will power

Sam’s Progress After 2 Weeks of Paleo

Sam at Work

Sam Jimenez is one of the four subscribers currently doing a 30-Day Paleo Challenge together, and gracious agreed to give us an interview yesterday, at the two-week mark of his challenge. His progress is incredible, and I am so excited to share them with all of you to inspire you to take the step back in time with your diet and try Paleo.

Start weight: 214 lbs

Weight after 2 weeks of Paleo: 204 lbs

Weight lost from 2 weeks of Paleo: 10 lbs

After three days of eating Paleo, Sam noticed he was waking up earlier than normal, without an alarm, and with energy! How many of you would like to sleep better after only three days of a diet change?!

Sam also had gastritis and the beginning of a peptic ulcer before starting Paleo, and says that he has had NO acid reflux, or any stomach pain or cramping since the first week! His frequent burping is also gone.

Sam with Pizza

The occasional cheat is OK!

Sam has not been a Paleo Angel, though. He has had three large cheats (ex: Pizza for dinner), and four small cheats (a couple of beers while watch the Marquez v. Pacquiao fight). This just goes to show you that you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to get all that junk out of your system MOST OF THE TIME.

Sam says that he still has cravings, but that they are not as desperate as he thought they would be. He did not remove all of the foods he cannot eat from his house before starting the challenge, so he stares at things like peanut butter (his guilty pleasure), and jelly beans on a daily basis. Despite “not usually having any will power,” Sam has refrained from snacking on these non-Paleo treats… quite a feat!

As for exercise, Sam has done around 30 minutes of cardio 3-5 times a week. We are still talking him into joining Chef Carlos for cross-training in the mornings ;)

The most exciting part is that yesterday his family came to visit him, and noticed that he looked different! Having someone notice a change is one of the most encouraging things that happens during the first few weeks of Paleo, and we are so happy that this happened to Sam so soon, especially from the people he loves most!

We asked Sam if he had any questions for us, and he had a good one:

What happens after the challenge?

We told him that just because the challenge ends doesn’t mean you’re done. It means you get to decide your own commitment level to the diet based on your lifestyle and your goals. However, as Sam’s ideal weight is 180 lbs, we encouraged him to try to stick with maximum two free meals a week. At this level of compliance, he should continue experiencing the same rate of weight loss and other health improvements that he is now, while being able to eat “a normal meal” every few days.

We are so excited to see Sam’s continued progress over the next couple of weeks, and will report back with his final testimonial and results after he completes his 30-Day Paleo Challenge!

Remember, we are a community here, and would love to support each and every one of you through starting Paleo. Feel free to post in the Forum or email us directly using the contact tab on the left of the screen.

Keep up the good work, everyone!

Damage from the Hurricane

Photo credit: Kriss Szkurlatowski at www.12frames.eu

If you have been watching the weather channel at all in the last two days you know that at one point Hurricane Rina was predicted to hit the Yucatan Peninsula at her strongest point. We are operated out of that area, so the last few days have been pretty crazy. Resorts and restaurants shut down and moved all of their equipment into safe storage. People put their storm shutters up or simply nailed plywood to the outside of their windows for protection. Everyone was getting very excited, and last-minute supplies were purchased for the day we expected to be stuck inside.

Well, Hurricane Rina turned into Tropical Storm Rina, and by the time she finally reached us, was no more than a lot of wind and some rain. Not having to deal with a hurricane was such a blessing, and saved all of the businesses here thousands of dollars each in damages. From what I can see, Rina caused no damage here to physical property. However, the storm did cause damage of another sort.

In preparation for the hurricane, I went to the store and bought supplies I needed like candles and matches. I also bought things I very much did not need, like Kraft Mac & Cheese (my #1 comfort food), Oreos, and Dos Equis. Why did I do this? Good question. I supposed I felt like this unusual circumstance (a hurricane) justified unusual action. Is it normal for me to buy candles and matches just in case my power dies on a normal evening? No. Is it normal for me to park myself in front of my TV and watch Pirates of the Caribbean until the power died? Ok, bad example… Is it normal for me to have Mac & Cheese and beer for dinner, followed by Oreos for dessert? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Facing an unusual situation, I made excuses to justify a bad dietary decision. I literally hurt my body by eating those things, especially in such excess. In the last blog I mentioned that I think it’s OK to cheat now and again. One thing I want to clarify though is that the danger of cheating is not necessarily a halt in your weight loss, although that is a result. The danger is that you are damaging your body, preventing it from functioning properly, and making it sick.

Unusual and uncomfortable circumstances often arise in our lives. If we use every instance of this as an excuse to “eat comfortably” and forget the importance of what we put in our body, we will be forever broken. So don’t do what I did when you face a hurricane (whether that means a big test, a stressful deadline at work, relationship problems, or any other situation that tests your resolve). Put things in your body that make you healthy and strong. That way, even in unusual or uncommon circumstances, you have the power to carry yourself through them.

Beating Yourself – The Mental First Step

Fighting MenA friend of mine is scheduled to start the Paleo diet at the beginning of next month, and is reading up all he can on the diet in the meantime to be as prepared as possible. I asked him what concerns he had so I could hopefully ease his fears and help him start the diet with confidence. What worries him most is that he works in a restaurant and is very used to seeing, smelling, and eating foods that are not allowed on the diet. Stopping himself from snacking on these things that he is so used to eating is going to very difficult, he said, and that he knows self-control is going to be essential.

This is a very difficult thing that most people face at the start of a new diet. The truth is you have to beat yourself. Your mind is divided against you. Half of you wants to stick to your guns because you know it will make you healthier and SKINNIER, and the other half of you wants the comfort of doing what you’re used to. If you eat when you’re depressed, you need to find another way to cheer yourself up now, because that is going to break your diet every time.

The key to beating yourself is “feeding the side you want to win.” You are starting a diet because you care about your health, because you want to lose weight, because you can’t sleep, or for any number of other reasons. Keep reminding yourself that, and think according to that goal. Don’t think about how good the pizza in front of you will taste, because that doesn’t matter… not in the context of your goal. If you feed the side of you that would rather eat “no-no foods” than lose your fat rear, that side will win. And guess what? Your rear will stay fat.

I talk about this like it is easy… but we all know it’s not. I struggle with this daily. However, what I have learned is that when your mind is in the right place, you can make smart decisions that will keep you on progress toward your overall goal. Once your mind is right, you can have lasagna for dinner as a treat and not be thrown off your diet. Once your mind is right, you don’t have to fight yourself all the time. So that’s my advice- take it or leave it ;)

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