What Paleo Taught Me

I turned to Paleo thinking I was being intuitively led to my health and hormonal balance. I was already pretty steady intuitive-eating-wise, but Paleo sent me back into another obsessed frenzy, nearly a year ago.

Looking back now, I get frustrated and sad that I hadn’t learned my lesson from all my other diet fails in order to avoid Paleo diet mania.

But, I am going to also look at what Paleo did give me.

The one obvious positive, is that the Paleo diet taught me about the benefit and importance of saturated fats. And then, through failure, the importance of carbs and not dieting.

That one last push into insanity made me choose peace. One last diet/binge-induced weight gain made me finally accept the weight- and and start to take away my fears by making me face them head-on.

It led me straight into the crisis that had become my identity. And this one was so bad, and so low, that it led me to the book “The Artist’s Way” (which I recommend), which led me to writing every morning as a sort of meditation, which led me to my own underlying truths. And led me to start this site, and write, and connect with people. And to dare to consider acting without the worry and heaviness of perfectionism. Which, has forced me to trust life and live more fully. And to challenge myself.

Yep, I can’t help but think that is why my intuition led me to Paleo. Maybe I also needed some more probiotics (thank you GAPS….), or maybe I needed some more saturated fat. But mostly, I think I needed to fail so badly, (for hopefully the last time), that I chose a completely different way to live and eat. It was the beginning of a new and even scarier journey.

I trust what it taught me. And I am thankful for it.

Fuck It.

11 comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more! I’m disappointed in the way I was completely brainwashed by Paleo, the romantic ideal of eating ‘the perfect historical human diet’, and disappointed at what I managed to do to my body with it.

    But I’m also thankful for the knowledge I gained from it, (especially nutritional knowledge which I’m trying to push to the back of my mind), and the experience of hitting rock bottom with stress. A combination of food perfectionism, carb restriction, intense exercise and attempting to run a business through it all brought me to the lowest point I’ve ever hit, which 1 year on I’m only just starting to see signs of improvement from.

    I’ve had to walk away from a lot of things after Paleo, including the business I used to love, but with hindsight now I can see it was a necessary part of my life, and I feel I’m a better person because of it!

    Thanks again for the blog, you are inspiring people with these posts!

  2. Kendra Perry says:

    Very inspiring! I had a similar experience with paleo. While I agree with a lot of things about the diet. It emphasizes real foods and saturated fats which is so good. But it is still restrictive and in the end you need to play by your own rules. While I still have a few food phobias, I am learning to relax. Life is too short to try to be perfect every day. I am happy to hear you are finding some peace and happiness. Keep up the great blog posts! 🙂

  3. I am a practicing archaeologist with a particular interest in mobility of hunter-gatherers… you know, the folks Paleo claims to mimic dietarily. I look through all of human time for comparisons, find data on petrified ancient poop, and scrapings from the tartar on neandertal teeth; i compare different climates and habitats, calculate the miminum number of individuals represented in a population and the maximum human population able to be supported by a given environ, etc.

    All i ever see in Paleo is some romanticized, white-washed idea of what “our caveman ancestors” ate, not what they *actually* ate, and it perturbed me a bit when yet another ‘convert’ tried to lecture me on ‘what we used to eat’, etc. etc., when they were way, way wrong (seriously, starchy tubers is the way to go if you want a true old fashioned diet; even for neandertal, and most protein from bugs).

    (I dislike the idea of Paleo as it is currently espoused, if you cannot tell, LOL. it reminds me of the blood type diet, completely horrid science. Although i would love to see real studies where people with average modern health and have them live a given time on a real paleo diet and see what happens to their bodies, just for science and sheer curiosity on my part)

  4. Carolyn Donner says:

    Love this post (little late responding). I tried Paleo for a week and found it to be restrictive. I crave wholesome breads & I thought to myself, ‘What in the hell is possibly wrong with a veggie sandwich on whole wheat bread?….Absolutely NOTHING.’ So fuck it to the Paleo Diet. It made me very unhappy for that short period of time. Nice post!

  5. Jenny says:

    I SO relate to this …. your story is my story. I just had a friend the other day trying to convince me to do a “candida cleanse” that she was leading. I explained to her my history with eating disorders and how I could see how a lot of people could benefit from her program but for me it was dangerous. And her response was that i SHOULD be afraid to eat certain foods … that those fears were my body’s way of telling me NOT to eat “impure” food. I just laughed it off and said that I wish i could look at it that way…but for me that leads to eating and puking and starving. Not pretty. I didn’t even argue with her..i just let it go and stood my ground. I was proud of myself…because i can still see parts of me that gravitate towards those attitudes. But deep down i know it is damaging. Thank you for blogs like yours!! They keep me motivated and sane!!! xoxo

  6. Shannon says:

    I realise this is an old post but thought I’d reply anyway. I just found your site today (after typing in “F— Paleo” in Google to see if anything interesting came up) and have been devouring it since (no pun intended :P). I “quit” paleo a few weeks ago after eating that way for about 7 months. I was diagnosed with PCOS earlier this year and thought it would cure it. Within 30 days of starting it, (TMI alert…) my previously irregular-but-at-least-present-every-few-weeks period stopped altogether. I feel that bears worth repeating: my cycle completely effing stopped within 30 days of eating paleo. For a woman, if THAT’s not a sign that you’re doing something wrong, then I don’t know what is. However, because by that point I was already brainwashed by dogma I persevered for 7 months with nothing to show for it other than dropping 20 lbs in a month when I was at a perfectly healthy weight to begin with. Oh and I wanted nothing more than to bury my face in a bucket full of macaroni because I was starving. After this restrictive insanity I took a good hard look at my eating/dieting habits over the past 20 years of my life since childhood (the real cause of my PCOS, perhaps?) and realised that this was yet another form of my typical restrictive/reactive eating cycle, maybe in the form of orthorexia this time around. So, I just said “F— it”. I like dairy, I like carbs, I like to bake (and eat it after), I like meat, veggies, fruit, saturated fat…food. I am tired of people telling me what to eat when it hasn’t really helped – if anything it’s just made me more crazy. To sum up, I share your sentiments. Awesome blog!!

  7. shantessier says:

    realise this is an old post but thought I’d reply anyway. I just found your site today (after typing in “F— Paleo” in Google to see if anything interesting came up) and have been devouring it since (no pun intended ). I “quit” paleo a few weeks ago after eating that way for about 7 months. I was diagnosed with PCOS earlier this year and thought it would cure it. Within 30 days of starting it, (TMI alert…) my previously irregular-but-at-least-present-every-few-weeks period stopped altogether. I feel that bears worth repeating: my cycle completely effing stopped within 30 days of eating paleo. For a woman, if THAT’s not a sign that you’re doing something wrong, then I don’t know what is. However, because by that point I was already brainwashed by dogma I persevered for 7 months with nothing to show for it other than dropping 20 lbs in a month when I was at a perfectly healthy weight to begin with. Oh and I wanted nothing more than to bury my face in a bucket full of macaroni because I was starving. After this restrictive insanity I took a good hard look at my eating/dieting habits over the past 20 years of my life since childhood (the real cause of my PCOS, perhaps?) and realised that this was yet another form of my typical restrictive/reactive eating cycle, maybe in the form of orthorexia this time around. So, I just said “F— it”. I like dairy, I like carbs, I like to bake (and eat it after), I like meat, veggies, fruit, saturated fat…food. I am tired of people telling me what to eat when it hasn’t really helped – if anything it’s just made me more crazy. To sum up, I share your sentiments. Awesome blog!!

  8. Carolina says:

    I haven’t tried paleo, but I’m familiar with the paleo rhetoric from my years in the low carb camp.

    My biggest contention with the whole paleo game is that most of it is invested in replicating a modern diet by means of manipulating “paleo” foods to replicate modern comestibles. Sorry, but there is an inherent hypocrisy in such things as paleo bread, as glaring as the inherent hypocrisy in tofu bacon. Not to mention the fact that combining ingredients indigenous to areas that are thousands of miles away from each other, often in the single dish, totally flies in the face of the “ancestral dietary replication” ideology.

  9. stikom2 says:

    Hi, I never ate Paleo, but I’m from Israel and it has become a bit popular here too. Of course, this diet is a fraud. It’s “a cat in a sac” that some people buy and many will get the terrible chronic diseases. Beware!!!!!
    I read your stories and am happy you stopped eating the Paleo poison!

Comments are closed.