Okay, more back story about me. In 2011 I was diagnosed with Lymphoma. I was lucky, only a single surgery was needed to take the lymph going crazy in my neck, and a few suspect nodes in my left armpit; no chemotherapy nor radiation. However, the scare made me think harder about what kind of shape my body was really in. I cycled as much as I could in the short Maine summers, but I’m not really the gym-rat type, so my weight always hovered right around 198. (way too high for a man only 5 foot 8 – I was porky, but carried it well – intact I look almost sickly at 170 and the BMI charts want me at 155!)
So about my third follow-up visit with the oncologist (six month intervals to make sure the cancer was stable, as I’m still officially stage three), he mentions that I have good muscle foundation “under there”, meaning under the belly fat – thanks doc. I I started looking at alternative ways to lose the weight. Two months of P90x, left me unsatisfied. I felt better, was starting to see changes in the waistline, but the weight only dipped 3 pounds or so. I didn’t like the eating plan on P90x, so I wasn’t “shredding it”.
I then saw an ad for a new CrossFit Box. I asked my doctor if he thought a high intensity workout would be detrimental to my cancer recovery. My wife and I went to the on-ramp class the next week, and for the next year or so, we were CrossFitters! Moving to New York killed that, but I feel I’ll get back to it once I get on my feet again and get settled. The thing that stuck was the Paleo lifestyle.
It started with the Box running a volunteer 30-day Paleo challenge. I had looked into the Paleo “diet” a few months before CrossFit, but did not go the “whole 30” Paleo. I used it as a guideline, much like the Zone Diet I lived on after I got divorced. This challenge seemed like fun, and it was only thirty days. During that time, I continued to CrossFit. I went very strict on the Paleo; lost 11-pounds and five-and-a-half percent body fat in 30 days! While I finished second in the challenge I was hooked. I did add food groups back into my daily life, such as cheese (I don’t have a problem with lactose, but I have given up milk), and I will have bread from time to time, when dinning out or on special occasions.
So the title of this blog post is what most people think of when I say I live the Paleo lifestyle. Truth be told, the diet portion requires lots of fresh veggies, and lean meat. This is the part that critics miss. The principal is that processed food is bad, and just cutting those “food” from my diet showed market improvement in my health. Grains and legumes are also out for me. Our bodies just aren’t designed to eat those foods. My body has never felt so good, even though I’ve put 15 pounds back on from my lowest adult weight. Part of that is an almost complete lack of movement. Functional movement is also part of the Paleo lifestyle.
I’m starting slowly, by running three times a week. When the weather breaks, I’ll start cycling again. When I get back on my feet financially, I’ll start look for a CrossFit Box. I will never let a job keep me from living correctly.