Sunday, February 10, 2013
So I am looking at this website called "100 days of real food." It's the story of a family who decided to cut out all processed foods for 100 days, and then decided to share their story and helpful information with others who might be interested in doing it too. Here's what they did:
The thing that really got to me about it was the comments. There are TONS of them, and they're all from people looking for permission or justification or to argue. "Is Stevia OK? Is this OK? I have an allergy to _____. Can I substitute _______? Don't you know that Triscuits are made with GMO wheat? How can you recommend them?"
Why is everyone so desperate to find one list that is the 'right' one? Foods you CAN eat, foods you CAN'T eat. Exercise that is the RIGHT exercise. Magic Vitamins. Permission to give into their vices.
This is a blog about ONE family's journey. They weren't making the rules for anyone else to live by, just shared them b/c they thought it might help some people. They know no more about the subject than does anyone else who has used their common sense, research skills, and experience to attempt to live this way.
My point is, it seems as though there is so much fear and uncertainty and anger when it comes to food and nutrition, exercise and healthy living. Why? Why is it so scary? Why is it a hot-button issue when someone else is doing two hours of hot yoga a day...or glued to the couch every night after work? What is it about improving our lives that makes us think we know what other people should do to improve theirs...or that makes other people think that we have the answers for them?
NO ONE has the magic answer that will fit all situations, solve all the problems, make everyone slim and fit and happy and gorgeous. YOU might have the answers as to what will work for you, or maybe you don't have them yet, but I'll bet you have the tools to get them!
I realize there's a plethora of information to wade through. But I think a big problem is that so many of us are waiting for someone else to give us the answers. With books and libraries and the internet, we have more information available to us than ever before. All it takes is a little common sense, and the time and patience to figure out what is important to us, what works for us, and what we want to spend our time, money and attention on.
What I'm interested in, as far as eating and using my body, and living a happy and healthy life, shouldn't really have an impact on other people working on improving their life journey. It's great to meet people, online and IRL, that have similar goals or interests or experiences. The mistake we make is when we start thinking that those other people have the answers for us.
They might be able to share information in a way that helps us, but no one can REALLY walk a mile in our shoes. We have to make the journey for ourselves, make up the rules as we go along, and give ourselves permission to seek out what matters to us, to live in a way that makes us happy.
That's what it all comes down to anyway, in my opinion - the pursuit of happiness. I won't be happier if I do an army-style regimental training to force myself down to 125 lbs (though some people might be, and that's OK for them!). I won't necessarily be happier if I live to 105 years old or make a million dollars next year. Those aren't the goals I find to be important in living my life. I WILL be happier if, like Thoreau, I live my life deliberately, and thoughtfully, and honestly.