So I gave it a go, and immediately felt fantastic. I lost 18 lbs within just a couple months, and while my weight loss has slowed since then, I'm still losing inches as I continue to work out and lift weights. I'm the same weight I was when I lost weight on a conventional low calorie diet a couple years ago, but I'm actually a clothing size smaller than I was then. In fact, I'm the smallest size I've ever been as an adult! I have increased energy, I don't have that afternoon crash at my desk, my hunger and/or cravings aren't overpowering my thoughts, and I am truly passionate about what I eat and put into my body. I know more now about how my body functions than I ever did in school, and I read up on it constantly. Not only that, but I have regained my passion for cooking. It's now a creative form of expression, a love for food and produce, rather than just a chore of "making dinner."
My fiance has more or less adopted this lifestyle as well. He doesn't really need to lose weight as he trains and coaches Brazilian jiu jitsu and mixed martial arts several days a week, but he has noticed a dramatic increase in muscle mass. It's not uncommon for him to walk into the room, topless and flexing. I've read several great books on paleo and primal living, as well as the advantages of eliminating harmful substances like wheat from my diet. I read multiple blogs every day, covering topics from how my body absorbs Vitamin D to how to cook a sensational pork roast. I love it all and love sharing what I've learned. My results have inspired others and I've encouraged many people near and dear (and even some I don't know that well) to look into the paleo diet. I actually have to hold myself back for fear of preaching and evangelizing something I value so highly. It has impacted my life that positively, and I'm so looking forward to continuing my paleo lifestyle and what the future holds. I initially had a "lose 30 before I turn 30" goal in mind. Since I've almost accomplished that with 5 months yet to go, I'm setting my sights higher. Bikini by the time my honeymoon rolls around in September? My fridge full of meats and veggies, my pantry stocked with coconut oil, olives and nuts, my kettlebells, my pullup bar, and my coach of a fiance all say yes, it's possible.
Meet the new Stephanie
Going out to eat has been the biggest challenge. While I can usually find something to eat on a restaurant's menu, it's depressing if the only option is another salad with a protein added. Salads bore me, and I get frustrated when there are so many menus that offer such limited fare that isn't loaded with grains or sugars. That's when it's easier to stay home and whip up something as delicious and much healthier. Also, I work for a wonderful craft brewery, so giving up beer has been near impossible. I did it for a month as a challenge, and my consumption has declined dramatically, but giving it up entirely isn't in the cards just yet.
All the information you need is free and online. Some quick Google searches will show you how to do it, what groceries to buy, and how to cook so many amazing recipes you'll swear you're a healthier Julia Child. Once you read about how bad grains (especially wheat) and sugars are for you, you'll never look at something like a doughnut the same again. Once you start eating and living paleo, that doughnut will never hold the same appeal it once did. And if you give in to that doughnut, how you feel afterward is a huge indication as to how bad it is for you! Reading people's success stories is another huge source of inspiration if you're ever feeling like you can't quite do it. Use their stories to fuel your own!