Feeling Down (SP related)
Monday, April 29, 2013
First, since I haven't written a blog since my last one, I want to give my greatest thanks to everyone who commented then. It seems a silly thing sometimes to be so upset over a simple inability to exercise the way I want to or as much as I want to, for a while. It's just such a blow to who I am trying to be and my hopes for the future, and so it's hard to take. Thank you to everyone who understands that, and who took the time out of their day to say so, and to offer e-hugs and other things. I appreciate it. You're the best thing about Sparkpeople.
The worst thing about Sparkpeople, I'm finding (at least for me) is that I have a very low tolerance for certain points of view on issues of good nutrition, disease prevention, and so on. It's often not the points of view themselves. It's no skin off my back, for instance, if someone in the forums is enthusiastic about the paleo diet and is eager to say how well it worked for her and suggest it to other people as an option for them as well. But it gets under my skin in the worst way when it is suggested (as I have seen many times) that that (or something similarly low-carbohydrate/no wheat or whatever) is the only way to lose weight, because I know its' not true. I see statements that wheat is bad for you, grains are bad for you, legumes are bad for you, and so on, trotted out daily as if they are simple fact, when they are no more than the unscientific (if scientifically-dressed) opinions of currently trendy authors and nutritional pundits. As someone who is in all practical terms (if not ethical or strict ones) a vegetarian and who therefore MUST eat both grains and legumes every day, this gets under my skin like you wouldn't believe. I should not take it so personally, but I cant' help but feel insulted and sneered at ('what an idiot, she still thinks Big Agriculture's Food Pyramid is healthy, hurdurdur') every time I see things like that. And they just keep coming.
Just now I read a blog by a spark friend of mine that should have been innocent enough, it was all about disease prevention through good nutrition, something I actually believe in myself in a general sense. But the specifics got to me, because the suggestion seemed to be that if you just eat right (according to the touted author's strict set of rules, that is) at the right times (when seeing certain common symptoms) you can prevent cancer, and as someone who has seen both of the most important women in my life -- neither of whom has ever been a bad eater -- fight cancer that they never saw coming, that is exactly the type of thing that just infuriates me.
And it seems to be everywhere I turn on SP, just eat this way and you'll be healthy, just do that and you'll be skinny, just listen to me and you'll never die! It doesn't work that way! Life is not that fair. And those who lose the dice rolls didn't always do anything wrong.
I don't know why it bothers me so much. I defriended the person I mentioned, after an email response to me that only made me feel worse, and now I feel like crap for having done that. It's not worth it. I'm just feeling down.
Member Comments About This Blog Post
This is a late response to this blog but I tend to agree with you. There is no one cookie cutter way to perfect health. Things happen you can not explain. Not one type of diet or exercise is for everyone. If this was true it would be much easier to be in perfect health.
I did email you for some answers to questions I had on vegetarianism. Not because I feel it is the only way to go, but I tend to lean that direction naturally without effort. I just want to know the benefits and the downfalls that may cross my path. My goal is to support others, and make myself a better person.
I tend to be sensitive to how people speak too. I can relate to your blog. Practicing patience can be the hardest thing in life. No matter what it is that we are practicing it for.
893 days ago
Some people truly seem to believe that if they eat purely enough, they will never die. It takes a staggering amount of immaturity and magical thinking to believe it, but it seems to be true.
A friend's sister got a diagnosis of ALS disease and tried desperately to meditate, eat certain special foods, not eat certain special foods, take herbs, and everything else. She died anyway. Another acquaintance's father was diagnosed with prostate cancer and she wanted to fly him to Mexico for "alternative" medicines, have him eat special foods, everything gluten-free and organic, and so on - anything except actually submit to cancer treatment in the United States. He died too. Is it possible people don't really know death always wins? Apparently so. And it has nothing to do with wheat.
You have my sympathy. Hope you're feeling better.
1047 days ago
I don't read a lot of blogs. I know what I believe and I have reason to believe it (personal). I read the things that will help me...maybe give me a different point of view, but when it gets preachy, it gets removed from my screen. You already know what you are doing, as you are in maintenance, I think your page says. Good luck.
1066 days ago
WOW ... Everyone needs to do what is best for them ... and sharing information helps make those decisions for what is best for them.
None of us have all the answers. After reading some of the information you shared, you have a lot of them. I hope you come back!!!
1099 days ago
All grains, beans and legumes have naturally occurring toxins in them. That is not opinion, but fact. it's part of their natural defence against predators. Some people can eat them without an issue, some cannot. If I did not HAVE to eat the paleo way, I would NOT.
One thing we all need to do is leave each other alone when it comes to people making their own nutritional choices. I have faced the same reactions when people find out I eat mostly meat. That's why I don't usually volunteer the information. For some reason, our society has made it socially acceptable to butt our noses into each other's business when it comes to what each other eat. I've even seen people write that now, because of Obamacare, they feel entitled to dictate to people they deem as unhealthy, how to eat and live, in order to keep healthcare costs down.
It's getting crazy out there! On behalf of some of my less polite, paleo brethren, I offer to you an apology. If it works for you, it works! And that's all that matters.
1145 days ago
Comment edited on: 3/6/2014 6:27:08 PM
I think that we have a deeply-rooted idea in our culture that if we behave "correctly," good things will happen to us, and that if something bad happens, we must deserve it. Maybe this has religious roots, but of course it is nonsense. Sometimes people confuse food with virtue and take all of this a little too far.
Diet can be a powerful thing (I was able to cure myself of diabetes by giving up my vegetarian diet and changing to a moderate-carb approach) but it is not EVERYTHING and certainly one size does not fit all.
1231 days ago
Preach it, sistah!
I know I'm pretty self-righteous, and not just about nutrition and exercise. Pretty much everything. I think I got the PhD to back up my self-righteousness... hahaha...
But in general, as long as people don't eat crap very often, they're fine. And as long as they are strong enough to do the things they like to do, they're fine.
And you don't have to answer to anyone but yourself!
1455 days ago
You are right! People are entitled to their own thoughts, beliefs, opinions, etc... But everyone needs to keep in mind that what works for them may not be the answer for others. We all need to find our own path. There is no 1 right answer or we wouldn't be struggling. I am sorry you had to defriend someone but don't beat yourself up about it. I've thought about doing it more than once. The way I see it- I come here to SP for positivity and support- not to argue with others or defend myself, etc... People who make you feel bad should be defriended. I have deleted more than one negative comment on my blog- and I don't regret it one bit. Don't give up on Spark! The majority is positive!
1456 days ago
I'm sorry you are feeling so down. To keep it simple and unscientific I think it is important for everyone to understand this process, although community involved, is very individualized. Each person has to try different things in order to find out what works best for them. What has proven to help someone lose a lot of weight may not work at all for another. It is certainly acceptable to offer suggestions for support and encouragement, but for one person to insist that their way is the only way and suggest that certain nutrition can prevent cancer is impractical and inappropriate. We can do what we can to help us avoid disease and to keep our bodies healthy, but only God decides who gets cancer and who doesn't
Don't feel bad about de-friending that person. Some people are just insensitive. You know what works for you and you don't force that opinion on anyone because it's just that... your opinion and your "diet" of choice. I'm sure you are also sensitive to their words because two women that you loved were taken by cancer even though they took care of themselves. Honor them by continuing to do what is best for you.
1456 days ago
I totally hear you. I get very frustrated whenever I hear people imply or outright say that "Paleo cured my (insert disease here)"... or that "gluten causes inflammation" (only in people with gluten sensitivitiy!)
I mean sure, "a healthy diet" is good preventative medicine... just like exercise is, just like being a non-smoker is... but it's sure no *guarantee*!
I really hate the "demonizing" of good healthy foods.Or the insinuation that All Has Been Revealed And We Now Know The One True Way To Eat.
1456 days ago
THANK YOU for being infuriated at idiocy, especially idiocy about what causes cancer. I wonder if those who spout the nonsense have the intelligence to understand that what they are doing is blaming the disease on the one who has it. I don't see the point in that, myself, and can only speculate that this is their way of believing themselves safe - that if they do x, and y, and z they will be healthy and happy forever. It's like they don't dare to believe that there is an immense amount of apparent randomness to who gets certain cancers, because that would mean that it could happen to them.
We all have access to the current science and information about the things that may increase or decrease the odds of getting certain diseases, but since science can't definitively state that "x will always cause y", we have to accept that every individual is different and so "x" will sometimes cause "y", but sometimes "a", "b", or "c". Sometimes (most times) we don't know what causes "y" at all, so just have to accept that it might happen to anyone at any time.
Many don't truly understand the science and the current limitations of science, so will accept the claims of anyone who proclaims themselves "expert", and completely believe in whatever that "expert" is touting. I would guess that this is another way of making themselves feel safer.
All we can do is research the data and experiment on ourselves to see what makes the most sense for our own bodies and lives. If what we are eating and doing makes us feel good and brings joy to our lives, well, isn't that the point? Is living a perhaps longer life in a cage built of fear really a better option? I guess for some it is, but not for me.
I have immense respect for the many folks on Spark who go a slightly-different-than-normal route (vegetarian / vegan / raw vegan / paleo / etc), and will speak knowledgably about how it works for them, while still being open to others who chose a different path. The ones who try to state that their way is the only way --- well, if they're well-written enough I can find it humourous, and if not, well, it's easy enough to ignore. There are a few subjects where idiocy hits me personally, which will prompt a long-winded response (like this one!).
Please don't let anyone make you feel down - you know that you are doing the right things for you, and are intelligent enough to know that nobody else's opinion about it matters at all.
THANKS again (from someone who has also gotten really tired of people blaming me for the cancer).
1456 days ago
I'm very sorry you're so upset. Of course a person who gets ill does not do anything wrong. I think no one is out to hurt him- or herself or get him/her ill.
Stating that there are ways to prevent an illness is not the same though, as I see it, as saying that the one who gets ill did something wrong.
1456 days ago
Everyone is going to have there own opinion. You only have to do what is right for you.
Try not to let it bother you. Have a great day.
1456 days ago
Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.