I love Paleo and love the way that I look and feel. It is a lifestyle that my husband and I are slowly adopting and loving it! HOWEVER, we are constantly faced with a lot of resistence from friends and family. Anything from stupid comments to jokes at our expense. At family gatherings, someone always makes sure to point out that we are "dieting" again because we aren't piling our plates high with pasta and potatoes (choosing meats and veggies instead). If we do get into an actual conversation about it, people often dismiss what we say by insisting that we are harming ourselves by not eating from all food groups. The thing that really gets me is that these people push chips and cake onto us more than ever now that we are trying to eat healthy. I am sick of dealing with this type of thing and the constant typical remarks: "Oh come on, a piece of cake isn't going to ruin your diet, have some!!"
If anyones experiences have been similar, please share. How do you deal with this? I have tried explaining the premise of the paleo lifestyle but that's a waste of time with people who are slaves of conventional wisdom and believe that eating cake is fine as long as you hop onto the treadmill for an hour after.
PaleoGal, maybe it is a opportunity for you to look inside your own thoughts regarding paleo. I noticed in the past, that my environment (people around me) often just mirror my own ideas, especially those I suppress unconsciously or am not fully aware of.
I'll give an example: I stopped drinking alcohol about 10 years ago, and my friends also made remarks or trying to force me, and I felt uncomfortable about it. But in the last years, I don't remember anyone would convince me to drink (and that includes people who don't know that I quit drinking). It just could be that some part of me still wanted to drink back then, and that provoked those people into forcing me. Nowadays, people just doesn't "feel" like convincing me, since my state of mind is firm and undisturbed regarding that issue.
I also agree with mht, don't talk about your diet unless necessary.
TL;DR: Don't blame others, look inside why those people might behave in such a way.
Diet is like politics and religion. No need to bring it up, especially if it is causing controversy. When a person asks why no pasta/cake/candy/etc. simply say "I am not in the mood."
Sometimes, I eat the cake. My 40th birthday was worth it.
Sometimes, I don't eat the cake. It's really not any of their business.
Most people that give you a hard time about your eating choices are jealous that you can stick to it and they cannot. Watching you make healthy decisions while they are rationalizing unhealthy decisions makes them comment on it. They are trying to make themselves feel better, not make you feel bad.
Usually, I do best not arguing with them. The way I look versus the way they look speaks for itself. Be polite, don't make excuses for yourself, but there is no need to try and make them see it your way either.
I just went through this with a friend who was staying with me..she claimed to be "worried" about me because I was "cutting out food groups," to which I tried to explain that "food groups" are just made up new ideas (referring to the food pyramid).
She said I was was like a "crazy orthorexic type" which to me is hilarious because I'm not obsessive, I go out to dinner, I drink wine, I don't limit my eating to the food I can cook at home, etc... Yes, I am conscious of the food I eat, no, I do not want to eat processed crap, and yes, it's a slightly particular diet but to me it's pretty easy.
I don't talk about it much except to say that I feel GOOD! This friend does not understand it, to her it's "obsessive," "heart-stopping, like Atkins!," and I'm "not enjoying life because I've cut out so many things."
The irony is I'm enjoying life more.
As far as exercise goes, same thing...she thinks working out with my trainer in the park, dead lifting rocks (which we do sometimes, not because it's "Paleo" but because the rocks are just there in the park), doing HIIT type stuff is "crazy!" And she thinks I'll injure myself.
She strolls alongs, plays tennis a few times, drinks a lot, eats a ton of bread and asks me why I don't have snacks at my house. And she looks unhealthy and overweight. So.....
You can't explain yourself to people like that. And in my mind, she's absurdly unhealthy in diet, exercise and mental attitude.
The most annoying thing is probably that she goes around telling people how crazy I am.
They are pushing you more now because they are feeling defensive and maybe a little angry (subconsciously) because the perception is that by rejecting their way of eating you are attacking them somehow and calling them "wrong". And they are also afraid you might be right.
This is not something you can fix directly. Just stick to your guns, lead by example and tread lightly - not doing anything that could be considered judgemental by people who are extra sensitive right now. If you don't make a big deal about it and try to keep it light, they will eventually calm down.
And while you are really happy and excited about how much better you feel and you want to spread it around (at least I know I did ;p ), what you really want is for gatherings with friends and family to be fun again, right?
When family or "friends" do this to me it just strengthens my resolve. No way am I going to eat something because it was pushed on me. I am a stubborn old coot. However, I have to keep in mind that they are probably just as stubborn and won't accept what I try to "push" on them. Long before paleo, I just pretended I was diabetic. I would just say, "I can't eat sugar." And now, I say, for my husband and me, "We can't eat sugar or gluten. It causes us health problems." People are much more tolerant if it is a health issue...as if obesity isn't a major health problem!
I was at a Robb Wolf seminar last week and his mother doesn't go along with it either! You just can't help people who won't help themselves!
This reminds me of this quote, "The masses have never thirsted for the truth. Whoever can supply them with the illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim." Gustave Le Bon. We know "conventional wisdom" is their master, but I refuse to become a victim. I just continue to do my own thing and don't let them get to me. My late Mother used to say, "Have broad shoulders and a slippery back." I know I feel GREAT on the inside by following the Paleo lifestyle. I am just waiting patiently for the results to appear on the outside. Although, this can be frustrating at times! I am human, after all. I know my middle-aged friends would respect my lifestyle a lot more IF they could SEE the results and other benefits. I rather have more birthdays than more cake! Best of luck to you and everyone else! :)
You know, the fact they annoy you and try to convert you back to the SAD means they're afraid of your success. Nobody likes it when others do better. I would just deal with it by laughing away what they say, and not trying to "convert" them. They'll respect paleo if they see you florish.
Just remind them about their health issues (I'm sure they have some). People often don't realize they are unhealthy. Take my brother : he always says he's the healthiest of the whole family (because he doesn't go to the doctor often). Yet he has tons of acne. And my sister : she sometimes has blue feet from the cold (while it's not even that cold), and she's freaking pale. And my father : he farts at random moments, has cholesterol problems, he's not in good shape at all. But they all say they are very healthy...