So the Paleo Challenge is over, and while right now I keep thinking it wasn’t too bad, it really was.
Day 1 we did ‘Helen’. This is our yard stick to measure how much our performance has improved. We had composition tests done, and we got all the info we would need to complete the challenge including food diaries to submit each week to make sure we were honest. I was feeling good about starting the challenge, I was sure it wouldn’t be that hard….HA HA HAAA.. Idiot!
Week 1 was OK. I was having cravings for food, but nothing I couldnt handle. I asked heaps of questions about the food and was constantly texting Ben for help. We hand in our food diaries and come in on the Saturday to hear the results, but there was a twist….We were warned at the beginning of the week that If anyone cheated we all had to complete 1 round of Fran! And I’m thinking; “Shit, OK, we’ll be fine, maybe one or two people will cheat so prepare yourself for Fran as the worst case scenario.” I didn’t cheat, Royce didn’t cheat so we’re feeling pretty good going in, after all, it was the first week, no one could really of derailed after just one week of Paleo right?.
Guess how many cheats there were in the first week? NINE! Mother fuckers! There’s only 30 people in the challenge and nearly a third of them cheated in the first week! So we’re told that as punishment we will be doing triple Fran!
Let me say that again so you can fully grasp it….TRIPLE FRAN!!
Worst 30 minutes of my life! By the end of it I was a lovely shade of translucent green, covered in sweat like someone had hosed me down, and laying on the concrete outside desperately trying not to throw up or pass out!
Worst thing is we were not told who had cheated, so I did not know who to direct my rage towards!
Week 2 My skin was crawling. I was having really bad cravings for anything non paleo, and shit I wouldn’t usually want like ice cream, or scotch! I was sure I could of chewed the paint off the walls if there was even a slight chance it wouldn’t destroy my teeth. I didn’t cheat, but I did become an irrational she bitch who was pretty tough to hang around!
We had a challenge of wearing a pedometer and trying to get the most steps for a week. The winner would receive 3 cheat meals to hand out to fellow participants (you cant win the challenge if you have cheated).
End of the week comes and it goes like this; we receive a text saying a member of the challenge has cheated, and we need to suggest punishment for them to do. I immediately say to Royce to be careful what he suggests, because its a trap, and that everyone will need to do the punishment. To which he replies, “No, they said it was a punishment for the person who cheated”. HA! not likely, as soon as we come in on the Saturday its a surprise compilation WOD of all the suggestions everyone sent in during the week! MO FO
Week 3 and I’m just constantly depressed. Its been 3 weeks since I’ve eaten anything other than Meat, Veg, nuts and fruit, and everything is starting to taste the same. I’ve given up, given in to the lifestyle, I walk past the food I want with my head down in mourning, not even looking wistfully or longingly from afar.I didnt cheat, but I did lose the will to live.
We were told we had to collectively row in meters the amount of steps that won the previous weeks pedometer challenge. It ended up being just over 111,000 meters, and we were told there would be a really nasty penalty if we did not meet that number. The person who rowed the most out of the group would win the power to remove 3 cheats from peoples histories. Royce did the most amount of rowing, mainly because we thought it was for a free cheat meal rather than a past indiscretion, and he wanted to give one to me. But that’s not how Ben plays the game, so he took the strikes from the people who were given cheat meal penalties in the previous week. We were all sure that no one would do any rowing until the last day and then it would be a mad dash to the finish line, but we actually ended up being finished by Wednesday.
We managed to complete the challenge, so we never found out what the horrible penalty was, and I’d say its a good thing because (and I quote Ben here) “Trust me, you don’t want to find out what it is!” We did the 1000 steps as a group, and although it was difficult it was also a lovely day.
Final Week we had no extra challenge (I’m assuming the challenge was just to survive the last week with your sanity intact!) we come in on the Sunday and do Helen again to get our improvements. I have been sick/injured for the last 2 weeks so my Helen time actually got longer, but I don’t care that much. By the end of the fourth week my cravings were settling down and I had recovered some of my mental faculties.Everyone got better and healthier, and at the end of the day, we all made it through.
My body didn’t adapt to Paleo in that time. My recovery was slower, I was more tired and less switched on at work, and weirdly my coordination suffered. But, big news, my muscle quality went from extremely poor to average! WOOHOOO! huge news! So I am going to try and continue with Paleo, maybe just add some dairy.
Everyone said to me that after the challenge my taste buds would of changed and that my favorite foods wouldn’t taste nice anymore. And while I no longer crave bread or pasta (WIN!!) they were full of it!
Chocolate and coffee taste better than ever before!