I had a cookie yesterday.
And not just any cookie.
No, this was the most delightful coffee shop chocolate chunk cookie on the planet.
Now while some of you are gasping so hard the person next to you can feel the breeze, others who have been working at being Paleo for a while are nodding knowingly and reminding me to not make the cookie thing a habit again. Living a Paleo life isn’t about a two column table of do’s and don’t’s that must be followed with strict adherence. What living Paleo does provide is a broad framework for living that both goes beyond food consumption without slotting everything in a spreadsheet. Leaving the path doesn’t mean you get treated at the next meeting like an international war criminal.
We’re all Human here with Human frailties and weaknesses. I’m Human. I had a cookie yesterday. It doesn’t mean I’m any less Paleo than I was the day before. It just means I stepped off the path for a moment. All I need to do is step on the path again. There’s no guilt, no judgement, no derision.
That concept alone will blow a lot of people away. In a world where you’re expected to be A or B forever, it can be hard for some people to except that the true state of life is oscillation between the two. I think that’s another component of why people fail so often on commercial diet plans. Almost all of them are predicated on the unnatural notion that once someone makes the magical change that they won’t ever oscillate. Departure, change, or oscillation is failure and boy, failure is not accepted if you’re trying to stop the insanity.
In her book Everyday Paleo, Sarah Fragoso sums it up like this:
“So here’s my personal approach to the matter: I love corn chips, I love enchiladas dripping with cheese, and I really love chocolate ice cream, and every now and then I eat those things because I want to, not because I am ‘cheating.’ I make the conscious decision to do so, but I do not want to eat these things all the time, because I know better.”
No expects you to be Superhuman here because we’ve all acknowledged our own Humanity. I think it’s part of the process of going Paleo. If we get past that expectation of total compliance we often get from other plans and schemes we have the room to be Human. Don’t take my point wrongly though, you have to change. Permanent, affirming lifestyle change is our goal here. I merely mean to say that it’s okay if you have a cookie or a slice of pizza. Paleo is a journey, not a destination. Just remember to step back on the path if you step off with the knowledge that everyday is a new day to start, regardless of how long you’ve been doing it.
I’m not Superhuman. I’ll never profess to be nor will all my actions revel me to be one.
No one expects you to be either.