Monday, August 24, 2009

Kick-off of 8 Week Paleo Challenge!

I had such GREAT success with the 8 week Paleo Challenge that I did with the Alamo Crossfit Crew that I decided to start one of my own!

During my last challenge, I was strict Paleo (w/ the exception of steel cut oatmeal each morning) from June 1 through July 26th. In the process, I dropped 15 lbs of fat and 3 inches off my hips, and all of my PR's improved. Additionally, I felt awesome and had very few cravings for crap! I FINALLY found a healthy way of eating that I can stick to and not feel deprived!

I stayed pretty strict Paleo w/ an occasional cheat after the challenge ended, up until last week at my parents house. Last Wednesday, I went out to dinner with a girlfriend, and CHOWED on some killer Mexican food at Abuelo's. . . followed by an ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery! I had every intention of jumping right back on the wagon, but proceded to continue with cheats over the next week. Bagles, Beans, Cheese, and Chocolate - you name it - I ate it!

As any idiot would deduce - this led to feeling like CRAP! Why do we do this to ourselves when we know what the end result will be??

Before I get into the details of my challenge, I've got to post a picture of the food porn that I gorged myself with last night, as a send-off to my non-paleo week of hell:

That would be a juciy Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe, HOT, FRESH and CRISPY Wendy's french fries (w/ the obligatory ketchup of course!!!), a Coke Classic, and an Oreo McFlurry from McDonalds. . . yes, that's right folks . . the Wendy's ice cream machine was broken so I drove my happy ass to Micky D's to get my final ice cream fix!!

While I do have to admit that this all tasted heavenly in my homework/stress induced feeding frenzy at 11 pm, I definitely paid the price! I feel like HELL this morning. . . .and am thrilled to be back on the Paleo Wagon!

So, here are the details of my Paleo Challenge:
  • Dates: August 24th - October 17th (8 weeks)
  • Vices: Oatmeal & Protein Powder
  • Incentive: $2 per strict Paleo Day, $1 per PR (Lift or CF Benchmark), and $5 per week that I complete all scheduled training sessions (5 sessions Oly Lifting, 5 CF WODS, & 3 CF Endurance WODS) added to "splurge" pot.
  • Penalty for Cheating: I do not plan to cheat. I will not cheat. However if some freakish thing happens and I do happen to eat so much as one bite of a non-paleo item that is not one of my vices, I will be forced to empty my "splurge pot" with no chance of earning back the money lost.
  • At the end of the challenge, I will take the money in my "splurge pot" . . . and SPLURGE on something totally off-the-wall that I would typically not treat myself to - like a really nice pair of jeans or something along those lines
So basically, I will eat strict Paleo with the exception of oatmeal. I have made this modification because the goal is to follow a nutrition program that works for me, improves my performance, and is something that I can live with for the rest of my life. I have learned through trial and error that I am NOT gluten sensitive, and that my energy levels hit ROCK BOTTOM mid-day if I do not eat 1/4 cup of oatmeal in the morning. Additionally, I start gassing out mid-WOD because I simply run out of fuel.
Regarding the Protein Powder - some consider this acceptable under Paleo Eating and others say it's a "no-no". I don't really care what anyone else says - again, I'm doing what works for me, and I have found that there is no better recovery food for me personally than mashed sweet potatoes & protein powder! Recovery time is the only time that I will use PP though.
Potential "PitFalls":
  • Business Meeting in late Sept (will have to deal with airports, travel, and "social events" while staying strict paleo; will have to take substantial amount of paleo food w/ me; will have to deal with peer pressure of all of my co-workers to "eat something")
  • Oly Lifting Cert in San Antonio mid-Oct (will have to deal w/ travel and "social events" while staying strict paleo; should be easier than business meetings b/c will be around other "health-oriented" people)
  • Final month of college classes is September and I'm taking 3!! - this will cause significant stress and long nights of study. My coping mechanism for stress has always been food, and I like to reward myself after the completion of a difficult assignment with ice cream. I need to break this cycle of rewarding good behavior with food.
Goals for Paleo Challenge:
  • I don't have any specific goals such as "drop x # of lbs"
  • My goal is to remain strict Paleo the entire 8 weeks without a single cheat
  • I also hope to increase PR's and cut body fat so that I'm at my ideal "fighting weight" by the end of the challenge
So that's it! Wish me luck! I'll be posting pics of my yummy Paleo Eats over the next 8 weeks, commenting about my energy levels and performance gains or losses, and probably doing a little bit of whining in the first week too!


Lacie said...

Hi Christie!,
I came across your blog link from Facebook. It's so interesting to hear about your workouts and your food. I'm really interested to see what kinds of things you'll be eating doing Paleo.

Good luck with your classes!

Christie said...

Thanks Lacie!

ALMOST there!! (w/ school . . )

It's good to know someone is actually reading this thing. . .helps keep me motivated not to "cheat"! LOL

Christie said...

Just a quick update to this post - I did NOT suceed a the personal challenge in August 2009. It was more like an epic FAIL! This was the start to my slow slide to living decidedly un-paleo, unfortunately. I went on vacation in November 2009 at an All-Inclusive Resort where I ate anything and everything in sight. . and never got back "on the wagon" after that until I started the Whole30 on July 29, 2010. There were many mini-attempts to go paleo again, but none of them lasted more than a few days at a stretch.

I'm reading back through these old posts now and remembering how depressed I was because I kept trying and failing to get my butt back in gear with eating right. I a sooo glad to have that huge hurdle behind me now!