Several of you have asked what’s happening with my suspected gluten intolerance. So I am happy to say that I have good news! I think my “gluten intolerance” was more of an “over-eating intolerance”.
Yup, that’s correct. I made an incorrect assumption. Allow me to explain:
You see, every time I ate gluten, I had gastric distress. But when I looked closer (thank you Health Coach!), I realized that every time I ate gluten, I also tended to over-eat because I just LOVE breads, crackers, tortillas, pasta, crackers and crackers. However, when I woke up to this fact and began to carefully measure and eat a small portion, voila, I am OK.
That got me thinking about how we often attribute an effect to a cause without properly evaluating other causes.
For example, a million years ago I worked at a family planning clinic. Women would often complain that the birth control pill they had recently started taking had caused them to gain weight. While I am sure that in some cases there may indeed have been a hormonal problem caused by the pill, many times, when we dug a little deeper, we found a different cause entirely.
These women were going on the pill because they were in new relationships. In new relationships we often eat together with our lovers often as a form of romantic entertainment don’t we? We eat out in restaurants a lot more than we did when we were single. And as time goes on and we get more comfortable in the relationship, maybe our previous desire to stay slim when we were “on the market” mellows a bit, we eat a bit more, workout a bit less and waistlines expand. But it’s a lot easier to blame the pill than to take responsibility for our own actions, isn’t it?
I also see this incorrect assumption effect in play when I hear people say “Yeah, I tried to be vegan but I just didn’t feel well.” Usually when I can get these people to open up a little more, I hear them say that yes, they really weren’t eating very well in that phase. They were not cooking or were relying on processed vegan foods, or never took the time to learn about their nutritional needs or how to meet them as vegans. They rarely ate the large amount of green vegetables vegans need to thrive or they were eating too much fat or sugar.
And quite often I think that new vegans don’t adjust for the lower calorie density of plant-based foods. The fatigue and loss of vitality they experience as vegans is quite likely due to a too low caloric intake. (Yes, you must eat a higher VOLUME of food on a plant-based diet. Can I get a yay to that??)
Could there be people who ate great and ate enough calories and STILL felt bad as vegans? There probably are. But it’s a lot easier to blame veganism than to take responsibility for our own actions.
Are there places in your life where you are drawing incorrect assumptions?
- Maybe you assume that your metabolism is “messed up” because no matter how hard you try, you just can’t lose weight? Get your metabolism tested and I’ll bet it’s just fine. You probably have trouble losing weight because you have never gotten to the root of why you gained it in the first place. Or because you have a problem being consistent with your changes or sticking with it long enough to see results. It’s a lot easier to blame our metabolism than take responsibility for our own actions.
- Perhaps you have drawn the incorrect assumption that you need to eat some low-carb fad diet in order to lose weight. Incorrect because you never counted your calories and if you had, you would have seen that your low-carb fad diet is simply a lower calorie diet. You could have achieved the same weight loss by just eating smaller portions of the regular food you enjoy. It’s a lot easier to blame a certain food (carbs) than to take responsibility for our own actions.
I don’t mean to sound preachy. We all do this. I did it with the gluten issues above and as I am learning with my coach, I have done it repeatedly with my incorrect assumption that I cannot achieve anything without OVERCOMING some sort of major adversity. I am stuck on my hero scenario. (in case you, um, hadn’t noticed…)
I hope you can see how believing incorrect assumptions takes your power away. It makes you a victim. It gives you no hope.
The only way to move forward is to… take responsibility for our own actions.
Explore your assumptions. Shine a big ole flashlight on them. Expose them for what they are, and