I recently had a friend over to sample my bacon. It might sound lewd, and in a gastro-sense, it sort of was. A sinful concoction I whipped up, crispy organic smoked bacon dipped in melted fleur de sel Lindt dark chocolate.
She arrived and after some small talk, asked for some booze. I supplied it, being the good host, and she was perplexed as to why I didn’t join in. I informed her that as part of my paleo experiment, I was abstaining from all alcohol for the entire 40 day experiment.
She was flabbergasted.. she didn’t understand why I would ever impose self-inflicted restrictions on myself. Who would I do something that someone else hadn’t told me to do?
My friend is free spirited and loves to party, and I love her because she reminds me of my “youth”. She seems to think that she will never stop. But she is missing two things: she hasn’t hit her bottom yet, and she doesn’t see the value in life. Hell, I didn’t either until I was over 30. But for me, the validation of being able to stick with something I set my mind to do is in and of itself the reward. The journey is what makes the goal so satisfying. Once the 40 days are complete, I already know that the fruits of my labour will be eclipsed by the path that I took to get there. Having kicked drugs and smoking cigarettes all within a 5 year span, I am finally understanding what it is to stop being responsible to others, and be responsible to myself. And it feels great.
While I share my gradual successes through my near-evangelical obsession with paleo, I’m just another guy getting healthy and in shape. Maybe I will inspire others to follow in my footsteps, maybe not. But the person I ultimately continue to motivate is myself, and isn’t that really the whole point?