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  1. I never would have imagined that this was possible. My first week eating Paleo style was more difficult than anything I'd ever done before. Never in my entire life, had I ever realized that sugar, breads, even coffee could be such addictions. They had a hold on me tighter than deaths grip. At 19 years of age, I was unhappy, and very aware of how unhappy I was. It wasn't just the reflection in the mirror that bothered me (though bad body image certainly had taken its toll), but it was more my everyday experiences with my body that plagued me. I have always enjoyed volunteering, and laborious work was what I loved most. I fell in love with Habitat for Humanity, but was soon made very aware that my body was hindering my performance, and consequently I was often looked over for some of the harder jobs. These more difficult tasks, often requiring heavy lifting, were offered to the boys who were bigger and stronger. My struggle with my body wasn't so much that I was overweight. More than that, I hated the fact that I was weak. I spent most of my time my senior year of high school trying to "get skinny" because for some ridiculous reason, I was under the impression that the words "skinny" and "in-shape" were synonymous. They aren't. And even when I did lose weight, I couldn't keep it off. My closet became a whirl of skirts and pants that never seemed to fit. They seemed to be too big and too small all at once as my weight fluctuated. I ate less and less and less, worked out more and more and more, and still could hardly seem to get my life together. This went on until one day, on a habitat build, I stood on a roof, nailing plywood onto rafters, my feet shoved between trusts, and my body struggling to find it's balance. The men on the roof were knocking these nails into the wood in just one or two strikes. It took me anywhere from five to ten hammer blows to get one little nail into the wood. I made a deal with myself, "No more getting skinny to fit into tiny dresses. No more being hungry. I don't care about being little anymore. I don't care if my arms get big as long as I can wield a hammer as well as any of these men. As long as I can carry my own weight, as long as I can take care of myself." I am on the road to that place now. My first week of Paleo was hard, I won't lie. I kept thinking I was going to die, and wondered how anyone could live like this. (Dramatic, I know) The second week, I just focused on going from meal to meal, and I began to enjoy cooking for myself again. By the third week, I had lost enough weight that all of my clothes fit me, and finally my cravings started to subside. By week four, I was down 12 ish pounds, and had lost a few inches in my waist and hips. Being a bit more light weight, I became more energized, and actually wanted to work out for the first time ever. I had my brother take me to a gym and show me how to dead lift. I LOVED IT. Even though I was totally intimidated by the thin women on the treadmill staring at me intensely, and the big old boys on the weight floor who were all lifting weights that were twice my entire body weight, I was deeply comforted by my brother's calm encouragement. I remember during our first work out, I was in the middle of doing 60 lunges after having lifted weights and having done like a million squats, and I got into the 40's when one of my legs gave up on me. Embarrassed, I turned to my brother and said, "I can't. I'm not going to make it. I just can't." He calmly responded, "You can. Don't think about how many reps you have left. Just think about the next one. You got this." I did it. I made it even though I was absolutely sure that it was going to be impossible for me to finish that workout. These days, I keep thinking about how I wasn't strong enough to knock those nails into place on that Habitat Build. When times get rough, I feel like those nails. I feel like someone is beating down on my head when people discourage my dietary/ lifestyle transformations, but I let them bear down because they are beating me into a new life, and the harder the blow, the deeper I drive into this change. I am never going back.
  2. Hi everyone, I came across NerdFitness about a month ago when for some odd reason, after a huge session of Assassin's Creed on the Xbox, I googled 'how to train like an assassin'...and what d'you know? There was an article exactly about that on this site! Since then, I have bought the Rebel Fitness Guide and have been on the Rookie Workout for the past 4 weeks. I also tried going Paleo but did the wrong thing going in head first, crashing out and feeling disheartened just 3 days later! BUT, I'm ready to try again. Frankly, for those 3 days I WAS Paleo, I noticed a big difference in my energy levels, I noticed that I didn't feel 3 sizes bigger after eating, and I felt happy. But I took on too much too soon. I'm very impatient by nature, and I'm pretty sure that had a huge part to play in my inability to stick to it. I also don't eat a lot of vegetables. I am trying new ones all the time and I have favourites that I stick to and eat a fair amount of but it's a slow process and honestly, I really don't like salad. I associate it with being bland and find it quite difficult to eat. So, as you can imagine, transitioning to a diet that focuses on an increased intake of vegetables and has salad with meals was bound to be difficult. But I do know that this could be the way forward for me. I'm 5'8' and 229lbs. I'm heading to Rome in September for the first time and it's honestly the trip of a lifetime for me. So naturally, I don't want to look huge in my photos. I know that doesn't give me plenty of time and I'm not saying I want to be a size 12 by the time I go but I would like to be FIT. I'm tall(ish) and have always known that being super skinny was not only not an option (Honestly, super skinny not only doesn't appeal to me, but wouldn't suit my body frame) and I love women that simply look healthy, and are lean and strong. I want to be like that. 2 years ago I lost 2 stone whilst at University, but it was all cardio and low fat microwave meals. I may have lost 2 stone but my body fat ratio went nowhere, and after a back injury I lay off the gym and piled it all back on in about 4 months. I'm now a PhD student and my lack of energy is taking its toll on my ability to concentrate and get the work I need to do done to a high standard. How many times have I heard 'You have everything it takes to get a good grade here, but you don't seem to have put as much work in as you should have', knowing full well it's because I'm too lazy to go the extra mile? Does anybody have any tips for how they transitioned to Paleo? Or anyone who found eating that much veg to be a struggle, and how they overcame it? Or even just how people got on the right path and started losing weight, whether Paleo or not?! I'm an Ogre right now, but was a really slim child, and would love to be an Assassin or Druid in the future. I know they're very different, but I do love weights, I love sprinting (and would love to get back to a fitness level that would let me do that) but I'm also desperate to get into yoga. The few times I've tried it, I felt better for it and it really does help my back. I have friends who tell me how good it is for the mind, too, and I could really do with a bit of peace and quiet up there! Plus, I study Scottish medieval history for a living, and anything to do with druids is just plain awesome. I'm really excited about this and I feel like 2013 is the year for it. I'm ready to level up my life! Catch you all later Any help is much appreciated! PD X
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