Yesterday officially marked the end of my 30 day "Paleo Challenge" through my crossfit gym. The "winner" get's announced tomorrow or the next day, but I already know I won. I don't know if I'll be named the winner of the challenge, but I definitely won something from this challenge. I have no doubt in my mind that this is how I will eat from this point forward. I'm going to wait until the results are out to give all of my final numbers and post some pictures, but what I will say is that the results were tremendous for me. I dropped significant body fat, dropped around 10 pounds, and feel like a million dollars. More than anything my mind is so clear on why this is good for me. It's clear to me not because of all the scientific reasons or because of what I've read, although all of that plays in. I know it's good because in just 30 days eating this way has transformed almost every part of my life. I don't even care if that sounds over-dramatic. I can't exactly explain the feeling of knowing that all of the food I eat is, as close as is possible living in a modern world, what my body was designed to eat. Naturally one of my big concerns was how it would affect me in my athletic pursuits and I have to say the results were great. I do see that in the future I am going to have to do a better job of planning for increased calories and carbohydrates when I have longer workouts, but paleo or no paleo, you have to plan to fuel during endurance sports.
If I had any doubts that I would continue this way of eating, I erased them yesterday, by not eating this way. As the challenge wound to a close, it felt "appropriate" to celebrate by going out to eat Tex-Mex. I set rules for myself before we went, no chips, no rice, and just try to be sensible. I think I did that, only had one chip, ate no rice, and didn't get the cheesiest most tortilla heavy thing on the menu, but I did take a hit on the churros and ice cream. Afterward and then today, I just don't feel like myself. It was one meal, and I don't feel any real guilt, just resolve. I don't need that anymore. Celebrating with food seems silly. Food is just fuel so that we CAN celebrate our lives, it doesn't need to be the celebration. That doesn't mean a treat now and again is bad, and I definitely know that I'll have them from time to time, but honestly, I don't need it. Bread, pasta, grains, sugar; I don't need those things to feel celebratory. I could go on and on and on about how we, as a culture, turn food into a drug more than an energy source, but that's another day.
To wrap up, I can't wait to see where this diet evolves from here. (yeah, that pun was very much intended) I look very forward to seeing how much more seamlessly I can integrate this way of eating into my life and the long term benefits it will have.