Back when I was actively getting over Lyme disease I’d been very intentional about what I ate, making sure to fill my body with proper nutrients by eating Paleo. Paleo is a very natural diet consisting of vegetables (although not things like white potatoes, and peas), fruit, meats, eggs, nuts (not peanuts), and seeds and cutting out processed foods, white starches, grains, dairy, legumes, etc…
So, I decided to eat Paleo for 100 days and see how I felt. Not one to delay starting a challenge, I jumped on board the next day, although I did allow myself to have Christmas day free. (By the way, I don’t think everyone needs to be as strict as me, nor do I plan on always being strict, it’s just that overcoming other hurdles means I have to work extra hard.)
Over the next 100 days I noticed a shift. It wasn’t long before I began feeling better, but even on the days when I didn’t feel well, I wasn’t nearly as discouraged because I knew I was doing something to make a difference in my long-term health.
Then I began walking more, wanting to get into shape. On February 15th a friend suggested I start training for a marathon, which has been a life-long dream of mine, so I jumped on board. Around that time I also began rereading Every Body Matters. I started the book feeling confident that I could breeze through it, being encouraged but knowing I was on right on track. As I read though, I realized that although I was doing well with eating and excising I didn’t have healthy habits regarding sleep. Oopps. So that changed. Instead of staying up until the wee hours of the morning, I began trying to go to bed by 10:30 or 11:00 four to five nights a week.
And do you know what? Those changes have made a gigantic difference in my life. I am so incredibly, wonderfully happy that I committed myself to changing my lifestyle and I’ve been feeling leaps and bounds better than last year.
Take for instance my training for a marathon. At the beginning of March I set a goal to walk or jog 100 miles during the month. That was quite the daunting task since I’ve probably not even walked half that amount in a month before, but I was confident it could be done.
The first week I managed 25 miles and was pretty excited. Then I was informed I should jog and after doing math on how long it would take me to walk a marathon, I agreed. The next week I had a goal of jogging 20 minutes out of the entire week, 1 to 2 minute spurts at a time. It was hard folks, really hard, and I barely accomplished it. But by the end of the next week, guess what? I jogged (at 5 mph) for 28 minutes out of 60 minutes, mostly going in 3 minute spurts. I was ecstatic. Seeing the difference that less than a month of training had made was amazing. Then week 4 came and to my great surprise I ended up jogging (again at 5. mph) for 24 minutes straight, which was two miles.
I seriously never knew that I could change my health, my stamina, and my lifestyle so quickly. Each week I take two rest days from training (per the advice I’ve received), and genuinely miss walking on those days.
Yesterday was day 100 of Paleo, and I had told myself all along that no matter if I decided to stay on Paleo or not, I’d take day 101 as a celebration day where I could eat whatever foods I wanted. This morning though, instead of chowing down on the cheesecake I’ve been saving for the last week, I headed up to the treadmill with my computer to celebrate with an early morning walk/jog.
The most I’ve done in one day is 8 miles, and today I wanted to do 10. Two hours and twenty-five minutes later I had accomplished my goal. Excitedly marking it down in my book, I added up my miles for the entire month and… Not only did I reach my 100 miles, but I blew past it, walking or jogging a total of over 121 miles in 31 days.
It’s been a good 100 days and I’ll be back at Paleo soon, but for now? I think I’m gonna go and eat that cheesecake and then nibble on some white chocolate.