So I think Paleo has ruined me. I mean, I was annoying before (I've always been a cynical, skeptical SOB), but my friends and family may disown me at this point.
And it's not just because of Paleo topics. I don't talk about that much anymore unless someone is really driving me crazy with the craziness of their crazy. But it's spilling over into all sorts of things.
Maybe high fat contributes to a stronger bullshit meter? If we were so wrong about diet etc., what else are we wrong about? I just don't buy the garbage our loud culture is selling about anything these days. Politics, healthcare, philosophy, psychology, economics, yadda yadda yadda. My mind seems to zoom out, look at everything from an evolutionary standpoint and a geological time perspective, and I immediately disengage. It's not even worth having an opinion about.
Anybody else notice anything similar?
Eating tons of high fructose corn syrup? Taking a cab, or driving for anything further away than 3 blocks? Fooling yourself into thinking that a bowl of cheerios and a can of diet soda is a healthy breakfast, so as to enrich big-agra?
Buying the latest locked-down, closed-source, non-upgradeable proprietary, DRM'ed shiny gadget, made by child labor in near-prison-like conditions, which has a non-replaceable battery and serves only as an e-store to enrich one giant corporation, only to throw it away in a landfill 6 months later and upgrade to the next iteration for another $250-$600? And then argue about the merits of your particular gadget vs your friend's choice in the same kind of crap?
Taking statins, or other drugs for life so as to enrich big pharma, instead of improving your health by exercise, and eating proper foods?
Investing in ETFs, or derivatives instead of real money, so as to enrich big banks? Or maxing out the credit cards and taking out crippling loans to mortgage a poorly built McMansion and lease or buy "luxury cars" so as to impress the neighbors across the street who are doing the same?
Watching brain destroying "Reality TV" shows instead of doing something useful, or enriching with your time? Or worse, watching spectator sports for 10 hours on a couch, while guzzling trans-fats loaded, high carb snacks made from GMO corn and soy to the point of morbid obesity, while getting no activity, or going outside, while claiming to love sports?
Eating nuggets made from pink sludge CAFO chickens that were fed arsenic and other toxins, loaded with MSG, artificial color, dipped in ammonia, and other crap?
Doing chronic cardio for hours on a treadmill, then having a super sized muffin and 32 oz mega-sweetened coffee like shake with soy cream as a reward?
Drinking "spring" water, which is actually filtered tap water, from BPA lined bottles with cool sounding names that are heavily advertised?
Buying new clothing every few months, cheaply made by child labor, made from sythetics, which fray after just a few cycles in the washer?
Thanks, but no thanks. I'd rather be the weirdo who doesn't do what everyone else does.
Korion's first law of normality states : never talk about food unless you're on the internet.
Still, I think I am now more normal, even though my perception of life has changed dramatically. I used to be extremely asocial, quiet, ... Since going paleo my mind works better. I can currently talk practically in a normal way with others. I don't get red, and it's only for the first few seconds that I act a bit shy. I still have the tendency to isolate myself, but at the same time I'm deliberately forcing myself to talk with people around me. I've never been outside this frequently in my life.
For example : for 2 years, I didn't go to class more than 5% of the time. Now I go 90% of the time, and I enjoy being around people my age again. It's a bit weird since I don't know anybody but everybody knows each other, but fortunately people at the university are very kind. Unfortunately, they spend most of their time drinking beer, so I have a hard time really connecting with others : I just can't go partying or I'll get sick and autistic again (I used to drink 2 liters daily but for some reason it helped me, maybe because it decreased blood sugar and made me very calm).
I like raydawg's answer : What's normal? I consider eating tons of fruit, animal products etc. completely normal. I don't consider the life's of my brothers normal yet they will not agree themselves : xbox, xbox, fart, xbox, eating crap, watching movies, eating crap, mood swing here and there, doing nothing (literally), showing invisible muscle, ... a constant repetition of the same mistake : forgetting they have a life to live, instead they prefer to forget the real world and hide in a fake one. But maybe we don't live in a real world and then I'm the naive one. I'll just continue to do what feels good, and I consider that to be normal.
You touched on it in your last paragraph: when you realize it's possible for practically everyone -- including most of the accepted experts in the field -- to be dead-center 180-degrees wrong about something, you become more willing to think critically about other bits of conventional wisdom. It doesn't really matter what topic you first take the red pill about; eventually you start to see others differently too.
I grew up on a farm, so the first things that tripped my BS meter were mainstream beliefs about things like livestock and rural life. I knew that many of the things being taught by schoolbooks and TV on these topics were absolutely wrong -- and easily proven wrong -- and yet nearly everyone believed them. Once I accepted that was possible, it became easier to question other mainstream beliefs (and they are beliefs, not knowledge). Are grains really good for you, and fat really bad? Is global warming real, and if it is, are we causing it, and could we stop it if we wanted to (and should we want to)? Are teachers really underpaid and schools underfunded? Was this-or-that war really necessary and just? Do I really need to borrow money and build my credit rating? Should everyone go to college? Is it true that anyone can accomplish anything he sets his mind to, if he just works hard enough? Is second-hand smoke actually harmful -- at least any more harmful than dozens of other things we expose ourselves to every day without qualms?
And so on. Of course, you don't want to go too far the other way and start assuming that every piece of conventional wisdom is wrong, just because it's conventional. That way lies madness. But you do want to keep a skeptical mind, and when presented with, "Everyone knows that....," respond with, "Well, if it's that certain, there ought to be plenty of proof for it lying around, so show me some."
It's not so bad being the weird one. Just last night some friends invited me out to dinner. They know I don't eat gluten, but they don't always understand what that means or how ubiquitous the stuff is. Because of my own forgetfulness, I didn't realize they were inviting me to a fish fry. The menu: fish (yay!), breaded and fried in canola oil (boo!); macaroni and cheese; baked beans (quite possibly thickened with flour, not worth chancing); cole slaw most certainly made with soybean oil mayo; and loads of gluten-laden desserts. So I graciously thanked them for inviting me, but declined a plate, and sat and chatted with them while they ate, then went home and had a tuna omelet. A few years ago, I might have eaten just so I wouldn't feel weird, and put up with the headaches and cravings it would cause. I guess as I get older, I just don't care as much about looking weird anymore.
Interesting question. "Normal" is a very strange word though. What about: Has paleo affected my ability to be a happy, well-adjusted person? The answer depends much on mindset I think.
Negative, destructive mindsets...
Positive, constructive mindsets...
Bottom line, inner-Yoda time: It's not Paleo that makes you "normal" or abnormal or happy or unhappy or well-adjusted or not. It's you that does.
I am of the opinion that there is no "normal". It is a human reaction to feeling marginalised. If we are different on, say, religious beliefs, we insist on being "normal" on sexual orientation. If we are different on those, we insist on being "normal" on eating habits, etc etc.
Everyone is weird. Just accept it and suck it up. I am weird, you are weird....that crazy guy that lives on the street, he's definitely weird.
Once you let go of the idea that there is normal, you can just relax and be you in every aspect of life.
I think Paleo is the type of movement, that while not directly encouraging this way of thinking, does tend to end up there or close to it.
Keep on annoying people. I do. And I love it!!!
Mwahahahahahah!!!!! (That's the sound of the evil laugh, in case not obvious...)
I find I can't keep my mouth shut when someone mentions "healthy whole grains". My retort is often along the lines of "whole grains are to grains as low tar is to cigarettes" and "there is nothing in grains you can't get more of in better quality elsewhere".
Folks look at me like I'm crazy.
My inner-bs meter has always been in place but with a side of empathy and understanding. If I can make more of an impact with a smile and the topics, as inflammatory as they may be, actually productive and interesting instead of a shizshow... then that's my preference. It's worked so far.
EDIT ---> Of course I forget the Paleo part. Erm.. if anything, I think adopting the Paleo/Primal lifestyle has pulled off the food goggles and made me see even more of what is happening, negatively, with people and their diets. I now have a super sized view if you will. I keep very Ninja with the way I eat but it's been noticed, I talk to whoever asks me about it, and have successfully transitioned and supported several friends into trying P/P. All have held true, one is going on 5 months now - yay!, and to quote "you make it fun and interesting, never make me feel like an idiot with my questions, and I'm always learning." I guess my velvet hammer approach is working. <--- END EDIT
I've never been in the "normal" category, preferring my perpetual state of dorkdom.
To quote Revenge of the Nerds "Those nerds are a threat to our way of life." Yes, yes we are.
Absolutely -- though there is a chicken/egg aspect to it: Did I start to wake up and become aware because of the lifestyle and diet change, or were the changes just part of the natural order of things after waking up? In my case I know it probably tips slightly to the latter, but at this point it's almost irrelevant... it's like a feedback loop: The concrete physical improvements -- especially nutritionally -- continue to clear the near-lifetime of mental fog from by brain, while the resulting clarity of thought keeps me grounded and sane in this existence that yea, is a bit out of phase with most of my friends and family. Without the clarity I get from it though, I don't think I'd be able to negotiate the differences that come up with those around me with any tact or kindness.
I've also realized that I haven't disengaged completely -- I've just kind of refocused my attention down to a more micro level. The folly of politics on a national level becomes something meaningful when it's about me standing at a podium in front of the city council trying (like a fool in the end, but hey) to keep my local dog park open.
Haha. I have become borderline orthorexic. I would rather not eat at all for a little while than put junk like McDonald's or Subway into my body. I'll just wait until I get home even if I'm starving. Not that I never cheat, but when I do I at least want it to be a high quality cheat. Plus, I cringe everytime I hear my friend talk about her daily morning bagel.
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