The Diet Article Nobody Writes
Maybe it’s the water.
People have strong opinions when it comes to food and healthy eating. It’s almost impossible to find someone who says they can see both sides of the story regarding vegetarianism, veganims, organic food, cleansing diets, vitamins, supplements, protein drinks, or anything else having to do with eating healthy.
Plenty of people don’t eat the way they say they believe you should (and give you reasons why), but at the core, they have some belief. Quite a few people believe it doesn’t matter, but again they are fairly convinced it doesn’t matter. They don’t say “It doesn’t matter what junk you eat, your body compensates, but I can see why someone would want to eat healthy and sometimes I do that too.” And let’s not leave out the people who say “I know this diet is really unhealthy but I need to lose x pounds in 2 weeks.” They are intentionally eating in a way they strongly believe is wrong.
The worst thing about this is that actual evidence makes no difference in these belief systems. Case in point.
My basic belief is that you are what you eat. If you eat the right foods, your body should function properly. I believe our bodies can heal anything, and that we need to give ourselves the right fuel.
As a result of this belief, I’ve tried a lot of health diets. I’m not particularly concerned about my weight, so I don’t go for weight-loss diets often.
I’ve tried gluten free, sugar-free, dairy-free, vegetarian. I’ve done cleansing diets where you drink tea and take supplements and cleansing diets where you eat only watermelon for a week. I’ve tried the Chinese medicine diet, with herbs and all. I’ve traveled to different places in the world and eaten locally, making drastic changes in my diet. I’ve tried a variety of nutritional supplements.
I have some health issues with my joints and skin that I’d like to solve, and I have a policy. The policy is that if it’s not too expensive or inconvenient, and it is unlikely to have serious side effects, I’ll try it.
But lately, this belief has been feeling super stupid.
I’m on the 12th day of a 14-day “cleansing” diet and nothing. Nada, zip. Maybe ever-so-slightly weaker but nothing that stops me from getting to the gym. Maybe a bit more acne than usual (I was trying to get rid of the acne.) Maybe.
These results are the same results I’ve been getting for years. YEARS. Why do I keep trying this? This time, I bought my diet plan and supplements from a reliable, world-known source. I spent more money than I normally would. I was really confident this would work.
It makes me crazy reading all the great health result other people get from their new diets! They go raw food and they feel great and lose weight! They go vegan and have more energy! They do a cleansing diet and it clears up their allergies! Me, different sh*t for different days, but nothing else seems to change.
You’d think I’d at least get some placebo effect because I really, truly believe this should work! But no.
Nobody ever brags about this. Nobody ever says, I tried the thing and it didn’t work. Nobody says, I really believe that diet is crucial, but when I changed my diet, my body was exactly the same as when I didn’t. I’ve never heard of anyone who had tried as many health adjustments as I’ve tried with absolutely nothing to show for it.
Well, one thing has changed. It’s easy for me to do these diets. If I decide “no sugar for a month”, I implement it without stress. If I decide to drink the most vile-tasting powdered green drink three times a day, I don’t bother to add lemon or mint. It doesn’t take much willpower for me to make a drastic change. I don’t feel tempted when my friend is eating a cheesecake in front of me. It’s nothing.
And the other “benefit” is that over time, my core eating habits have changed. Most of what they sell in the supermarket doesn’t look like food to me. But then again, how big a benefit is that if I’ve discovered that it makes no difference what I eat? Now I live on a restricted diet for no good reason.
Except my belief.