The Paleo Cheater's Blues

Lately, I have been noticing that many friends/family members have become interested in changing the way that they eat and adopting new Paleo habits.  Most start out with some kind of Whole30/30 day-long (or 8 week-long for my CFLA peeps!) ‘experiment’ or ‘challenge’ type deal.  I have tried to provide some guidance and recipes and support, but I am finding that once they get through week one, they don’t even need it!  My friends and family are off and running with this stuff.  Apparently, Paleo is spreading and the results are addicting…

With any addiction though, the trouble comes after those challenge period ends.  After 30 days, Alexis and I became accustomed to taking weekly pictures and noticing positive differences on a weekly basis in our bodies, our health, and our performance.  Those changes fueled the fire and kept us loving the lifestyle.  When we decided to add in one ‘free’ day per week (kinda Tim Ferriss-esque), it snowballed at times.  An Umami burger for dinner on Friday night turned into pancakes and mimosas on Saturday morning, and so on…
What we found was that the freedom associated with coming off of the strict plans makes you feel out of control and, sometimes, super guilty. Kinda ironic that the stricter the plan, the more in-control I felt. Despite the fact that we all know that we are far better off than we were Pre-Paleo, slipping up or ‘cheating’ still feels like a major letdown. 

This post is to encourage all of the occasional Paleo-'cheaters' (for lack of a better word).  You are all still kickin’ ass.  Try to think in terms of progress towards a goal.  If your goal is better health and fitness, reflect on how much healthier you feel now than you felt Pre-Paleo (in spite of some ice cream now and then).  If your goal is six-pack abs or the perfect wedding dress body, just know that you are probably just one more 30 day challenge or so away (if even that long).  The majority of the WORLD is forced to sift through hundreds of diets and cleanses and Men’s/Women’s Health articles to find a way to accomplish their health and fitness goals…we know EXACTLY which levers we need to pull to feel and look great.  What more could we ask for???

So next time you opt for a gnarly dessert or too many IPAs after that meal of grass-fed beef with avocado and a raw kale salad, don’t let it bring you down.  You have come too far to let it bother you!  Just picture your life now vs day one of your Paleo quest, and feel proud of everything you have learned and accomplished for yourselves.

Drink me! It's okay!

On a side note, you should check out Tim Ferriss's book if you haven't already...some interesting stuff. 
The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman


Amanda said...

Awesome advice! Great information... Can't get into the IPA beer though. Too bitter for me!

Kate Yoak said...

You are on point. I am wary of bad mels because they often leave me tired and snowball because I dont have the energy to cook. My salvation: a pantry/fridge with emergency supplies: breakfast sausages, bacon, steaks. I can sve myself from spinning out of control with these easy throw-them-ons and recover.

DBax said...

Kate - I'm with you on the lack of energy when the badness spiral starts. Good work with the recovery moves :)