The Elephant in the Room

I think before I speak any more about my ascent to the enlightenment that is ” primal living” I first need to address what is, at least for me, the huge chocolate eating elephant hulking in the corner of the room. And no people, I am not talking about myself in the third person, I may be unhappy about the amount of weight I am currently carting around with me but I have not yet begun referring to myself as a giant hulking pachyderm.

I am of course referring to the irony of the fact that the paleo lifestyle seems to be the only way of eating that agrees with me but also is the one “diet” that I have teased mercilessly on more than one occasion in previous blogs from days of yore.

Is it conspiracy that I have enjoyed many a laugh at the expense of my sticks and leaf munching counterparts only to become one myself? I don’t know, maybe, maybe not but I do just want to clarify one little detail here and now…..

In every organisation , religion or group there will always be the people who choose to follow the general “plan” whilst keeping their family and friend life balanced and then there will always be the ” extremists ”

Even the paleo movement has extremists. You will know these as the weird guys running barefoot over broken glass and used syringes through Central Park because cavemen didn’t wear shoes. This is no joke, there are literally people that do this. Someone needs to explain to them that cavemen didn’t have hepatitis or numerous other manky diseases either but keep running barefoot through New York and you soon will!

These guys eat their meat raw, including offal. Just take a moment to let that one sink in………..yeah….that’s it….gagging yet? They only wear clothes made from natural fibres that would have been around back in the palaeolithic era and refuse to shampoo their hair yadda yadda yadda….you get the picture! Funnily enough they seem able to justify living in apartments with running hot water and electricity but that’s the thing with extremists, they are able to twist and turn anything to fit in with whatever agenda they are pushing at that time.

The point I am meandering towards here is that I may eat paleo but I am not going to actually try to “become” paleo. I swear on my life and the life of my children that I will never ever wear a pair of those creepy toe shoe, foot glove things and that I will always make sure my meat is cooked to food handling and safety requirements….except my steak, I leave that stuff bleeding!

I will also indulge from time to time in some rice or rice noodles because as you know I have previously lived for pasta and a life completely devoid of noddles of any kind if simply not a life at all. The sentence right there would be enough to send a devout paleo nut into conniptions. Besides, I am almost certain that wheat is the root of all evil and the cause of all my problems so a little bit of rice as a substitute is fine by me.

Most importantly , I will still make fun of paleo. And myself. And anything else that stands still for long enough. It’s who I am, it’s what I do and if you can’t have a good laugh at yourself from time to time then you aren’t really living.

The red flag and the bull.

Beware the dreaded Red Flag Days or RFD’s as I like to call them. Michelle talks about these early on in the 12wbt. Days that we should mark out in our diaries and calendars due to risk of massive blow out. Parties, dinners, weddings, travelling, you get the gist. These are days that we have to plan extra hard for to make sure we stay on track and not give in to the age-old excuse of ” I forgot to pack snacks for my trip so now I will have to eat burgers and fries for the next 3 days”.

There is a distinct difference this round compared to last round and it is 100% seasonal. Last round I had virtually no RFD’s. It was the first 12 week stretch for the entire year where I had no birthday parties, weddings, dinner dates or travel plans. There is also the phenomenon known as the surprise RFD. The ones that hit you like a sledge-hammer. These include unexpected illness, visitors and the like but I’m afraid it is the flexing of the will power muscle that will keep you out of trouble with those ones.

This round has been hellishly hard to stay on track so far. Forget marking the RFD’s in my diary, I am just going to colour my whole diary red, in permanent marker, front and back cover included. I feel like the red flag is being constantly waved in my face and by the time Christmas day comes around, I feel that I am going to be a very angry bull!

Work hours are insane, as business owners and manufacturing jewellers we CANNOT drop the ball. The rings and pendants that people have booked in and paid for months ago absolutely have to be made in time for Christmas. NO EXCEPTION.

Christmas parties are booking in fast, dinner with this person, drinks with that person. Then there are just the usual summer barbeques, the non-christmas related ones. We have new years, Australia Day and several birthdays in the new year.

The biggest red flag is the travel. We will be travelling over Christmas and staying in an apartment overlooking the sea ( bliss). I have planned a menu, shopping list and packed workout dvd’s. I am actually really looking forward to early morning jogging along the beach. The many cafe’s and restaurants will have to play their siren song for someone else this year.

So I have been staying on track. Literally hanging in there by the skin of my teeth but still on track. When I start to feel like I am getting snowed under and that things are getting “too hard” I take some time to remind myself of my accomplishments this year so far. I have already lost 6 kilos. Not a massive amount you might say, but an accomplishment for me in the face of many hormonal red flags. I have quit smoking and never felt better. The sheer relief alone is amazing. Not having to worry about electively giving myself cancer is a wonderful thing. Our household has become mostly chemical free and our eating is energy producing instead of energy depleting. Every weekend, we wake up and discuss what we will do whether it be to hike this trail or walk this one. We are so much more active than 3 months ago and it feels great. It feels healthy.

Those of you struggling with similar red flag issues, fear not. You are not alone. As a round 3 returnee I can say that this round is has got to be possibly the hardest round of the whole year.Take time to think about all of the positive changes you have made already. Hang in there, stay strong and laugh in the face of that matador and his silly red rag. When it comes to bull fighting I am always on the side of the bull anyways.