The much anticipated Parkman Paleo Challenge kicked off today – 30 days of strict paleo, to give ourselves a bit of a kick-start and reinvigorate our efforts. Chris and I took weight and body fat measurements, and now won’t get on the scales until the end of the Challenge. We’ve also both bought FitBits so we can see how active we are, outside of ‘formal’ exercise.

So, what’s the starting point? For me, 13st 10lbs, and 43.7% body fat. I am almost half fat. This is alarming but it will change.

Here’s a pic of me today, also looking alarming.

I’m a bit grumpy because I bought new gym kit as my old kit was so baggy and horrible it was bad for morale, but I’m not liking this a whole lot better.

So, anyway. Challenge Day 1 – a bit of yoghurt and fruit for brekkie, then scrambled eggs and smoked salmon when I got back from strength class at Crossfit. A snack of a small bit of cheese and an apple. Then to the pub for dinner but will make good choices. Can’t slack on day 1, after all.

Also, I made a paleo chocolate and berry torte to take to a barbie tomorrow, as well as ‘trail mix’ to act as snacks for the week. This comprises almonds, cashews, dried berries and cherries, dried mango and, weirdly, beef jerky. This is to pre-empt the ‘on a train, starving, nothing to eat’ weak moments.

On another, but related, note – strength class rocked. If there’s one thing a big arse will do for you, it’s give you a deadlift boost. My deadlift today was 70kg, which is not much for some but bearing in mind my body weight is 87kg, I’m pretty close to lifting my own weight. With the hope that my actual weight is reducing, but my lifting weight will go up, I’m looking forward to the moment when I’m lifting over my weight. Whoop me.

Also, we did strict press – lifting from the ‘rack’ to over head, straight up, not getting any assistance from the legs at all. A solid 27.5kg on this one. Which was good. And the funny thing, after we did the maximums, we did 5 sets of 10 of around 50% of the max, volume rather than weight. We stuck to 12kg for this, and I was put in mind of when I started my first level 2 class and did push press (where you have some leg assistance), 5 sets of 10, at 12kg and thought I was something pretty special. The bar felt like it was made of pvc, which was exciting.

My moments of Crossfit triumph are not that frequent, so I’m going to take these ones.

So that’s Day 1 done, more to come!

With love,



Rachael Parkman

Rachael is a late 30s south Londoner, who’s always been bigger than she wants but thinks she’s found the solution. Lives with her husband and cat, and enjoys cooking, gin and tonic and wearing nice shoes.

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