I have some friends who are ideating about paleo.
They have misgivings.
Talking to them has reminded me that I actually once went through a grief process about letting go of my favorite bakery pizza.
I also remember that during my first paleo workweek I was profoundly anxious about how I’d handle stressful meetings if I couldn’t eat starches for courage beforehand. That was actually my #1 fear.
Seems so weird, now.
I asked my friends if they would write down their fears about embarking on paleo.
Here’s what one wrote:
Fears about going in–my primary one is that I will get exhausted, and have no way of getting through my demanding days without the odd sugar hit or piece of toast to boost me up. This is partially because I’m anemic, and have been since March of this year. My iron stores are low, and I’m taking iron supplements, as well as increasing the meat in my diet. But I get so freakin’ wiped, and midday naps are mostly not an option–definitely not during the week.
I’m also afraid of wanting [my partner] and [kid]’s food–because they are not giving up their breadstuffs and ice cream, yet–no way.
And I’m afraid of backsliding in a crisis–which is exactly why I’m here at the heaviest I’ve ever been, again, after losing 17 lbs in 2011. How can I keep eating the way I want, instead of the default way of eating, when the shit hits the fan–bad days at work, family member ill or in crisis, etc. etc. How do I keep looking after myself and not have that be one more thing on the enormous to-do list? How do I look at that as especially important, and NOT look at saying “oh, fuck it all, I’m eating this donut” as the relaxing/kind/letting-myself-off-the-hook option.
For me, when considering the idea of fully switching to the paleo diet I encounter two obvious hurtles:
1. Food prep time with a busy life (and especially when caring for [my kid])
2. The addiction
I could probably face the addiction part more easily if I was able to free my house of any temptations that seem to raise their voices when I’m feeling weak…
I’m feeling really insecure in my field of work right now because it provides very little job security. The anxiety I feel about this is toxic and is clearly undermining other aspects of my life. Although I’m not in a crisis mode by any means, I’m experiencing first hand right now how anxiety operates to diminish a person. I’m afraid that if I let go and actually embrace the reality that at the moment I have no clue how I’m going to make a living in the future, that I will spend the little reserve money I have and be in a worse position. I’ve got some abstract ideas about an ideal career but don’t have a road map for getting there. Anyways, there’s a downward spiral that happens with carbo crutches in times like this. Ironically, I can see how embracing paleo and not focusing on the rest may actually be the way out because my mental fog will dissipate and I’ll have more energy and courage to tackle this new phase.
Reading these actually made me cry a little bit. Because they describe how complicated it can be to find your way through the labyrinth to health.
That’s why I’m writing this blog. Because I wasn’t seeing anyone else addressing how complex and multi-layered the process was for me. Wound up with trauma and anxiety and destructive self-fulfilling feedback loops. For many of us, it’s not as simple as sanctifying the pantry and googling some recipes.
We are unfathomably complicated creatures engaging in a whole-self renovation.
And at the same time, we can also be pretty predictable and a lot simpler than we like to think.
As described by a 3rd friend:
Some of my fears/trepidations/concerns include:
1. I’M LAZY!!!