Step one: Begin Paleo.
Step two: Tell everyone about it.
Step three: Live for yourself.
Probably one of the first things people should tell you is to get a good support system. One of the hardest things is telling someone you’ve changed something about yourself; they will tend to think you don’t need any changes. Let them know what you can and can’t eat, rather, what you are un/willing to eat. It makes your life much simpler as it does theirs. I sit in the dining hall and see my friends munching away on cookies or having cereal or tater tots for breakfast, pizza for lunch and fried chicken for dinner, and I think, “wow that smells good,” but I rarely crave to eat it. I’ve wired my brain to realize that putting that in my system will make me sick and I won’t be able to forgive myself. I do ask “is it good?” and they’ll respond and more often than not offer me some, whence I lovingly decline.
When the girls and I have our little family dinners and they order Chinese or pizza, I sit and watch them eat, still glad to have the company and conversation, but it tends to go without fail that they’ll question why I’m not eating. They know why, and I know why. My friends joke about it, but when it comes down to bikini season, they know I’m prepared and ask to be trained physically and for diet tips. It really comes down to two key terms: self-control and discipline. If you have it, don’t sway just because others pressure you. They will respect you and credit you for standing by your values.
Another thing, besides your friends and those you’re around when you’re at school, let your family know of your decision. I go out with my parents and I don’t eat the chips and salsa (THE HARDEST THING EVER) at Mexican establishments nor do I take part in any sort of dessert. I don’t eat cheese or bread if I get a burger, instead I’ll ask for a lettuce wrap if they have one and all the amenities that go with it. I order a salad instead of fries, and I know my limits. I have had my mom ask why I don’t get this or get that, and that gets annoying beyond reason because I hate not having anything I can actually safely eat, and she knows I’m on Paleo. But she apologizes and realizes it’s not right.
Here’s the thing: if no one commends you for doing something to better yourself, commend yourself and know that you are not alone. There are so many other people living Paleo and they will be willing to talk and give advice. The greatest tool and strongest asset you will have for continuing with the Paleo lifestyle is 1) self-control and discipline and 2) the support of those you care about and who care about you. Ask them for their support and they probably won’t decline.