For 2 months I diligently counted calories, keeping within daily and weekly limits. I also did some mild exercise 3-4 times per week: walking, Wii Fit, DVD workouts. My cardiovascular health began showing some minor improvement, but my weight was not changing and I really wasn't feeling very good. I was hungry ALL the time. Even after just finishing a meal. My results were not great. Heck, they weren't even good.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, a good friend of mine was just finishing up a paleo challenge with her CrossFit Box. They started with a Whole30 followed by 60 days of Paleo. She was having amazing results, so I decided to give it a go.
On February 25, 2010 I started a Whole30 of my own. The first few days I felt a bit anxious and had a pretty bad headache. But by the end of the first week I was feeling wonderful. I no longer had that constant hunger that I had been struggling with on a calorie restricted, yet very high carbohydrate, diet. 30 days flew by and away went the first 10 pounds right along with them. I gave myself a 'reward day' and then immediately started another Whole30. This time I lost another 10 pounds!
The third month I went straight paleo - allowing for a bit more leniency in the foods I was eating. The fourth month I started running and continued with my paleo eating. By July of 2010 I had lost 50 pounds. I almost couldn't believe it. All I was doing was eating real food. And as much of it as I wanted to. And that, combined with moderate exercise was giving me the results I was looking for! People were taking notice. I was thrilled!
Over the next few months I continued my running and also went to my local CrossFit Box for a month - which was where my exercise routine went from moderate to more intense. I did another Whole30 concurrent with that month of CrossFit and lost another 10 pounds in 30 days.
In September I slowed down a bit, continuing to run and doing some CrossFit style working out, but not as intense a schedule as the previous month. And I definitely loosened up the rules a bit about what I could eat. I still lost weight this month, but only a few pounds.
In October I started the P90X fitness plan and stuck with my paleo way of eating. I let myself make some very high carb choices during the holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas - the trifecta of high carb incidents; but 95% of the time I was strictly paleo/primal. One of the major changes that I made during this 90 days was that I added cheese, butter, and occasional white potatoes into my diet. My results were not quite what I expected, but were pleasant nonetheless. I only lost a net of 2 pounds in 90 days, but my BODY changed dramatically with a loss of 10" from waist, hips, bust, arms, and legs.
I whooped it up on New Year's Day and on January 2nd, 2012 I started another Whole30. I needed to 'clean the machine' from all the off plan stuff I had indulged in over the holidays. I am currently 22 days in and 5 pounds down. I feel great every day. I have the energy to keep up with my daughters and my household and still get in a good workout every day.
All along I was just eating real food: meat, eggs, good fats, vegetables, and a limited amount of fruit, nuts, and seeds. Easy and delicious food that was simple to prepare.
The results speak for themselves: To date I have lost 72 pounds and more than 50 inches from my body. I am supremely healthy: I have not been sick once since beginning my paleo journey. I feel and look younger. I am vibrant and have energy like I haven't had in years. I would and do recommend a paleo lifestyle to anyone, whether they need to lose weight or not.
Meet the new Heidi.
Doing so in a family where I am the only one eating paleo.
My biggest obstacle was the mentality that going paleo was a 'diet' wherein when I was finished losing my weight that I would go back to eating a Standard American Diet again. I am over that hump. Paleo is not a diet for me, but rather a complete lifestyle change. My advice to someone who is new to this is to try to embrace paleo as a lifestyle rather than a diet. Paleo teaches you how to eat foods that work with your body instead of against it. Once you feel this good, you never want to go back to feeling like garbage every day.