This morning I have been on my Facebook page and the subject came up about treating ourselves when we’ve been good and that usually that treat is to feel normal because we have removed bad things from our diet.
Di and I were commenting on a post where someone was asking whether there is a yeast free alcohol available and her comments are inspirational and very honest.
“… for the ones who have just separated themselves from eating like everyone else around them (when on realisation it is them who suffer from ailments), it is difficult sometimes to just go “cold turkey”. We live in a “treat” culture and for most of us, it seems to be embedded in our psyche, with reflections of our childhood. Granted, cacao contains caffeine and alcohol sugar at some stage, but I don’t think the information about the antioxidants they contain are just “promotions to justify their usage”. Most green and black tea after all contain caffeine, but have so many measured benefits. In time, we could possibly be free of the need to satisfy our gastronomical pleasures but the nature of the strict regimen that many diets require often make us crave due to the elimination of parasites, yeasts and toxins, as I understand it. You are absolutely right, but I feel that some people really find it too difficult to follow so many things at once, and need a treat to make them feel “normal” once in a while. I’m one of them, although I’m learning to go without these days. By the way, vegetables and a lack of sugar and caffeine all do contribute to making me happy, have no doubt!”
We’ve set up a society that craves foods that cause the parasites, yeast and toxins – then crave foods that eliminate them. And our scientists are producing conflicting research that makes it easy for people to continue to justify their food/drink choices based on their findings.
But why do we feel we want to be normal and fit in with the crowd? Do we simply crave acceptance?
With food such a huge part of our lives and relationships, the need to fit in with everyone and not cause conflict around food is massive. Many times I have been out with friends or work colleagues and they make a big deal about me asking what’s in the food, or if they can make it without gluten/dairy etc. I’ve even had a waitress make a big deal of it, then after asking the kitchen, came back and apologised and said the chef was fine with my requests. But everyone jumped on the ‘you’re so difficult’ band-wagon and sometimes that gets to me – why can’t people be accepting of others choices?
We’ve created a society that is uncomfortable with people taking care and looking after themselves – we hate being exposed in our self-abusive behaviour. It’s like a default position that we mock someone’s choices so we don’t have to look at how we are treating our own bodies.
So we crave normality and to not put anyone out by requesting a certain food to be removed from the meal – and eat the food to not upset the cook – then ingest that upset into our own body, knowing that we have caused harm to ourselves. Ouch. At what price do we pay for our own need to be accepted and to be normal?
I challenge normal.
I was trapped in a normal pattern of toast or cereal for breakfast (sugar/gluten/yeast/carbs); sandwiches for lunch (sugar/gluten/yeast/carbs); pasta, pizza, rice, alcohol for dinner (sugar/gluten/yeast/carbs) and my whole body was swollen, blocked, heavy, exhausted, hard and vulnerable to illness and every cold or virus that was floating around. Unfortunately, that’s normal today for most people.
l have discovered, over many years, that with a loving process of feeling what is right for my body has become a journey of awareness of what my body can tolerate and what it can’t. There are some things I gave up ‘cold turkey’ – cigarettes, recreational drugs, alcohol, dairy – others like gluten, sugar, yeast and high carbs took longer to feel the affect they have on my body.
Instead of our choices being about self-control of cravings, maybe it could be about self-love instead? Gosh, could we love ourselves that much that we don’t want to harm ourselves anymore? This is still an ongoing journey for me that’s for sure!
Why can’t normal become self-love instead of self-abuse?
4 thoughts on “The New ‘Normal’”
This is a great article, Sarah, yes, it’s funny how we treat ourselves with something that’s abusive to celebrate how good we’ve been. When I talk with people about my diet – I often get the response, Oh I couldn’t give THAT up, as if the poor food choices we are making are something that is part of us, a dependence, if you like. So it appears we have ‘given up’ on a lot. Personally it has taken me years to develop a healthier way of living – smoking cigarettes was the first way back in 1977- it took me ages and several attempts. Then cafffeine, which I replaced with caffeine free coffee until eventually it was just water and lemon or fruit juices and herbal teas. With gluten, I replaced wheat first, eating rye bread, then oatcakes, and eventually ended up eating Corn Crisps. The dairy was harder – ice cream and cheese were favourites, so I initially used Goat’s Cheese and soya desserts. Sugar was one of the last things I eliminated from my diet (it’s in many packaged foods and sauces if you check the ingredients list) and then eventually yeast – vinegar – I use lemon jouice instead. I was a great Tomato Ketchup fan, so maple syrup on my omlettes was a kind of replacement. I’m still eating fruit and honey, which is an indication of how exhausted I am, so now I’m looking at how the way I am living drives my diet and my needs. It’s all very subtle, but there are many inspirations that have helped me along the way. Really, I’ve not ‘given up’ anything, but taken on the challenge to know myself and what is good for my body to live healthily. What is ‘Normal’ is what my body needs, not what society has told me to eat. Carmel – UK
Great post Sarah! Love your comment Carmel! Honesty and fluency galore 🙂 Thank you both.
Your words Sarah “Could we love ourselves that much that we don’t want to harm ourselves anymore”….when I am feeling great i still want to give myself a reward. At the moment it is a spoonful of a new Almond butter I have found and it doesn’t stop at one spoonful…. why is it that feeling great deserves a reward….that I am still not enough as I am.
thanks Sarah, great posting, a lot to contemplate about treats and rewards – I noticed that when I have a great day at work on my way home I ‘treat’ myself with a few nuts… rather than simply enjoy how great I feel… something I am observing more…