I briefly considered making the title of this post moderation in all things but then stopped myself because that’s not moderate.
Throughout my life, my mom has often advised me to take things in moderation and try to find the right balance. This usually happens when I excitedly tell her about some new exciting thing I’m going to try (a new diet, exercise, activity). So of course, I usually don’t take her advise on moderation since that just seems like a big downer to my immediate excitement. However, her overall point of finding a good balance did stick and grow on me.
When I first heard about the ketogenic diet and bullet proof coffee, I went on a binge where I stopped eating most carbs and ate a lot more meat and saturated fat (coconut oil, butter, fatty meat… etc.). At the time I was trying out whatever I could to shed body fat to help with my climbing. After about two or three months, while I think I did lose some small amount of body fat (I was already at a fairly low amount, maybe 9% at the time), my cholesterol and blood pressure was way higher than normal.
So I asked myself, What are you optimizing for? Is losing body fat so important that it comes at the cost of heart health? For me it definitely isn’t, since one of my goals is to live healthy as long as I can (I have no problem with immortality). I can see this kind of diet working out for people who have a real problem with body fat such that the extra body weight or fat itself is the main cause of concern for their health. Or perhaps if you wanted to optimize for low body fat at the expensive of longevity. But for me, it’s clearly not the case. So again, there is no absolute right or wrong – it’s just about what you are trying to optimize for. I feel like I should say at this point that I am not a doctor and my advice here is really only for myself.
There are many examples like this that happen day to day now that reinforces this idea for me. I am at the point where I believe:
- There are very few absolute truths in life
- The wiser I grow, the more I see the world in degrees/spectrum instead of absolutes
This is a topic that I want to expand on further, but I’m out of time for now! In closing, I’d like to share one final quote that has stuck with me from Star Wars:
Only a Sith deals in absolutes