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!