Hey y’all. So I’m one week in to my post-pregnancy paleo reboot. I thought I’d talk a bit more about why I’m doing this and give you all a starting point from which to measure my success.
I started this blog about three years ago, when I was well into my paleo journey. The word paleo and the paleo community have changed a lot since then. Back then, from my perspective at least, people who had found paleo had found it through science and research and health. These days, I see a lot of people coming at it from an all together more worrying angle, based in woo, self-help, “big pharma” conspiracies and anti-vax nuttery. For me, the joy of paleo was in the science. It was never about eating what cavemen ate (that’s just the media spin) but about eating what our bodies need, and nothing else. Eating food that makes your body the very best version of itself that it can be and then seeing and feeling the incredible results of that.
Back then, reading the research papers about saturated fats not actually being the devil but actually essential for brain health and vitamin absorption, or about cholesterol not having much at all to do with eating high fat foods, or about sugar being more dangerous to those with heart conditions that fats, and then talking to people about those studies, people genuinely thought I was insane and would soon be wearing tin foil hats and living in a bunker; but luckily the media finally started to cover it and the general population started to slowly see what we had seen for a long time.
This also brought more people into paleo, which was brilliant. More people eating paleo = more people getting healthy. But a lot of those people came to it without doing the background research and that brought people who didn’t actually share the understanding of what paleo really was. They tried it, got the same amazing results as everyone else, but linked it in their minds to “natural” “alternative” and “holistic”. These are not generally words that go with “science”. These days, it is hard to see past all the anti-vax nut jobs and see that the originators of this movement, the Mark’s Daily Apple, the Paleo Mom, the Nom Nom Paleo, are still talking about the science. I’m glad that they are.
A result of this is that I’m no longer so comfortable calling the way I eat “paleo” because it comes with a lot of baggage. Clean eating might be better, I don’t know. But then, I’d have to get a new URL, so I guess I’ll stick with it for now, under the proviso that you all understand that I’m on the science side, not the “alternative medicine” side.
So now that we have that ironed out, here’s what I’m currently dealing with:
1. My mood:
It’s not anywhere near as bad as before I went paleo, mostly because I don’t eat gluten still, and that seems to be my main trigger for mental health issues. Having said that, since I slipped into eating crap more and lots of “free from” products, I am definitely not as chipper as I was when I was strict paleo.
A week into the reboot, I’m noticeably more rational, more calm and more able to feel positive. My outlook is a little sunnier.
2. My health:
This one’s been the main driving force behind the return to paleo. My body since pregnancy has not been my friend. It hurts, a lot, a lot of the time. I still have SPD (where the pelvis becomes separated and unstable) and I’ve recently been confirmed as having hypermobile joints, which causes joint pain and instability throughout my body. I had a lot of issues with joint pain before being paleo and I know that being paleo helps with it. It seems that inflammation is the cause of a lot of my problems and keeping inflammation to a minimum helps keep the pain at bay enough for me to strength train, which is the key to keeping my joints safe and stable and strong. Recently, my hands have been swollen, painful, shaky and I’ve found fine motor skills difficult. It’s been scary. I’m hoping I see an improvement soon.
A week in and my hands are no longer painful day to day. The swelling is still there a bit, but the pain going is a great sign (and a massive relief). I’m also planning on joining a cheap gym this month, so I can start doing some functional strength training again and see if I can surpass my own long arm pull-up up personal best of 4!
3. My body image:
This is always a funny one. I am and always have been body positive, no matter what my shape. I’m all about feeling strong and that makes me feel good. Right now, my body is not strong, but I don’t hate it. It’s not too bad at all and given that I had a baby nine months ago, I’m bloody happy with it. But yes, I do want to get back to that strong body I had two years ago, so I’m going to be tracking my body shape and muscle building throughout this. So, this is me, weighing in at 11 stone 3.75lbs, ready to get back to being a badass.
For comparison purposes, here’s me a couple of years ago, in my peak paleo and strength training period, when I felt the most badass I have ever felt and like I could do anything. This is pretty much what I am aiming to get back to.
I hope you’ll enjoy coming along on the ride with me.