Thursday, February 07, 2013
Far too often we fall into the trap of thinking that OUR way is THE way. We've all met the self-righteous vegan. I once had one of those tell me that she would never eat "a corpse." There's the OMG CARBS ARE EVIL types (I'm not naming names.) There's the "I would never eat anything with fat in it." Or "If you're not eating Paleo/intermittent fasting/raw/whatever you're killing yourself."
Listen. You aren't winning any brownie points for being an insufferable know-it-all. You're not helping people by preaching the gospel of your healthy living lifestyle. Especially when 90% of the time, whatever fad-of-the-week you're preaching is based on shaky, insufficient, or flat out made-up "science" that doesn't hold up to peer review, or at the VERY least, hasn't been peer-reviewed at all!
Don't you DARE look at me, my weight loss, and decide that because you're further along on the process than I am that you are somehow better or more knowledgable than me.
You losing a few more pounds than I have means one of two things: You either got started before me, or you haven't had to deal with my life.
You come to my house, deal with my budget, my alcoholic husband, my ADHD kid, my depression, my near-hoarding, my poor mother, my neurotic grandmother, my pill-popping mother in law, and all the crap that goes with it, and you feed ME what you want, and THEN we'll talk about how you're superior to me.
I know what I'm doing. What I'm doing is WORKING. I've done the research. I know what the science says. The odds are, when I ask you for a reference and you link me to a website trying to *sell* me something that in fact, I DO know more about a given subject than you.
But you know something? I don't rub that in your face. I don't tsk tsk and say snide remarks about your lack of information. What I do is ask for references. Ask you to support your statements. And if you can't? I post mine, and leave you to it.
I DO NOT look at your weight loss ticker and say that I need to read a book to do as well as you have.
Most importantly, if you're going to do that? You'd damn well BETTER have some kind of dramatic freakin' story to go with it that's going to blow me away and impress me. If you've plodded along at *exactly the same rate of weight loss I have* then I'm not impressed.
You know who impresses me?
She has lost an insane amount of weight, and she didn't do it by eliminating food groups, or following strict diets, she did it by following Sparkpeople principles. She has become a near-celebrity, and it most assuredly wasn't by being self-righteous. She's been positive, helpful, and inspiring. And she's totally my hero.
There are other people who impress me, too.
There's Russell38, a low-carber who manages to defend the lifestyle without being an insufferable prat, and making it clear that his way isn't for everyone.
Vtricia, who inspires me every day by beating her journey into a pulp and continuing to document her journey into maintenance.
There are countless others, too many to name here.
They all have one thing in common:
Education, and positivity. They KNOW what they're talking about, and their goal is to support others, not tear them down.
This is a site with people who have 5 lbs to lose, hundreds of pounds to lose. People who have lost hundreds of pounds, people who are just looking to maintain.
You cannot *ever* judge someone by a weight loss ticker. And you most assuredly can't feel superior to someone who doesn't appear to be as successful as you, because the odds are that you are wrong, and you're going to hurt someone when you do.
I'm hard to hurt, people. I've been on the internet since the late 90s, I've been a professional forums moderator for the last ten, and I've been insulted 10 ways to sunday in some pretty creative ways. I once had someone post my PROM picture and say it couldn't be me because it was pixelated and I had brown teeth, so I needed to brush my teeth more often. That didn't hurt nearly as much as just a few minutes ago, when someone completely dismissed everything I had to say simply because I haven't lost as much weight as she has.
I could make so many rude, vicious statements about that. I WANT to. I've typed them out here and deleted them three times, because that's not what Sparkpeople's about.
But I will rant, by dammit. And close with this. I remind you that we are people. These aren't screen names, with little pixel robots behind them. There are real people, with real struggles, and real lives. You don't know their journey. I don't know yours. Your journey is not my journey.
And if you're going to insult me? You'd better back that trash up with *science.*