Sharing my side of the story.
The paleo diet was the first "diet" book I've ever read. Before that, I've never felt the need to concern myself with diet, relying on consistent exercise to stay healthy. After reading the book I gave it a try for about a month and loved it. It was easy to understand, and just simply made sense to me. I had more energy, was more alert, and miraculously my unexplained, lifelong nasal congestion disappeared. This was the way to go. That is until I lost my job. Attempting to maintain the paleo diet while being unemployed proved to be too difficult for me and I got away from it for awhile.
A few months later, I found work and Stacey and I moved in together. I was excited to get back to my paleo ways and Stacey had agreed to try it as well. In the beginning, we didn't track how we ate. We simply ate paleo the majority of the time and took open meals when the desire was strong, or the price of convenience was too high. Growing more interested in how "well" we were doing we started the system of P's, C's, and W's for a month. We'd get a P for the day if we stayed paleo the whole day. The P's began to overpower our tiny Chicago Cubs calendar and we felt proud. This continued for another month, when I noticed a trend. If I knew I wasn't going to earn a P for the day, I would go nuts and lose control. Rather than just one open meal, I would have 2, and then have a few cookies in between. Okay, not just a few cookies, a ton of cookies. I would go berserk on them until I felt ill. It doesn't exactly help that Stacey is a fantastic pastry chef. This lead to the O's. An O for every open meal. This way, rather than marring our whole day with bad foods, we would limit it on a per meal basis. This worked out at first, but somehow the open meals began to grow in size and I'd feel ill anyway. Ill to my stomach that is. Stacey and I haven't so much as a cold since we started eating paleo about 9 months ago!
The growing size and general sense of disappointment after eating open meals are what led me to desire a paleo challenge. For me, I need to go all in or I might cave. One handful of Chex Mix and the flood gates open up resulting in a torrent of gluten ingestion and a congested nose. I'm excited for how I predict I will feel after a few weeks of treating my body with respect, and February 7th couldn't come fast enough.
Oh, and no, it's not a coincidence that our challenge starts the day after the Super Bowl. It's by design. One last chance to pig out on all the old comfort foods before the challenge. We're finally going fully paleo and who knows, we might not be back.