My Story – How I Got Here

Brett Paleo

I was the kind of child who was always sick. I didn’t suffer any named illnesses, but I certainly wasn’t a picture of youthful wellbeing. For as long as I could remember I’d had coughs and colds at least half a dozen times a year, didn’t sleep well, was low in energy and not particularly fit.

As a young adult, I didn’t think twice about scoffing a pie, a pasty, a 1.25 litre soft drink and a chocolate bar for lunch, and even less of drinking until I spewed in the evenings.

By the time I was in my 20s though, I realised it was time to make a change. My studies in Chiropractic sparked an appreciation of holistic health – the body operates as a unified whole, and I couldn’t persist in disregarding diet and lifestyle if I were to truly walk the talk.

I approached this desire for a more healthful existence logically – by simply reading, learning and implementing – probably rather slowly. The more I started to change things, each little change afforded an improvement; some very slight, some quite profound. Bit by bit I got fitter, stronger, healthier, more energetic and by default, more passionate. And the best part was that taking the time to make changes slowly resulted in sustainable results for life.

A huge realization for me – and one that acts as light-bulb moment for many clients – is that to truly change, we need to do things differently. Sounds obvious, but repeating habits that don’t serve us while expecting different results is the true definition of madness. (Incidentally, that was the catalyst for me to write my book ‘How To Eat An Elephant’ which focuses on the psychology of change. It offers the ‘what’ – everyday things you can do to become healthier – but its overarching message is the ‘how’ – how to take small, manageable, sustainable steps that lead you somewhere great.)

I identify closely with the Paleo approach to eating and living. As a Chiropractor, I appreciate its focus on ancestral/functional movement patterns. Beyond diet, this is a huge factor in wellness – how we move our bodies; our posture, alignment, strength, flexibility. Paleo & ancestral lifestyle templates champion the return to natural exercise, which make sense to me as a Chiro.

I’ve seen incredible improvements in my own performance and resilience by taking up barefoot running, and I can attest to its effectiveness for others. It’s like finding the most perfect, comfortable, performance-enhancing shoes ever – only to realise they’re your own bare feet! I remember the day I ditched my runners and did my regular 10k loop in minimalist shoes. I didn’t feel stressed, fatigued, or that I was pushing particularly hard, yet I shaved minutes off my PB. (Please don’t take this as a recommendation to go gung-ho and run a barefoot marathon – you can seriously injure yourself. Work with a professional & begin slowly!)

In terms of eating, Paleo wins out again. I recommend my practice members to make (delicious) dietary changes, for even though I’m working on the spine & nervous system, I have utter respect for the interaction between the two. One supports the other; a healthy diet fosters a healthy spine, and a healthy spine supports the efficient functioning of organs, the same organs that require a healthy diet…and so on! There is no separation.

As a practitioner and wellness advocate, the best thing I can hope to do is give people the tools to make positive change. Awareness and education is the ultimate medicine! I co-host podcasts That Paleo Show and The Wellness Guys for this very reason – and also co-founded a wellness channel – The Wellness Couch – to give much needed air time to health.

I have seen first hand the profound effects borne of small, consistent changes to food, movement and lifestyle. I have also seen the same benefits with my family. My two children, 3 and 5 have never needed any form of medication in their lives and are growing up happy, healthy (and incredibly cute but I’m biased) living the Paleo lifestyle with me. Paleo ticks all the boxes for me and my family & is an invaluable template for health in my clinic. Regardless of labels, eating real food serves myself & my family better than any pills & potions and is a cause I’m sticking to!

My Wellness Philosophy  – books, eBooks & clinic approach

HTEAE duoThe following excerpt is from my book How To Eat An Elephant: Simple solutions for lifelong energy and vitality.

It summarizes my wellness philosophy and clinical approach. Enjoy!

So how do you eat an elephant?

Well as the saying goes, one bite at a time!

Have you ever wondered why dieting doesn’t work? Or why most people let their gym memberships lapse shortly after joining? Or why that positive thinking book or seminar wears off a few weeks after you attended it? The reason is usually that you haven’t really committed to change. You have decided to ‘give it a go’ or you have set yourself a short-term goal. Or you have simply tried to bite off more than you can chew. This often means that what you are trying to change is often simply too hard, or there isn’t enough margin for error. Or even worse, you don’t really believe you can make the change stick.

If you want to make real change in your life then you need to make a commitment for life. Whatever you decide to change needs to change forever. Sounds hard, doesn’t it? But it needn’t be. The trick is to eat that elephant one bite at a time. This means small steps of continuous and never-ending health improvement.

So what does this mean for you and your lifestyle changes?

Well, the best way to make big changes it to make them slowly, one small step at a time. So pick a small change that is easy for you to make, that you are prepared to make for the rest of your life, and do it. Once you have mastered that one, pick another. If you do this once a month over the course of a year, just imagine how much healthier you will be in 12 months’ time!

Health is a journey, not a destination

You will never be perfect, no one is (and I certainly am not). It doesn’t matter if you redo a step 100 times. Your goal is not to be perfect, but to make continuous, never-ending improvement.”

You can find my book in hard-copy or eBook at www.drbretthill.com/shop