A couple of months ago, one of my oldest friends, Colby, sent me a message on Facebook saying that my blog had inspired her and her boyfriend, Grant, to get healthy and try the 30 Day Paleo Challenge. I was so touched and happy for her. We’ve gotten messages from people about how our blog has helped inspire them in some way, which is incredible (we looove getting those messages!!) but it really hits home when someone close to you is inspired by you. It means a lot, especially coming from a friend. Most of my friends are now scared of me and think I am crazy. So sad.
Anyways, I asked Colby to write a guest post about her experience with the Challenge and how she’s doing since then. In true Colby fashion, she got it to me 3 months later….. ha! But it’s a great story and definitely worth sharing for some inspiration if any of you need some extra incentive to try it out! How many times can I say inspiration in this post?
“A little over two months ago, my boyfriend Grant and I decided to embark on the 30 Day Paleo Challenge. There were a few synchronistic events that lead us to give it a try. Grant and I, for a while, had been talking about ways to feel better and be at our best, we just didn’t have any tangible information to do so. We’re both musicians and spend all of our free time writing and recording, rather than cooking and working out. We both have athletic pasts, however, and kept circling back to this new notion of changing our habits and leading healthier and more productive lives.
Around the same time in March we both heard news of close family members experiencing some health issues. It really started to sink in how much food, exercising, medicine and general lifestyle affects us not only as we are now, but what we’ll be like as we age. We started talking more in depth about how we can’t keep getting away with our eating habits. Living in Brooklyn is no cheap picnic, so grabbing a slice of pizza or eating a bagel is the quickest and most inexpensive meal. But it was starting to weigh us down more and more. I’ve always complained about my belly and feeling bloated and I was sick of doing nothing about it and expecting things to change.
With Emily’s blog at our fingertips, we became serious about trying the 30 day challenge. In her original post she had a quote that really struck a chord with me, “It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard, Quitting heroin in hard, Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black Is. Not. Hard.” It’s the no-bullshit attitude I needed to quit my whining and get it together. Plus, having Grant by my side made it an easier commitment. We’d keep each other en pointe and motivate each other to keep going.
Grant typed up a list of Paleo foods we could eat and I printed out a calendar for the month of April. I should also mention that when we decided to do the challenge we also signed up to work with a personal trainer 3 times a week. We figured if we were going for it, we should really go for it. No more sleeping in. No more late night snacks. No more carbs. No excuses. Our experience the first week was, as they warned, shaky and full of my cranky comments. However, once we were past that first week it was an easier routine than I thought. We had our trainer rooting us on, and each other to lean on. We researched paleo food blogs and discovered amazing recipes that were easy to prepare (chowstalker.com, againstallgrain.com, paleorepublic.com). The further along we were, the more exciting it became to come up with meals. I really thought I wouldn’t have the will power to give up dairy and carbs, but with the combination of working out and sticking to the diet, we didn’t want to stop feeling so damn good. We had a better time sleeping through the night and more energy throughout the day. The last week almost flew by because we were so used to our new habits. The only aspect of the challenge we didn’t commit to was staying away from alcohol. We allowed ourselves a glass of wine or whiskey every now and again which, we felt, only hindered our results slightly. I think the hardest part for us was knowing what to do once the challenge was over. Our plan was to stick to a modified Paleo diet, with the exception of a few foods like beans, granola, yogurt, and brown rice (in moderation). But with no challenge hanging over our heads, we are easily swayed. With a more laid back approach, there’s been a few cheats here and there but our bodies are way more influenced by it now. We definitely have a gluten sensitivity and feel the affects of poor food choices as soon as we ingest them. This sort of “punishment” keeps us from eating all the bad foods we ate before. We also still try and see our trainer a few times a week or at least run on the track in our neighborhood as often as possible. Committing to this challenge really jump-started new goals that have still, three months later, kept us on a new and better routine.”
So there you have it. I think it’s safe to say that if two super cool, super busy musicians living in Brooklyn can do it, so can you. Oh and they happen to be wicked talented, so check out their newest track here or down below
Let us know if you have an inspiring story to tell. We’d love to hear it!