8 Dirty Little Paleo Secrets Everyone Needs to Know


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I’m sure Robb Wolf has a few. And Sarah Fragoso. Even Mark Sisson likely has one or two. Possibly several.

Get your mind out of the gutter, people — I’m talking about paleo secrets.

With their ripped bodies, strength and apparent ability to resist the sugar, these paleo celebrities already appear to have everything down. They’ve reached the paleo heights and sometimes it feels they are looking down upon us as we struggle, sweating and panting, up the mountainside – one they’ve already scaled.

Sugar – but pass on the wheat

But I’m betting they have off days or moments, like us, when it’s harder to stay with the program. Mark has a penchant for Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. And Sarah’s been clear about the stuttering start to her journey to health and strength. Robb isn’t against the odd dessert or sugary item (as long as you stay away from the wheat!)

So why don’t we look like them? What stops us from achieving our goals – whether it’s to lose a hundred pounds, bench press a hundred pounds or earn a hundred thousand pounds – while they achieve theirs?

We all wonder from time to time if there’s some thing, some piece of information, some data or statistic we’re missing. A piece of magic that would make all the difference to our success, if only we knew what it was.

A word in your shell-like

Adopting paleo can change your life. Many, many people are testimony to that. They write to me every day and tell me. They have achieved success, not perfection, and certain attitudes, mindsets and skills helped them get there.

If you’re wondering about starting this whole paleo thing, or gearing up for the next level, but hesitating, here are some things you should know. Robb, Sarah and Mark clearly do.

Dirty Little Secret #1. You don’t have to accept rejection

Many people never to try to hit their goals because they think someone might not like it. Maybe, for you, the fear of rejection is real. Both Tara and Orleatha acknowledged that they lost friends when they lost a huge amount of weight, but their stories prove you gain so much more that makes the change worth it.

Thing is, no gain is without loss – that’s another secret. But in the large scale of things going for your paleo goals will give you so much more than you’ll lose that you’ll come out the winner. You might end up losing some friends, but you’ll gain so much more, including new ones.

Dirty Little Secret #2. You don’t have to accept failure, or even mediocrity

The feeling of failure is hard to bear. You know, that sinking, embarrassed, hopeless feeling. The one that makes you want to sit on the couch and eat your way through a chocolate bar the size of a small country. And then another one.

Nothing in life is without risk. Not sitting on the couch (the ceiling of the apartment above might fall on you,) or eating chocolate to numb the pain (you might get diabetes, at the very least a sugar hangover) and certainly not success. It is your choice. You choose. Which risk would you rather take? The positive, healthy one, or the one that will allow you to rule in a world made of chocolate? Then persist. Persist, persist, persist.

Dirty Little Secret #3. You can learn everything you need to know

Many people look at paleo, or just getting healthy, and get completely overwhelmed. They run away saying they’re too confused, or it’s too hard.

You know, what? There’s a learning curve. Being successful at paleo is a lot like when you learned a new skill, started a business or a new job. It doesn’t happen just like that.

The secret is to realize that while the outcome – your life and body design – may well be a work of art, there is much to be learned about the process. Grand masters weren’t grand or masters when they first picked up a paintbrush. They had to learn from others who’d made the journey before them and practice, practice, practice. They learned from their mistakes and picked themselves up to start over when they made them.

You too, sunshine. 🙂

Dirty Little Secret #4. You have to do the work

Even if you read the books, subscribe to the blogs, make up the meal plans and join the gym, you still have to do something.

How many times have you come up with ideas, made a promise to yourself, been full of great intentions, then not followed through? This is called dreaming.

People can advise, point you in the right direction, tell you what to do. But no-one can do it for you. You’re on your own on that one.

When you know that you — and only you — will be responsible for your outcome, whatever you choose that to be, that’s when you experience the independence to take charge of your life.

The key is to think of the outcome, and the actions that will get you there before you make any commitments or plans. And then do them.

Dirty Little Secret #5. You don’t have to do what other people tell you

Do you read the paleo gurus? Have you had friends who are now half their size tell you the secret to their success? Have you ever watched “The Biggest Loser” or followed a diet plan religiously.

There is comfort in following ‘rules.’ We don’t have to think. And we can blame someone else if it all goes wrong.

By all means, take ideas (‘steal’ them as Dean Dwyer says) from the experts and apply what makes sense for you, what works for you in your life. But cherry pick, choose those suggestions that jive with your life, and, for pete’s sake, go at your own speed. This isn’t a race. If slow’s your speed, it’s your speed. Own it; work it, baby. The tortoise and the hare, remember?

Dirty Little Secret #6. Your community will help you

If you’re here reading this, you’re on the paleo curve. Somewhere along it, anyway.

Surround yourself with supportive elements – paleo blogs, forums, books, food. Limit your exposure to those people, foods and activities you’re in the process of eliminating from your life.

Find a community to support you in your efforts. Ask, ask, and ask again. Don’t be shy, people will help, if you but ask. Find friends in real life who think like you do and move on from those who sabotage you, or ignore you when you don’t play their game.

Dirty Little Secret #7. You need to spend some time and/or money

As noted above, going paleo is like learning a new skill. And when did you last learn a new skill without investing some time and money? My guess is almost never.

You will need to read blogs, buy the odd book (or get them from the library,) attend a seminar,  purchase a cooking tool or three, change where and how you shop.

It doesn’t have to be a lot and you don’t need to do it often but you need to accept that these investments are part of your paleo process.

Dirty Little Secret #8. You will feel resistance at many points

Everyone feels some level of “I don’t wanna” over paleo at some point. It would be inhuman to feel otherwise.

In the brilliant book, The War of Art, author Steven Pressfield talks about resistance and how it only occurs when we’re about to engage in something that will cause us to grow.

I struggle with paleo resistance all the time! Nothing would please me more than to eat a tub of chocolate-covered almonds on a regular basis. Like, daily.

Resistance happens. It’s part of the process to becoming a healthier person. If it’s not food, it’s exercise. If not exercise, it’s asking the cute girl out at the coffee shop. Resistance doesn’t go away. You’re stuck with it. See it as a signpost, pointing the way you should be going. Go that way and move on.

So what’s stopping you in your quest?

It worked out nicely for Robb, Mark and Sarah, after all. There’s no reason you can’t reach their level. And if you influence others, it could be your legacy.

Have you taken the plunge yet? If you’re stuck or backsliding, what stopped you? Make my day and tell me about it in the comments.

And if you found this information useful, please do me a favor and share it.  The more we can do to spread the information, the more those that really need it can benefit. You’ll find sharing buttons below and in the floating sidebar to your left.

For more paleo goodness, please like the Paleo/NonPaleo Facebook page. I would be so grateful!

I talk more about these ideas and many more in my book, The Modern, No Nonsense Guide to PaleoCheck it out. 🙂


amazon, modern no nonsense guide to paleoAre you struggling to sustain a paleo lifestyle change? Or not sure how to start? Or perhaps those around you are resistant and you're feeling undermined and unsure. The Modern, No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo provides practical tools to ease the transition to a full-on paleo life. Each chapter includes strategies, tips and checklists to identify the actions to power you on your paleo journey and create sustainable change. Buy it at Amazon.com.

Written by 

Alison Golden writes on the topic of paleo over at Paleo/NonPaleo. She aims to share ideas, inspire and motivate readers by teaching them how to live paleo in a non-paleo world. She is also the author of the bestselling book, The Modern, No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo, a unique tool that gives the reader hundreds of strategies to navigate the learning process to successful paleo living.

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