Paleo Challenge Part Three (the Part After)

I completed four weeks of clean eating (Paleo) and maintained my workout regimen with CrossFit. This afternoon, I went in for my post-challenge body composition. I am thrilled with the results.

As you know, I’ve been maintaining accountability with my posts throughout. So, I will structure this post a bit like my Part One post with sections.

How did the food part go, really?

Honestly, it went pretty well. I refused to allow myself room for cheats. I simply didn’t allow my brain to entertain options that weren’t Paleo. Because this was my mindset, I believe I did very well sticking to the plan. If you read my “Part Two” posts, you probably saw that I ate a lot of eggs and bacon for breakfast (and sometimes for dinner), and I ate a lot of salad with no dressing. I learned to put guacamole or salsa on my greens. I also learned to eat tacos without sour cream, cheese or taco shells/chips. And it was good!!

Did I miss anything? Yes. No lie. I missed cheese. I missed margaritas. I missed cookies and chocolate. But the biggest missing took place in the first week to ten days. From there, I was so focused on how big my size 6 work pants were, that I started thinking I might never eat another cookie, piece of cheese or taco/chip!

I did “cheat” after getting my numbers taken today. We needed to use some leftovers at dinner and I decided to allow myself one evening to have some chocolate and a bite of pasta.

However, I plan to be back on the Paleo wagon tomorrow morning and through another 30 days. I am signed up for my first CrossFit competition (scaled) on November 1 and I think maintaining the clean eating and exercise regimen will help me be as prepared as I can be for that.

How did the workout part go?

The best part of this challenge was the strides I took in the fitness area. I posted four PR’s on the board at the box this month. I PR’d my Front squat by 20 pounds. I PR’d my Clean & Jerk by 5 pounds (I had been stuck at 115 for about 3 months, and just Saturday I got 120 pounds!!) I PR’d my mile run by 54 seconds by running it in 7:12. And, I got my first pull-ups! (more on that in another post 🙂 )

But the PR’s are only part of the story. I didn’t miss a single workout that I intended to make and I actually made it to a couple I hadn’t banked on. I was tired at times (mostly because I switched up my workouts to early mornings after doing evenings for almost a full year). But the feeling of fatigue didn’t carry over into the workouts — once I got going in the warm-ups, my body responded and worked as hard as I wanted it to. 

Body Composition Numbers — AFTER

As stated in my initial post, the goal was to lose four pounds of fat without losing any lean body mass. You can see my initial numbers in this post, but you can also see them in my photo here:


My total mm measured on 8/28 were 137. On 9/28, total mm were 107. So I lost 30 millimeters. The biggest change was in my back area (just under my shoulder blade) going from 21mm to 15mm; my waist (losing 7mm in high waist area and 6mm in the lower waist area) and my thigh where I lost 10mm.

My body fat percentage on 9/28 is 22.9%, which is down 4% from 8/28. My weight is down from 162 to 156. I lost 8 pounds of fat while gaining 2 pounds of lean body mass. 

I’m not gonna lie: those numbers make me want to go Paleo 100% of the time forever.

Results (cont’d)
While I’m happy with how I felt diet-wise, and ecstatic at the progress I made fitness-wise, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how happy I am with the aesthetic results. Sarah and Helen went with me to buy an outfit to wear on a date night with Craig. I’m a terrible shopper. I have no idea what sort of clothes look good on me. This is a result of two main things. First, most of my adult life has been spent living in an overweight, out-of-shape body that I hated trying to find clothes to hide in. Second, there’s rarely room in the budget to buy clothes for me — there’s always something a kid needs and that typically takes priority.

Craig and me before our Date Night!

Sarah and Helen helped pick out a pair of jeans, a top and some flats that really looked nice on me. The jeans were “skinny jeans” — my first pair! And while they feel close, they don’t feel tight and they look nice on me. The shirt fits to the shape of my body and I didn’t feel self-conscious as I would have before losing weight. 

When I came down all dressed for our date night, Helen told me I was the prettiest mommy in the world (which absolutely made my life). The boys begged to get their picture taken with their “beautiful Mommy.” Sarah said, “Wow, you look nice. I like that outfit so much better than the stuff you normally wear.” (That’s 13-year-old speak for “Way to get with the program, Mom.”)

Helen insisted on taking a pic of me by myself — football game
in the background…
My baby girl and me

Even Dani agreed to a photo!
My boys and me, football game still in the background

Now, I was most of the way here before the Paleo challenge. I only lost a total of 6 pounds while doing the Paleo Challenge — but I’m sure the combination of 8 pounds of fat lost and 2 pounds of lean body mass gained makes a difference. But, I feel even more “in control” of things now than I did even before the 30-day challenge. For the first time since I made Lifetime with Weight Watchers, I am not sweating out my weigh-in at the beginning of October…I know I’ll be well under my goal weight, no worries about paying that $10!  

I’m confident as I move forward that I can continue to live at least a 90% Paleo lifestyle. And I’m shooting for 100%.

30-day Paleo Challenge Part One (the part before)

On Tuesday, the 30-day Paleo challenge at the CrossFit box begins. I signed up for it and today I had my body composition completed. As you all know, I lost weight and got in shape over the last 10 months attending Weight Watchers At Work meetings and CrossFitting. I am die-hard in favor of Weight Watchers. So much so that I will still be tracking my food I eat during this Paleo-challenge and adding up the PointsPlus values as I report to you throughout. That way, you can see (and I can see) that Paleo and Weight Watchers are compatible (I know they must be).

Photo Credit

PREPARATION

Craig does the grocery shopping, so I reminded him that on Paleo, I’ll be eating mostly protein (in the form of lean meat, seafood and eggs) and vegetables with some fruit thrown in. Nothing processed, no grains, no dairy, no sugar (artificial or otherwise) will be a part of my diet as I complete this challenge. 

One tip I picked up from my “Quick Weight Loss” days that I still incorporate every so often is a 3-day “preparation” phase where I eat only lean protein (usually in the form of beef) and green vegetables (usually in the form of romaine lettuce) and one orange in a day. I do this for three days. The purpose of it is to cause the body to use stored fat through metabolism and it kind of kick-starts things. I always shed a few water-weight pounds and it gets my mind straight for “clean” eating. 

The other preparatory thing I have done is get off the diet coke. This is a process because that nasty aspartame gives me horrible headaches as I am getting off it. You’d think one day I’d actually stay off that nasty diet coke. Maybe this time will be the one time I stay off for good.

Here’s a fun flowchart to help determine if something qualifies as Paleo:

Credit Here


BODY COMPOSITION: BEFORE

Here is my body composition information.
Overall body comp is 26.2 (which I think means I am 26.2% fat? Basically, of my 162 pounds, 43 pounds is fat and 119 pounds is lean body mass. 

According to the coach measuring me, I should set a goal to lose about 4 pounds of fat and not lose any lean body mass during this challenge. To do this, I need to keep my protein intake high. She says I should have protein with each meal and snack and I should eat a good amount of protein within an hour after a workout. I have never been very good about the protein thing after my WODs, so I am going to focus on that during this challenge.

I was actually pleasantly surprised when she mentioned I really only need to focus on losing about 4 pounds of fat and that I need to be sure and eat more protein to keep my lean body mass. I know I’ve been working hard to maintain my weight and continue to improve my fitness, but sometimes I’d start to think I was losing something — even if I wasn’t. I’m sure it’s my lifelong body image issues eating away at my confidence. Will that EVER go away? I have no idea. Body image issues SUCK. That is all.

PLAN

Paleo tracking will start September 2. CrossFit workouts are ongoing, so I haven’t stopped them and won’t increase them, necessarily — just keep doing what I’ve been doing in that regard. I will also keep trying to get a run or a swim or a bike ride in 1-2 times per week.

I’ll keep you all posted (and keep myself accountable!) by posting on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, which means I’ll log multiple day food and exercise journals on the posts. I’ll title them Paleo Challenge Part Two (the part during) with numbers in chronological order as we go. I hope this information will be useful to you. 

So, thanks for following along and continuing to support this healthy lifestyle I’m continuing. I love having this place to keep myself accountable and having you all cheer me on!

Until next time…

Photo Credit