Written by: Tabitha
I’ve always been an athletic and healthy person. No one in my family really struggles with disease or conditions. The women in my mom’s family seem to get hypothyroidism, but it hasn’t affected me. I grew up very active and able to eat anything in as large a quantity as I wanted. I could rival many teenage boys in their eating. It wasn’t uncommon for me to down five slices of pizza in a sitting and then have dessert. In college, I remained moderately active and only put on about 10 pounds. Even then I was pretty trim and had good muscle tone in a size 12 at 5’8” and around 150 pounds. I figured I would stick there. I was wrong.
On March 29, 2011, I turned 28. I was sick of myself. After two children and two C-sections, I was 50 lbs overweight with a flabby stomach and pants three sizes larger than I should have been. I didn’t know how to lose weight, except through extreme diets, but I knew that wouldn’t work. I knew it had to be an actual change to my lifestyle. Our dear friends had been following the Paleo lifestyle for a little over a year, and they were gung-ho about it. I could see the amazing results in their lives, and I wanted to follow suit, but I didn’t know how. They bought me Robb’s book and the Everyday Paleo cookbook so I could try the plan. We sort of tried it for a few weeks. I felt guilty making my trim husband follow the plan, and my four year old wouldn’t eat hardly any of the food I was making. He was too used to chicken nuggets, pasta and cookies. I never followed it 100%, so I did not get the results I had hoped for. I eventually let life get in the way, and we went back to our old habits.
Now, before you judge, it wasn’t all laziness. We are a very busy family (as is every family). My husband works full-time for the Army National Guard, I work full-time, and we run a small business on the side. In 2011, I was still nursing my newest child. We have another young child as well, and we are lucky if our dishes get washed twice a week. When my husband was gone for his two weeks of training last June is really when Paleo began to fall apart for me. When I finally arrived home, alone, with the kids at 5:30 in the evenings, I would rather fix a grilled cheese sandwich so I could maybe get some housework done before it was time for baths and bed. It was also a battle of will, as I did not want to give up sugary sweets that I had enjoyed (in excess) for my entire life. I was stuck at the weight I had been since giving birth to my first child, and I figured no gain was better than adding pounds.
This year, I was still sick of looking at myself in the mirror. I hated how my clothes looked and felt. I refused to buy myself nice clothes because I hated how big they had to be, and I didn’t look good in them anyway. I played in an alumni basketball tournament in mid-March, and I didn’t hurt as badly as I thought I might, but my jiggly stomach disgusted me. I knew my body should not feel like that when I ran. The next week, I weighed myself and found I had put on four pounds, which would explain why my work pants felt snug. I’d had it. My Paleo friend also randomly sent me a testimony from a guy in his gym who had amazing results on Paleo after 60 days. In 30 days, the guy had lost 22 pounds. I’m not a guy, and I don’t work out regulary, but I thought if I could even lose half that in 30 days, it would be worth it. My husband was gone that week for some training. I made a unilateral decision and sent him a text that said, ”We’re going Paleo when you get home.” I started the plan on March 25, and they served cupcakes at church that evening that I had to say no to. I wouldn’t say I do it 100% yet, but I am trying to avoid the bad food that got me where I am. I have not yet been able to work an exercise schedule into my routine. I still eat some cheese, and I had some corn chips (ingredients: corn, sunflower oil, sea salt) when we went on a road trip a couple weeks ago. I probably eat more fruit than I should. But 28 days later, I have lost 13 pounds and gone down one pant size to a 16. I am the smallest I’ve been since 2007 when I got pregnant with our first child. I feel great. I guess you could say I’m winging this, but I knew I had to do it for my health, and I wanted to do it for my weight. My irritatingly thin, muscular husband doesn’t always stick to it, but he says it’s helping his muscle tone (which got him a slug in the shoulder). My children still have junk at Grandma’s during the day, but I can live with that, because we don’t have junk at home (most of the time–occasionally fruit snacks or other indulgences show up for the kids). Right now, I’m changing my life and hoping to lead by example. I’m not overwhelmed by cravings anymore, and I can even sit and watch my husband eat a brownie sundae in front of me without wanting to kill him too badly. I look at the family picture on my desk each day and say to myself, ”You will look better than that when you turn 30!” I plan to finish Robb Wolf’s book one of these days, but for now, the proof is in how I look and feel.