by Alex Bernier
Have you ever wondered why that ''healthy'' diet did not get you the kind of results the array of before/after collages and life changing testimonials promised you?
It's human nature to blame everyone and everything but ourselves. Your healthcare professional will accuse you of being inconsistent, or not fully adhering to his entire universe, and you will accuse your healthcare professional of being flat-out wrong, or not doing a good enough job to keep you motivated. In the end, both of you will be losers, but it happens to everyone.
One of the greatest lessons my students have taught me over the years is that what worked for me and others, no matter how successful and scientific it might have been, will not apply to everyone. I was so lost in my belief that a structured program was bulletproof that I missed out on many opportunities to guide people through their healing process with an open mind.
It took a few students whose situation worsened after fully complying to my ''scientific'' guidelines, and some online arguments with other professionals before snapping out of my delusion. I was accusing others of looking at the world through a straw without even realizing I was doing the exact same thing with my own.
In a last attempt to salvage the remnants of my dying dogmas, I started diversifying my social media follows to read and watch every piece of information that had previously been blocked out by my narrow-mindedness, with the underlying intention of disproving them. What I discovered changed my perspective forever.
All the ''experts'' were essentially preaching the same message in completely different languages:
" [Insert eating habits here] cause an unfavourable imbalance leading to your current undesirable outcome or worse, [Insert eating habits here] will lead to [Insert life changing testimonials here]. Don't believe otherwise, it's bad science. I am an authority on the matter so you can trust me, here are my credentials and my Science. "
Everyone was sharing jaw-dropping testimonials, with pictures, cited academic sources from the greatest schools in the world, and there was always one or more doctors sponsoring the lifestyle.
Interestingly enough, it was the users in the comment sections who snapped me out of my delusion. I spent hours reading what the people following these experts had to say on the matter – the experience was as entertaining as it was insightful.
Basically, all these intelligent, well-written people were singing the exact same hymn as their leaders, and were just as condescending about opposite ideologies as I had been. This was observed amongst the paleo crowd, vegetarians, vegans, macro or calorie counters, circadian eaters, bodybuilders, dietary supplement reps, clean eaters, fitness models, joggers. It was a royal rumble for the scientific alpha-status and the mythological moral high ground.
It was as if all these people were in an argument with their own reflection in the mirror.
My observations stirred quite the toughtfood within me. I started asking myself questions I never would have thought fathomable.
Are we really successful for the reasons we believe we are? If everyone is getting results with different diets, does food really have as much of an impact as we think it does? Are we missing something? Do we know enough about the human body to confidently generalize nutrition and everything surrounding it? Are we all fools trying to disprove other fools?
Before continuing this thought train, If you have not done so already, I invite you to diversify your social media healthcare follows and repeat my experiment. You will either see what I saw or the exact opposite, either way, I am interested in hearing about your experience. Expose yourself to 3-5 opposing nutritional ideologies, read their scriptures, maybe even try their diet for a week or two, you never know what you could learn.
To be continued...