I recently read an article where a nutritionist/personal trainer gave an account of what she ate in a day. Then, a dietitian weighed in on the food choices. The dietitian seemed happy with the overall account but could not help note that tweaks could have been made. I found the article to be both interesting and annoying, and it led me to think of Dietary Omnism.
Curiosity gets the better of us…
It was interesting because, as a society, we seem to have an overwhelming curiosity about how everyone else is eating or doing things. And, yes, it’s natural to want to know more and be curious if our objective is to learn. THAT’S O.K! It’s a human reaction. The problem happens when we think we can become the other person, obsessed with being like that person. When we reach a point that we override what we know does or doesn’t work for us or become overly judgmental about others who do not do the same.
Be curious, not judgmental
It was annoying because it was a well-balanced diet by all accounts. We were also only getting a tiny snapshot of the trainers’ overall life. Yet, it had to be nit-picked and ‘some improvement’ could have been made. Now, this is not about dietitians VS nutritionists; it is about how it seems acceptable to weigh in on each other’s diets/lives without considering a bigger picture. While adding dairy for additional calcium was a valid suggestion, it’s not the only source of calcium available. Let’s be honest – no one – yes, no one – eats perfectly every day.
Like so many of us, we scour the internet, magazines and various social media for cues and hints about our dietary needs and, of course, we compare. It’s this comparison that I find the most annoying and damaging. It plants seeds of doubt and insecurity about our lifestyle, food, and exercise choices. We get caught in what seems to be an eternal loop of feeling like ‘not enough, ‘must do more, or ‘I can’t do this on my own.
Wait, aren’t you a Health Coach?
At this point, you are probably thinking, isn’t that precisely what you do? Aren’t you a Health Coach?
Yes, I’m a Health Coach, and no, that’s not quite what I do. I am diet neutral, and my focus is not on telling you what you must or must not eat; my focus is on finding what works for you in the space you are in. Many factors influence diet and lifestyle choices and if you can accommodate the latest and greatest trends, go for it. Telling a cash strapped client that a healthy diet isn’t complete unless it has chia and hemp seeds in it, well – not going to happen. Likewise, telling someone who gags at eating broccoli they have to suck it up isn’t going to help either.
Knowledge is power, and understanding the pros and cons of food and lifestyle choices is far more helpful in finding a sustainable and natural way of living. They teach a man to fish proverb is what we’re going for here.
What’s Omnism got to do with it?
Omnism in its simplest form is:
The belief that there is no true religion or beliefs, but that there is truth in all religion and belief.
I believe this applies to diets as well. The number of diets and ways to eat in the world today is staggering. The onslaught of campaigns for these different ways is relentless. From my experimentation with diets and lifestyle choices, I have found Dietary Omnism to be the best way to learn from it all. With each experience, I have discovered elements that work for me and others that don’t. So I drop what doesn’t and keep what does.
As health coaches, we are taught about bio-individuality and what works for one may not for another. When we work with that as a base, it sets you up for greater success. Granted, it’s not a quick fix. But, it is the one that gets you to a place where you don’t panic on receipt of a dinner invitation or when you have to travel.
Our diets and lifestyles should empower us to do more – not less, and that is the ultimate goal.