I share my journey through the paleosphere, which is coming to an end, in the hope that it may serve others useful and provide a different perspective. It's been a long and arduous journey, full of ups and downs, lefts and rights, you name it. For two and a half years I've been fighting myself about how I should look, how much I should weigh and as a result I've done far more harm than if I had just kept going as I was before (I'm 22, M, 5"10 and 155 lbs, never been overweight).

Already very mindful about health, eating a low fat, whole-grain-based diet, I came across MDA in Aug '10 and was sold by the idea of paleo nutrition. It all made sense. So I went for it and, due to my obsessive nature, ended up overdoing it and developed an eating disorder where I'd eat paleo for my meals but then when I had cravings (which was usually after 2/3 days of 'clean' eating) I'd binge eat in secret.

I have no idea what caused this originally, whether it was low carb, lack of calories, too much protein, psychological issues, boredom, whatever, it doesn't matter and I don't need to know the answer. All that matters is that this style of eating doesn't suit my lifestyle. Even recently, when I've tried to be reasonable about it and not obsess about things, eventually I still have those insatiable cravings and end up binging.

The only times when I've been completely free of cravings is when I was forced to eat a normal diet because I was travelling or mountaineering, and I certainly felt a lot happier. And in the month of January, while at home, I ate a normal diet for 3 weeks with zero cravings, and as soon as I started flirting with the idea of getting super lean I went straight back to square one.

So the conclusions I make from this are that

1) Any potential benefits from paleo are not outweighed by the detrimental factors that come with it in my life.
2) Obsessions/extremes are unhealthy and unproductive.
3) Someone's weight or how they look isn't that important in the grand scheme of things. The most important thing is to be happy with who you are and be healthy enough to do what you love doing.
4) Eating emotionally isn't healthy.
5) Diets (as in deliberate/permanent restriction of calories/food groups) are destined to failure in the long run (in most cases).

That's all I can think of at the moment, but no doubt there are many more! I really hope that if there are people out there in a similar situation then they read this and realize there are other alternatives out there, because it took me a LONG time to come to this conclusion. Now I truly understand what it means to listen to your body - those four words are possibly the wisest when it comes to health and wellbeing.