Friday, May 9, 2014

"are all of them 'doing it wrong'?"

Somebody asked me this question the other day.  At the time, it sounded unpleasantly sarcastic, but I answered civilly.  Reflection on the larger question, though, leads me to answer more fully.

Yes.  WE ARE ALL DOING IT WRONG if our problems deepen, or don't ameliorate as far as possible for our hypothetically-damaged bodies.

We're probably "doing it wrong" because we don't know what the right answer IS.  We're "doing it wrong" because authorities have told us THIS IS THE WAY IT IS DONE and some people are foolish enough to trust them -- we're "doing it wrong" because the wrong thing is Standard of Care.  Some of the information in textbooks IS WRONG, despite claims to the contrary.

Some people are "doing it wrong" because they leap into an attractive regimen without learning enough about it.  There's an AWFUL lot of advice floating around -- from every possible side of the question -- for every possible thing that can ail us.  Being particularly interested in thyroid issues and low-energy states, I've read a million of 'em!  The vast majority are absolutely positively idiotic!  They are frequently Conventional Wisdom maxims, and though it "makes sense" to people, it's just plain WRONG.  Bearing in mind that there are a huge range of different thyroid problems one might have and all of them probably have different solutions (if any), there are SOME universal truths....

Some people are "doing it wrong" because they aren't doing something 100%.  For the un- or minimally-damaged person, Sisson's 80/20 rule is already going above-and-beyond average health-consciousness and it's just fine.  For others, that 20% non-compliance could quite possibly kick their ass (celiac disease, anyone?).

I could go on and on....  My point is, even though Regimen X works for 95% of people, it may be the wrong thing for that 5% -- the 5% are DOING IT WRONG, even though they don't have any reason to suspect it.

It's true -- too often when people claim failure at one of those perfect regimens, the peanut gallery pipes up that it's the fault of the Failed.  Maybe, maybe not.  But some distinctions need to be drawn.  Somewhere along the line, the outrage against the concept of "blaming the victim" has gone overboard.  There are damned good reasons to be careful about how blame is apportioned, ... but ya know what?  The victim OCCASIONALLY is fully responsible for his plight -- think Darwin Awards!

We're doing it right when we finally find what succeeds.  Until then, at least in part, we're "doing it wrong."


  1. What to do, what to do
    I'm trapped in a zoo!
    Bugs are paleo
    Listen to Go Kaleo?
    I don't know who's telling the truth!

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    Everyone's different
    According to Woo

    The haters, the taters
    All day long I dream about food
    The fakers, the undertakers
    I don't know who's bad, who's good!

    But one thing's for sure
    I am too poor
    To afford some manure
    At the church of Whole Foods!

    - Paleo heretic, 10, 000 B.C.

    1. lol -- very good!!! :-)

    2. OMG- Almond's poem made my afternoon. Thank you! :)

  2. "Some people are "doing it wrong" because they aren't doing something 100%."

    The more I do it wrong, the better I feel. The lower my blood glucose numbers, the better my lipid panel, the more stable my weight.

    Oh, did I say I don't trust big pharma and most dietitians as far as I can throw them.

    Most medics have their heads up their butts, their knowledge of a healthy diet is lamentable.

    Let's all hit the drugs, and be a credit to our credit cards. Let's improve our countries economies. What kind of idiot would believe whole fresh food is a healthy way to live.


    1. oh, i disagree -- you're doing what works for you, and so you're doing it right! :-D the "powers that be" may think you're wrong, but THEY are full of shit!

  3. There's a difference between saying, "Diet X didn't work for you? You must have been doing it wrong!" and saying, "if you're eating dairy and grains in any significant amount on your paleo diet, you're doing it wrong." It would be better to say, "Dairy and grains aren't part of a paleo diet."

    People often *are* doing it wrong, though. If you concoct your own low-fat, low-salt Atkins diet, it's not Dr. Atkins' fault if you get constipated. When someone asks me how to do a LC or paleo diet, I tell them to look at some books, find a plan they can live with, and follow it to the letter. They can make adjustments later on.

    It's funny what passes for low-carb and paleo. Search for zero-carb recipes on Pinterest and you'll see fruit popsicles, tomatoes, hummus, and other carby dishes.

    1. so right! people have poor results sometimes because of misunderstanding of the fine points ... OR because of shortcomings in the plan itself ... OR because of lack of time adapting ... OR ... ad nauseum! it's far more common to fail than to succeed at crafting one's perfect diet, alas.

  4. I was an obese child in the 70's. I was all sorts of wrong to most people. Ugh, the hate and really, truly poor advice. I did stumble upon eliminating sugar (giving my candy to my brother, not eating fund raising candy bars). Those two memories helped me recover from being stuck on sugar as an adult.

    Being gluten free for 8-10 weeks helped me stumble upon the grain sensitivity.

    Good to take what works and leave the rest. I think I was waiting my whole life to find lower carb, high fat. Better late than never.

    1. "better late than never" -- a bit AMEN to that!!!

    2. That's my exact story! I only discovered that gluten is a killer for me a few short weeks ago. I haven't been able to make 100% Yet but I think I'm close. For example today my wife sent me to the store to buy her a box of ice cream, a bag of potato chips, and mango punch. I knew that I would have to have something so I got myself some roasted almonds and some dark chocolate. It worked!! I kept out of the really bad junk by eating some less bad junk. That's a complete change from the way I haved lived my whole life. Nearly powerless over food. Finally I have found what's right for me. I am coming to think that there is no such thing as willpower. If your nourishing your body correctly, it simply disregards foods it doesn't need. This from a guy who bought bulk candy bags from Wal-Mart for a "snack". It's not over yet, I still have a long way to go, like the rest of my life. But I think I can do it this time. Just have a feeling that what I'm doing is in step with my body.

    3. it's only when we clean up our diet to a large extent that we realize how certain foods damage our well-being! it's truly amazing.

      i agree that being nutrient-replete helps to immunize us against junk food. you have to conclude that why we crave certain foods is not always intuitive....

  5. Another thing. When someone gets some fairly basic facts wrong (e.g., it's all about the calories, meat that's been dead for awhile is full of glycogen, though there are a few exceptions to this, stuffing yourself with enough vegetables to feed a small gorilla won't raise your blood sugar, the first symptoms of scurvy don't apply to you, etc.), I have to wonder what else they're getting wrong.

    1. that's a very good point. i think we can assume that the things we DON'T KNOW we don't know completely dwarf the things we KNOW we don't know ... but how does that compare to the things we KNOW we know? ...i'd better stop -- i'm getting dizzy....

  6. Well I've finally got it right all these years no thanks to "expert advice" from government guidelines, nutritionists, etc. They skeered me with, don;t eat'too much red meat but eat truckloads of fruits, veggies, whole grains, margarine to avoid cancer and disease blah blah and I was a whale. People are truly horrified that I don't eat fruit or grains, just eat lots of meat and some veggies; and eat once a day. I've decided it's easier to say I'm allergic to certain foods and I don't get the food pushers or the scaremongers.

    Also just wanted to say Woo's observations on binge eating are absolutely spot on. Her advice should be made available to every desperate struggling binge eater out there. The best information I have ever heard and believe me when I say I've read just about them all. I think it's sad that masses have no access to her info unless they go looking...she needs a publisher... but then what makes Wooo so special is that she doesn't do this for money or fame, just a generous heart to help people. Can't say the same for a lot of others.

    1. "if you've been wounded, look for a man with scars." what Wooo has suffered from, she's made a point of learning to understand. :-) i think ALL of the people who have found their own "right thing" need to broadcast their experience!

  7. The best way to do wrong thing - attempting to micromanage symptoms and thinking you are getting the cure.

    1. valid point!!! "not seeing the forest for the trees" encourages some massive mistakes.