It’s been a brilliant 30 days, not without its lows and moments of sheer ‘what the hell am I doing…???‘ and at around day 16 just thinking this will never end and wanting to throw in the towel… it’s the usual drill every single time. Starts off on a high, then takes a nosedive, and then picks up again and before you know it, BOOM! You reach the end and day 30 is done and dusted. That probably makes no sense if you’ve not completed the full 30 day REBOOT or if you are in the middle of the nosedive – but hang in there, it really does get GOOD!
And so the end of another REBOOT is upon me. I honestly did not think I would do another one, for no other reason other than I just couldn’t get my head back into it after so many months of being all helter skelter. I usually take some time out to reflect on the 30 days, what I’ve learnt, what’s worked and not, and the reason for this post is that lots of people get in touch saying that they’d love to do a REBOOT but just don’t think they can go the month without dairy/bread/rice/wine.. whatever their vice. It’s such a tough one to explain because it’s not something that anyone can do for you. It really is a matter of you making a decision and then working toward your own goals. Now, as I type this I hear a voice in my head saying ‘but REBOOT is not necessarily for everyone‘. And that’s the truth right there – just because you can’t/won’t REBOOT for the full 30 days, does not mean there is anything wrong with you. It just means that this isn’t for you. Maybe one day you will be ready to tackle the full 30 days, or maybe what works for you is a less strict version and a more straightforward Paleo diet, or maybe you prefer the 80/20 approach and are mindful of what you eat, you workout, you look after your health, and you have the odd indulgence without really thinking too hard about it.
There’s a great article over on Mark’s Daily Apple called ‘Seven Shades of Paleo’ which much more eloquently explains what I’m getting at – that there are many ways within this paleo lifestyle from which to figure out what works for you and thus what you will most likely be able to sustain for life and continue to adapt as you go along. Nothing is forever and neither should you feel like you have to stick to one way of eating or doing things just because that’s the ‘prescribed’ method, or fad at the time. Why do I like Paleo versus Banting or LCHF or any of the other popular lifestyles out there? Simple – it’s easy for me. I don’t have to worry about the carb content of my tomato paste kicking me out of ketosis, I don’t have to think about how many grams of this, that or the other I am consuming because all I’m doing is eating real food, when I’m hungry, and in whatever quantity I choose. That is pretty easy, don’t you think? But here’s a little caveat – in order to understand the simplicity of it all, you first need to do some research. Go out there and READ all that you can and gather as much information as possible; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Don’t just take one article and author’s word for it – make your own decisions about whether this would be suitable for you or not. If you want to reap the benefits that this lifestyle can bring, you need to put in the work – it does not matter how many transformations you see and ask ‘how long did it take you? what did you eat?’… it does not matter one bit what someone else ate, drank, exercised, dreamt about … it will have no bearing on the results you achieve. Only YOU can do that for yourself. So by all means, ask questions, get ideas, be inspired and motivated and start experimenting, but know that in the end, it’s all up to you. That’s why I say – in order to keep it simple, we first have to understand what we’re doing. It’s why I did those foundation level courses in nutrition and sports nutrition, and why I continue to read as much as I can. I want to keep myself moving forward. I want to know that I am not just blindly following something just because somebody said it helped them lose weight or get healthy. I want to know WHY and HOW this may work for me. It’s why I LOVE that there are different ‘shades of paleo’ and that if I am a cheese-eating, wine-loving paleo fanatic, and you’re a strictly no grain, gluten, or dairy kinda person, then so be it, we’re still paleo as f* and we all still achieve what we want to. This isn’t me preaching to say that Paleo is the only way – in fact, it’s the opposite, it’s that we each have the ability to choose what works for us and what doesn’t. Getting caught up in labels and putting things neatly into boxes can stress some people out greatly (for me, I like structure and order so I’m happy in my little box as much as I try rebel against it!). This quote below sums it up for me :
Now if you’re reading this and are still not sure which way is up and how to even get started with thinking about what may work, I’m going to give you a few reasons why REBOOT/Paleo works for me :
- I have an array of amazing food from which to choose what I like and don’t and build my meals accordingly;
- I have the freedom to eat as much or as little as I need to, dependent on my appetite;
- I don’t need to track my macros (I may want to, but I don’t need to);
- Although weight loss was my initial goal, what I gained over the course of the months I REBOOTed far outweighed any number on a scale – having energy, clearer skin, sleeping better, more stable moods, no more ‘autoimmune allergies’ and all the joy that comes with that…;
- My head just clicks back into place given the structure of the rules of REBOOT and I feel safe knowing that I can experiment and play around within those guidelines and have FUN doing it;
- I LOST 23KG !!!! Yeah, who are we even kidding? It’s all about health and vitality until the jeans don’t fit!!
Eating real food, moving your body and pushing some limits, expanding your mind by being open to new ideas and ways of viewing food and what’s ‘normal’ – that’s what it ultimately boils down to. Sleek Geek markets the REBOOT as a 30 day nutrition challenge and that’s exactly what it is: it challenges those bad habits so expertly ingrained in us regarding our food consumption. It’s a real eye opener when you start reading up about the effects on our bodies from the ‘food like products’ we now view as food – that’s from a quote by Michael Pollan that once stopped me in my tracks :
Scary, right? When you start becoming aware of ingredients on your food labels, it’s amazing what goes into some of the simplest of things… and by that I mean the sugars, preservatives, additives, colourants, flavourants…. I mean, why does orange juice need anything else other than ORANGES!!?? Let’s not even get started on junk food because that in itself is a whole other post and I don’t want to get into a rant about it now 😀 But this is what I mean about the real reasons behind a REBOOT and what you can gain from it. Your eyes and mind will be opened so that you become more conscious in your choices (you can still make the bad choices, but you’ll just be more aware of what you are choosing). We place undue worry on many aspects of our lives and yet we are mostly so uninvolved with our food choices – we just eat what we know and what we were raised on regardless of the impact those choices may have on our health. It’s not about losing out on your favourite foods, but it’s about choosing an alternative (or creating one!) that keeps you well to enjoy your life as you want to 🙂
So there it is – another 30 days done and dusted. A mind renewed and refreshed. A body re-energised and filled with possibility. The obvious question is – where to from here? Well, there are a few options at this point:
- continue with another 30 days
- go completely off the rails and inhale sugary treats until my head explodes
- keep calm and paleo on aka add honey and a dash of milk to my tea and keep moving
- take a few days ‘off’ and then get back to it
- reintroduce one excluded food group at a time and see what causes my body to flare up again or make me feel ill and then continue long term with this knowledge.
I’m sure there are more options that just those above but for me, that’s basically where my head is at. For the rest of this week though, I am going to go with a combination of options : I will be ‘100% paleo, 80% of the time’ 😉
Thanks for joining me along this crazy journey – it sure makes the ride a helluva lot easier !
Be well ❤
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