Thursday, March 8, 2012
"Won't somebody think of the children?!"
I've never been on for fad diets. I hate gimmicky things. I cannot understand why people spend thousands of dollars on diet pills, foods, and equipment they know they'll never use. But when Tom came to me with this idea of Going Primal. It just felt right. So we ordered the book 21 Day Total Body Transormation, and after Tom read it, I read it in one day.
I've read about and studied food ever since I became pregnant with my first daughter (who is now 8). (My theory was/is if people know more about what's in the things they eat, they would probably make better choices.) And most fad diets just didn't make sense to the things I already knew about food and how it *should* work. Now, I'm not claiming I know a whole heck of a lot. I probably know more than the average American, but probably not much beyond that. I've always trusted my gut though, and when I finished reading Sisson's book, my gut said "Yep. This is the real deal. And it's something we should be doing."
So we decided to take three months, really read more about it, really take our time in understanding what's involved, and developing a plan.
There were several reasons for this: a) I'm a planner. I love to make lists. I love to check off my lists. And I *have* to know what my next step is. That's just how I am. b) It was/is a major change. And we felt we needed to be realistic about our transition. And finally c) I knew, just knew, we'd get the "are you guys for real?" question.
We had to know our stuff, so we could combat the "I think you're crazy" line. And boy did we get that line. A lot.
My Dad was concerned about his grandchildren. "What is [Heather] going to feed the kids?! I just don't see how this could possibly work."
My grandparents thoughts were that it is unsustainable, a lot like Atkins, and really not a good or fun way to live.
My sister asked "well, you're not going to get all weird, are you?" Too late. Already am.
We had friends say "Yeah, well, it's not realistic to never eat grains."
And we had other friends say "Sounds interesting, but I don't think it's something you could stick with for very long."
We got the "Won't you think of the children?!" line. And the "You're taking away the simple joys of their childhood." And most people thought the kids would lose weight, and they needed the grains in order to keep properly hydrated.
Then we had some (not all--some were very kind) vegetarians tell us how unethical we are, and how we'll die from protein overload, and how we should raise the kids differently.
Just to be clear, I am not making fun of anybody's concerns. Some of them are quite legitimate, some made me laugh, and some of them irked me, but criticisms are good since it make you really have to know your stuff. And it helps you think of things you may not have thought of before.
I did the best I could to assure people we weren't going insane, we are just on a quest to be healthy. I do have to say that the most eye-opening experience of GP is how people (including myself) are so emotionally tied to food. When we would tell people about GP we were either met with surprise or ... anger. Anger surprised me. In fact, it surprised me so much, I didn't really know how to respond to it.
Often we would get a sarcastic "Oh really, you're going to do that?" And then with a shake of the head a "well, I hope you do well, but I just would never do that." Yeah, I know it sounds radical, but I found it puzzling people were so quick to dismiss GP without even taking five minutes to understand what it is. Without reading about it. Or without asking questions. Then I realized, people don't want to know about it. I suppose because it's a big change and most people don't enjoy change. But also, I think many people know they need to change something, but they can't allow themselves (for various reasons) to even think about it. So it stands to reason one would react with anger if they are faced with something as aggressive as GP.
One of the first questions we would get was "Well, how are you going to eat sandwiches?" This cracked me up. Why was that the first thing that came to mind for so many people? I suppose we are a society of sandwich eaters. A close second was "how are you going to do this with your kids?"
I knew I couldn't change the minds of those who weren't ready to hear it. So I didn't even try. And I suggest you don't waste your time on this either. I think a much better approach is for you to just start. Do your thing. And after a a few weeks or months, those who are ready to understand what you're doing will naturally begin to ask you about it. At that point, share some info, but don't ever shove it in their faces. It will backfire.
So if you're about to GP, definitely take some time to understand the reasons behind GP and have some answers ready to some of these common questions/judgements you will get.
1) How will you eat sandwiches? a: We won't. We'll eat steak! (somehow eating steak sounds a lot better than "well, we'll always have lettuce wraps!")
2) How will your kids react to this?
a: They won't enjoy it at first, and they'll miss some foods. But I'm responsible for their well being until they are old enough to make their own choices. And I am confident this is something that will benefit them for years to come.
3) You're not going to go all weird, are you?
a: well, yes, I am, but I am sure that going a little outside of the box will mean a longer and healthier life. . . but, don't worry! I am still going to have birthday cake. (Red velvet cheesecake to be exact.)
4) It's not realistic to give up grains.
a: It's will definitely be a challenge in the beginning, but your body and your taste buds will adjust and get to the point where grain is not the first thing you will reach for. Also, how realistic is it to be overweight, tired, and take a whole list of medications just to be able to get going in the morning? That's what is waiting for almost all of us by the time we reach middle age.
5) So, you're basically doing Atkins. It's another fad.
a: It's not Atkins. I don't do any carb counting. I don't cut out vegetables (except for maybe corn and peas). I make a concerted effort to eat clean food; no antibiotic treatments, no mass amounts of hormones, no crowded living conditions, etc. We want to focus on foods locally grown. And with Atkins there is a whole aisle at the grocery store filled with candies, chocolates, and the other processed foods which are filled with things your body doesn't know what to do with.
6) Well, I could never do it.
a: I thought the same, but then I realized I can no longer be tired, sick, and overall unhealthy. Let me know if you're ever interested, I can give you some reading material.
well, that's all for now, because I'm pretty tired and I have to go to the gym in the morning. Blah.
Do you have question/comments I should add to the list?