Pale-’O’-lympics: Go for the Gold

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It happens every two years alternating between summer and winter.  It’s when the World’s best athletes come together for the ultimate competition.  Records are broken, dreams are realized, and medals are won.  At some point in our lives we’ve probably all had “Olympic Dreams”.  Unfortunately, if you’re like me, the skills required to reach those dreams are sorely lacking – for example; if you’ve ever seen a rock swim, you have a pretty good idea of my pool abilities – can you say ‘hybrid dog-paddle’?  Now, I’m not saying that every event is going to be that sad, but there is no way most of us can compete with the big guns.

True, many of the athletes competing in London this year we’re likely born with some genetic ability predisposing them to success in a given sport/event.  But this fact does not automatically exempt them from hard work, dedication, and hours and hours of practice.  Many of the competitors started at a very young age and have had the support of their parents, families, coaches and friends along the way.  They have become strong and confident in their ability and are not afraid to push themselves outside of their comfort zones and make sacrifices to achieve their goals.  They will do whatever it takes for a chance to “Go for the Gold”.

So, what does this have to do with you or with a Paleo lifestyle?  Think about this for a minute.  Let’s say you that you are currently battling a health, weight, sleep, stress, or training issue.  You know that something has got to change in order to improve your current condition – this may be a physical change, mental change or an adjustment in habit.  The biggest thing holding you back is the fact that it’s ‘hard’ and what you’re doing now, even though it’s not necessarily healthy, is comfortable and easy.  Maybe it’s even become your identity – are you the ‘over-trainer’, the one that’s ‘big-boned’, or the the ‘caffeine junkie’?  It’s become easy to just keep doing what you’ve always done – because making a ‘fast food’ run at lunch time is WAY more convenient than packing your lunch…

How many times do you think the Olympians of today have wanted to throw in the towel, skip early morning practices, or ditch on time in the weight room because sleeping in or hanging out with friends sounded ‘easier’?  I’m fairly certain it happened more than once…  But guess what?  They didn’t – they instead focused on their ultimate goals and changed their thinking.  What once was ‘hard’ and ‘uncomfortable’ started getting easier and pretty soon the ‘tough’ stuff became habit.  Now let’s apply this to a  ‘real world’ scenario:

Meet ‘Pat’ – Pat has always struggled with weight, now has Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, hormone/thyroid abnormalities and is always tired.  This ‘state’ has been the theme for the past 5 years.  Pat is on a number of prescription drugs and it seems that every visit to the doctor adds another or a higher dose.  As for diet and exercise – well, Pat pretty much ignores any recommendations in those areas.  It’s not to say the thought hasn’t occurred to make changes, in fact; Pat has even tried – there was the DASH diet, that bout with Slim-Fast, the walking program, home exercise equipment, and the unused gym membership.  It was all too ‘hard’ and since Pat had all the meds to control the major health stuff, the ‘comfortable’, ‘easy’ path was the chosen route.

Now, granted most of us are not in as dire need of intervention as ‘Pat’ – but I’m fairly certain we’ve all got something that’s keeping us ‘comfortable’.  Well, it’s time for us to be Pale-’O’-lymipians.  It’s time to do the things that are ‘hard’ and ‘uncomfortable’ and to reach for our goals of physical, mental and emotional health.  If you’re reading this, it’s safe to say that you’ve either already made some major changes or that you’re thinking about it.  The mind is your fiercest competitor – change that and you’re in medal contention.  Everything is hard before it is easy, and nothing that’s worth doing doesn’t take some work.

Start training now and before you know it you’ll be “Going for the Gold”!

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  1. Graham
    July 18, 2012 at 4:20 am

    For me, it was much easier to commit to the process once I KNEW the process was scientifically correct and was definitely going to work. That and the more Paleo you are the easier Paleo gets!

    • Sara
      July 18, 2012 at 8:13 am

      I completely agree. I was somewhat anti-paleo until I delved into the science behind it, and once I started transitioning to it and saw some results that convinced me that it’s worth the effort. Although, I’ve always found that it’s not actually “difficult”… maybe not easy, but really, is spending 5 minutes throwing leftovers and some veggies in a lunch bag *that* difficult? Once you get the basics down–what to eat and what not to eat, general cooking skills, and a properly stocked pantry/fridge–it’s pretty smooth sailing.

    • Max Ungar
      July 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm

      Totally agree Graham. The longer you are paleo, the more familiar you are with it, the easier it is. Makes you think what kinds of paleo recipes and ideas lifetime paleo’s will have.

  2. Crunchy Pickle
    July 18, 2012 at 7:03 am

    After two years of “being paleo” I will say that it is much more mental than I originally gave credit for. Now that I am addressing those blocks, I feel like my actions and food choices finally match my self-image. It is good!

  3. Chuck
    July 18, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Our minds are biggest asset and our toughest competitor. Great post Amy!

  4. CMHFFEMT
    July 18, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Good post. I find it funny how people where anti paleo until they studied the science. I was different, I started studying the science and it led me to paleo. Man I’m glad it did.

    • Max Ungar
      July 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      Great point. I started a little different. I dieted for a little and hadn’t heard of paleo. But once I found it, experimented with it a little, I was hooked. It just works.

  5. Wendy
    July 19, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Thanks for the kick in the keester, starting to rationalize my way into thinking I can get away with doing less. That’s how I know I still need work, when my first thought is, “How can I get out of this?” Finding good support in the paleosphere to skip the first thought and go to the second, which is “You can’t. Just do it.”

  6. Fat Guy Weight Loss
    July 22, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    The big moment for me is when I started saying I don’t eat [insert non-paleo food here] versus I can’t eat [insert non-paleo food here].

  7. axesenior
    August 5, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    That was written especially for me and after finding Paleo thanks to a PT and my niece I want that gold medal, it ain’t hard unless you make it hard!

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