I am headed off to Paleo F(x) today where I am teaching a workshop and spending the rest of the weekend rubbing elbows with the who’s-who of Paleo. The event is always a great time, we will undoubtedly get tons of freebies and samples as well as a few very compelling reasons to pull out the wallet and buy some Paleo foods and supplies. I am looking forward to the networking, the food, the recipes and also the tasty Paleo foods to bring home. It will be rough to be away from the family, but unfortunately, there is no way they can join me this year.
I wanted to send out a quick post about something that I think is an underlying obstacle for many people when it comes to achieving their health goals. I think sometimes we are very hard on ourselves about staying on track and I wanted to shed some light on what I think is really going on when we lose motivation in a certain area.
Have you ever started a workout program that you quite enjoyed and saw good results from, but still ended up quitting or losing motivation within a month or two, or maybe three? You may have done the same thing with your diet in the past, perhaps even going on and off of Paleo, or being less strict at some times than others.
It seems to me that the biggest problem with this sort of roller coaster of behavior and the resulting changes in your body are mostly mental. People have a way of tormenting themselves for not staying motivated to do the same thing that motivated them only a few months ago. Interestingly enough, what we often fail to recognize is that it was the act of doing something new that was exciting, not the act itself and when it ceased to be new, the motivation to continue stopped.
This is important because if we can see early on what it is about a given behavior that inspires us so much, we can actually learn to prolong our interest in healthful endeavors.
Try not to overdo things, even the things you really enjoy when you first begin. Try to resist the temptation to learn everything, buy everything or do it all within the first month. Enjoy every step along the way and get the most out of them. Don’t skip things and learn the all of the reasons behind everything.
Never underestimate the power of learning, seek to improve at something on all levels to stay motivated to continue. When you see improvement, either measurably or subjectively, your motivation to continue will soar. Whatever it is that you are doing, find someone that has taken it to the next level and let their behavior inspire you.
Drop the guilt when it’s time to take a break. Fresh fruit and veggies are very healthy, but they aren’t as abundant in the winter time, so you have to eat seasonally. Have you ever thought to yourself, “It’s December, I can do hill sprints and burpees in May?” Respect the cycle.
Personally, I take about six to eight weeks off from training every year, broken up and dependent on many variables in my life. When it is time to take a break, I go into it fully. I enjoy it, I eat less and cut way back on my carbs. I am always active during the day and I take the opportunity to stretch, balance on one leg, play and move my body for enjoyment as much as I like. These breaks are good for my mind and my body and because I always know it is a part of a cycle, I don’t concern myself with thoughts that could bring up anxiety or guilt.
When it comes to diet, there is standard of eating that I never stray from, regardless of the time of year. I completely avoid certain foods that I know I am particularly sensitive to, like grains and beans. I never eat processed foods, fast food and nearly always cook three meals a day at home. My indulgences when I am being not so strict in my diet are sugar and dairy, which I intend to remove from my diet permanently after Primal Summer ;D.
As with anything else, learning more about Paleo will keep you motivated to continue. I think the best way to do this is through a community, as the information will always be fresh and interactive. Also, don’t feel like you need to learn everything there is to know about the Paleo Diet all at once. (Rule #1). A lot of the information won’t be relevant to you until you have implemented the Paleo diet into your life, and much won’t matter at all. Take the time to learn and implement the basics and once you’ve mastered them, dig a little deeper.
While white rice isn’t a Paleo, or even a whole food, if I eat it on days where I am training with a high degree of intensity it can be of great benefit. I know from experience that it is not a food that causes me any kind of distress when I consume it however it will give me a boost of energy which can be much needed when on an otherwise ketogenic diet. If I hadn’t had the experience of an elimination diet, (like the one in Primal Summer) for a full thirty days, I would not be able to determine a baseline with which to gain this understanding.
Everyone will have their own journey, but you must walk the path of health with intention otherwise you will get lost and not be able to remember where you started. Remember that the only one that can determine the right diet, exercise, meditation, relaxation and recreation for you is you… Just don’t let your palate, your wallet or your apathy be your guide!