‘Be Careful About Reading Health Books; You May Die of a Misprint’
What a wonderful quote! Mark Twain never fails us, right?
As someone who spent a good five years, obsessively trying to be healthy (and, um, thin) this really resonates with me. Not only was I obsessional about what I ate (and used to wash my hair, and wash my face with and how much I exercised) I was also obsessed with taking other peoples word as gospel, never looking within myself for the truth.
It might sound like a bit of a random quote for a budding nutritionist to choose.. especially one who has recently pledged to eat fewer grains, more Omega 3’s and generally lean towards a paleo and Nourishing Traditions influenced lifestyle. Am I not in danger of dying from a misprint? I hope not! And also, I don’t think so.
Firstly, I am now actively using myself as the test dummy. How do I feel eating like this? How do I enjoy eating like this? Does it fit into my life and does it impede on other elements of my life? It’s hard to read a book that has 399 pages of how GREAT you’ll feel eating only raw, without taking on at least some of that excitement. But I also believe we all know what our bodies are trying to tell us, we just get so caught up in not wanting to listen.
Unlike my previous healthstyle I also currently read nutrition books from all points of view. Much like how I think many liberals would benefit from reading conservative press, and many conservatives from reading liberal press, I think it’s important to read information from people you actively disagree with. Not the sensationalist stuff of course – that will just drive you crazy! – but the more academic papers. All popular opinion will be founded in some kind of rationale and even if you don’t like it, it’s important to understand. Much less danger of dying from a misprint if you read more than one opinion.
Finally, I would say the key difference in the way I approach my current eating style is that I do it with a lot better humour. (Here you can imagine my husband smirking given that I probably recently threw a tantrum in Trader Joe’s after finding they only had MILK chocolate espresso beans, instead of the more heart friendly DARK chocolate option). However, these days I chat about how much better I feel eating less bread all week … and then I get carried away and order a peanut butter bacon cheeseburger. But instead of lying in bed all night worrying about it, I just briefly mull on how utterly ridiculous I am.
Your health IS your greatest possesion – it should absolutely not be foresaken for any other pleasure – but micro management is never the key to success. Just like work and love and everything else, you should never get too obsessive, assume to be an expert or think you have 100% control over the ending.
The Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge is hosted by WEGO Health. I will be writing a post a day for all 30 days. I hope you’ll join me in writing every day about health. All you have to do to join is sign up here:http://info.wegohealth.com/