Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Diet Outliers

If you eat healthy (real, unprocessed foods only; lots of fat and protein), then you are likely an outlier amongst your friends and family.  You are possibly the target of jokes, criticism, or a lot of questions from a curious individual, uninformed on what you have learned.   This is the case with my colleagues, clients, and yours truly.

The potential of this social scenario has also created an obstacle with some of my past and present clients.  How does one tell his or her friends that she will be the only one to pass on the fries and opt for a side salad, order meat on a plate at a sandwich joint, or pass up desert? 

From my experience, initially, the joking, the criticism, and the questioning will likely come.  It altered the conversation in the initial two or three experiences with each group of family or friends, taking a detour to cover what and why.  However, since then, people hardly blink at the sight of me requesting a different side dish in place of the usual starch.  In fact, when new people are around, I don't even have to say anything about it: my friends or family usually give that person a one-sentence explanation for me (e.g. "Sean doesn't eat pasta...too many carbs.").

Most importantly, keep this in mind when confronting your social fear of eating a healthier diet: People are generally fat and unhealthy!  If you want to feature your optimal genetic physique and health, you HAVE TO differ from the majority of the rest.  You cannot follow the pack.  They are eating at the Sugar Shack (pictured at the top) and eating bread filled with high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils.  Do you really want that for your body???

Embrace the role as "Diet Outlier."  It's your only hope for being fit and healthy, unlike the pack.


Floriana said...

My experience is different. Even though I eat healthy by the standards you described, I am still fat and look unhealthy. Most of my friends and family who eat processed junk are thin and look healthy. Makes me look like just another fat person on a fad diet who is looking for a magic fix instead of just eating everything in moderation. It can get a bit complicated for those of us who are not lean, muscular and healthy looking, yet. Not that social pressure will ever make me change my diet. I just fly my freak flag high and do it my way.

Dr. Sean Preuss said...

Floriana - I think people often make bad social observations - I think I told you about the gym that I worked at in the past where everyone asked the pro bodybuilders for training advice because they looked impressive, but the bodybuilders had little idea of how to help people with basic issues like joint pain. People may make bad associations with you and your diet, but you know you are on the right track based on the progress you made. As you said, social pressure is not a good reason to change what you're doing. Wear your freak flag proudly.

Floriana said...

You did tell me about that! Thanks for reminding me of it. It really does happen often, in all segments of life and to everyone. Makes it feel less personal and that helps. I'll remember that.