A few folks know this, and a fair few don’t, but I have, since April, being undergoing a new “health” journey, whereby I am dealing with full blown Type 2 Diabetes, and my weight. A few folks also know that, although I wasn’t dealing with Diabetes, I have done this journey before.
This time, however, is a far different journey, and the path is not only different than the last one, but one completely of my own making, and my own choosing. The other path was also of my own choosing, but as I have learned, sometimes we can make some really shitty choices in our lives, based on information we think is really NOT shitty at the time.
There are a few elements to “dieting” that are inherently problematic – and everyone who has “needed to lose weight”, know these bumps, bruises and travails all too well. Up first, there’s self image and the concept of “Self Love”. I have to admit, I don’t know this whole “Self Love” thing very well, and I never have. It has always seemed like a term inflicted upon me with scorn and derision by those who claim they have attained it. I rather resent that. Nothing in my viewpoint, is black and white, and “self love”, is one of those massive grey areas. There are things about myself I think are pretty nifty, there are parts that are just okay, there are parts that I downright despise and wish would just disappear into some kind of here to fore unknown body part black hole. And, there are very good reasons for all my feelings about all my parts and personality (which would involve a far bigger blog post than I’m prepared to write at this time). Needless to say though, I think shoving the concept of self love down people’s throats and telling them no one will love them unless they love themselves, is, shall we say, a pile of horse shit (which may be slightly offensive to horses, my apologies to horses). I have come to the belief that I am deserving of love, every bit as much as the zealot who declares me not worthy – and I am deserving of it regardless of achieving this holy grail of “Self Love.”
The whole dogmatic infliction of beliefs on others and what they should do to “heal” themselves is another not so wonderful “weight loss” and “health journey” trap, and oh dear gods of gods, I have fallen through many of those traps in my lifetime. People have all kinds of beliefs about who I am, and what ways and rituals I should heal myself with. And it’s appealing.. it’s appealing for a time to think someone else may have some kind of enlightenment and be able to help and heal you and fill you with something they tell you is missing. So you might accept a few labels here and there and it might not quite fit – but you take it all on anyway in an effort to really try – because maybe if you call yourself a food addict or maybe if it’s because of all this trauma you have to heal in a particular way – it might make it better. But, you know, it doesn’t make it better – not for myself, and by my observation, not for many others either. I see the self righteous fall off their high horses (again, sorry horses!), far too many times, and I have seen the fraudulent foundation of which many of these “healers” build their practices. I have come to realize that couching health in Dogma and Belief/Spirituality is just as harmful and self shaming as anything else, and any other trauma that has been inflicted – and let me be clear here… sometimes trauma is inflicted ON you, and sometimes you just go right ahead and let others inflict it FOR you – without even realizing you turned over the whip to them, until of course you start questioning why you’re bleeding all over the damn place.
So yeah, you can seek help for trauma and that’s not a bad thing, but you sure do have to be careful along the way. A fair few folks make a fair bit of money taking advantage of the fact that you feel like a pile of shit about yourself. They have the answers, they know.. “the way”. Always be wary of the “way” to anything, or to follow anyone. The only guru you need to follow is yourself.
Along the way in my own journey I have had good social workers and counsellors, come to terms with my own traumas in life, and I am grateful for this – it can happen, and I do acknowledge that with trained professional help, you can achieve a level of comfort with your demons. Heal them? Hell no. Would I want to? Not really! Those demons remain well seated in their rightful places, forever reminding me of where I don’t want to go, and I respect their place and their job in my psyche. They let me know where not to tread.
So hey, back to diet. It’s hard to de-tangle the mental mess, goodwill of others, self shame, perspectives on positive thinking and what you “Should” do, diet fads, trends, calorie counting, obsession, beauty myths, self empowering – and gods, where was I going with this? Oh yeah, mental mess – it’s a literal jungle full of traps and things waiting to eat you. Don’t forget well meaning friends, well meaning friends and lovers who sabotage you (thanks to their own issues), and the whole societal traditions around food, advertising, and the scourge of junk food constantly IN YOUR FACE – again, it’s a minefield.
And, at last, I think I found a way out of my OWN jungle. Without going into too much detail – for me, it’s been the Ketogenic Diet (Low Carb/High Fat). And if you’re interested, look it up. For me this diet has managed to de-tangle the mess and take away the physical cravings for sugars and carbs.. letting me easily, and I mean really EASILY, avoid the stuff I should not eat. I have been able to avoid every invitation to eat sugar, candy, and carbs, no matter the situation. I have, in just a few months, reversed my Diabetes (and yes, that IS possible), and lost 30lbs (and counting). I came to this way of eating through my own research, and my own ways and time, my own self experimentation, my own pitfalls, woes and mind-fields – and I’m proud of that. De-tangling physical from mental has opened my eyes to some of my own journey, these labels I have let others give me and that I have accepted for myself. It has shown me what is really going on in my mental and emotional sphere, what is NOT going on, and quite frankly, after de-arming the physical craving, how well I have this all in hand. It has shown me where I have really made some literally, stupid, choices on this whole “Health Journey” – and yes, I consider the way I did the weight loss many years ago, a really stupid way of going about it – but hey, perhaps I had to do that stupid way, to know the right way, later on. I also had to do the other, to know exactly what not to do THIS time around, and how to empower my own self.
And here is where I say, this is the RIGHT way, FOR ME, and for me only. Because this is where I step off my own high horse and say, that even if I post Ketogenic recipes and articles or videos about something I’m excited about, I am in no way preaching to the masses that this is the definitive way for all. I’m just really digging my own journey and want to share, and if anyone knows me well at all, they should know I’m a sharer. I have never been one for Dogma, so I am not dogmatically estoling the virtues of Keto for All. Just Keto for Me, and hey if it works for you I’ll support you in whatever way I can.
Dogma, in any of it’s forms, is just not something that’s needed in our lives. The “you shoulds”, the perfect diet solutions, courses, workout regimes, how to lists, Gurus, Nutritionists, Naturopaths, Spiritual whatevers and even Doctors… some might say, especially Doctors, don’t always, or even ever, have the answer. There are great people doing great work in the field of nutrition and diet and there’s a ton out there for you to learn and understand and experiment with. Don’t take my word for it, don’t take anyone’s word for it, search for yourself.
And when you find YOUR way, without shame, and with pride as you walk down your own path of whatever healing you wish to achieve, just remember, that path is yours, and yours alone. Share it if you must (god knows I do), but only you know how to walk it, and only you, SHOULD be on it. What is at the end of your journey after all, will only ever be understood, learned, and lived, by You.