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I Think I May Be a Jerk…



I’m currently on the Autoimmune Protocol, a nutrient-rich elimination diet that removes foods that irritate the gut, cause gut imbalance and activate the immune system. You can read more about the protocol and why I’m doing this here.

 Once you start recognising your own obsessions, you know you’re getting old.  (Jeanette Winterson)

Oh, goody! Now, according to Jeanette Winterson, not only am I (slightly) obsessed, I’m officially getting old. The hits just keep on coming…!

I’m having a bit of a moment today. I don’t have them that often, but today’s one of those days. Here’s the thing – an old school friend, with whom I recently reconnected, posted the following cartoon from the New Yorker on Facebook this week.

The New Yorker Cartoon
(Image from the New Yorker)

It hit a wee bit of a nerve with me.

I had to stop and ask myself if I am a jerk…?

It is true that the extreme restrictions created by the autoimmune protocol severely limit our – LM’s and my – ability to dine out. I think I’ve been out to dinner once since I started this caper at the beginning of February. And, it is also true that LM and I have jokingly started referring to ourselves as ‘Jack Sprat and his wife’, due to the long list of things we can’t eat while on the AIP.

At least, we were until I saw this cartoon…

But, is this obsession that I currently have with food and getting healthy making me into a person others don’t want to spend time with? And, if the answer is ‘yes’, how do I really feel about that?

I am being a jerk (with a small ‘j’).

So, I think the short answer is that I am being a wee bit of a jerk. And, I will continue to be one – at least for the duration of the AIP.

I’m ok with that.

I’m ok with that for 2 reasons.

#1 – I’m not doing this to be difficult. I’m not doing it because it’s trendy. I’m doing it to give myself the best shot possible to be healthy. And, I’m starting to see some results. So, I think it is worth the sacrifices.

#2 – I get that some of my friends think that this is an extreme approach to take. I’m pretty sure one or two of them don’t buy into it at all (although nobody has actually come out and said that to my face!). And, that’s ok, too. I think dining at the golden arches or at the colonel’s is crazy. It takes all sorts.

As I read more and more about the food system we human beans in the western world are party to, I become more and more convinced that the processed product we consume is making us both sick and fat. That same product is filled with ever-increasing levels of genetically modified foods, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup (sugar) and, additives and preservatives that we can’t even identify, let alone pronounce. There is no doubt in my mind that it has made me both unwell and overweight.

So, if being aware of exactly what I’m eating and saying no to processed food makes me a jerk, then I can live with that.


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Comments (8)

Thanks for sharing that cartoon! I was asked to go to a paleo potluck the other day & declined because I’d have ask everyone about every little ingredient: Seed spices? Nightshades? I totally felt like a jerk. Like I was saying, I am too pure for your potluck!

I know! It is the hardest part about this whole AIP gig, I think, Petra. Not everybody feels the same way about food as medicine… And, yours was even a Paleo potluck!

TSL, I don’t think you’re a jerk. Or, if you are, then you’re a committed, impressively disciplined jerk undertaking a daunting but fascinating adventure. I’m almost certain that I wouldn’t be able to do the AIP properly and am in awe of you and LM for sticking with it. I just re-read your intro post from a while back, which said that you’d be on the Protocol for at least 30 days. Is that still the plan? I’m intrigued to know how you transition back into a world where you can go out for dinner etc without too much stress after the AIP – or is it more of a long-term proposition than I am imagining? Love your work, jerk. 😉

You always say the most uplifting things, Sparks. Thanks!

After the initial 30 days were up, I decided to stay on the full protocol. I’m feeling great and – really just in the last 2 weeks – starting to see some results. I’ve found my groove, at least for the moment, I think.

It is a long process (well, at least until I consider how long I ate things that were making me sick!) I will start reintroducing things slowly – not sure when, yet. LM advised me, while I was in NZ, that he had chosen to reintroduce coffee, chocolate and brazil nuts. The first two are self explanatory. Not sure about the brazils. Maybe he needed selenium? Anyway – he is trucking along well with the additions. I’m remaining strong!

Big hugs to you, my friend 🙂

I think what you are doing is both inspirational and educational, like Sparks, I do not know I would be so discipline. What I do know, is I am very much enjoying your journey. Kx

It’s so lovely having a posse of blogging buddies in my corner, K. Thanks Possum 🙂

To some people I’m a big ol’ jerky jerk face. But the lovely thing is; the people that matter understand that this journey has nothing to do with them, they won’t take it personally, or judge us. They will celebrate and encourage that we are taking care of ourselves.

The other people that get offended, belittle our choice in bettering ourselves – the ones that think we are jerks? Well, they bear no relevance in my mind or in my life. 🙂

A pretty good sentiment to live by, that last one, I reckon, Erin!

So lovely to have you swing by!

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