*Note from Sarah: I recently had a chance to interview with Dean Dwyer of Being Primal, and let me tell you, Dean is one amazing dude who has this compelling way of making people laugh hysterically, think deeply, and drive you to tears all at the same time (in a good way of course). Dean offered up this article for the Everyday Paleo blog and I simply couldn’t say no. Please read, enjoy, and leave your comments!
Psst! Want to know a secret?
People who succeed at Paleo know something others don’t. They have uncovered clues, knowingly or unknowingly, that have allowed them to flourish within the lifestyle and achieve amazing results that have eluded others who are desperately seeking change.
The problem is most of us are too wrapped up in our own drama to know how to find these clues.
I don’t mean to sound critical here, but you can’t possibly succeed at Paleo if all you ever do is tell your tales of woe.
“Oh poor me. I have this problem. I have that problem. I can’t do this. I don’t have that.”
There is a difference between acknowledging your current challenges as opposed to leaning on them to reinforce exactly what you don’t want.
When we lean on them, we miss the chance to steal the clues that exist. We miss the chance to ask someone a question that might change our destiny. We miss the opportunity to not only ask, “What are you doing,” but more importantly, “How are you thinking?”
[Ironically I have NOT yet had a single person ask me how I changed my thinking to achieve the results I achieved.]
I am not trying to sound like I have things all figured out here (I will forever be under construction), but I do and think differently now.
For instance, I am constantly interviewing people who have had success to see what strategies they have employed.
I don’t just listen to podcasts. I dissect them and take notes. I wade through piles of dialogue looking for clues. I dig deep to “steal” strategies that I can test for myself.
For instance, some of you know I interviewed Sarah last month. If you haven’t listened to that podcast I would recommend you do so. There is a lot to be learned from her story other than simply being inspired by it. You can find that interview here.
I have listened to it 3 more times since I made it available for public consumption. And not only did I listen to it, I took notes looking for ideas I could steal for myself and share with others.
Here are 11 that I uncovered that you might want to steal if you are not already doing them.
1. Scale up…
This is my own term for finding someone who already has the results you want and doing everything you can to find a way to work with them.
Sarah tells the story of a chance encounter with Robb Wolf when he was still a wolf-pup [get it?] in the Paleo movement. It took her 2 more years before she would act on that encounter, but when she did, she quite literally showed up at his gym and said, “Help me!”
Of course, we don’t all have the luxury of working with Robb. But there are many people out there who have shown they have achieved results by adopting the Paleo lifestyle.
Action: Scale up if you have not already done so. It could be with someone who is certified in the field like Sarah, or Jason. I have even jumped into the ring simply because I know I can help people. Whoever it is, find someone who you can lean on and learn from.
2. Jump in…
Sarah didn’t initially jump right into Paleo. She started out by going to Robb’s gym, but realized this wasn’t enough. She once again asked for more help. Robb and his wife Nikki, recommended giving Paleo a try.
She “kinda” did it for a few days and then would have, what I like to call, a day where you eat like a hyena. She realized that was getting her nowhere. It wasn’t until she went 30 days following a strict Paleo diet that things changed for her.
This is a theme I have seen time and again. I did an email interview with a girl who I shall call Laurie (I am calling her that because that is her name). She has gone from 194lbs to 131lbs by jumping in.
That’s exactly what I did as well. I read one post on Mark Sisson’s site and said, “Hell yeah! Lets try this!” I literally raced off to the grocery store about 5 minutes later.
Note: Jumping in doesn’t mean you have all the answers. It just means you are prepared to learn as you go, but you are going all-in NOW!
3. Create a clearly defined light bulb moment…
If you don’t have a moment of clarity where you realize enough is enough, things won’t change. There has to be a clearly defined light bulb moment; a specific moment where you are no longer prepared to live life as it is currently being dished out.
Sarah’s moment occurred when she realized that her health no longer was simply affecting just her, but her ability to be a great mother to her children and be a great wife to her “rock star husband” (her phrase not mine).
The good news is, these moments can be created artificially as well. I can tell you exactly when things changed for me. November 23rd, 2010. I looked in the mirror and vomited. OK I didn’t’ vomit, but I thought, “This is just stupid. I have been doing the same things for 25 years and nothing has changed.”
My light bulb moment was realizing I had to change how I was thinking, knowing if I could do that, then the doing would help me change how I looked.
The thing with a light bulb moment is it acts like a reset button on a computer. It allow s you to go back to a moment of clarity and remember exactly why you are doing all this in the first place.
Action: Create your light bulb moment now. Write it down and put a date on it. Have a reason so compelling that you can refer back to in times of crisis and reset things as they were at that moment in time. It really does work.
4. Ride out the storm…
This period is different for everyone, but there will be severe turbulence before there is calm. In Sarah’s case, the first 2 weeks were hell, which literally induced bouts of crying over her Paleo cereal.
But then something wonderful happened. Around day 15 she woke up and felt great. And for the first time in her life, she finely knew what it was like to feel healthy.
And once she gave herself the gift of healthiness, there was just no going back. The alternative (eating crap for the mere 15 minutes of enjoyment it provided) was no longer an acceptable tradeoff.
Reminder: There will be pain before there is gain. That’s the way it is with change. I mean, if change was easy, we would all be exactly who we want to be.
5. Create your own unique coping strategies…
Here is the scoop. All of us suck at change. Why! Because it’s damn hard that’s why. And when things get hard, one of the first things we all resort to is food; bad carb high sugar content food. (When was the last time you heard someone say, “I was so upset I ate a whole bag of baby carrots with avocado dip.”)
You need to know that when your emotions run amuck (and they will) you will be looking to seek comfort. You need to have a plan of action before this happens so you don’t fall into the above mentioned default reaction.
Here is what Sarah did.
a) She wrote.
She loves to write so that is what she did. Everyday she journalled about what she was experiencing. I did that also (still do in fact). Laurie, who I mentioned above, did/does the same thing. Writing helps you see what you are doing and what you are putting in your body. And unlike many of our friends, writing does not judge us.
b) She focused on the gains she was making at the gym.
When you partake in a program that focuses on increasing your body’s functionality, you will begin to notice improvements. That is incredibly motivating.
c) Noted the disappearance of aches and pains
We all have something that isn’t working the way it should. Make a note to check in regularly and keep track of these markers and where they now sit.
Action: Don’t just nod your head in agreement here. Get out a pen and paper and identify situations or people that set you back in your quest and come up with a list of coping strategies to test.
Here are a few others from my list…
6. Asked lots of questions
7. Started a blog to hold herself accountable
8. Committed to helping others
9. Changed her vocabulary (treats are NOT called cheats)
10. Understood which foods made her feel like she had been hit by a train.
11. Bloating was a reminder that what she had eaten was something that she should not be eating.
So don’t just read this post, steal from it! Steal from Sarah. And steal from each other. If you are inclined to share, tell us a strategy you use (or one you know that someone else uses) so others can steal from you.
Who knows? Your strategy might be the very thing that changes someone’s destiny.
Ps…. I comment on every comment left so check back to see what others and I have to say.
Dean Dwyer is the author of the blog Being Primal. When he isn’t writing in the third person, he coaches others in the art of being primal so they too can Make SHI(f)T Happen. He believes strongly in creating community and the power of positive peer pressure to create change. He is currently recruiting 9 women to prove just that! Click here for more inf0.