Beth's Ponderings Lately I've read a LOT of weight-loss books. Now, if you know me personally, you know I don't need to lose weight, I need to GAIN it! However, it seems that the only way to get people to read nutritional/health information is to market it as weight-loss, but nutrition and health are so much more than just losing weight. Not that the information in most of the books is very helpful. “Eat this, not that” becomes “Avoid this and pig out on that” till another study is done and then it's “Don't eat this or that, drink something else.” While most doctors and nutritionists advocate eating “real” or “whole” food, they can't even agree on what real food actually is! I took a nutrition course in university – and almost failed the final project because my professor didn't believe that I weighed what I did since I consumed such a large amount of daily calories for a woman – yet my interest in food, nutrition and health tends to come more from a historical or anthropological view, rather from artificially staged clinical trials. When Mother Nature was in charge of feeding all the creatures there was ample variety and supply. Starvation occurred only in extreme, highly localized, situations such as following a volcanic eruption. Then humans decided that they could a better job. Domestication of various animals and plants followed through the centuries. Then humans decided that domestication wasn't enough, and they decided to create artificial versions of the real foods so that they could control the volume and variety of the food supply (and tax it, etc). What we should be doing is eating what various indigenous people around the world have eaten for millennia. Countless records show how healthy indigenous people were until introduced to foreign foods. The best description of “real” food I came across once said that if you can pick the item up and eat it in its raw, unaltered (peeling or cracking allowed) state, then it is food. That doesn’t mean it can’t be altered, just that it’s edible even when not. Also, it should not “cling” to your teeth, especially after drinking water. On the other hand, if it first needs altered in any way (soaked, cooked, etc) to render it edible, it’s not food. Just because we “can” eat something, doesn’t always mean we should.
What label(s) do you invoke when things aren’t going your way, in hopes of turning the tide for you?
You know the labels I mean. “I am a (fill in the blank with your gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, weight, height, age, education level, etc).”
Labels that you then use to portray others as being anti-(whatever your particular label is) when they disagree with you?
Using a label to “blame” or “shame” others is very easy, and it is effective in some respects as the other person can’t argue with the label.
But...and it’s a big but, the label usually has nothing to do with the situation or issue at hand. It allows the person invoking the label to abdicate responsibility for whatever they are doing, that they probably shouldn’t be doing or they wouldn’t be hiding behind the label in the first place, and it puts the other party in the awkward position of being the bad guy when they really aren’t.
I recently heard a woman, in a position of authority, say that if you disagreed with her current decisions that means that you are anti-women and anti-feminism.
It means that you disagree with her decisions - which have absolutely nothing to do with her gender, or whether she’s a feminist.
By invoking the labels of woman and feminist - which she clearly is - she totally derailed the conversation, and shut down any attempts to discuss the nature of her decisions, and their impact on the various parties involved.
Invoking a label is more an indication of fear, than an indication of confidence. It is something to hide behind, instead of dealing with reality, and facing the situation head on.
Everyone isn’t going to agree with you in this world. That’s a given. But, if you are comfortable in your own skin, and feel confident with the choices you make in your life, you have no need to invoke a label to get your own way.