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Caveman to Wonder Woman: Eating Paleo

Those of you that know me know that just like the next girl I do have those love/hate moments with my body. For the most part, I love my curves and am confident in my looks. I’ve been an advocate for a healthy body image for as long as I can remember, despite my personal struggles with my weight, and I’ve fluctuated from a size 12 to 20 for as long as I can remember.

While I’ve never tried to let my size dictate my happiness or confidence in who I am on the inside, it’s hard not to let the constant images of svelte celebrities and models that grace the pages of fashion magazines tiptoe into my mind and make me want to be just a size or two smaller…

My biggest challenge in being what I believe to be a healthy weight (and for my body that’s a size 14) has been two things: Firstly, I’m not the most athletic/physically coordinated person on the planet. Secondly, I love food. Buying it, making it, cooking it, eating it, sharing it with friends and family.

Sadly, food loves me too. I’m not one of those girls who can eat whatever she wants and still be a lean as a bean pole. I just look at chocolate and it attaches itself to my hips/thighs/stomach/arms. I know that food should just be fuel for the body and the better the quality fuel the better our bodies run. Fill it full of junk and we just become lethargic and slow. It is ok, however, to enjoy some foods on a sometimes basis. But there have been times where those sometimes foods have started to creep into my diet daily, and after a period of time I’ve found myself struggling to get my favourite pair of size 14 Bettina Liano jeans over my knees.

As far as the exercise part goes, I’m not a team sports kind of girl, more a lone ranger. Once I’m in a routine, I enjoy going to the gym and like to mix it up with a variety of boxing, cardio and weights. It’s the getting started part when I’m not feeling great about my weight that I battle with.

I few months ago I decided it was time to start living a more healthy lifestyle after letting myself go a bit and seeing my weight start to creep up, which meant getting my backside off the couch and stop putting sometimes foods into my mouth often/daily. I started training with personal trainer Andre de Villiers who introduced me to the Paleo Diet, otherwise known as the Caveman Diet. After a bit of reading, the diet’s premise of eating simply and naturally made perfect sense to me. If you think back to caveman days and what they ate – meat, organic vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, no grains, no sugar, no alcohol, no dairy – you start to see that we’ve introduced a whole heap of foods into our daily eating habits that our bodies weren’t originally designed to want or need. Some of those foods have even been linked to modern diseases like heart failure, cancer, diabetes and, the most obvious one, obesity.

So, after 10 weeks of eating Paleo and regular(ish) exercise I have lost 12kg. My motivation is to get my body to a healthy, maintainable weight. I’m not on a diet, I’ve simply changed my lifestyle.

What I love about Paleo is that it’s easy to stick to. It’s also easy to design to suit your lifestyle and while I’m not “strict” Paleo I still allow myself to include some foods that I enjoy.

If you’re interested in exploring the Paleo lifestyle, there are a ton of great websites out there and some great people to follow on Twitter. Some of my favourites are:

@nomnompaleo
@yummololaberry
Paleo Plan
Everyday Paleo

Another great site is Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar. While not strictly Paleo, some of the thinking is very similar. And I think she’s just fabulous.

If you’re thinking about starting to eat Paleo, whether it be to lose weight or just to live a more healthy lifestyle, I absolutely encourage you to to give it a go. And I’d love to hear how you go with it!

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