Is your healthy lifestyle based on a label? Do you identify yourself with any of these labels: vegan, vegetarian (or any one of many types of vegetarian), keto, paleo, carnivore, etc…?
So many people these days regarding health tend to emotionally attach to a personal identity. People do not simply find a means to be healthy, but change their identity. I agree and disagree with this. In order to create meaningful change in your life regarding health and nutrition, reflecting on who you are as a person and evoking change can be crucial. To recognize that who are you are has led to poor dietary choices is powerful. When you have spent your life creating an identity that does not value health, it will only be a matter of time before you start to feel the severity of those choices. So, it stands to reason, then, that to improve your life that you might need to consider reflecting on who you are, who you want to become, and take responsibility for your choices.
With that said, people do take responsibility for their choices, create change, and take charge of their health. Many committed vegans who have changed their life were previously eating an average diet that had a lot of processed foods. They would have been considered omnivores before changing their ways. Some might have tried many different diets and found veganism to be the best for them. When experiences like this happens, it is easy for people to conclude that what worked for them is the best and everybody should do it. But that might not be for everyone. In this example, the person has had such a powerful experience that they create a new identity of themselves as a vegan. So what…?
The point at which we emotionally identify our eating patterns with a label, there is a tendency to stop logically evaluating new information. Critical analysis tends to go out the window, and confirmation bias sets in. At this point, we have stopped being objective. So if a new study comes out that provides strong evidence against your identity as a vegan, vegetarian, paleo, etc…, then people will dismiss it because their eating style is the best and everyone needs to change to conform to how they do things.
This is generally a human tendency that happens in many other fields and tends to perpetuate misinformation. Vegans that do not critically evaluate circumstances will automatically jump to the conclusion that animal protein is ruining your life without any understanding of the multitude of factors that are likely contributing to your health issues. I do not mean to say here that all vegans do this. I am simply stating the vegan as an example. This happens with all diet camps.
And here we are today. Many people have become attached to their eating lifestyle with a label and judge others through a narrow framework based upon one style of eating with specific conditions, that in most cases, are a simplified way to create a caloric deficit. People create an inflated sense of importance and arrogance and will tell you if you only do this stupid juice cleanse, or this diet or that diet, then your life will be amazing! When in fact, that might or might not be the case. Bear in mind, I am not telling you not to be open to new ideas. On the contrary. Please be open to new ideas. Consider all ideas! Follow me? Yes, that is right. Consider all ideas. Think about it. Is there credible evidence? What choices in my life are contributing to the problems I am experiencing right now? Will the ideas from this person help my situation? Why or why not? Take time to think about the factors contributing to your problems. It would be a great idea to seek multiple opinions from qualified professionals. There are many different types of health professionals such as nutritionists, doctors, functional medicine practitioners, nurses, etc… Different health professionals will have different opinions, which is why it is good to seek multiple opinions. Expect to receive contradictory advice. That is ok. After seeking opinions, then you have to take action and see what will work for you.
As you traverse the real world trying to solve your health problems, you will quickly learn that a single diet and label will likely be insufficient to cure all your problems. In some cases, a single diet could possibly be the answer, but keep in mind that if you do solve your problem, it is important to think about the long term. Eating healthy and acting preventatively will require believing in health, progressing towards your potential as an individual, and having a burning desire to be that amazing self that you can be. Do not settle for bullshit attitudes that say life is about growing fat and old. That is not true! Take charge, gather information, critically evaluate unsolicited advice from friends, family, and strangers after you express thanks and gratitude for it. It is hard to swallow unsolicited advice from people who do not really understand all the factors to your challenge and that’s ok. Expressing gratitude will help you to stay calm and in the right mental state. On a positive note, most of the time people are actually trying to help, and getting angry about it just creates more negativity that the world does not need. After that, seek the opinions from multiple experts, objectively look at all of the advice, start taking small steps, and be patient. You will see what works and what does not.
In this way, living as the best version of yourself with amazing health does not mean fixating on some fad diet, or label. It is experience, discovery, trial and error, and a process with many twists and turns that is uncertain. It can be exciting and scary, and that is ok. Seeing the positive and knowing the facts behind the major health lifestyles and fad diets will help you to build your own tool kit of health strategies to keep you super charged! You will be empowered by the real facts behind them and not sensationalism.
And if you just glanced and didn’t read hardly anything, then be your own scientist!
Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I am grateful for your presence, so please feel free to like, share, and comment.