Steve starts Paleo, his roommate eats pizza in front of him

A week after starting the On-ramp class at Capital City Crossfit it was time to start eating better.  I had put it off for a week knowing that I needed to get rid of some of the food in the apartment, and knowing that I had the wedding that weekend and there was no way I was going to miss out on one last round of wedding cake.  So for a week I allowed myself to enjoy foods that I knew I wouldn’t be having for a month, more if this Paleo thing actually worked.  Finished off with extra wedding cake, and a great time with friends celebrating an important day in their lives.

The time had come, I was abandoning the way of eating that I had known for my whole life.  I was about to go from a man who would often go days without a vegetable in his diet to a guy that had them with every meal.  Leaving behind the days of walking into Little Caesars and getting a pizza, crazy bread, and a 2 liter and thinking that was an appropriate meal for one.  I started simple and just worked on staying strict as much as possible.  I had many meals of a piece of meat, onions, and peppers.  I worked on making sure that I was avoiding all of the processed foods and worked to make myself like other veggies.  Slowly I started to enjoy eating broccoli, and I made a lot of roasts.  Surprising for me was how quickly I took to eating such a different way.  I learned that anything that lets me have lots of bacon is a good thing.  I really like bacon, and it got to be a huge part of my diet plan.  Secondly Asparagus is amazing on the grill, double that if you combine that lesson with lesson one.  And third is that my roommate is a jerk.  He’s not really a jerk, and I love the little guy, but his favorite activity in my early days/weeks of the new eating plan was to sit down and eat meals that were not even close to something I could eat.  Allow me to set the scene:

Steve sits down, he has a meal that includes a huge glass of water, a steak, and peppers and onions to go with it are a few almonds.  Peter sits down next to Steve, with a giant bowl of pasta with a red sauce.  He brings with him a giant bottle of some sweetened beverage and lots of garlic toast.  Then proceeds to ask if I want any.  This is less than a week into the diet and continues in various forms.  I sit down with my meal, Peter brings pizza, or pancakes, or anything else you can think of that I might miss.

I should also share the fact that I as a new Paleo eater lived with a baker, a man who spend his entire working day making things that I had no business eating.  Luckily he never brought anything home so it was never an issue, but still the Paleo guy was living with a guy that spent at least five hours a day baking sweets.  That would make a great tv show.  The first few weeks were going to be tough, as with any major change in life I struggled, but getting to know the ins and outs of my body and tracking how I was doing most days helped.  I quickly realized that my appetite was way down from where it had been and that I was able to slow down at meal time because I no longer felt the need to shove massive amounts of food into my system.  As this was going on I began to realize something, my pants were getting loose, and that I didn’t feel as beat up anymore.  Yes I was tired from all the workouts and long days at work, but my body was actually recovering.  As the days turned to weeks and I was coming up on the end of the month it was time to decide what to do about my diet and the answer became clear, I should keep this Paleo thing going.  Here’s a picture of me after about 3 weeks, I’m at a Phish show, back home in Chicago.

Already you can see that I’m changing, and so as I prepared to take on the biggest challenge in front of me I was going to stay strict Paleo.  Student teaching, Paleo, and Crossfit could that really be the match made in heaven? That’s what was in front of me, 16 weeks of challenges and stress, but here goes nothing.


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