A Change for the Better – the Paleo Lifestyle

What I want to talk about today is a lifestyle change I made earlier this year. A New Years resolution to be exact. And I’ve (mostly) stuck with it so far. I’m really proud of myself, because I’m pretty darn good at starting things and never finishing them – just ask my husband. XD

Over the last few years I’d gained the odd kilo (or pound!) here and there. Just a little bit at a time. And it’s been a fairly slow gain – to start with at least. But each year I get a bit older, and I’m pretty sure the rate of gain is starting to snowball. Not good. I had to draw a line in the sand and say NO MORE! I’ve always been slim in build, which is definitely helped by my height. People have said to me “what are you worried about Jodi?”. But those people never saw me in my underwear (thank goodness!). Waist bands on my clothes had become tighter, and I’d started to bulge over the top of my bra. Strangely enough hubbie was pretty okay with that. 🙄 But I was finding it a bit unnerving to actually be able to feel my tummy wobble when I went for a brisk walk. And then worse still, I started to get used to my new normal. I didn’t notice the wobbling belly after a while, and I just started wearing the more forgiving items in my wardrobe. I was eating pretty much anything I felt like, and not doing any exercise.

Last year I had started drinking way too much caffeine, and having at least one glass of wine each night. I think I was using the wine as a form of self medication after all the kid wrangling I had to do each day! But I’m pretty certain all of this was having adverse effects on not only my body, but also my health. I started to have weird heart palpitations late last year, and I blamed it on the multiple cups of coffee I was having every day. So my first big change I made was to give up caffeine. Now I drink mostly peppermint tea and decaf coffee, with a little bit of rooibos and sleepy time teas thrown in. So that was one bad habit kicked, and I haven’t had caffeine for about three months now (woohoo!).

We were lucky enough to go on a couple of vacations last year. The first was a totally chilled out week in Broome, Western Australia, where numerous cocktails were consumed by the pool and I got well and truly addicted to sugar all over again. Not long after that we flew to Maui for a family gathering and a 70th (my father in law chose an awesome location for his birthday!). So of course there was a whole lot more naughty holiday eating and drinking done by me. Then it was time to organise birthday parties for both my girls, then it was almost Christmas. So why not just continue with the bad eating. It’s just not worth trying to change things during the silly season, is it?!

But between Christmas and New Year I decided I’d finally had enough. I was sick of being wobbly and having a muffin top. I wanted to be the lean and trim person I was when I was younger, and I didn’t want to keep blaming the progressing years for my dilemma. You know, all those hormones changing as you get older. I’m 42 now, so it’s kind of all downhill from here, right? NO! I’d been reading about the paleo lifestyle and something about it sparked my interest. I’d tried a low fructose diet before (which I totally agree with), but the idea behind paleo just made sense to me. So I decided that I would have a New Years resolution this year, which is not something I’ve really done in the past. My list was short and sweet, but definitely to the point!:

  1. Try eating the paleo way — tick!
  2. Stay off caffeine — tick!
  3. Drink less alcohol — just started a dry month a few days ago 😮
  4. Move more — nup, not yet

I didn’t even mention weight loss anywhere. I just wanted to work on developing better habits, and making wiser lifestyle choices. I was going to treat paleo as a bit of an experiment – to see how I felt eating that way, and also how it made my body feel. And so far, so good. I’m still getting used to cooking with a smaller pool of ingredients, but I’m sure over time my repertoire will improve! The most exciting thing is that in 9 weeks I lost 6.5kg (more than 14lbs). This is half of the amount I want to lose in total, to take me back to what I weighed before I had children. And it’s something I’ve never been able to achieve before, ever! And this is without doing number four on my list, because, well it’s been summer here, and I’m not so good at going out and exercising in the heat (and I am really good at making excuses not to exercise! :D).

I may not manage to lose the full 12kg, but I’m so happy with my progress so far that I’m going to stick with it. I feel lighter and brighter already. For now I still have my muffin top, because unfortunately I seem to lose weight from the head down! But fingers crossed, that by following the paleo lifestyle, and adding a little exercise into the mix, I’ll continue to trim down and firm up!

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