Friday, March 16, 2012

divergent goals

Methinks there are several different main "populations" of individuals who have interest in the paleo/ancestral realm of health ... and each of them has separate, if overlapping, end-results in mind.  The lack of understanding between them can be breathtaking.  My imagination envisions it as being like a Brit, an Aussie, and a Texan all speaking their particular jargon; everyone is technically speaking English dialects, but it sure sounds like different languages.

I belong to the subgroups of "middle aged," "hypothyroid," "female," and "eat-less-move-more doesn't work anymore," of the larger set "wanting to lose weight." 

I read a variety of websites, some of which are more focused on the goals of groups with which i do NOT share characteristics:  "younger" (note, i did not say YOUNG, just youngER), "male," "never overweight," "desiring less than 10% body-weight," and "for whom, long hard workouts and rigorous calorie-apportioning are reasonable tools."  I don't assume that their advice will be useful to me as stated, but i occasionally pick up info with which i can do something.  It's distinctly possible that, among themselves, the usefulness of the prescribed regimen is generally applicable, but it's unthinkable that it might be widely important to the entire population of "wanting to lose weight."

One distinct group amongst the paleo/ancestral crowd is that which is not interested in personal weight loss, but in the theory of it.  These folks don't actually deal with overweight human bodies at all; most of them have never had a true PROBLEM with their own weight (even if they may have been a little chubby in the past), nor have they helped such a person manage obesity, as did Atkins and Donaldson, and current bloggers such as Kresser, Sharma and Briffa.  These researchers usually spend their time mulling over rodents, or other people's studies of humans.  Again, it's sometimes possible to glean immediately-useful information from their blogs, but most of it is either hypothetical, or extremely technical and over my head (note the addition of Lucas Tafur to my blog-list...) -- that's okay, i'm not the audience he's addressing, anyway.

Another group comprises people with illness, who are seeking relief that allopathic medicine has failed to deliver.  They have my respect and best wishes; they are those who are willing to ACT rather than passively drug themselves and die.  Their paths are frequently very instructive.

We make a mistake when we try to lump everyone together and generalize what is best for everybody -- outside the obvious things like "junk food is problematic for health."  ;-)  In Mr. Tafur's words, "...people who already have developed an inflammatory and/or autoimmune disorder respond differently to any diet. This means that the response to a diet is individual, and more importantly, in this case, the starting point is not a natural one."  People's tolerances vary widely.

Don't tell me i'll do better with more carbs in my diet.  Tried it -- doesn't work.


  1. "Another group comprises people with illness, who are seeking relief that allopathic medicine has failed to deliver...they are those who are willing to ACT rather than passively drug themselves and die. Their paths are frequently very instructive."

    Thank you for noticing! That is me, with a neurodegenerative disease thought to be autoimmune. I don't begrudge the vast majority's interest in weight loss, but at least now there are a few bloggers devoted to autoimmune diets.

    1. thanks be to the internet -- we can find people on the other side of the globe who have "been there and done that," and sometimes their findings can be very helpful to us! best wishes in YOUR quest....