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FITNESS CHALLENGE: Give me cheese, please

POSTED August 27, 2013 11:07 p.m.

When I decided on the Paleo diet — no grains, dairy, refined sugar, salt, or refined oils — for my 30-day "Get Fit, Stay Fit" challenge, I knew it would be hard. I knew taking away all breads and dairy from my meals would create cravings I'd have to battle. What I didn't expect was my heroin-like withdrawal from cheese.

It started with the blue cheese shakes, and progressed into a full-on cheddar seizure. I not only dream of cheese, but swear I can smell cheese in my office, while I'm driving in my car and even at the gym. I wouldn't put it past my husband to plant cheese in my car as a joke, but I'm pretty sure the man on the treadmill beside me was not packing gouda in his tennis shoes.

While the cheese withdrawal was unexpected, I'm also pleasantly surprised by my lack of bread cravings. I thought for sure I'd be ticketed by now for loitering in front of Olde Tyme Pastries or Frost Bakery, but I find that I don't really miss those baked and frosted delights.

I also don't really miss soda, ice cream or potato chips. However, after my 30 days are up, it will be quite awhile before I eat another bite of broccoli. It's like every restaurant got together and decided broccoli was the token vegetable side dish. Carrots are just as tasty, cheap and easy to cook as broccoli. An occasional squash would be nice, too.

Despite my loss of love for broccoli, I've found that eating Paleo has given me more even energy throughout the day. I no longer have sugar highs, followed by crashing lows. This helps keep me dancing through the entire hour of my Latin dance class and when I want to go for a walk after work. It's easier to get motivated to exercise when you have enough energy. 

I've already seen some promising results from my fitness challenge. I weighed myself at two weeks in and found I lost 11 pounds. I haven't stepped on a scale since because I was so shocked at the immediate loss that I didn't want to ruin my momentum by finding out I gained back a pound.

Even though I don't know my exact weight, I do know that my clothes fit better and at least one person every day tells me I look thinner.

I'm really excited to step on the scale on Saturday for the final results. I want to thank everyone who offered a word of encouragement or their favorite Paleo recipe over the past few weeks. Knowing that people are rooting for you to succeed makes all the difference!

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