Why I Became a Cavegirl
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newslettertgdI’m sure some of you are thinking “Why is Caleb posting pictures of strange women on his blog?”  There is a perfectly good reason – I’m one of the newest members of the Evolve team.  My name is Diana Alt, and I’m the new Marketing Director for Evolve.  Now, that may sound very fancy-pants, but what it really means is that I’m helping organize Caleb so he can spend less time worrying about writing clever newsletters reminding all of you that yes, we really DO need you to order by midnight on Thursday and more time expanding Evolve to reach more customers and provide more products and services for healthy eating in our area.  This isn’t my full-time gig – I call working for Evolve my “play job” because it’s such fun. My full-time day job is working as an account manager for a marketing services firm, and I also have a background in IT.

 

So how in the world did I end up at Evolve?  Well, I started as a client.  I was going through an extremely busy and personally difficult time, and something needed to give.  It’s a lot easier to outsource cooking than it is to outsource a lot of other things, so when one of my coaches at CrossFit On Track suggested Evolve, I decided to give it a whirl. After just a week or so, I thought I’d probably never cook again, and a few weeks later I was wishing I had started the company myself – even though I am wholly unqualified to do much of anything in a commercial kitchen. (So far, they let me help make Paleo Balls if I want, but that’s about it.) One Sunday, about 6 weeks or so after I started ordering from Evolve, Caleb showed up on my doorstep with my order.  My Evolve fangirl switch turned on, to the point I basically told him “I’M YOUR BIGGEST FAN,” like you’d expect out of a 13 year old girl at a Justin Bieber VIP meet-and-greet.  After the starstruck feeling wore off, I started sharing some of my ideas about how Evolve should evolve (ha.ha. see what i did there?) and eventually we worked out a way for me to use my talents to help Evolve.  I’m almost giddily glad to be part of this organization – to the point that when I got a call from a headhunter last week asking me if I was interested in a different day job, I had him checking the Evolve site and considering an order by the time we got off the phone.

 

Anyway, I thought it would be worthwhile to share with all of you how I came to eat Paleo/identify as a cavegirl.  In the fall of 2009, I was a health disaster waiting to happen.  I weighed 277 pounds, and had spent a few months dealing with the serious illness and eventual death of my husband.  If there was ever a wake up call to start taking care of yourself, this was it.  I realized that my husband didn’t have a speck of control over getting brain cancer, and that continuing to abuse my body with inactivity, stress, and too much bad food was disrespectful to him.  I decided to do something about it.  It was hard to figure out how to make a lasting change – I grew up in a household with loving parents who worked hard, but it was academic, church, and musical pursuits that were valued in my home, not athletic ones.  And while my parents had the capability to cook nutritious and healthy meals, too often they didn’t do so because they were busy taking care of other matters. It took a toll on their health. My parents were always heavy. My father had his first heart attack in his 50s and learned he was diabetic at that time, but he never took proper care of himself and ended up having two more heart attacks, including the one that killed him at 72.  My mother is in better shape, but she is also diabetic and has high blood pressure.  I have seen her diet improve the last few years but still – too many years of all our lives were spent treating our bodies like crap rather than treating them as the temple for our souls.

 

In December 2009, just 6 weeks after I lost my husband, I started Weight Watchers – I was determined to eat regular food, and was not interested in joining a weight loss program that would send me pre-packaged food that was carefully calorie controlled but full of a bunch of preservatives and other ingredients I can’t pronounce.  A month or so later, I joined a gym and started working out twice a week with a personal trainer, and eventually more often on my own.  My work with personal trainers in the gym turned into joining a CrossFit box in the spring of 2012, and since everyone knows the only non-Paleo thing that a lot of CrossFitters like to consume is Kool-Aid, it wasn’t too long before I was introduced to the Paleo diet.  I joined a Paleo Challenge at the box the summer of 2012, and to be perfectly honest, I completely hated it.  We were doing really strict Paleo 95% of the time, and I was also working out a lot.  Because I was so new to it, I didn’t know how to properly fuel myself to balance my weight loss goals with proper fueling for exercise.  I completed the challenge, but only barely, and decided that I wasn’t going to do THAT again anytime soon.  That fall, I went back to counting calories but still eating a quasi-Paleo diet (I’d say I was 75-80% Paleo) and found myself losing again and feeling good with most of my workouts.  From that point forward, I’ve pretty much been a Cavegirl, with a few breaks here and there due to vacations, work stress, or getting the case of I Just Don’t Want To.  Even with the breaks though, my health is so much better.  My doctor is VERY pleased with the changes he’s seen on the scale and in my blood work the last year and a half, and I am pleased to say I’ve lost over 60 pounds since the December 2009.  I’ve also noticed improvements in my athletic performance, and my skin and hair look and feel better.  The last several months have been a struggle for me – I’ve been dealing with a herniated disk for quite some time, which has significantly curtailed my exercise regimen, and have actually put on about 7 pounds since March of this year.   But you know what? I feel better when I eat Paleo, and I definitely look leaner.  Every time I see someone I haven’t seen in a while – even those who saw me at my lowest weight in March – I am told that I look like I’ve lost more weight. I have to give the credit to eating whole, healthy foods – no other option, especially considering I haven’t picked up a barbell for months except to bench press once or twice a week.

 

One of my few regrets in life is that I didn’t learn about how and why to take care of my body through good diet and exercise until I was in my 30s.  I’m looking forward to using the next years of my life helping other people of all ages understand it – including all of Evolve’s friends and clients.

 

Diana Alt is Marketing Director and Cavegirl In Chief for Evolve PPC.  When she isn’t busy with her day job, her spa and massage business, and Evolve, she keeps a blog at www.sincerelydianablog.com.  To reach Diana, email dianakalt@yahoo.com.

 

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