13 November 2012

Well, at the moment I am still trying to follow the primal life style. Work and family commitments have made the reasonable bed times and plenty of fresh air difficult to keep to and I must admit I fell off the path along the way. So this is really a bumper update and my attempt to get back on course again :)

Try for 80%

One of the things Mark suggests is that you try for 80% and that you don’t worry too much if you occasionally slip up. I’m not sure I agree with him on this though. On the one hand if you do not need to aim for perfection, when you do trip up, it’s not such a big deal. On the other hand if you trip up, getting back on again can be surprisingly difficult.

For example, for my son’s 3rd birthday, we ordered in some pizza. Now I do like pizza and I had been good for two weeks, so I decided I would partake in the food. I didn’t really want to be the only person doing something different. Peer pressure and seeing all that tasty food that I used to eat, meant I made a big mistake

It’s not as awesome as you remember

This sort of food tastes great whilst you’re eating it, but it doesn’t really. If you ever stop to think about how it tastes, you’ll notice that really it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be. Sure it’s nice but it’s not like food from heaven. You’ve sold out on your new lifestyle just to have a fleeting taste of something that isn’t all that great in the first place. Not much of a win there.

Knowing when to stop

The next thing you’ll notice (or maybe it’s just me) that when you’ve “enjoyed” your pizza, you’ll start thinking about the fizzy drinks. After all if you’re eating pizza, how much worse can it be if you enjoy a sickly sweet beverage? And if we’re going to do that, why not have the birthday cake? Working late tonight? Well, as you’ve had pizza, fizzy drinks and birthday cake, well, you might as well have some energy drinks to keep you going, some tasty sweets would also not go amiss.

That’s just in one day - and then when you wake up feeling like crap (and trust me - you will), you’ll tell yourself that you just need a little bit of sugar to kick start the day, that’s all… and before you know it you’re 50 miles out to sea, lifestyle abandoned and no real idea how you got there.

You’re going to feel like crap

Now this is the interesting thing. I was telling everyone how nice it was on the primal diet - constant energy, no sugar highs or lows, just general well being. Well then I had the food as above and the next day, boy did I feel it.  I felt like I’d been kicked all over. I woke up hungry for the first time since I started the primal lifestyle, my eyes were sore, I hadn’t slept well and just generally felt all round crappy. This was the price I was paying for eating all those “wonderful” foods.

But that’s not the worst of it. The worst bit is that although I felt really crappy - that was my normal state of being before the primal diet. Same foods, same drinks, only now I have something to compare it against. It’s probably obvious to outsiders, but when you experience this sort of thing for yourself, it’s pretty hard to ignore.

Getting back on the path

The problem is that once you’ve come off the path it’s hard to get back on again. That’s why if you do decide to eat something that’s not strictly approved, try to eat just that and not use it as an excuse to eat other things that initially you had no intention of eating.

So here I am trying to set things right. In many ways I’m glad I made this little detour because it has shown me that what we eat and drink has a massive impact. Yeah I know it’s common sense just like everyone knows drinking soft drinks makes you fat, and smoking gives you cancer - we all know it, but people still do it. What it takes is a wake up call that really brings home the message.

So for that reason I’m climbing back on. I messed up and fell off, but I’m going to get right back up there and try again. And so the experiment is back on!

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