While I was out of town, Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint Challenge ended … yes indeed, it’s been a whole month, folks!
Since this is about a LIFESTYLE change, I never experienced any impatience for it to please end now so I can get back to ‘Real Life’. This IS Real Life now. In fact, I feel a little stunned at how easy it has become to eat right. And I am rolling right along with it.
I really do want to write an official wrap-up of my participation in the challenge, and share with you what I learned and achieved, because what an amazing ride it has been!
- Eating: I learned that protein and fat (hitherto two strangers in my diet, truly) make for marvelously filling foods. Plus, the ultimate bonus? No more cravings. For me, the former craving central, this is BIG. HUMONGOUS. That’s not to say that it completely eradicates the challenge of comfort-eating – which is after all emotionally based – but it does make it immeasurably easier. I also learned to track my calorie intake – something I had never thought I’d succumb to, but which is just so much more empowering when you want to know where your diet is taking you. It definitely was an eye opener for me, showing me that what I thought were weight-loss portions were sometimes really over and above that. (And tracking didn’t turn me into an obsessed calorie freak as I had always feared, so color me relieved!)
- Sun: I have come to appreciate sunlight a lot more! In fact, this challenge really made me aware of how little sunlight I used to get on my skin in city girl office mode. Knowing now how much better it makes me feel, this habit is here to stay!
- Activity: The biggest change in my lifestyle centers here. During this challenge I rowed, and learned to scuba dive. And, combined with the Hot 100 challenge, I started working on my muscles again, AND cycling again. There are lots of new activities I still want to try out, and I am excited to keep this up, leading a more active lifestyle.
- Sleep: I learned that I really – right now – need 8-9 hours a night if I want to get rid of the pervasive fatigue I always seem to struggle with. Even before this challenge I started limiting my computer usage so I didn’t spend the first or last hour of the day on the computer. These last hectic weeks ate away at that resolution, so it is time for some renewed dedication to this part of my life. It definitely makes a difference!
- Weight loss: During this challenge, the weight came off slowly and almost surreptitiously: I was very surprised this morning to discover that I have released a total of 3kg/ 6.6lbs. I’m finally back under my personal redline weight. It isn’t visible yet to other folks, but I can definitely tell from the way my jeans sit and how I’ve had to move up to the last hole in my belt, that something is happening. I really like that! And I’m going to just keep going because I’m excited about the future changes to my body.
- Headaches: Well, I know by now that concentrated carbohydrates cause horrible headaches for me, so I’m not easily falling into that trap again. I honestly believe that eating primal has greatly reduced the regularity and severity of the headaches I’ve been struggling with since my teens. Though I’m not out of the woods yet, and I passionately hope to improve the headache situation even more, I am grateful for the improvement I’ve gained. (Formerly a hellish day at the office, like yesterday, would have been guaranteed to send me home with migraine … and I just realized it didn’t. Definite improvement!) And definite, immense gratitude!
- BONUS: My hair! I never expected this – and I’ve been reading testimonials about better hair growth and condition on the Primal Blueprint lifestyle with a pinch of salt, to be honest. But WOW, has my hair grown! I normally go to the hairdresser only every 10-12 weeks because (a) I have long hair, and (b) the hypothyroidism really retards hair growth. But I am compelled to return to her today, only 6 weeks after my last visit, because I simply cannot
takepostpone it any longer. All that protein and fat must be a real boost. This is certainly a surprise for me – and makes me wonder if I should re-check my thyroid levels.
Giving myself a whole month to really focus all-out on primal living was indeed one of the greater gifts I could have given myself this year. And I’m feeling so much better that there is not a smidgen of doubt in my mind: I will just keep going, kids.
There is one extra thing I hoped for on this challenge: that living like this would increase my energy levels. Not only are there loads of testimonials to the high energy resulting from this lifestyle, but it makes logical sense to me that if your body receives better fuel and your muscle tone improves, you should feel a lot more zesty.
Obviously energy is the result of an intricate symbiosis between the physical and the emotional/spiritual, I know that.
Unfortunately I can’t honestly report that I’m there yet: at that place of boundless energy. I’m well aware that my emotions are certainly draining energy at the moment – truthfully, I’m swimming deep. I hope that as soon as I get the emotional/spiritual part of my life balanced again, the energy will bubble up, too.
Watch out, because then nothing is going to stop me!
I am really grateful for all the progress this month has brought, on so many levels. Life is good! And I’m looking forward to building on this, aiming ever higher.