Thursday, March 1, 2012

It's Bad--Very Bad

A friend of mine was just diagnosed with diabetes. Okay, maybe by now I should be somewhat immune to this type of bad news, especially because the disease is so prevalent in our society. I can’t help it, every time I hear of another person close to me who is diagnosed with diabetes my heart sinks a little. Impulsively, I want to run to them, put my arm around them and assure them I can help if they are willing to make some significant changes to their lifestyle. But, then reality sets in and I take a step back (after all I’m not a doctor) and let them talk. Most of the time what I hear in their voice is confusion and a bit of hopelessness--they have no idea what they are going to do and how they are going to manage the rest of their life with this disease. Behind their words of hopelessness is also a bit of denial. Most of them are just hoping that things aren’t really that bad. 

Well it is. It’s bad--very bad.

This friend made sure to tell me that her doctor said “it wasn’t so much about food.” Supposedly, her doctor said losing weight was more important than changing how she eats. That’s when I felt the anger starting to rise up inside me and I blurted out “It most certainly IS about food! It’s because of years & years of bad food choices!”  Ooops! Maybe I shouldn’t have been so blunt and managed to shut my mouth. 
At this point all I can say is shame on that doctor if they really said that to my friend. I did offer to help her if she was interested but I don’t think that she will take me up on it. That’s okay, that’s her choice. 
It was a couple of days later that I came around the corner and saw her sneaking a taste of a delectable dessert someone had brought to share. Just as she lifted the spoon to her mouth she spotted me. She said something like “I’m such a bad girl!” and then shoved the spoon into her mouth. Interesting! Why on earth would she feel guilty if  “it wasn’t so much about food”?
I only want to help my friend, not judge her or what she eats. But, how do you explain to someone like this the benefits of eating a low-fat plant based diet?  They don’t understand the concept of controlling what they eat and how it plays into the future. They can’t even imagine what healthy feels like. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
From now on I will try to mind my own business and still be supportive to my friend. Even though I want to help I can’t control my friend. This is their life, their choice, their health. I wish that everyone would read for themselves books like The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, or Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman then make the necessary changes. I would love to see my friend six months after eating a low-fat plant based diet. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Very interesting situation! I am reading The Pleasure Trap right now and it explains why making good food choices is so hard. It's a very difficult situation because I'm sure your friend doesn't want to eat those pieces of cake, but she also doesn't have a clue how to stop herself. It takes a ton of psychological training to resist addictive food. Very few people seem up to the challenge.