When I started this way of eating I was in a desperate health crisis. My health had gotten so bad, that I was planning out how to end my life. That is how bad it was.
Often the subject of perfection comes up. People tell us all the time that what we suggest for people is “too hard” or “too strict” or “too much”. I get that. I think it is hard, it’s hard because we’re all hard wired to go after the highest calorically dense foods on the planet. It’s part of our DNA, how we lived for a very long time.
But do we expect perfection ?
This is a hard question to answer. Let me tell you about the people who come to us, and then we’ll get to the question.
Person A: We’ll call her Sally. Sally is 48 and has Type 2 diabetes, her cholesterol is 290 and her blood pressure is through the roof, she is 100 pounds overweight. She is really scared, and in a health crisis, she wants to save her life.
Person B: We’ll call her Jen. Jen is about 30 pounds overweight, she has slightly elevated cholesterol. She is pretty active, and her Doctor says that for the most part she is healthy. She wants to shed the 30 pounds and feel more energy.
Person C: We’ll call him Dan. Dan is at his ideal weight, he has perfect cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. He is also a pretty avid athlete and works out about 20 hours per week on average. He wants to improve his athletic performance.
Of course, we get a lot more situations than this, but those are the three main people we get who e-mail us. Most people are in between Sally and Jen. And we get A LOT who are in a serious health crisis, like I was.
This is the thing with trying to convey a health message. We owe it to you to tell you what is the most optimal plan, the plan that would be suitable for someone like Sally. For someone like Sally, the degree in which she follows the plan is a life or death situation, like it was for me. This does not mean in anyway that we judge Sally when she has a bad day, but it does mean that we will guide her and direct her so that she is a good place.
If you were in a car accident, and were at the hospital, you wouldn’t ask the Dr. to just try their best, see what happens, no worries if they are not practicing the most optimal plan! You want them to be perfect, you don’t want them to make one mistake. And you wouldn’t want them to say “well, there is a way to do this perfectly, but we’re going to just aim for ok”.
This is where it all gets tricky. When people read our site, our books, or ask for help, we generally don’t know if we’re talking to Sally, Jen or Dan right away. So if someone says “is it ok if I have X every so often?”. That might be ok for Dan, but it could be detrimental to Sally.
It’s not because we’re being mean, or strict or unreasonable, it really is because we feel it is a HUGE responsibility to get it right, and to give you the most accurate, up to date, researched information there is. You deserve that, each and every time.
The diet that we promote is a therapeutic diet, it is meant to help those who are seeking better health, many who really need a health intervention. What you do is completely up to you, we completely respect that and honor your choice of what you eat, that is a personal decision. When you ask us questions about specifics, we’re always going to give you the answer that we have gone over with our team of experts, and that has been researched extensively.
So do we expect perfection?
Simply, no, we know that it is hard. Where we do practice perfection is in the advice we give, and that is because we truly care about each of you, and want you to be at your best health. For those of you suffering from a severe health problem, we know that it can seem daunting the thought of having to go all in, but we are here to help, anytime you need it.
I for one am so grateful that the experts here like Dr. Esselstyn, Jeff Novick, and Doug Lisle who have always been 100% honest with me, and have always told me exactly what needed to be done to get my health back. Has it been easy? Not all the time. Is it worth it? I’m here, alive, and happy, I would say that is worth striving for the most optimal/therapeutic diet.