Reading the book "Bounce" by Matthew Sayd has made me question my whole principal toward diet, this may surprise, because there is little or no mention of diet in the book. Previously, I have been following what is a "paleo diet" (my version at least, which is: personal examination, elimination, reintroduction of foods). After reading this book however, I have begun to question my own principals, perhaps the idea of diet or dieting itself is placebo, it's actually when one takes a positive interest in one's own health and makes positive steps, it's the belief, the "believing" that generates the changes in interior and exterior health.
The author uses Muhammad Ali and Jonathan Edwards (British author, sorry, triple jump world record in 1995) as particular examples in the sporting world, both had very strong but opposing religious beliefs, they both sighted their personal versions of "god" as having carried them forward, an absolute belief, to their individual absolute goals respectively. They can't both have been right about their image of what is "god", it was only the "belief" part that was the important, not the exact religion.
For me, I have always questioned religion and "blindly" following anything for that regard, so, dedicating myself to paleo diet too far could even alienate me from my own friends, I absolutely don't wish this.
My rule for diet is find the MINIMUM required to make you feel happy and healthy. For me, that gives me tons of leeway. If I eat fries with my friends this evening I'll feel fine. I'll skip the pizza though. It took some experimentation to find the level of badness I can tolerate, but it was sooo worth it so I can enjoy time with friends, holidays, and occasional treats.
OK fine, you want to address the idea that it's just the idea of being healthy that makes you healthy? In my experience it just doesn't work that way. I quit the paleo diet when I lived in Europe because I thought the food there was quite healthy despite some gluten and sugar. Soon enough I had GI symptoms again.
Science is nothing more than the rigorous application of common sense. Faith is the rigorous application of hope. Both have their advantages and their shortcomings, but when it comes to knowing whether things are real or not, common sense has the better track record by far.
What you eat matters. This is obvious to anyone who ever ate spoiled meat, or drain cleaner. Total well-being is more complicated than that and we don't know everything yet, but that's where the common sense comes in. The Paleo lifestyle rests on a foundation of logic, observation and experimentation, in the laboratory as well as the kitchen, the gym, and ultimately the bathroom.
What you think matters. This is less obvious, maybe, and much, much harder to measure, but pretty much everyone can come up with personal anecdotes about a shift in perspective changing their day, or even their lives. There are few laboratories for thoughts, and those that try are often suspect, but you can still apply the same reasoning to your own experience. Find what works for you and do that.
Eat well. Think well. Evolution equipped us to do both, and happiness usually lies somewhere down that road.
In the past, I fanatically "believed" in a low-fat diet. It did not work for long-term weight-loss or health.
In contrast, I originally tried paleo as a lark--just to see what would happen. I only started to "believe" when the weight flew off, my blood pressure came down, and my general health radically improved.
Well, I think there is a lot of truth to what you are saying. It is true to a point. However, there are objective laws out there and while there may be have a large margin and be influenced by our thoughts, it is not entirely malleable. So, I think there are some dietary rules that are, shall we say, essential, there is also, as you mention, a lot of personal mythology. Point: don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Recognize the importance of the objective and subjective.
Dude! You ask a question then downvote someone who takes the time to answer you cause it's not the type of answer you were looking for? Seriously?
O.k. so now that I have that off my chest, seems like you are having some sort of existentialist dilemma going on which is all well and good. It happens to the best of us. I get what you are saying but it seem to me you contradict yourself with "perhaps the idea of diet or dieting itself is placebo, it's actually when one takes a positive interest in one's own health and makes positive steps, it's the belief, the "believing" that generates the changes in interior and exterior health." Taking interest and then making positive steps were seem to eliminate placebo effect no? I would say if we took interest yet did NOTHING you could talk about placebo effect but otherwise positive steps tend to lead to better health in most cases.
If you feel the need to "leave" then leave. See what happens. You start eating more junk but you're happy so health will follow? If that's what you believe is true then go test it out. It's a big crap shoot so follow your heart and/or gut and do what feels right.
Anything that will get you to examine your diet and think about what you are putting into your body is good. You have to start somewhere. Diets, like the Paleo, may just be vehicles of self-experimentation, a beginning template. Once you educate yourself on how your body works in relation to food can you ever go back to the pizza and beer diet?
what's the "paleo diet" you're talking about?
as i see it, presently, there is not even an agreement on what 'paleo' is, so what exactly are you going to "leave"?
if all contradictions are more or less unified and eliminated, the only way one can leave paleo is by becoming a 'a raw vegan eating a lot of MSG-added margarine-smothered wheat and drinking tons of sweetened carbonated beverages' - is that what you're going to change "paleo" for?
I have not read the book you cite, but it seems to me that the author is using a logical fallacy, yes both people believed strongly in something, but to say that this ws causative in their success does not follow. What about Lance Armstrong, who was a very adamant atheist, and was successful? What about the millions of people who believe that they will succeed, but do not? You don't hear about them, because they are not famous.The trap that people fall into is believing that you can pinpoint a cause for everything.
Given that, your point about alienating your friends is very valid, You must strike a balance between your physical and social health.... no easy task!
I have discovered some tricks for this, the one that works the best is telling people I have a gluten intolerance. While some might see this is a lie, I believe that every human is intolerant of gluten to a certain degree, so I don't think I am lying. If I do eat the occasional bread product, and they catch me, I just explain that I'm not celiac... I just don't tolerate it too well and try to limit my intake. Again this is not a lie. I used to "preach" to friends when they would ask about my diet, but as you said this can alienate them. I no longer do this unless we are talking about diet already or it comes up for some reason.
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