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.
The Crunchy Pickle says
Awesome! Good for you!!
Anders Emil says
So wonderful for you that you got back on the Paleo track and, above all, managed to feel better about yourself and your new lifestyle. In very short time, you will start to feel very natural about cooking paleo food and the dishes will be easier and quicker to cook as you really get into the new ingredients and experiment with different recipes. I wish you the best of luck and I hope you manage to get your kids interested in it too.
Carol B says
Good for you! You have taken the first steps to a lifelong journey to improved health, for yourself, and for your family. If the little ones are resistant, why not try some of the more kid-friendly paleo recipes out there? Eat Like a Dinosaur, Paleo Comfort Foods, Everyday Paleo, there are so many wonderful recipe books with dishes that are super yummy that just happen to be healthy, too. I myself as a child would have pounced on coconut chicken fingers and roast bacon chicken, but all we ever had when I was a kid was stuff like Shake N’ Bake and Tang (gotta love that 70’s high-tech/convenience dining). I’m certainly making up for lost time now… mostly Paleo, I eat awesome, three times a day, every day, and I’m down sixty pounds over two years. It might not be the easiest way to cook, but the time and effort you put in pays dividends many, many times over. I would rather sit down and peel sweet potatoes for the week while watching tv than “save time” and microwave some horrible frozen meal so I can then flake out on the couch from some massive carb overload blood sugar spike. Best of luck and best wishes to you
Christine H. Farlow, D.C. says
We all make changes when we’re ready, when we have the right motivation. Looks like you’re on your way.
One thing to remember is that if you mess up, don’t give up. Just pick yourself back up and get back to it. Do that and you will make it.
Selena Van Hout says
WOW!!! I could have written this myself! I am definitely in the same situation that Tabitha is in! Almost to the T! My husband is Army and I stay home with our children. We have a 10 month old. I was tired of the flab as well and having to buy pants that were too big, just to be able to accommodate my flabby stomach. I have had 2 c-sections myself. A friend of my husband’s told us about Paleo. Just a week of being on this plan, I have lost about 5 pounds and I feel fabulous! My husband was very supportive and is even doing it! I cannot wait to see what I look like in 30 days! Like Tabitha, it’s definitely the way you feel! I know in just this past week, I feel good, I’m more energized, and I don’t even miss the crap! I am having fun making healthy meals from scratch for my family and seeing the smiles on their faces when they enjoy the meals! Paleo is awesome!!!
Thank you for such an inspiring article on paleo diet. I’m newbies on paleo diet and found about it while searching for recipes. I have family background of diabetes and high blood pressure and I always thinking on how to prevent myself from follow the same track. I found that paleo diet can help us to have a better healthy life and I become interested to explore more about it. So now I’m reading a lot about paleo diet and happy to find such informative articles such like this one and also collecting recipes and cookbook on paleo diet.
It is so worth the effort, kiddo. It is how we are hard wired to eat. In 18 months, I am down 50 pounds ….same weight now as in high school…
so i just started Paleo – day 3 so im really new, but im always tired & blah.. and like the rest of you – have friends (in my case my x hubby) that eat this way – they all look great & i too want that! So why not “try!” 🙂
thanks for the motivation!!!