.
Which is why I’m trying to stick with the primal diet in the post primal era as much as I can.
Yes there is vanity in there, but I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing because health and well being is the underlying reason. So as long as my arms and my thighs don’t overtake the size of my waist, my head looks like it is the correct size for my body, and I feel as good on the inside as I do now, then I’m happy. And if that means I stay ‘almost paleo’ ‘most of the time’, then great! But if I do want to eat four pieces of cheese or a couple of jelly jubes along the way – then I will.