I switched to a Paleo diet on February 15th, 2013. This is how it all started:
On February 12th, 2013 I had a doctor’s appointment in Worcester with Dr. Peter Davidow. I was expecting this to be just a normal visit, but my blood pressure was off the charts (200 / 100) and my weight was at an all-time high of 281 lbs. After my appointment, I sat down with Dr. Davidow and he laid it on the line in a way that no doctor had ever done with me. He told me that my blood pressure was so high that I would very likely have a stroke and that my weight was causing a lot of hormonal issues and that I was pre-diabetic. I remember sitting in Dr. Davidow’s office and hearing him ask (obviously annoyed) “what do you want me to do for you?” I knew Dr. Davidow was right- he could not do anything for me. I had to change my life.
The very next day Iwent to see my General Practitioner who put me on two different types of blood pressure medicines and gave me a bunch of suggestions regarding eating a low fat diet and exercise. Because I am a farmer who raises grass-fed livestock, I was already well aware of the research showing the benefits of a diet high in animal fats and low in carbohydrates. I did some research into the Paleo diet and decided that, for me, it made the most sense. My General Practitioner advised against Paleo but on Feb. 15th I started anyway.
The results were immediate. Not only did I drop 38 lb. within two months, but I had more energy, I was sleeping better, and I was not hungry all the time. I stopped eating all processed foods, kicked a fierce Diet Coke habit and learned to cook and plan meals. My diet now matched what I was preaching at work regarding the ability for grass-fed animals to heal humans and the environment. My conscious felt right.
When I started Paleo, I also starting watching videos about CrossFit. I was so intrigued but also mortified to the core. I remember sitting in our kitchen one night watching a CrossFit series called “Killing the Fat Man”. I watched every single episode back to back and decided that I needed to join – just jump into the deep end do it. I started On Ramp on May 6th, 2013. It took me two months to build up the courage to join and the first night of On Ramp I threw up before class – I was that scared. But I kept coming back.
Joining Worcester CrossFit has been the best decision I’ve ever made. Every preconceived notion and fear that I had about the CF community was wrong. To my surprise, I was totally encouraged and embraced and no one made fun of me because I ccouldn’tdo any of the movements. People were insanely friendly and supportive. It was not a testosterone contest. I’ve become really good friends with so many people at the gym- especially folks in the 5:30 AM c
rew. I am inspired by my WODmates (is that a word?) who I see come in and kick ass day after day. There are people in my class who have totally transformed their lives, improved their health and they inspire the heck out of me (Ariel and Cari to name a few). There are seasoned CrossFitters who give suggestions and encouragement (Dan). And the trainers and owners- wow. Simply amazing, salt of the earth people. My life has been transformed. I would have never stuck with eating a Paleo diet or with exercising if I had not joined CrossFit. The community makes it. For me- it’s my church.
I’ve done several Paleo Challenges since joining CFW. Although I’ve been sticking with a Paleo diet for well over a year now, the Challenges always encourage me and get me back on track during those times when I am consuming too many nuts, fruit, dairy, sugar or when I feel frustrated with how slowly things seem to be going now. Since I started eating Paleo on Feb. 15, 2013, I’ve lost 86 lbs. Through CrossFit, I’ve built a ton of muscle and am able to do things that I found impossible when this journey began (rope climbs and box jumps). The process is SLOW going at this point and Istill have a significant amount of weight to lose. I so badly want to hit 100 lb. lost- that was my original goal, although I am now more focused on general health than a number. My doctor took me off my blood pressure meds and I feel so happy and thankful for that. Nevertheless- that 100 lb. goal is still out there and it is close. I want to celebrate that accomplishment (when it happens…not if it happens) with a special WOD. The 100lb. WOD.
I feel lucky that I found the CrossFit Worcester community. I feel insanely fortunate for Paul and his depth of knowledge and support. I am looking forward to the future and continued good health.