Flying back from a 5 week stay in Europe, it was time to start making some lists – before the outset of the trip, there were some pretty ambitious personal goals: to figure out the meaning of life, the role of capitalism in America (I love you, Dagny), pros and cons of minimum wage, politics in the Middle East, etc, etc, etc. However, here I was on the plane home and none of the above had been accomplished. Ok, sure, I read a Colossal Waste of Time, by Ken Follett followed by Fight Club, which served as a great reminder to not accept the norm as gospel (funny enough that lesson is a great primer for Primal Blueprint).
With procrastination having all but won, it was time to start making some lists! First list – My favorite things to do! This list was quite simplistic and was a decent representation of how I spend my free time (climbing, rafting, drinking coffee, cooking, reading etc), so no big revelation there. As a side note, I’ve found that when this list doesn’t match how I’m spending a good portion of my free time, I’m pretty darn unhappy, surprise, surprise! So time to dig a bit deeper with a favorites list on a much broader scale, and that list looked like this: Learning, New experiences, Relationships, Introspection, Successes, etc.
The next list might sound a lot like the 2 prior lists, but in the end, it was a turning point “I am happiest when….” and this list boiled down to 4 very important ideas for me:
I am Happiest when…
1.) …figuring out a problem or concept and totally immersing my mind in that process
2.) …having activity successes – aka markedly improving at an activity that I enjoy
3.) …my mind feels calm and at peace and is quiet (the opposite of frantically running errands while trying to get ready for a trip last minute or fielding a plethora of random questions at work via email, phone, google chat and shouting across the hall while riding an anxiety inducing coffee buzz)
4.) …my body feels strong, energetic and in balance while in motion
Then finally I worked on a Life Goals list which included things like one day owning a home, guiding my own boat down the grand canyon, learning conversational Spanish and others. The key here for me is making sure my life goals align with the aforementioned lists – having life goals conflict with the first 3 lists has created (and to some extent continues to create) significant stress and dissonance in my life – both at home and at work.
So, how does all this blathering relate to the Primal Challenge? In my reasoning the above lists hinge on 2 core points – having a happy mind and a happy body (numbers 3 and 4 of I am Happiest When…). Eating Paleo (The Paleo Solution) was something I had played with before my Europe trip and I wanted to get back to it… in Europe we were eating buckets of bread, pastries, wine, beer, cheese and gelato with minimal vegetables and only a moderate amount of meat (especially considering our activity level). While cycle touring I was going through huge spike and crash cycles – I even started talking about the emergence of the Sugar Monster around 2pm each day- because he was real, and I had to FEED him – no worries, a large serving of Gelato to the rescue!!! Then on rest days there was the feeling of ancy-ness, uneasiness and anxiety, it was wild! Point being, I was not experiencing a happy mind or body.
In the past Bob has been a great resource for all things Paleo, so when I got back home, I hit him up for some questions and he asked me to join the primal challenge – in a few short days (thanks in large part to the 7 principles on this blog) I started looking beyond merely eating Paleo, but rather living a complete PB lifestyle! 2 weeks later, and I like how things are going!
Future updates to follow:
*buying a 1/4 cow
*Alternate drink options
*Lab Testing & Results!