10 August 2012

Time to Level Up!

Drastic Changes 3…2…1…
So my boyfriend has been in Georgia for the last 3 weeks training for his new job.  Some of you may be thinking “YEAH! 3 weeks at home by myself?! I can work out whenever I want, eat exactly what I want, when I want… this is going to be great!”

Not so much.  My boyfriend, while not the healthiest head of broccoli in the bunch, is a really big motivator in my life.  He’s always telling me how I “can” and reminds me that I shouldn’t eat something bad for me (usually when I’m PMS and try to pick up junk food at the grocery store).  Plus he happened to be gone during “that time” and I was super moody and emo and lonely.  It was just not good.

Over the last 3 weeks, I’ve not lost any weight. I have, in fact, gained weight.  This is very disturbing to me.  I know WHY – I didn’t eat as well as I should have and I certainly didn’t work out as much as I should have.  Couple those with long hours sitting on my behind or laying down reading… and well, boom go my hips, ya dig?

Fortunately, 2 really good things happened to me this week: I ate real ice cream and muffins and felt totally, completely awful for days.  I know you’re thinking that those don’t sound like good things.  And normally, yeah, they’re bad.  But in this case it made me fully understand that what I put into my body matters – for real.  It was like a physical punch in the gut – that’s how truly real it became to me, all of a sudden.

As luck would have it, I had pre-ordered a copy of Practical Paleo, which arrived on Wednesday.  I devoured the book – excited to find that it wasn’t just a cookbook, but an easy to understand guide to the Paleo lifestyle.  I’ve been trying to eat as Paleo as possible the last 6 months or so, and I haven’t been doing that well.  But this book, paired with its awesome and easy recipes, really made me feel like “hey – I can totally do this!”

So, armed with Practical Paleo, I cleaned out my cabinets, cupboards and shelves.  I still have to go through the fridge, but there are only a few things in there that are no-no’s.  I did keep a few things that my boyfriend likes, of course.  He’s not going totally Paleo with me (yet).  But those things are easy for me to resist.  I ordered a baking rack (for perfectly baked bacon!) and a set of 12, 4 oz mason jars so I can pre-mix spice blends, salt mixes and Paleo mayo.  These items should be arriving on Saturday so I can get mixing!

I also received my copy of Well Fed this week.  I’m really excited about that book as well.  I love cook books and armed with both of these I feel like I can get a really, well, practical start on Paleo.  For real this time.  I’m sick of feeling sick, I’m tired of feeling tired, and I’m so over being overweight.

One of the things I’m most excited about is that Practical Paleo has a whole section of 30-day meal plans for various conditions.  There’s a meal plan for inflammation, a meal plan for cancer recover, a meal plan for mental health, etc, etc.  The meal plan I’m going to follow is the Fat Loss meal plan (perhaps followed by the Squeaky Clean Paleo plan).   These meal plans are pretty comprehensive, and the great thing about them is that they utilize the left over’s that you will, inevitably, have!  I’m so thrilled about that.

I’m debating when I’m going to start the meal plan.  I’d like to start as soon as possible, but I’d also like to have the opportunity to stock up on some of the big ticket items and buy in bulk.  This means having a comprehensive grocery list.  According to Practical Paleo, there are grocery lists available on the author’s website, but they have yet to be uploaded (I’ve been checking every hour like a crazy person since I read that part in the book).  I could put together a grocery list for myself, but it would take a lot of time and effort and, of course, I wouldn’t be able to start right away.

So my plan is to put together a list this weekend and figure out what I can buy in bulk and what I can’t.  That shouldn’t be too difficult.  I can probably buy a lot of the meats in bulk and freeze them.  I’ve already picked up most of the spices I need for my pantry, so I just need to make the spice mixes to have on hand.  The other big thing will be to find Coconut Aminos (Whole Foods apparently had a recall on the product) and Red Palm Oil.  I need to order a few things in bulk online (like nuts!) and then I’m good to go!  I’d like to start on September 1st.  Which happens to be a Saturday, which is so perfect (because I'm crazy and like to start things on the first of the month and weekends, ok?).

That doesn’t mean I’m going to gorge myself on bread and pasta and candy during the month of August though, oh no.  Far from it.  I’m armed with cookbooks, people.   My plan for August is to eat as Paleo as possible and start to make the recipes in the book that I think look good.  This way when it comes to making them during my 30 days, I’ll already have a good idea of how long prep takes and I might even have a few tricks up my sleeve to make the whole process not so terrifying!  I mean really, eating at home for 30 days – three meals each day – that’s kind of terrifying if you don’t cook a lot!  I cook pretty often… but I don’t follow recipes.  So this will be new for me.  Precision, that is.  I’m also hoping that over the month of August I can convince my boyfriend to try the 30 day meal plan with me, but we’ll see.

I need to have a maniacal focus on my food and fitness in order to finally drop the pounds and be fit and healthy – which has been my goal for, to put it nicely, years.  It’s no longer a matter of “I want to do this”, it’s “I need to do this”.  I need to be healthy and happy and fit in order to live a long, fulfilling life.  Besides, there are things I want to do that require a rockin’ bod.  Long term, I would love to learn Parkour, do a real handstand and fit into a size 8 dress.

To help myself along the way, I’m going to be sure to record my nutrition info in SparkPeople, to help keep an eye on my food.  I’m going to record my fitness minutes in several places: SparkPeople, DigiFit (which is automatic) and Fitocracy (Level up my life for real!).  I’m also going to subscribe to a NerdFitness "class" – the Assassin. I’m going to try to do workouts that would help me be the best Assassin class nerd I can be. It sounds weird, I know, but it’s nerdy and awesome and makes me smile.

Stay Shiny!

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