Everyone has a story to tell, and as the owner of a food company whose mission is to allow people to marry health with convenience, it’s no surprise that I have my own ‘paleo journey’ tale to tell.
Now to be clear, my ‘healthy living journey’ is no different or more inspiring that anyone else’s. And just because I now own my own paleo food delivery service, I don’t believe that somehow I am suddenly qualified to give advice and encourage people to follow in the same path that got me to where I am. On the flip side, I am a firm believer that to be sustainable, everyone needs to find their own way to health and happiness. There is no set formula.
However, I do have a story, and it does revolve around finding paleo, so here it is.
Today I am 27 years old, standing 162cm tall and weigh somewhere in the vicinity of 59kgs. I am made up of approximately 20% body fat. I work out (predominantly CrossFit with a bit of running and circuit) 4 – 5 times a week, eat predominantly whole, paleo foods, drink 2-3L of water a day, and sleep 8 hours a night. And let me tell you folks, I feel FANTASTIC!
This has not always been the case.
Three years ago I weighed 65kg (at least that was the last time I jumped on the scale in my fat phase, that definitely wasn’t my heaviest), and was around 30% body fat. I had just quit my incredibly demanding and stressful job as a publicist and spent three months taking myself on what turned out to be the Mac ‘n’ Cheese tour of America. I drank my body weight in booze a few nights a week and treated my body like crap. Not surprisingly, it responded in kind with the flaring up of old illnesses, fatigue, skin like a 14 year old boy, and general I-hate-you-ness.
Getting from that point to where I am now was hard; as it turns out it’s not as easy as going to the gym three times a week and cutting down on ‘bad’ food. Actually you have to first learn about your body – what food does your gut like, what doesn’t it? What causes bloating and hormonal imbalances? Why can’t you just have a cheat like, every second night?
Through a process of trial and error, I discovered that my body didn’t enjoy gluten or dairy, and that sugar made me allllll messed up. I responded well to whole, ‘clean’ foods, and could not only tolerate, but thrive on foods high in fat and low in carbohydrates. Paleo, as it turned out, was perfect for me.
After going quite strict for a few months I slowly reintroduced some foods that while not technically paleo, only act to fuel and nourish my body – natural yoghurts, full fat cream, and grass-fed cheese and butter. You’ll notice we use some of these items in our menu – they’re just too good to pass up.
Sitting where I am now, I can tell you that being fit and healthy never gets easy, you just get better at it. The more good food I eat, the less I crave processed crap. The more I train, the less my body accepts bad food. The more I make myself accountable to other people, the less likely I am to fall off the wagon.
Below is my very own before and after – a confronting image that I’ve shared with few people – but goes to show that the above isn’t just a load of PR crap. As you can see, I still enjoy a wine and the occasional sweet treat. Life is all about balance, and these days I have it in droves.
Left: 2011 | Right: 2013