Here we are – it’s Sunday night – just one more week of the Lurong Living Paleo Challenge! It has been a LONG 8 weeks and it’s hard to believe the end is so close. I made it through company birthdays, weekend gatherings with friends, and one of the worst junk food holidays of all – Halloween. All just in time to blow it all for Thanksgiving and Christmas, right? Not so fast. My hope for myself and everyone else that accompanied me on this journey is that we will recognize our victories and celebrate them – have some planned cheats at the end of this thing – and then carry on with our lives sticking as close to Paleo as possible. Just because I have made it to the end of this challenge and I have accomplished some cool stuff (pull-ups, some visible abdominal muscles, new PRs on deadlift and “Randy”, etc.), it doesn’t mean that I’m done. There is always room for improvement – and it’s important to keep setting goals and striving to reach them. It’s also essential for me to maintain everything that I have busted my ass for during this thing.
While it has been really tough at times to stick to this diet, it has taught me a lot about how disconnected we have become as a society – from preparing our own food and cooking things from scratch so that we actually know what the ingredients are. No one has time, everything is done with a quickness, and we don’t take the much needed time to prepare decent meals for ourselves and our families which are essential to keeping us all healthy. The bigger inconvenience and financial hazard is winding up sick (due to our poor diets) – which leads to doctors visits, medication, sick time, etc. Personally, we can’t afford that (and I’m sure you can’t either). So we now make a big trip to the grocery store on Sunday, take 20 minutes to plan out our meals for the week, and then prep and cook whatever needs to be prepped or cooked. There are always leftovers, crock pot meals, and roasts involved – and then on Saturdays, if we have time, we get creative (for instance, I made smoky chicken wings and butternut squash soup last night – my first time making the soup – and we will now probably have it weekly because it was awesome). It can be daunting and sometimes I think we wash more dishes than we actually have, but I feel like it is totally worth it. Because of the way that I eat, I actually have the energy to do these things. Don’t get me wrong, after work, then CrossFit, then dinner, my head hits the pillow like a rock – but it’s always before 11 p.m. and my body feels great waking up at 5 a.m. If I haven’t sold you on this yet, keep reading 🙂
At the beginning of this challenge, we completed 3 benchmark workouts which we will have to complete again during the last 2 weeks of the challenge. Yesterday, we decided to go ahead and knock out “Randy”. For those that aren’t familiar, “Randy” consists of 75 power snatches for time (the prescribed weight for men being 75 lbs. and women being 55 lbs.). Eight weeks ago, my “Randy” time was 8:36. Yesterday, my “Randy” time was 7:50, a new PR! Two of our other members competing in the challenge, Phil & Maria, also got new PRs on “Randy”! We still have the other 2 benchmark workouts to complete this week and I really can’t wait for us to all crush our old times on those.
Aside from celebrating my personal results, I hope that other people will take something from my experience and run with it. Go read a Paleo book, do your research and try your own 30 day challenge. Make a change. It doesn’t have to be January 1st or Monday or after Christmas or whatever. Just make the decision and commit to it. Try it for 30 days (strict!) and see how you feel. Set a goal and test yourself. Stay strong and work hard for it. It will change your life. 🙂