I’m pretty sure that I hate Paleo challenges. That’s a pretty sobering realization for a guy who wrote a book he’s trying to get published centering around 30 days of food shenanigans.
The only thing that keeps me believing in the “challenge”, is little nuggets of success like; “lost 10 inches in a month,” or “lost 20 pounds in 24 days.” That’s what I love, that’s when I feel like my life and my work means something.
A friend of mine asked for my help this time around. People closest to me usually don’t ask for my help as much anymore. I like to believe it’s because they know me, and they know I will give them exactly what they asked for.
“I’m throwing this away,” I said to my friend holding up a present that smelled like sugar, and my Grandma’s house. It felt like a million little pebbles. Like a Christmas rainbow of candy – colorful, inviting, like a fireplace in a blizzard.
“Don’t you dare!,” he said as my hand opened the trash can. “Why not!” “Cause I’m gonna eat it,” he said as if I should have known all along.
My heart kinda sank like when an elevator first moves down. My face became a child’s who just learned the truth about Santa. Have you ever felt that way?
“You asked for my help, I’m being helpful,” I said. “I didn’t know this was a temporary change. I thought the help you wanted was the forever kind, not the convenient kind,” I continued.
“Don’t ever ask for my help again,” I said bitterly, before he could respond.
I hate hindsight almost as much as I hate Paleo challenges.
Hindsight’s a thorn that’s always in my hand, I just don’t feel it feel it until I touch something. In hindsight, I may have been too brutal. In hindsight, maybe I wasn’t brutal enough.
This isn’t the first time the same situation has went down with my friend and I. This is, however, the first time I tried to toss his habit for him. All the other times I just talked as he lost weight, got strong and more confident during the challenge, and then lost it all directly after the challenge.
His behaviors common. Challenges, for him and many others, are effective, and temporarily.
I can’t handle an existence of temporary value, of short-term worth, two steps forward and two back. I don’t want that for my friends, and sometimes, I think that’s all challenges do.
The day a Paleo challenge begins, excitement shines like the sun on top of a mountain. The day the challenge ends, humans like my friend seem to forget all they accomplished, all the pounds they lost, all the damage undone.
I don’t hate the fact that my friend has most likely already ate his body weight in sugar. I hate the fact that he has already forgotten how much he learned. I hate that it takes a day to ruin a month.
I wish I had pretty words for my friend. That I could help him understand.
The true point of a Paleo challenge isn’t to celebrate it’s ending by binging, it’s to continue success by never stopping.
Two-arm dumbbell row
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