Our long time forum member Jan raised an interesting point a few weeks ago when she commented that most people on this site, though perhaps deeply into health at this time, have not always been that way.
A bunch of health nuts?
She made me realize how true it is that some newcomers may see the Whole Approach forum "crew" as a bunch of super-extreme “healthnuts”. And the ironic thing is that many folks who have come here have spent much of their lives living unhealthy lives. Truly many people here started on board with habits of sugary soda pop, fast foods, packaged junk food and deserts and mega doses of sugar and food additives in their diets. Some of these same people have found great empowerment and self actualization through in their new ways and are, as a result, are now very passionate about them.
I think that Jan displayed profound perspective in her comments. She was also kindly empathetic in her concern for those just newly considering the ideas expressed here. Of course people come online all the time here just to “poke about” and “feel out” the “culture” of the forum and to some, we may well appear, as Jan so eloquently put it, to be a “gathering of healthnuts” . I think that we can help people to embrace lifestyle improvements themselves by reassuring newcomers that most of the members of the forum can relate wherever they may be “coming from”. All any of us can do with any change process is to start wherever we are.
By now most of our loyal members have realized that this is not about “health-nuttiness” rather, it’s about learning a healthier way of living in order to achieve a full recovery and it's about reclaiming our quality of life and our control over our health.
Change is possible for anyone
Jan, thanks for pointing out that the great majority of the folks who are on the forum every day getting excited about new and better ways to make health taste good and feel good, were far from health fanatics when they came on board.
Our members are not a bunch of radical fundamentalists, rather they are a bunch of people who have become sick and who found great strength and determination through their decision to find wellness. They’ve learned that healing begins in the kitchen and they are proving the old adage true - “We are what we eat.”
Relating to others
Those who might count themselves among the already 'converted' (to health enthusiasts) worked hard to integrate these positive changes into their lives and likely endured some growing pains and the temporary alienation of friends and family in the process. One of the most difficult things about embarking on a whole foods and natural products healing program is that because it is SO natural, it is often UNnatural to many.
Once you adjust to the new rational of your chosen healing program you may find yourself enthusiastically holding views that differ from those around you. The wisdom of the path is unrelated to the number of people on it. In fact, the old adage often holds true when it comes to diet... “If everyone is thinking alike, no one’s thinking”.
An explanation of your struggle with yeast, candida, CRC, Candidiasis etc to casual people in your life and even those in your closer circles is a task that requires care and thoughtfulness and, in many situations, may be best avoided. If you have to say something, a simple explanation that you have some digestive and allergy problems and need to choose your foods very carefully will likely be enough for most people. If you are 'gung ho' into your program and getting excited by the changes you've enjoyed, this might feel counter-intuitive.
Almost inevitable, is the period of what I call “nutritional evangelism”, during which one acts like a “born again nutritionist”. If you find yourself doing this, swallow and take a deep breath and do your best to smile and consider whether you'd be better to carry on with your own healing, quietly. Hint- the glazed looks that come over people’s eyes as they shut their minds off to “too much information” followed by the reduction in social invitations and an increase in the types of whispers that stop suddenly as you walk in their direction, are a really good cue that you may have over-shared
If you continue you run the risk of being labelled “paranoid” or “kooky”. Perhaps, you might say, paranoia is just what some people label a form of open-eyed awareness. Maybe true but still, when our awareness is at a level greater than those around us, we need to learn to be artful about sharing information in a way that others can relate to so they are not repelled. As long as we are not seeking agreement with what are our own personal decisions/choices are, then we can probably resist getting entwined in debate about your personal choices.
Sharing in small bites
If you know someone very well and feel that they may listen to what's been happening with an open mind, you can certainly attempt to explain and or you can provide some literature to them for them to read. However, it's usually best to try to give short, summarized 'sound bytes' and allow them to ask questions rather than overwhelm them with information.
Leading by healthy example
Even your dearest loved ones may have some trouble adjusting to your new interests, passions and preferences and it’s important to try to be prepared for this. As you learn and change, keep in mind that they may not want to know all the details that fascinate you. Also, once you’re living a healthier life, it can be hard to watch those that you care about carry on in the same old ways. You may want to try to improve their lifestyles along with your own. Since many are unreceptive to the idea of diet change and the inconvenience of admitting there is a problem with the status quo of mainstream food choices, you will need to be prepared to travel this path alone (but for your forum friends.) In the best case scenario, you may have success simply inspiring them by being a quiet example of gradually improving health and vitality. However, even open minded, supportive people who may respect your choices might not want to make the effort in their own lives, especially if they 'feel fine.'
It can be very tempting to want to change the whole world around us as we experience our own personal revelation. But, like all learning, we all come to realizations about our health when the time is right for us. In defence of those who resist, as most of you have already realized, making changes in diet is one of the most intimidating lifestyle improvements we can take on.
We'll be here
To those who are ready for the true, deep commitment that it takes to pursue lasting health, the pages of the forum quietly invite one to experience the information-treasures within. Jan, thanks for reminding us to that everyone is at a different place of awareness as they visit or join us here on the forum. All each person can do is to start when they are ready and from wherever they are at.
With you on your path to health,