After giving this a lot of thought, on January 14th I decided to participate in the 30 day Paleo Challenge. This was completely optional and nerve wracking because while I've dieted over the years, I'd never been on a program where I was eating clean. Luckily, one of the requirements on this challenge was having a partner. This was a complete lifesaver for me because I needed someone that would hold me accountable during these 30 days.
|Extra Credit handstand outdoors!|
The first week of the challenge would prove to be the toughest. I seriously felt like I needed a sponsor. Thank goodness for my partner, coach and other classmates (even the ones not participating in the challenge) who were such a great support network by providing recipes, tips, cheers, etc. As the weeks went on, eating clean became easier. I was sleeping better, had almost no headaches, lost a little weight, rarely felt famished (well maybe on a few days), was very hydrated, and was still able to exercise like mad. Although I was feeling awesome on this diet, the one tricky part of the challenge was eating out. Again, I live in Japan where noodles and rice are consumed at almost every meal. Thankfully, Japanese eat a lot of meat and vegetables, so I was able to find something that was Paleo.
|Paleo chicken curry (thank goodness for coconut milk) for dinner.|
By week four, I was so used to doing the food journal, drinking 1/2 of my body weight of water, and really paying attention to what I was consuming, that this challenge became habit. I liked how I felt and decided that I would continue Paleo or at least a modified version of it when it was over. My team, along with two other teams came in 1st Place. I was so proud of myself, my amazing, strong, funny, friend and partner, and of everyone else. It is not easy to change or stick to a healthier lifestyle even if you know it is good for you.
|Extra credit Fireman's Carry!|