This may come as a surprise to some, but I am not You, although like Me I would be delighted if You were able to find a way of eating that nourishes you, and delights you at every meal, as I have.
However, because You are not Me, in the same way that I am not You, we may not reach this goal by taking the same road, nor even by traveling in the same direction, or using the same tools to make sure we stay the course. Perhaps you decide to take detours, because reaching the goal is not your top priority, or you had to pull over to deal with other Stuff that has interfered with your travel plans.
This is, of course, perfectly delightful, in the same way that we may seek different ways of expunging stress – perhaps this is knitting and blogging for Me, and watching movies with a glass of wine for You. So long as we both find something we can do well, and do often, the method is inconsequential, in my eyes. I wish You the best, however You find it.
Door-To-Door Dietary Dictators
Strangely, I have been accused of “promoting” the way I eat, on a few occasions (I say this mostly with confusion, not with irritation) a dietary Zealot hellbent on converting others, using statements like “I hope you find what works for you” and “Not everyone needs or wants a ketogenic diet” to trick people into eating as I do. This is paired with a curious assumption that when someone asks me for help, that I must give them a copy of my weekly menu as if handing over a pamphlet on The One Way To Health and skittering off elsewhere to convert another.
I don’t really mind this altogether too much, and I certainly don’t blame anyone. Perhaps it does come off as advocacy when I share freely with anyone who asks how I have freed myself from depression, joint pain, and raging appetite by kicking certain things from my diet (and including others). Indeed, I do enjoy discussing it, and it comes up often, but take it to heart that this is not to imply that I recommend it, though I do apologize if I unintentionally gave the impression.
Free From, Free to…
Here is something I believe: Not everyone needs the same thing. This is not the same as saying Everyone Is Different, or The Diet That Works Is The One You Can Do (I don’t think this is necessarily true), but rather that manna to one person is poison to another – even if I mean this in the sense of their ability to enjoy their lifestyle. Some people value variety, the freedom of choice, and are willing to sacrifice some benefits to retain them. Others value simplicity, the freedom from having to choose, or something else entirely.
Recommending a tactic that would delight someone who is soothed by simplicity, to someone who delights in complexity and chaos would be disastrous, not to mention disappointing for all involved, and the same goes for the reverse. I avoid this hectic minefield of Personal Desires and Preference and Actually Enjoying Vegetables quite simply: I give people information, I don’t tell them what to do.
To be clear, I am not implying that certain dietary options aren’t useful tools for people, but rather this has to be coupled with the act of making a decision and deciding for yourself what to do. Just as doctors or accountants or priests can recommend strategies to attain a health, financial, or spiritual goal the same is applicable to information regarding diet that can be used to build a strategy.
It does nothing for me to try and force someone to do something that may, in fact, help but that they have no desire to attempt just as it is equally useless for a doctor to force a patient to try and take medication they want nothing to do with. It will result in failure, or resentment, or termination of the relationship.
Instead I give people threads of information that they can decide to weave into whatever tapestry they so desire – or that they can give to the birds to use for nest materials. It’s all the same to me. They are the one who has to live with the tapestry taking up residence in their home. Not me, not their doctor, not anyone else. What they make is what they live with.
I Am Me
Have no fear, I will certainly not be cowed by fear of stating a position – I am me and will remain so and that is not what this is about. I will discuss what I know, and what I find interesting, and be honest about what I don’t know, and avoid what I have no interest in. This will inevitably lead to me discussing ketogenic and carnivorous diets more, but I do this with the knowledge that if you are seeking something else you will no doubt find it elsewhere.
But, likewise, I will share my thoughts with people who are vegetarian, paleo, high carb low fat, and so on, on what may help to untwist the knots, and pluck out the brambles they may come across that so rudely interrupted their weaving that they had been finding so much pleasure in.
But all of this with the knowledge that the rest is up to them, and there is no right choice, only choices that they make with their own goals in mind, with my goal being to hand off information as I come across it. No more, no less.
I am Me. You are You. They are They. And I quite like it that way.