Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good (Voltaire) It is so easy to get caught up in “perfection”- not in actually being perfect, which is actually impossible, but in the idea that you need to strive to be perfect. We all want to be as good as we can be, but perfection is impossible on this earth, and to know that is rather... freeing, really! As the ancient Greeks said “ Nothing in excess”. To tie this in with pursuing Paleo health, think about this: 80% of your results in anything result from only 20% of your effort! And so, to sum up: “Don’t sweat the small stuff!!” You want to be healthier, fitter, slimmer? Simple. Don’t fret about minutia; “Oh, I need to limit my carbs, I can’t eat one oz. of sugar, fruit is really bad, and I didn’t work out long enough today I can’t have a banana!” Wrong. “Well, I didn’t eat any bread this week. No wheat at all! And I ate a salad each day, and a green Paleo smoothie each morning- And I worked out every day in front of the television doing Perfectly Paleo Exercise, like pushups, straight legged sit ups, virtual resistance, 10 minutes or so of rebounding, and some stretching for a total of 20 minutes or so per day.” Well, I am here to tell you that this person, (Let’s call him Ron), who just eliminated wheat, drank a green smoothie for breakfast and ate a salad (hopefully with a protein source atop like chicken, beef, or tuna), has achieved at least 80% of his paleolithic health potential! If Ron continues like this, just getting into a routine, he will have amazing results! He will lose tons of body fat, and gain muscle, slowly and steadily. He will also, importantly, be building his tendon and ligament strength along with just muscle. This is the type of strength that has real world implications, allowing you to build a Bruce Lee type of strength, using the visceral strength of the fascia, the connective envelope of the body to build true, real world strength and imperviousness to injury! Later, Ron can add in meditation, forest bathing, and other “tweaks” of health and wellness... But really, this is all he needs: he is on his way, with just these simple modifications to his lifestyle! Then, let’s consider Rhonda: Rhonda is convinced that perfection is so important! She wants to be PERFECT! And so, she strives to remove every single non “paleo” diet item from her menu. NO beans; not even ONE in her grass fed beef chili- NO dairy, not even pastured dairy! And, above all, since she wants to be as lean and mean as possible- no carbs at all!! Ketogenic! All this, and Rhonda has no health problems at all, and just wants to be as lean as possible, (health is just a side issue for her). She wakes up at 4:30 AM each morning, works out on a treadmill, and then lifts weights at a nearby gym... rushes home, and then gets her kids ready for school, giving them a nutritious breakfast of greens and sardines, which they don’t touch. Her husband leaves early, and stops at Mc Donalds, which he never mentions. Then, she goes to work, where she has a desk job where she has a standing, treadmill desk! She walks on it all day, and has a perfect paleo lunch. After work, she gives her lucky paleo kids a snack at home of coconut oil spread on sardines, which they throw in the garbage when she leaves to start her cardio! They retreat to the family room where their dad has smuggled in pizza for them to eat. Dad reads the kids stories in bed, but Rhonda the mom needs to “bone up” on the paleo diet, and makes some notes about how she should probably start adding sauerkraut to the kid’s sardines in the morning... When Rhonda comes to bed, her husband is snoring away, and has been for hours- Rhonda looks at the clock on the nightstand, and realizes she only has 4 & 1/2 hours till she needs to get up. “Well, I need to get in my hour and a half workout tomorrow, so that will be perfect!” And so it goes... You know what? Ron will have much, much better results than Sarah! I know, he is only doing 20% as much as she does, he is actually quite relaxed and having a good time, but he is not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. The bottom line is this: only do what is most important; concentrate on that, and let everything else take care of itself! Do NOT be a micromanager! Of yourself, or of anyone else!! It really, really, NEVER WORKS!! EVER!!! As Confucius said “"Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without." Don’t be a pebble.