Since starting hard out on this healthiness/weight loss rollercoaster in January, I’ve learned a lot about how different people get healthy. Some eat the same as they always have, and go to the gym. Some make moderate changes to their diet, but go to the gym hard out, and some make radical changes both in diet and activity done. Those on the radical end generally speak the same language as me, if we talk about “eating clean” we both know what we’re talking about. It’s kinda common sense eating; eating whole food, lots of veggies (especially greens), protein etc and reducing intake of things like sugar, simple carbs etc. Some go gluten or dairy free for a while to give their body a break or to see if it helps with fat loss or energy levels.
Then there are a bunch of people known collectively as “CrossFitters”. Wikipedia says;
“CrossFit describes its strength and conditioning program as “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement,” with the stated goal of improving fitness (and therefore general physical preparedness), which it defines as “work capacity across broad time and modal domains.” Workouts are typically short—20 minutes or less—and intense, demanding all-out physical exertion. They combine movements such as sprinting, rowing, jumping rope, climbing rope, flipping tires, weightlifting, and carrying odd objects; they use barbells, dumbbells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, kettlebells, medicine balls, boxes for box jumps, and many bodyweight exercises.”
All up, pretty hardcore. Think circuit training on some pretty serious crack. I have nothing against the fundamentals of it (though the form of some people I’ve seen doing workouts on Youtube is scary) it’s just the attitude that goes with it. I admire the group dynamic that they foster, the support network that is inherent when you get a group of people doing really hard things with their bodies and essentially surviving that crazy workout! What I don’t admire is some of the “add ons” that go with it. Mainly this idea of “Paleo eating”. Again, Wikipedia says;
The paleolithic diet (abbreviated paleo diet or paleodiet), also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era—a period of about 2.5 million years duration that ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture.
I read a lot of health/fitness/weightloss blogs as a way of learning and finding new resources and more and more this whole Paleo eating thing is coming up, and it’s so flawed. It bugs me that they are so rigid, yet contradict themselves and are so judgemental about it, specifically regarding supposed health risks if you don’t follow that way of eating. Or if you go to a regular gym, not a “Box”. They say they stick to a paleo diet, yet are often eating well outside of what that particular species of hominid ate. They eat fish, it’s not likely that fishing was all that common. They often eat a high proportion of meat when the ratio of plant matter eaten was likely higher in most regions, possibly due to the fact that the success rate for actually killing a land dwelling animal wasn’t awfully high due to the tools and weaponry available – it’s not like they had bows and arrows! Then there’s nut butters, pumpkin…Misinterpreting anthropological evidence makes me mad!
So yeah. I dunno. I’m used to a certain amount of assholery, just the contradictions that keep popping up combined with the yuck attitude by some have really bothered me today.
Disclaimer: I’m not a scientist, nutritionist, anthropologist or any other ‘ist really. I just read a lot, talk to people who know things about the above ‘ist’s, and so the above is my opinion based on that 🙂