On Monday, I went to the library in search of The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. I heard about the book in the movie Forks Over Knives (a movie I recommend, by the way) and have been curious about it ever since. At it turns out, our library doesn’t have the book; however, they do have Dr. Campbell’s follow-up book Whole in which he explains his whole food plant based lifestyle in more depth. I checked that one out and am currently reading it. I’m impressed and intrigued so far.
But that’s not my point.
My point is that I had to dig through shelves and shelves of diet books to find this one. There are a bajillion diet books out there, each with its own gimmick or hook. Eat no carbs. Eat all carbs. Eat no fat. Pay no attention to fat. Eat like a caveman. Eat only popcorn. Eat raw foods. Whatever. There are any number of “experts” shelling out all kinds of advice to help us all to lose weight and look great. Terrific. We’ll all look great in our caskets since tragically few of these programs give two hoots about our overall health. Their aim is to make people lose weight. Period. Well, a hacksaw can help us lose weight – technically – but it won’t do a thing to make us healthier. And, who are these “experts” anyway?
I hadn’t heard of most of them, which is not terribly surprising. But looking over the books, the things that struck me most were that from the pictures, they all seem to have 64 teeth, and it didn’t seem that a single one of them that had been obese at any point in their lives. These were people who have never had a weight problem telling me how to lose weight. Now, I’m generally a little cranky and suspicious; so, when a woman who looks like a lollipop tells me how easily I can shed 30 pounds, I tend to react a little negatively. If someone is going to give me advice on how to travel down this road, on how to make this difficult journey, I’d like for them to have actually made the journey. Someone who has blazed the trail has valuable advice for me. Someone who has only read about it may make some good points, but, frankly, they’ve got nothing to say that I care to hear. After all, they have only theoretical knowledge. They’ve never had their boots on the ground.
Even though Dr. Campbell has never had a weight problem either, I ignore that since, for him, weight loss is, at best, a secondary goal of his lifestyle. The primary goal being, of course, good health. He’s a bona fide scientist and has arrived at this whole food plant based (WFPB) lifestyle as a result of 50 years of research and experimentation. His results upset the status quo and cost him a great deal over the course of his career. In addition, he and his extended family all observe this WFPB lifestyle and are just stupidly healthy. That says a lot to me.
This WFPB lifestyle may turn out to be just another gimmick. I’ll continue to investigate and let you know.