“Carbs make you fat!” said the woman who had been proudly sharing her carb-free diet with another woman at the Publix checkout line. She was going on and on about the meal she planned to prepare that night, a meal which included NO CARBS AT ALL!
I glanced at the slab of ribs the size of a newborn piglet in her grocery cart. My pearls threatened to launch an assault on her swine theory. But the wisdom of Matthew 7:6 held me back.
“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” – Matthew 7:6
A few months ago, I would have engaged in a conversation with that woman, telling her that all diets come down to one thing: simple math. Calories in, calories out. As my friend Scott Wilson so eloquently put it …
“Eating more than you burn makes you fat. Simple math. All else is noise.”
One thousand calories of steak will take as much time and effort to burn as 1,000 calories of spinach.
I would have told her that eating for health is a lifelong process, not one that will help you shed a few pounds, deprive you of your favorite foods, slow down your metabolism and send you back to pasta faster than if you had allowed yourself the gift of moderation.
But that was months ago. That morning encounter at Publix reminded me that sometimes it’s best to keep my mouth shut and let my computer keys do the talking.
Even the Facebook post in which I shared the details of my grocery line encounter with the pig in the basket prompted a few castigating comments from friends who have had success with the latest diet du jour, the Keto diet, which (in my humble opinion), is nothing more than a repackaged Atkins Diet.
But this article is about so much more than the battle between carbs and protein. It’s about the bigger picture of trying to educate someone based on the lessons your life experiences have taught you.
The bottom line is … you can’t.
You can’t tell someone that shedding pounds while their body struggles to adjust to the radical changes it is being forced to process is good for them.
You can’t tell them that if they are drinking a glass of wine every night for health reasons, they would be consuming perhaps a third of what they pour into their glass, and stop at that amount.
You can’t tell them that 15 minutes of meditation each day will give them the extra time they wish they had to do all the things they want to do.
You can’t tell them that exercise will do more for their mind, body and soul than any pill or powder ever will.
You can’t tell them that living in the moment is all there is.
You can’t tell them that sometimes the best thing to do is nothing.
You can’t tell them that their to-do list will outlive them.
You can’t tell them that surrendering the outcome to God, the Higher Power, the Universe, or the Source from which they came is always the best action plan.
You can’t tell anyone who drinks the presidential shade of orange Kool-Aid that perhaps it’s turning a bit too red.
You can’t do any of those things because the conclusions you’ve reached based on the lessons that life has taught you are precisely that … YOUR lessons … Lessons that have touched the deepest parts of your soul and stirred passions so strong you can’t help but want to share them.
But when the passions stirred by a life lesson are involved, you shouldn’t, well, throw your pearls in front of swine.
You can’t learn anyone’s lessons for them. You can only teach by example.
However, my friends, I can’t live without pasta. And neither should you.