“Time to GRIT™ my teeth and eat clean, again”!
Grab yourself a cuppa cos this is a bit long winded, but bear with me! I wanted to tell you a little bit more about myself and my journey with food over the past few years. You’ve probably read elsewhere on the blog that I have always been used to eating good home cooked food, thanks to my mum and dads influence. Growing up, my problem at the dinner table was never being a fussy or picky eater. My problem was knowing when to stop 🙁 Hated wasting good food!
All this good food eventually caught up on me over the years and as the pounds started piling on when I left school and started university in 1996. In 2001 when I start life in the IT fast lane I was very fortunate to be given a role that involved a lot of travelling (mainly to England, Scotland & Wales), staying in fancy hotels and living out of a suitcase. “You lucky so and so” I hear you say! Well, yes, for a while, but the novelty soon wore off. At the time, one of the highlights for me was being able to eat in posh restaurants all over the UK for 4 nights of the week (and I didn’t have to pay for it). Again I hear you say “you lucky so and so”! Yes, I was rather fortunate. However, my ‘diet’ and therefore my body took an awful hammering over that period. All of which I am living to regret now.
So, for about 5 years I worked away from home 4 nights a week. During this time my weight continued to increase whilst my self esteem decreased. I changed jobs in 2007 to be based in NI! Phew! Like anyone who is conscious of their weight I knew I had to do something about it and as such I had tried a number of fad diets to the point I was sick of hearing about points, knew the kcal, sat. fat. and sugar values on pretty much every label going.
In January 2010 it all came to a head when I was at the heaviest that I have ever been. I joined Slimming World and by the September of that year (9 months for all you arithmetically challenged readers) I had lost 3.5 stone. I was pretty pleased at what the scales where saying, but I looked ill, even though I was still overweight. I had basically gorged on a carb rich diet for 9 months whilst I lost both fat and lean muscle mass leaving me with an emaciated and shapeless look. Not pretty.
Enter Primal/Paleo! Through chatting to a friend at work, I was introduced to the upcoming (but always existing) concept of Primal/Paleo eating. I started to read The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson (see below) and I can honestly say that I was completely hooked. There is an element of science (which I loved) in some of the narrative, but it completely changed how I look at food, for life. Before you think I have gone completely mad, I am not trying to be 100% Primal/Paleo. I just wanted (and still do) to eat as clean as I possibly can by cutting out the processed foods and seriously reducing the amount of sugar in my diet (whether that be in the form of sugary sweets/desserts or things like pasta and rice etc that cause you body to produce more insulin). READ THE BOOK, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!
That said, I absolutely love good bread, rice and pasta! So, if I am gonna eat bread I’m gonna bake it myself. If I feel like some pasta on a summers evening with a chilled glass of white wine then I will, but it will be in moderation. I might even make the pasta myself too!!
Soon after this I soon got hooked up with a good friend, personal trainer and Primal/Paleo. Enter Mr Stephen Crooks Esq (WARNING: old photo alert). After a long chat with Steve about nutrition and training Steve gave me brilliant advice about clean foods and also drafted me up a training plan. In the week or so that followed I set about dismantling the photography studio and converting it into a home gym to allow me to start training. And so, the training commence and every time I even heard the word burpee I was nearly sick. Over a period off about 3-4 months I started to see a real change in my body shape as the % body fat started to fall and I began to love burpees (in a strange way)!
Steve is the manager of One Fitness in Portadown and had told me about a series of Bootcamps that were starting. Bootcamp is a military style training programme, 3 mornings a week for 6 weeks (now 5) which concentrated on camaraderie, team work, discipline and good nutrition. Wow, this totally transformed my idea of what good training and good nutrition really was. I LOVED IT. I lost 2 stone and 10″ in body measurements. I now knew that for me (not everyone), team training was the way forward. I loved the craic and I loved the training.
Throughout bootcamp, I had heard of GRIT classes that were happening at One Fitness, but based on the faces of the people leaving it I thought “I wouldnt be fit enough to do that”! With my new found confidence, post bootcamp, I thought I would give it a go. I have never looked back and it has been the best thing I’ve ever done. I have met some great new friends and we encourage each other to keep going.
Next week starts another (my second) GRIT Challenge (3 GRIT classes, 1 fitness challenge and 1 nutritional challenge per week). This is a 5 week GRIT indulgence of pushing your body to the max whilst eating clean. Over the past 3 months (since the last GRIT Challenge) I have been on holiday (and didn’t eat very clean), got injured (and didn’t train as much as I had been) and basically ate what I wanted. Not good! So, I know it’s “Time to GRIT™ my teeth and eat clean, again”! Believe me, I have a long way to go, so here goes!
RIGHT! So what I am saying in all this!
- I am not saying that you necessarily need to start eating a primal/paleo influenced diet (as much as I believe in it and how it will transform your body).
- I’m not saying you must start going to One Fitness, even though, in my opinion it is the best gym I have ever trained in (and there are very few within a 10 mile radius that I haven’t been a member off).
- I’m not saying you have to do anything I suggest you do do. Here’s what I am saying. If you are serious about changing your culinary lifestyle for good and therefore changing how your body operates and lasts the test of time, then I seriously recommend you read The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson. It will give you all the reasons why eating a primal/paleo style diet will be the best thing you can do for your body. It will tell you how to train to get the best results with the least amount of injury and stress on your body. Basically, it will help you live a more fulfilled and energetic life whilst eating the foods our bodies are created to eat.
Click the link below and order your copy!
Other excellent books include: