I received a great question from a friend recently:
How “active” were you in the beginning? Surely you had to get places by walking (even if just from home to car, car to office, office to car, and car to home).
Sure. I did walk from the house to the car and then to the office, etc. What I didn’t do during my first year of clean eating, however, was any kind of organized or purposeful exercise. I never said, “I’m going to go out and walk a few miles, or a half-hour.” When I walked, it was to get somewhere. I never did it for fitness sake.
With that said, my daily step count never topped 5,000 steps according to Fitbit and Garmin. That’s a pretty low level of activity, and it’s important to note that I lost 110 lbs in my first year of Paleo. I feel this is important to note for those who are either unable to exercise or unwilling. I fell into the latter category for the most part, although to be fair, my doctor did advise me to refrain from extensive walking/jogging until I weighed under 250 lbs due to damage to my knees.
I waited until I weighed 190 lbs, and in many ways, I’m glad I did. When I began walking, it quickly turned into jogging which then led to running. Although I’ve been unable to run for two weeks now due to the flu, I hope to be going back out onto the pavement very soon to get back into it. It’s amazing how much I miss it. My leg muscles are actually tingly because they miss the exertion.
So, to sum up: my activity level in my first year was negligible and I did no exercise for fitness sake. I lost a lot of weight in that time which confirms the adage, “You lose weight in the kitchen; you get fit in the gym.” In my case, I got fit on the road, but you know what I mean.