“The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerely, benevolence, courage and strictness.”
– Sun Tzu, The Art of War
You may have missed this comment in the Dynamic Warm-up post; as such, I’d like to share it here, as I think it’s so very important, and dare I say, inspirational. Now the very word inspirational has been so watered down — hackneyed even — that I’m loathe to use it. But really, in this case, I think that it’s justified. Check it out:
As always, I love your writing and appreciate all you do to keep us motivated.
I wanted to write an update on my continued attempts to put theory to practice as I have just reached 101 pounds lost. Having gone from 356 lbs. to 255 lbs. has given me so much vitality and joy. I can now fit in size 36 jeans and XL shirts, coming from size 48’s and 4XL!
I am still pumped about eating well (paleo with minimal cheats) and exercising (beginning Crossfit). I have survived stressful times without binge eating, which was a major concern.
Also, and most importantly to me, I am showing my children that these things are possible. A side note to this point: I have begun having the occasional ice cream with my kids. I felt that it was important to show good eating habits but also the ability to show restraint with foods that kids like. (Thoughts?)
They have begun to see that junk food need not be “everything” and they don’t ask for candy anymore. Well…at least not from me.
In fact, last week my dad even asked me to go over my diet with him. He sees the results and knows I am not eating poorly to lose weight and wants in. Yeah!
Anyway, this is where I am.
Hope you and yours are well. Please keep up your great writing.
A fantastic testimonial for the efficacy of the Paleo lifestyle. And remember, this is nothing that I’ve created — this “lifestyle”, and the constituent building blocks thereof, have been around since the dawn of mankind. This is our collective legacy. I only endeavor to apply these ancient principles, best I can, within the challenges of a modern (and, let’s face it, nutritionally broken) society. This is the task, the challenge, that confronts each and every one of us — every hour of every day. Living this lifestyle requires intelligence, wisdom, a good dose of willpower (at least, initially) and a questioning — un-trusting even — attitude. I’ve met with and conversed with a wide array of Paleo adherents throughout my own Paleo journey, as well as with many would-be, failed practitioners — from just about every ethnicity and socio-economic background you can imagine — and what I’ve found is this: what separates the adherent from the would-be and failed are two things; intelligence and a highly-skeptical, question-authority mindset. At this point in the game — and until society as whole makes a drastic, nutritional U-turn (which I don’t see as happening in our lifetimes) — only those equipped with the tools and character to “break free of the Matrix” (red pill or blue pill, Neo?) — like our friend Jeremy, here — will succeed at the Paleo endeavor. This isn’t a pessimist speaking, but the thoughts of a rationalist. Think about how this manifests on your own lives. How many of your own friends, family and associates are willing to cast themselves, without a net, into an intellectual solo-flight, an on-going n=1 experiment? How many are willing to question heretofore “authoritative”, dietary, proclamations,cast aside what they once considered “truth”? Red pill or blue pill, Neo? Really, isn’t this what the Buddha asked as well? Don’t blindly follow me, he said in essence, but tease these things out for yourself, in the laboratory of your own mind and in your own body. Keep what works, discard what doesn’t. Above all, though, question; aggressively and ceaselessly question.
And to quickly add my own 2 cents on the question of raising kids within a Paleo framework:
(1) Living as an example is, in my opinion, the best thing you can do, coupled with an on-going discussion of why (at an age-appropriate level, of course) you’ve made this dietary and lifestyle choice. Do all you can to develop within them the notion of respectful questioning. Because, let’s face it, sooner or later you have to let them free in the big, woolly (and woefully mis-informed) world, a world governed by — you guessed it — experts. And being a mainstream “expert” only means that one has majority backing; that may, or may not, connote any modicum of truth.
(2) High dose fish oil, especially in children, will aide in blunting the effects of a less-than-perfect diet. They will eat crap, no doubt — and lot’s of it — because society at large encourages it, and at a certain point, the need to fit in (or at the very least, not “fit-out”) will override all else. More on fish oil in a later post.
(3) Personally, I’m not a believer in half-measures — but that’s just me. I certainly understand where you’re coming from though, Jeremy. Kids do need to be taught moderation so as to equip them for navigating the real, un-informed world. This is a touchy question, and I’m calling out to experienced TTP readers to weigh-in on this one. The way I approached this with my own was to say I choose not to partake because (insert age-appropriate reasoning). Ultimately, though, you have to make your own choices about how to treat your own body and your own health. Now, my kids were much older when I began this journey, and were familiar with this kind of talk, usually, though, centered around political ideals, or fitness/sports training topics, drugs, alcohol, sex, etc. Of course, if I had young children in my home now, they wouldn’t even have access to “bad” foodstuffs (I can see me being a very unpopular grandpa), and hopefully their very early-established “tastes” would help moderate them through the real-world minefield once it was (inevitably) unleashed upon them. My gut feeling is though, Jeremy, that you know what’s best for your kids at this particular juncture in their lives. I’m an all-or-nothing kind of guy, and I was an all-or-nothing kid as well. One thing the years have taught me is that the vast majority of people do not operate that way. My coaching style works well and is fit for an athletic/sporting environment; in the general public, well…not so much 🙂
I’ll end the day’s pontification there, as I’ve gone on long, long enough. The real point of this post is to acknowledge a gentleman who has fought the good fight well, and is flying the Paleo flag proudly. My hope is that Jeremy’s action and success can ignite a desire in others (especially his kids) to do the same.
Here’s to you, Jeremy! Good work!