This Fitness Model competition has been changing me drastically. I had no idea I would make so many changes to my lifestyle before prep even started. When I first decided to compete I followed Tosca Reno’s Cooler 1 from the Clean Diet. I saw great results but then decided I needed to find trainer. When I first started following my trainer’s diet plan, he started talking to me about Charles Poliquin’s thoughts on Paleo eating. When he first suggested eliminating all grain from my diet I wasn’t receptive. I couldn’t imagine life without my morning oats. On top of that he suggested I kick the dairy? What! now no evening yogurt? No way, not before prep, no way.
But months passed. My muscle mass increased and I was really wanting to see myself lean out a little more. Competition prep was getting closer and closer and my newbie mind couldn’t help but think, how will I handle prep? maybe I should start making changes now…this and Charles recommending the Paleo Diet on his list of suggested reads made me start to make changes. I immediately went and bought the Paleo Solution. After reading the book I implemented the 30 day trial period. I did it and yes I didn’t cheat once! I followed my trainer’s recommendations Paleo style and finished the term. At the end of the term I felt great, allergy symptoms reduced, felt no need to eat dairy or oats. I was all gung ho for prep, after my 30 day trial, I knew I could do 120 days days if I could do 30. But I also knew in the back of my head that it would be hard, exhausting and full of cravings. Did I want to continue eating Paleo straight through til prep? I was worried about burnout. I didn’t want to eat so strict that in the middle of prep, I snap and eat a box of cookies. I talked to my trainer to discuss a mid way plan. The plan was to eat Paleo and by his plan everyday except for 1 meal a week. For 1 meal a week I could eat whatever I want. In theory this sounded great.
What I didn’t realize was that my body had adapted to Paleo eating already and it loved it. Each treat meal I have eaten since I have felt like total crap. Not just immediately after eating the food, but for two days following…
This is where I realized that I was on the brink of making lifestyle changes beyond contest prep. My body is ready for the change but my mind/emotions are still not ready to admit that I can do it for life.
Going Paleo would mean:
No more stuffing, potatoes or gravy at Christmas.
No more Birthday Cake.
Always bringing my own food to a pot luck
Never being able to eat dinner friend’s houses every again
So, this is where I am today. When I first decided to do this competition I figured I would diet through prep and then after my competition is over, I would eat clean (not Paleo) until next prep and then re implement the competition prep changes.
Now I have no idea.
While I can’t say that I am Paleo now, because that would be like saying I’m a vegetarian that eats chicken on Saturdays. I think I am slowly moving towards being Paleo for life.
I haven’t committed yet, but I’m on the brink…because really, the foods that I think I crave don’t taste as good as I remember them tasting and I don’t deserve to feel like crap. The reason why I never drink alcohol is because I don’t enjoy feeling like crap for two days after, why is pizza any different?
So to set the record straight, I’m not Paleo, but I certainly am a Paleo enthusiast.
Until then I formally make the change: I will continue to use protein powder after work outs and I might occasionally eat a non Paleo treat meal once a week.