Well, it’s been approximately nine months since I first started my journey into a life without grains. It still amazes me every day to think about all of the positive effects this lifestyle has had in every part of my life, as well as in the lives of others who have caught the paleo bug. The baby of my efforts? A new sense of strength, something I didn’t have for most of my life.
The last time I felt this kind of strength was in 10th grade (which was, dare I say, around 2004) when I decided to join my high school track and field team on a whim. I didn’t actually stay with the team for the entire season, but boy did I run. I ran and ran and ran, and I dropped 45 pounds in the process. My former teammates who used to laugh at the fat girl huffing and puffing around the track were pretty surprised when I came back the next year as a different person, slim and athletic and carrying around a big smile. That felt strong. But not the kind of strength I have today.
Today, my strength is both measurable and conceptual. My arms and legs feel solid, and in my head, I walk around knowing and feeling that I’ve changed myself for the better. All previous battles I fought with food have become obsolete. I love food now, and I love eating! I love every aspect of a complex avocado, the hearty taste of steak dry-rubbed and grilled to perfection, the sizzle of bacon (even if it tends to spit hot grease onto my arms as I’m cooking it), the sweet, fatty texture of macadamia nuts paired with a few blueberries as a late-night snack. I love moving my body, even if it hurts, even if my arms give out mid-push up, even if I can’t breathe for a good 30 seconds after completing an intense interval of Insanity Fast&Furious. I love it–it makes me feel good, whole, strong.
Even though I’m a good 20-30 pounds from where I’d ultimately like to be, for once, I finally feel like I can like my body. Sure, it upsets me sometimes, and I wish that things could have been different (you know, body, it’d be really nice to not gain a million pounds if I decide to eat pizza, thanks), but I like it. It can do things that many people’s bodies cannot. It’s not perfect, but it’s mine.
As I’ve started to slim down and tone up, a few things have crossed my mind, particularly about how I can incorporate this part of my life into something that’s useful not just for me, but for others as well. After doing a bit of research, I’ve decided I’m going to start saving my money for a chance to become a CrossFit trainer. I’ll probably be saving for a while, and it will definitely have to wait until after my wedding and the following crazy period, but it’s something that I think would help solidify this new commitment to physical and mental health that I have.
Has anyone out there taken the leap and jumped into a career in fitness? What made you make the jump?