Okay! The 30-day challenge is up. As you know from my constant whining about it, I felt pretty good before I started, and I feel pretty good now. So I can't personally report any huge changes. But here's how I did compared with the baseline I drew up before this all started:
Before: I need to lose 20 to 30 pounds.
I just weighed myself and—without ever trying to limit the amount I ate, mind you—I lost 9 pounds. This delights and amuses me, because it's exactly the same amount I lost while training for the Ironman (over nine months) and exactly the same amount I gained back (in two months) after the Ironman. I will be interested to see if I can actually get below this weight in another month of primal eating. (Is there anything below this weight? I can't seem to remember that far back.)
By the way, my mom lost 11 pounds in the month, and my sister lost 12. My mom had the least to lose but was by far the healthiest eater—she was all about the celery sticks and broiled tilapia, whereas I was all, "Let's see if I can make ice cream and sweetbreads out of Paleo ingredients!"
Before: I am easily distracted when I should be working.
I've never heard any claims that Paleo can fix distractability, and I can't say I noticed a ton of change in my ability to focus. (If anything I was more distracted because I was constantly looking up recipes online.)
Before: I can't do any yoga pose requiring hip flexibility.
Again, Paleo doesn't claim to fix this. And it didn't. Sitting all the time didn't help.
Before: I never know where I've left my keys.
Now, this is interesting. I've never heard any claims that eating Paleo can fix flakiness, but I have to say I do feel distinctly less absentminded. I know exactly where my keys are at this moment.
Before: My STUPID FEET STILL HURT constantly.
At first I was hopeful that this was going away, and it did get a bit better, but alas. My STUPID FEET still hurt (but they don't require quite as much capitalization).
Before: A lot of my hair is falling out.
Huge change here. My hair had been falling out by the handful, and now it's just a hair here and there—like a normal person.
Before: I have no desire to have an organic garden or play an instrument.
Those examples were jokes, so I still have no desire to do either. But I do feel generally more ambitious, more excited about being healthy, and more energetic.
Before: My fastest marathon is over six hours.
Frankly, I feel like I could beat that tomorrow, with no training. When I get more time, I'll probably start running again. The desire is slowly returning.
Before: My bathrooms are dirty, despite my having the desire for them to be clean and the ability to make them clean.
Oops. I've been feeling a bit more gung-ho about keeping the house neat, but that impulse hasn't yet extended to the bathrooms.
Before: My mother-in-law can beat me at arm wrestling.
I wish I had some other objective measure of strength to compare myself with, because I'm really not going to arm-wrestle her! But I have noticed in yoga that I feel much, much stronger. But maybe that's just because I'm doing more yoga now than I have for the past year.
I got a surprise, too: After years of getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom—sometimes even twice—I'm generally not needing to anymore. It's maybe one night out of every four now. My theory is that there's less sugar in my body; therefore my body needs less water to flush it out; therefore I'm just not drinking as much.
Okay, Paleo challenge, you had me at "hello, you just lost 9 pounds." Let's do it again!