Friday, 13 January 2012

Why so reluctant?

Reluctant for a number of reasons; some of them operational (meaning the day-to-day aspects of this lifestyle) and others more deeply ingrained in who I am.

Conventional Wisdom CW: A term from the book The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson meaning those things we know to be true (but it turns out we're partly correct or flat-out wrong). I was a registered nurse for a number of years so have had the USDA food pyramid / saturated fat is bad CW drilled into my brain. I'm also married to a nurse (a women's health nurse practitioner to be precise) who happens to be one of the most intelligent people I know. You can see where CW had a long history of being foundational for making food choices (even though I went rogue as you'll hear about later). Being immersed in a culture of those living and touting a CW lifestyle makes it hard to change.

Newton's First Law of Motion: Objects in motion stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. Conversely, objects at rest stay at rest. I had slid into a lifestyle of sitting at a computer desk for hours on end day and night. I had convinced myself that my photography, know hereafter as "the work", was the most important thing in my life and that other activities that interfered with "the work" were the enemy and to be shunned. I knew I was out of shape but until recently I hadn't realized that because of my devotion to "the work" my ability to get myself and my camera to a location was becoming quite hampered. Gone were the days of hiking 14 miles through the woods wearing a 50-pound backpack. I was blocking any outside force from acting upon my non-motion.

Peer Groups: I currently live on a military installation which means most people I see are pretty darn fit as they have certain physical training requirements. In fact, a 45-year old male needs to run 1-1/2 miles in under 14:25, do 21 push-ups in a minute, 34 sit-ups in a minute and have a 39-inch waist or less JUST TO KEEP HIS JOB. More accurately, he must do the above plus a little bit more as these are the minimum criteria in each category but those numbers aren't enough to get you a passing score. Now as good as this is for the military and their ability to quickly respond to any situation it can also cause the occasional ugly look or comment if you're one of the few hairy fat-boys on the base. And I have to tell you the sight of the aforementioned hairy fat-boy jogging and jiggling like an earthquake in Jell-o Land is often too tempting for some to keep their fat mouths shut. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Social Pressure: Primal eaters don't fill themselves with the same fare the rest of the world does. Having messed about with the Adkins Diet 15 years ago I can remember the feeling when someone (often loved ones) giving you the hairy eyeball when you ditch the bun from your hamburger. When researching the Primal/Paleo lifestyle I have to admit that's one of the first things that popped into my brain; the social stigma of doing something "different" and being guilty of wielding the stick myself at times. Damn I hate being hypocritical! Add to this the fact that I'm living in a foreign country. I occasionally have to attend official functions with our Japanese hosts and it can be, well... rude to decline the offered meal. Although not an impossible hurdle, it can present a situation where you feel like you're backpedaling to save face.

New Year's meal. Picking OK items is easy. But is the offense worth it?
The whole "dude, cavemen died at an early age" thing hasn't popped up in my life as of yet. Partly because I am only a month into it but also I simply tell people I'm cutting out a lot of processed foods and making better food choices, trying to live a better lifestyle.

Beliefs: I have a very difficult time with the whole we-came-from-mud concept. When I read a statement talking about insulin levels fluctuating due to carb intake I totally get it, but when it is linked to something theorized to have been done by a tribe thousands of years ago I have to pick and choose. It works for many but not for me. Don't let what I think dissuade you from researching on your own and coming to your own conclusions. You are the one in charge of your body so get informed. I often tell my photography students "Don't do something I do just because I do it. Look at the concept and understand it; then use it or discard it because of your knowledge and experience".

No comments:

Post a Comment