The distraction phase

I am a dog person all the way. My relationship with dogs has

evolved and matured my whole life. I didn’t learn how to properly

treat or interact with them until a long way into the whole

experience. It took a professional dog trainer to finally explain the

true essence of training and then hours of internet research to learn

the details. Like everything else, I had to wade through layers and

layers of conventional wisdom to get to the truth and the heart of

the matter. Sound familiar? The same thing has happened with

nutrition and exercise. Conventional wisdom (i.e. marketing) was

the lazy way out. I have a 1 year old German Shepherd and I have

been finding a lot of similarities between us especially when it

comes to distraction training. Something we both need work on.

One of the most important aspects of dog training is distraction

training. That is when you put the dog into different, distracting

situations to see where his obedience training needs work. You

start obedience training with consistent discipline and lavish praise

to teach right and wrong in small increments. You work with the

dog until he is performing beautifully in your yard or walking

around the block, at the field, wherever you are training. He is

perfect. Then you take him to the farmers market, to the vet or

somewhere new and he is a total ass hole! You have to go into

those situations prepared to give proper discipline. You know he is

going to be distracted, but by applying consistent discipline, he

learns that distraction is unacceptable. Break that heel or even look

at another dog and there will be consequences.

The same thing happens to people. We decide to adopt the

paleo diet, we get everything straightened out in our heads, our

refrigerators and our budgets. We cook, we bring our lunch, we

plan our meals. But then one day we go to a party, travel, eat out.

The distraction is on! That is our distraction phase. The point where

we need to apply consistent discipline at the appropriate level. The

times we leave our comfort zone. Making this kind of radical change

in diet and lifestyle pretty much guarantees you are going to

become more insular and structured. The caveat is that part of this

lifestyle is about having fun and enjoying life. You need to get your

distraction phase on point so you can find balance between those

two situations. You can’t disappear inside the pink bubble and

never come out.

If you, like me, are using this diet and lifestyle to control a

disease; by all means give yourself a year to heal. Give yourself 2.

Stay inside the pink bubble of learning and healing. Early to bed

early to rise, meals planned, etc. Turn down invitations, stay home.

You’ll find though, that even this monkish life needs distraction

training. There are holidays to contend with, children’s birthdays.

You have to have more self control than the average bear because

you are repairing your body and healing yourself. What kind of self

control and self discipline do you have? What is your will power

level? Unlike dog training, we don’t have a prong collar that will

tighten around our neck when we do the wrong thing. We may feel

like shit when we gluten ourselves or a fat roll might instantly

appear if we eat sugar but sometimes addictions are stronger than

that. You need to tap into your will power to find the strength to

say no, I do not want a piece of cake or a meatball made with

breadcrumbs or a piece of manchego. You have to yank your own


The best way to achieve success in distraction training is to

approach it with confidence. In your meditations, imagine yourself

going to a party and having a great time without drinking one thing

or straying outside the confines of the autoimmune protocol of

paleo. Or the Wahls protocol. Imagine yourself successfully healing!

When you wake up in the morning say out loud ‘I will not eat ___’

or ‘I will have fun at the party without cheese.’ If you are still

having trouble getting through the distraction post it on my

facebook page wall, there is plenty of support there. Just realizing

that you are being distrscted may be enough to fortify your

willpower. Best of luck tonight at the New Year’s Eve party! Or this

coming year if you are resolving to start back on the diet, start it

at all or make a change of any magnitude. I hope we can all find

healing and relief in 2012. My goal for the year is to snatch 115 lbs.

I am still working towards it!