Something I have noticed about starting Paleo is this idea of being an eating ‘challenge’ to see if they can go the distance. I’ve read lots of tweets and blogs about how people are challenging themselves to achieve a week, fortnight, thirty days etc… on Paleo. Initially, I scoffed at the idea of a challenge. Anyone with with a shred of willpower can achieve this, it’s really not difficult if you genuinely want to do it. It’s only food. However, what I wasn’t prepared for was the actual challenge after my initial success in my first few weeks.
Yes, it’s great to lose weight, feel fantastic and rave about a new lifestyle when you commit to a month. It’s easier for those around you to accept too; you’ll go back to ‘norma’l in a few weeks time. But the real challenge for me has been everything and everyone non-paleo around me.
Living Paleo is great until you have to contend with other people and the world outside your own kitchen. Thirty days are do-able. You can choose your month carefully and dodge important social events. You can explain to people that you’re abstaining from wheat/dairy/junk for a month and they respect that. But continue for any longer than that then the real challenge becomes apparent.
The biggest Paleo challenge for me so far is not avoiding the dietary nasties, it’s living with the dealers. The well-meaning friends who want to enjoy pizzas and cakes like we used to, because I’m no fun anymore. The well-meaning co-workers who think my recent fad is actually the beginning of annorexia and keep bringing me cakes (honestly!). The well-meaning mother-in-law who wants me to enjoy her extra crunchy semolina crusted roast potatoes that she has made especially. Some days you just can’t refuse because you’ll upset someone. Hurt a loved one, or hurt your stomach?
I’ve drafted this post a few times because it just keeps sounding so negative, so anti-paleo lifestyle. I mean quite the opposite, I love my Paleo choices and the way that I feel. I feel brand new again. But modern life just makes it so damned hard sometimes. Maybe that’s where my frustration is creeping in. I can’t keep this up 100% and take part in ‘normal’ social situations 100%. There has to be compromises. A little bread here, a spash of milk there and some added sugar to top it all off. All to keep other people happy. The compromises are taking their toll and as I type this I’m still dealing with the stomach ache after being stealth-glutened last Sunday.
Yesterday I read a great post over at Primaleded.com which was written by a young lady with a great attitude which has really given me the push that I need to stop other people interfering with my diet.
The junk-eating-to-please stops here. And it feels great.