Here is a little experiment for you to consider for a day or two...
Most of us here have a related worldview that differs from the maintream in a similar way. If you keep your mental eyes open, you should be able to spot the biggest variances between how you look at the world, and how the mainstream people 'see' things.
I had to go the local mall over the weekend, and what a wasteland... Wow.
Bump: Have you seen anything new this spring?
My paleo goggles are outfitted with the Lens of History. It seems like everyone has forgotten his or her roots, where we come from, and what we are, namely:
I feel closer to the earth, to my family, to other animals, to my species, and to myself.
Proper nutrition - Working in a large office, a simple trip through the kitchen leaves me feeing sad for all the people thinking they are doing themselves a favor by "eating low fat, or whole wheat toast with margerine" etc.. Looking at other people's shopping carts is another doosie.
Exercise - Now, when I see people running for miles upon miles, I think to myself "man, I could find so many better ways to spend my time" Again, I feel sorry for people who are clearly overweight, yet trying so hard do shed pounds. It's just not going to work because they are going to work with the wrong toolbox.
Finances - By running contrary to Conventional Wisdom with my dietary choices and exercise, IF-ing, I have been able to really separate wants from needs. I no longer NEED to eat breakfast, I no longer NEED to get those new running shoes, no longer NEED to run 15 miles to make up for my cheat days. It is absolutely liberating.
EDIT to add - Also, as familygrok also similarly stated, watching my young nieces, nephews, cousins etc, get fed so improperly, and they have no say in it. That for me is rather frusterating.
These are just a few examples I can think of while at work. Looking over my answers, I guess I just feel really lucky that I stumbled upon this way of life, and I feel sorry for those who have yet to. Its flat-out liberating.
I have a hard time looking around the world and not being reminded of the book The Wump World and the movie Idiocracy. I believe that, inevitably, we will end up having ruined our world and filled it with ignorant, unhealthy, mediocre versions of humans. I'm very upset by the way humans destroy wild places and abuse resources. I feel like the positive that is being done is dwarfed by the damage being done.
Like Todd, I feel sorry for people who don't know any better. I feel sorry for obese people trying to loose weight by counting calories, and even more sorry for kids being raised by obese parents.
I wish I could reach out and educate all the people at the gym I see spending hours on treadmills and ellipticals. If only they knew how their bodies really worked, they would get better results in less time, and they would feel better.
I get extremely angry and frustrated with people who try to talk to me about health and fitness and tell me I'm wrong. A guy I work with tries argues with me about the calories in calories out mantra. I've largely stopped talking to anyone other than my close friends and family about diet and fitness because I'm tired of arguing.
I have no sympathy for people (like my roommate) who know how to eat better and refuse to. He is a diabetic and about 50 lbs overweight, and 45. He knows what food to avoid and what to eat and yet I have never seen him cook anything except a digorno pizza. He eats chinese food, pizza, drinks tons of beer and thinks the solution to his problems is to ride his stationary bike for 2 hours.
I often have a very hard time identifying with "normal people." I'm a back country guide. Living in the wilderness is something I do well. This lifestyle is so different from so many Americans. Most of the time, they can't even imagine what its like out there. They can't identify with my experience in any way. It is such a relief being around like minded people, even if they don't spend much time in the back country, at least they understand that mentality. Sometimes I wish for the fall of civilization, imagining stalking elk in moccasins with a bow and arrow, living off the land, being outside, active and self sufficient.
I love the paleo community. I love that other people think the way I do. They work to achieve warrior bodies and warrior minds. I like the value placed in being outdoors, embracing reality and the moment at hand and our connection as humans.
For me EVERYTHING takes on a context of time/effects on future generations. I see kids eating junk food, and I immediately feel pangs for them about their potential future diets as adults based on what they consumed as children. (I know it happened this way for me in my previous SAD existence!)
Food purchases (mine and others) take on a future effects context in terms of what the dollars go to support.
Breakfast looks good when I'm serving my kids, but I know (future goggles again) that if I can hold on for a couple of hours I can sneak in a workout and therefore train fasted, maximizing the effort.
So do paleo-goggles count as future effect mindfulness 4-D? :)
This is the subject of my website the paleo matrix. I have always been very opened minded but through paleo eating, it reconfirmed my perspective on life (which is very different than most). Learning that the government has lied to us to make a profit on our illnesses changes ones thinking in a drastic way if you know what I mean. Sometimes I wish I didn't know the truth and could return to the fake world which humans have made for themselves but I prefer to live in reality.
The words "healthy" and "nutritious" mean absolutely nothing in mainstream culture. Case in point: while browsing at Chapters yesterday, I came across the section labelled "Healthy Cooking." Most books were of the vegan ilk, ok, fine, whatever. But an entire shelf, under the auspices of eating healthily, was dedicated to vegan cookies and cupcakes. Yep folks, cookies and cupcakes are now healthy, as long as they're vegan!
Veganism itself seems to have been anointed with a halo of "healthy," and its superior standing as "good for" human health and for the environment goes unquestioned.
People eat all kinds of junk food thinking it's "healthy". Another huge example is sushi. Everyone goes for sushi here, thinking it's some kind of alternative to fast food. Unless you're getting only sashimi it certainly isn't. The rolls that everyone gets are full of deep fried floury stuff, sugary sauces, and mayo made with questionable oils. But it's wrapped in seaweed and rice so people think they're being virtuous when choosing it over Wendy's.
Everyone is afraid of fat. Especially fat people. I am saddened when I see an overweight person eating an iceberg lettuce salad. I know they are unhappy and will be even more unhappy when they finish that salad and don't feel full, when they never feel full, and yet still remain fat.
90% of people look terribly unhealthy. Dry skin and hair, rashes, acne, weird body shapes. I work with a lot of young people and they look better in general but are always sick. Always sniffling, coughing, feeling tired, worn out, depressed.
I'd say that 80% of people I talk to in day-to-day life seem to be in some sort of "carb coma". It's hard to explain, but the eyes are glazed over, the person is sort of paying attention to you but not really hearing what you're saying, not engaged in you as a person, and generally seems to be completely spaced out and somewhere else. I've noticed it in myself, and usually after ingesting a large amount of carbs, which is why I associate it with that state. Could be caused by something else, I dunno, but I've really noticed it more since going paleo.
90% of products sold on TV or in the mainstream media are to treat or mitigate the effects of the SAD diet, and could be rendered almost unnecessary if we examined how we're feeding ourselves. Examples: heartburn medication (Pepto Bismol commercials are on every 30 seconds), cold and allergy remedies, depression meds for mild/moderate depression etc etc. The other 10% are for cars and horrible food.
I've been thinking about these for awhile. Good discussion, Adam Crafter.
Everyone's fat. And they don't even notice it.
I was eating dinner the other night and happened to look around the restaurant at the other tables. I noticed that every single patron, including children, in this restaurant was overweight. This wasn't a fast food place. There were multiple menu items that fit paleo choices. Yet everyone was mindlessly feasting on the bread basket and the pasta choices. One man was even boasting to his kids about how great the fried green beans tasted. Dipped in ranch, of course.
I used to eat mindlessly with this crowd. I would order fried calamari and congratulate myself on eating seafood. I would eat only half the dessert (which at a restaurant is way too big anyway) and be proud of my self-control.
Now, after reading about and adopting many paleo philosophies, I want to stand on my table and shout at everyone to realize they're killing themselves! I want to smack their forks out of their hands and tell them to eat a steak instead of spaghetti! Stop feeding your children mac n cheese! Refuse the bread basket! Take responsibility for yourself!
But I also realize that if I do get on my table and shout at my fellow humans, the only response I will get is blank (or maybe annoyed) stares and a free escort out of the restaurant.
I care so much less about watching and being confined by the clock. My whole concept of time has changed. Paleo has helped me to slow down and treasure what's important. Being more aware of one's body and taking the time to nourish it through food and activity, including play, has helped me to set aside less important concerns and live in the present. I no longer want to be part of the big rush the world seems to be in all of the time.
Paleo fits in very well with my shift over the last two years to simplify my life. This includes paring down my possessions, but it also includes items like getting proper sleep. I would rather get a good night's sleep and take longer to finish school. I don't want to be a physical wreck when I'm done. There's no badge of honor earned for working one's self to death and staying up all night doing it. Our entire culture needs to chill out and examine what it means to be human. We aren't machines meant only to produce, produce, produce.
I'm very concerned that my daughters learn to nourish themselves properly and can only lead by example.
I can see the unhealthiness more in strangers on the street. I see a reflection of my former self: expanding waistline, puffy face, etc. I look at old pictures of myself and cringe a bit because I couldn't see it back then.
I'll eventually have to leave Chicago. I need to be in a place where I can hunt and fish on a regular basis and be outdoors as much as possible. The wild within has awoken; I need more than a hike or a vacation for a few days can give. In this respect, I've become just like my father after all. :-) He grew up in rural Tennessee in the 40s and 50s, running barefoot through the woods and the fields.
I used to be frustrated by looking at people eating unhealthy, but no longer. I have come to believe that nothing that we do really matters in the great scheme of things, save for making us feel a certain way. Therefore, if someone values the feeling of eating whatever they wish to eat more than the effects that food has on their (bodies / perceived lifespan / anything else), I can perfectly understand that. Having said that, I will give someone healthy eating advice if they ask me for it and I feel that they have an open mind.
Also, I used to worry about the increasing pollution of the food chain, but no longer. We humans may or may not be around much longer, but either way, life is forever changing and adapting to circumstances. And if we eventually overpopulate / nuke the world / poison ourselves, at least I can hope that our collective demise will be a somewhat beautiful one. As always, the universe will be indifferent. Maybe we can learn from it and not "die a thousand deaths."