Sunday, January 16, 2011

Learn to "live" Primal as normal!

With the New Year's resolutions being pursued full force in January I see alot of discussion around the different forums worrying about which restaurant to go to, what to eat at a party, what to eat on planes, etc...I think it is great to plan ahead for these events when starting out - but the long term goal needs to be to learn to adapt and reach a place mentally where you are not living in a strange foreign land with strange food and backwards customs.

I believe the same goes for physical activity/exercise - so much worrying about the details, routines, etc....but the bottom line is it needs to become normal for you to and also be enjoyable. Bottom line with both the food and exercise is if it is not enjoyable it will not stick! Even if you have the mental strength to make it stick - do you really want to live the rest of your life struggling with a lifestyle that you are forcing?

I can honestly say today - almost 2 years (officially 23 months and 2 days), minus 180 pounds, minus the Standard American Diet - that I feel normal and everything I have adopted "feels" normal. Actually I feel more normal now than I ever have - even though most of my new beliefs and practices are contrary to most of the conventional wisdom. It did not happen overnight - but  following this basic stepped approach I have made each small change part of my "normal".

Looking back making small steps was a large factor in maintaining normalcy. The sum change is the same in what I did progressively and what I would do today if I could implement everything all at once, but the shock to the system and lifestyle between the two would be huge. Consider the transition made in my progression below and imagine doing that overnight!

Steps 1-4: Dietary Progression

1. High Carb                         ----> Low Carb
2. Low Carb Processed        ----> Low Carb Whole Foods
3. Low Carb Whole Foods   ----> Low Carb Whole Foods No Sweeteners*
4. Primal Food                      ----> Primal with Primal Eating Patterns**

 Steps 5-6: Physical Activity/Exercise Progression:

5. Minimal Activity              ----> Normal Activity
6. Normal Activity               ----> Moderate Primal Exercise

* a.k.a Primal Food
**Periodic Intermittent Fasting.
So for those out there worrying and struggling - stop, take a breath, and consider thinking about how you will make all these changes normal. It is OK (or in my opinion preferable) to chunk off your resolution into small changes, attack one, make it your normal, and then move on! Before you know it you will be at the goal you wanted all at once - but you will have an excellent chance of never going back!

For any one new looking to make changes have a look around, read about ditching the Standard Approach (Part I and Part II), and consider the Beginning Weight Loss Journey Guide as a start!


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