Image source: M@rg.
I set up a Paleo / Primal in London FaceBook Page a while back in order to help spread the word about the life-style in the UK. There are now around 70 members so I thought it would be good to organise a meet-up. Maybe it was too short notice for most people because only two people showed up. In any case we had a good time discussing how we found out about the scene and what kinds of things we eat.
One of the discussion points was the reaction of our friends and family members to our change in diet. While I’ve told my family members and closer friends all about it (and it’s no big deal to them), I don’t go into full details with acquaintances and strangers. If it comes up in conversation I’ll explain the situation but I don’t go out of my way to inform / educate / preach to people.
My approach to spreading the word (although I’m pretty vocal online) is much more about raising questions in people’s minds. For example, most people guess me to be five years younger than I am. Which often prompts people to say that I’m lucky that I look so young. The question I then ask is: “Do I look young or does everyone else look old for their age?” (Yes I may have good genes, but it’s getting to the stage where people guess me to be younger than both my younger brothers).
That’s my way of marking out my world-view, by showing how I don’t buy into the way everyone else sees things and by getting people to question their assumptions. Yes, most people spend their lives drinking too much alcohol, eating too much processed food and consuming too much sugar. So it’s normal in the sense that most people look a certain way at certain ages. But it’s not normal in the larger scope of human history.
Beliefs such as the idea that people’s metabolism just ‘naturally’ slows down as they age or that guys just ‘naturally’ get a beer-belly as they grow up aren’t true at all. It’s just that the new normal is fast becoming a situation where most people are overweight, fat or even obese and showing signs of ageing much sooner than they would if they were eating healthier.
In any area of life we can decide for ourselves what is normal, and we don’t have to go along with what everyone believes to be normal.
Are you a Paleo / Primal eater? Do you discuss it with people? Do you do anything else that is considered abnormal by people? Let me know in the comments.