As I was getting ready for my 5k run last Saturday, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror wearing my skin-tight running gear designed to keep me warm in the 30-degree weather. It made me pause, and I am not ashamed to admit that I almost wanted to cry.
I was a different man. I was a healthy, trim, and fit man. I was the man I always wanted to be but never thought I could be.
The moment passed quickly as we needed to get to the run on-time, but my mind lingered on it for a few days. Heck, I’m still thinking about it. I can’t believe what I’ve accomplished.
It wasn’t easy, but then again, it wasn’t all that hard. The weight loss part was the easiest. No, I’m serious: it felt like I was cheating at life. Sure, I had to give up grains like bread, pasta, oatmeal, pizza, pastries, and many other things I loved like rice, beans, and more. No more sweet drinks, even with artificial sweeteners. I had to give up foods I grew up with and had emotional attachments to. But I did so knowing that there was hope for me, and that the future would hold better health and possibly better fitness. The foods I was allowed to eat were delicious, filling, and somehow were on lists of foods to avoid (bacon, butter, eggs, red meat). I felt like I had used a cheat code to life to be able to eat such “Sinful” foods and to be losing weight as quickly as I was. When my blood work confirmed I was healthier and no longer Diabetic, I knew I was on the right path. I never expected it to be as effective and easy long-term.
Today, I don’t miss the non-Paleo foods. Walking through a bakery doesn’t tempt me. Being in a checkout aisle with candy surrounding me doesn’t make me feel sad anymore. Honestly. It’s the best, most liberated I’ve ever felt in regards to food cravings. Do I miss a good chocolate cake, brownies, or mousse? Sure! But there are Paleo alternatives I can have from time to time that sate those desires, so it’s not as bleak as some would think.
I still can’t believe sometimes that I’m back to being a fit, healthy person. Seeing myself in the mirror was a special moment that will live with me forever. I have succeeded where I never thought I could. I have been maintaining this healthy lifestyle for over two years, and it’s only getting easier and better all the time.