Quit your whining!

Wheat Belly Blog reader PJ is back, this time with an emotionally unedited version of her letter.

I feel PJ’s frustration. You can show somebody the answer time and time again, but some people just never accept it or follow through. You can show them evidence of your own 30 pound weight loss, renewed vigor and energy, and the success of friends and family who have done similarly. But for some the emotional pull of this thing called “wheat” is too powerful, powerful enough to overcome the weak-willed.

Perhaps it won’t fix anything, but perhaps PJ will feel better after unleashing.

Dear Friends, Family, Neighbors and Co-Workers:

I am so sick and tired of hearing all of your complaining and whining that you just can’t lose that blubber and you feel like crap. You keep turning to me for advice on what to do about this symptom or that symptom. I tell all of you, over and over and over again, to eliminate the grains and sugar from your diet. You’ve seen what it’s done for me over recent years and I have literally begged you to try it for just a month but you tell me that you just CAN’T give up your breads and desserts. It’s too HAAAARD! Oh, waaaa! Grow up! You say you would do ANYTHING to lose the weight and feel better but I have never heard so many bs excuses in my life!

Now suddenly you’re worried about your blood sugar and are afraid you might become diabetic. Might?!! I hear about your heartburn, joint pain, tooth loss and acne on a daily basis. Well, you’ve earned it. You’ve earned it with every bite of that must-have toast, every convenient Subway sandwich and plate of low fat pasta salad. Hearing about your depression is depressing the hell out of me. For God’s sake girl, you’re only 27!

Your doctor put you on statins and blood pressure meds over a year ago because he has your best interests at heart. He’s the expert and knows what you need. Yeah? How’s that working for you?! Feeling any better? Having an easier time remembering your grandkids names? I know trying to carry on a conversation with you lately is tedious and painful for me.

Your kids are annoying, strung out little junkies that need REAL FOOD. When you come to me about advice about disciplining your out of control kids, what do I advise you to do? Stop feeding them crap! I’m sick of hearing that tired line about how exhausted you are and you just don’t have time to cook. You forget that I also raised a family while working. You seem to find the time to sit in the drive-thru waiting for your KFC order. How many times to I have to say that Pop Tarts and Pizza Rolls are not food, no matter what the commercials say. Just because you can put it in your mouth and swallow it doesn’t make it food.

God forbid you read a book or do a little internet research. I lend you dvds and books and they sit, untouched and unread for weeks until I ask for them back. Is it really so hard to put a damned dvd in the machine?!! By the way, how’s that infertility problem?

Every time I have to leave work to pick you up at the bus stop because you can’t walk your fat, wheezy, sweaty butt the three blocks to the office, what do I tell you? You HAVE to make some changes, darlin’! All I get in response is “I know, I know, I will.” I’m still waiting. And I’m still the one sent to pick you up when you call for help because your knees gave out and you can’t breathe.

As those pounds continue to pack on and your belly and ass get to be the size of Montana you’ll start taking your doctor’s advise. Eventually he will intimidate you into taking his magic pills. And you’ll take them, because it’s easier than taking responsibility. Don’t worry about the side effects of these drugs because there’s another pill for that, too. This will go on until you’re held together with pharmaceutical band aids, living a long, miserable, painful, unproductive life.

But look on the bright side. If the label that’s slapped on what’s ailing you is serious enough, there are so many benefits to becoming disabled! Disability gets you a handicap sticker for convenient parking, discounts on public transportation, priority seating on an airplane (if you fit in their seats by that time), and you don’t have to work at a job for your income. Yea! Those electric scooters at your favorite stores are so much fun! Hey! Maybe Disability/Medicare will make sure you get one of your very own . . . at no cost to you! They’ll even do the paperwork for you. (To all my grain eating friends that live alone, don’t forget that you can get a discount on Life Alert through AARP!)

Don’t even concern yourself about the price of all your prescriptions because there is always a benevolent drug company willing to help with the cost. You’ll get all of this without ever having to think for yourself or take responsibility for your health. And it’s so EASY! All you have to do is just keep doing what you’re doing. No changes necessary.

Your healthy friends may drift away, but you’ll never have to worry about being lonely because you’ll be making tons of new friends with the people you meet in the doctors’ waiting rooms! Imagine all the beautiful Christmas cards you’ll get every year from all those doctors and their caring staff!
I have never seen people work so hard at being sick. I am literally handing you the solution. I’ve shown you how. I’ve shown you that it works. I’ve written menus for you. I’ve made shopping lists for you to get you started. How much easier do I need to make it for you?

Do I sound angry? Damned right I’m angry!! I’m widowed, I’ve lost loved ones and my friends are dropping like flies. Why? Two words: wheat and sugar. It’s tearing me apart to watch you do this to yourselves. I am done with grieving. I have cared about all of you for a very long time and have wanted to help but I can’t do it for you.

The best gift you can give a loved one is to take of yourself! It’s never too late to change. PLEASE. It’s your choice.

However, if you choose to stay the path you’re on . . . I’ll miss you.

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135 Responses to Quit your whining!

  1. PJ says:

    Nick, I’m sorry you found the expression of what I feel so upsetting. I think you may have missed the point that I never actually say these things to anyone; they are just what I feel and wish I could say.

    Never said I was an MD, you did. I hope your patients find you as compassionate and helpful as you would like to be. They all need compassion and help, not enabling by accepting the “need” for surgery.

    Best to you.

  2. P. G. says:

    PJ, I totally understand your frustration! I’m a nurse and have gone through the same thing with friends and patients in a variety of situations, not just diet related. I also get that you’re just expressing your feelings and that these are not things you say to people to their face. For that, I don’t think you deserve criticism. On the other hand, I agree with the poster who said that often the people who refuse to change their ways really are struggling with things that are much deeper. The more I live and the more I see, the more convinced I am that a bad diet is an addiction just like nicotine, alcohol, or drugs. If only it were as simple as just seeing the light! Unfortunately it’s a vicious cycle, as the things that make it hard for people to change their dietary/exercise habits are also the same things that are made worse by a bad diet and lack of exercise, such as depression or hunger or fatigue. I’ve given up wheat and sugar several times in my life, briefly, and felt like a million bucks. No one can know that feeling of wellness unless they’ve experienced it, so for any newbie here reading, really, it’s true! You feel light and bright and energetic and just overall happy. Yet here I am, back to eating Trader Joe’s choco covered biscottis and swilling down sweetened cranberry juice . . . what happened? I keep falling off the wagon. The drive for familiar comfort foods is just very, very strong. Maybe we need a 12 Step program. :-)

    • PJ says:

      P.G., I think we do need a WA 12 step program! Seriously. If it became a real thing, maybe people would take it seriously. Imagine this issue being taken seriously by the masses! sigh.

      Don’t worry about falling off the wagon. Each wheat free day you have just makes you stronger. My oopses are getting fewer and further between. The trick is not to beat yourself up about it. I know people that feel so guilty about a slip that they use it as an excuse to give up. You don’t strick me as that kind of person, tho. You sound strong and aware.

      Stay strong!

    • CindyH says:

      “No one can know that feeling of wellness unless they’ve experienced it.”
      This is so true! And what I feel so sad about (and passionate about sharing) is that I was raised to believe all of the low-fat, calories in/calories out, I have no willpower because I can’t lose weight crap. I beat myself up for years for not being able to stick with a diet … and now going wheat free find hey, guess what? It wasn’t me after all! THAT is why I want my friends to just give this a try … because I think it will set them free from the same hamster-cage I was in. It’s not necessarily EASY but it sure is SIMPLE. Cut the wheat and see what happens.

      • PJ says:

        Snap! You said it Cindy . . . it may not be easy but it is very simple. Nothing worth achieving is easy. But I think eliminating grains from your diet is a lot easier than counting calories or points and trying to jog 5 miles a day while starving and putting up with constant cravings. As you say, JUST TRY IT! What in the world would you have to lose by just trying?

    • Pam says:

      I too, am a nurse. I have done the carb free thing off and on for years. Knowing I felt better but kept falling off. Then, earlier this year my HbA1C came back super high, I felt terrible. The doctor says “You are diabetic.” Some kind of switch turned on and I thought “I REFUSE to be diabetic.” I started wheat free, carb free from that day on. Now, it was not easy. I am addicted to carbs like everyone else. The second thing that helped was dealing with a 32 year old non-compliant diabetic in the ER with a Charcot Foot (google a picture). It was so bad that she has to be in a wheelchair and can no longer stand to work….and she didn’t really get it (“Look what this awful disease did to me”). I looked at my pedicured foot in a cute sandal and I REFUSE to be diabetic with neuropathy and all the complications. If I even think of a carb goodie or someone says “everything in moderation” and “complex carbs are good for you” I think of that Charcot Foot, all red, swollen and the size of a bowling ball. NO THANK YOU. There is no such thing as moderation, it is NONE. My HbA1C is now normal, I am on no medications and for the first time, I am in control of my health destiny. I REFUSE to be bullied into eating things that I know are bad for ME. I too have to go against the medical grain. I am with medical people all day, every day. It is very hard. I am a cheese omelet in a sea of oatmeal, toast, muffins, and boat loads of carb-laden yogurt at our daily breakfast table at the hospital. I can only lead by example….and buy some darn cute shoes.

      • PJ says:

        I am so hugging you right now, Pam! There is absolutely nothing I can add to what you said so powerfully! BTW, love your shoes, they’re adorable. Love the color of your polish.

      • Dr. Davis says:

        Well said, Pam.

        I hear you on the hospital staff thing. While I am friends with many people in hospitals, the level of ignorance on health and nutrition in hospitals is nothing short of incredible. Hospitals are places for sickness, not for health, and healthy practices are only important insofar as they help recovery from a hospitalization.

        • Boundless says:

          Dr.D: I hear you on the hospital staff thing. … the level of ignorance on health and nutrition in hospitals is nothing short of incredible.

          That highlights one of the horrors of the present situation – the untenable position that health care workers are in once they are wheat aware.

          A family member is a retired nurse. Her positions included being DON for extended care facilities. I’m glad she is not doing that now, because she’d be in direct conflict with corporate management, consulting physicians and dietary staff. Local management was in some cases roguish, and might have been supportive, but that’s rare.

          Most of the residents are there because of wheat.
          Some of them could leave if they got off it.
          Almost all would benefit in getting off it.
          Facilities at least need to offer it (as they do other specialized diets, such as alleged diabetic).

          How does a nurse handle this?
          Send a copy of your book to a corporate liability lawyer?

          She still does volunteer work at a local facility, and has been chatting with the retired farmers about wheat. They watched it morph, and don’t find the story incredible. If she even unintentionally incites a resident revolt, I image that management will “resolve” the problem by kicking her out.

          • Phillis says:

            Hey all! PJ, YOU ROCK GIRL! You are right on with all of this. I too have been in your shoes and wish I could say these very things. Especially with my family and all of their wheat related illnesses. The sad part is that a bunch of them are in the medical field and those are the ones that think that I’m crazy even tho I’ve turned around my weight, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and some assorted hormonal issues after a 110 pound weight loss (part of it wheat/grain-free, the first part low-carb). Since I’m not certified in any of their fields they just blow me off. It is really hard to see them gaining more weight, getting diabetes or dealing with existing diabetic complications, and having heart surgery but after getting slammed for offering advice I’ve learned that when they complain I’ll ask them “Do you really WANT to turn things around? Would you really DO whatever it takes?”. If they hem and haw at that point and refuse to look me in the eye I just tell them that when they are really serious and finally get tired of being sick and tired just ask me then again and I’ll share with them freely what it took to turn my health around. It truly hurts me to see people sick but they are sovereign beings and must make their own choices even tho it is frustrating and heartbreakingly sad to watch in the meantime.

      • Paul says:

        Your so right about the “moderation” thing- people that say that make me laugh.
        Would you give peanuts (in moderation) to someone with a deadly peanut allery?
        How about alcohol, in moderation, to an alcoholic? The problem, I think. semantically, is that we even consider grains a food at all. Once we have called these substances a food, most people believe that they truly are foods. Well, we can call rocks food (should we eat rocks in moderations), but that doesn’t make it so!

  3. P. G. says:

    Oh, wanted to ask – what about dairy?? I gave up dairy many times along with the wheat and sugar and definitely am convinced that dairy is just as bad as the other two.

    • PJ says:

      In my opinion, I think if you don’t have a problem with dairy, go ahead. Personally, I don’t drink dairy unless I can get my hands on raw product. I eat some plain yoghurt, cottage cheese or imported raw milk cheeses almost every day. I think if you think you may have a problem with dairy, err on the side of caution and try eliminating it and see if it makes a difference.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Dairy is a problem for many people, PG, but not everybody. But it is a problem for enough people that the issue comes up fairly frequently.

      Note that, however, unlike wheat, dairy products are not addictive, contain no lectins that disable normal intestinal barriers, and lack many of the other adverse effects of wheat. It is primarily an immune/allergic/lactose intolerance issue.

  4. kateryna says:

    My paleo nutritionist and I discussed this very thing and she said “you can throw them a lifeline when they are drowing and it’s up to them to grab it.” You can toss it to them several times, and if they ignore it each time they will drown. Is that your fault? No. So don’t beat yourself up about it.

    Don’t we tell our kids to deal with the consequences of their behaviour? Well people just have to deal with the consequences of their decisions. You can only do so much. And you have to know when to stop enabling them and hope that they will someday follow your example.

    • PJ says:

      Perfect sentiment, Kateryna! It is truly a lifeline, isn’t it? I have to say, after being able to vent my frustrations, it put things in perspective for me. You can’t teach someone to walk if they’re not willing to take that first step. Some people want sympathy, not solutions.

      • Marie says:

        And it seems arrogant of us to feel superior if we choose solutions and they opt for sympathy.

        • PJ says:

          I would question why they would opt for sympathy instead of a solution. That, to me, would indicate an issue that needs to be addressed.

          • Marie says:

            Absolutely. And unfortunately, each of us have issues which prevent us from being the best we can be, from time to time. I understand the frustration you’ve expressed in the original post. My concerns is that indulging it without some awareness that we may just as easily fail to make an change in our lives (due to fear, habit, or whatever else is at the root of a problem) as those who frustrate us only serves to breed discord and stubbornness on both sides of an issue. We cannot control others, not even with care and love.

        • PJ says:

          Marie, you do understand that I’ve never actually said any of these things to anyone, don’t you? This letter is simply a way of expressing my feelings after experiencing a high level of frustration during a period of time of hearing excuse after excuse from several people that keep asking me what to do about the situations they’re in. I’m much more empathetic than is expressed in this letter. Just consider this blog my dresser drawer.

  5. Paul says:

    I went nearly completely wheatless in October after seeing Dr. Davis on Fox News and had no pangs for wheat. I have lost my belly along with about 15 pounds. I was never heavy, but the last few years had gained those 15 pounds mostly in my belly. I sleep much better and feel great now.
    Thank you Dr. Davis. I love your book and tell everyone about my great success.
    I wish I could get my wife to join me. She needs to lose 50 pounds, but is unwilling to go wheatless. She just opened a bag of pretzels…oh God!!! Any suggestions on how to deal with a spouse who knows she needs to lose weight, but continues to eat wheat?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Oh, boy. Tough issue, Paul.

      This question seems to be coming up more and more often: One partner understands and experiences the benefits of wheat elimination, but the other partner is so hopefully addicted that they cannot or will not see the light.

      I don’t have a nice, pat answer except to set the example and hope that they observe just what you’ve accomplished. I also hope that, as this message gains wider mainstream coverage in the media, your wife might hear about this question on the news, a women’s magazine, etc. and realize that you were right all along.

    • Boundless says:

      Paul: … Any suggestions on how to deal with {darn near anyone} who knows {they} need to lose weight, but continue to eat wheat?

      How about: ask them how they would handle helping someone else who was addicted to tobacco, booze or drugs. Yes, wheat is very nearly as serious a psychological and physiological addiction. The withdrawal period and intensity may not be as severe.

      • Marie says:

        I think that might be a question most of us here should ask ourselves. When has telling someone they’re an addict ever worked? It’s akin to telling them they are wrong, their way of life is wrong, their beliefs are wrong, etc. It’s difficult to watch loved ones suffer, but planting seeds of hope (and knowledge) that grow of their own accord seems to work on occasion, albeit slowly.

        • CindyH says:

          Marie, I think you are right. I’m just determined to be the best example for my family … and hope they will choose to come along for the ride!

        • PJ says:

          “When has telling someone they’re an addict ever worked? It’s akin to telling them they are wrong, their way of life is wrong, their beliefs are wrong, etc.”

          I have to respond to this, Marie. Telling someone that they’re an addict is actually what does work. Interventions for drugs and alchol are based on this. Until they are told that they are addicts, addicts think no one knows. Do you think addicts are best left to their own devices until they figure it out for themselves?

          • Marie says:

            “Telling someone that they’re an addict is actually what does work.”

            Works how? In what way? Works to get them sober? To push them into recovery? Addicts don’t typically hang on the word of those around them unless they need to in order to get their drug of choice, and that is simply as a means to an end goal – the drug. To assume that the naming of their problem will somehow launch them into action is based on a faulty assumption of self-importance.

            Again, it’s arrogant to think that the addict doesn’t know they’re an addict until one of us edumacated folk enlighten them. (If everyone just thought like we did, then the world would be perfect, right.) They know, deep down, they’ve got issues. When they can’t keep a job, a relationship, a roof over their head, when they lose friends, family, and all self-respect, it’s pretty clear (at least to all the sober folks in their wake) that they’re addicted and it’s ruining their life/health. But the substance used interferes with logical thought processes and they live in denial. They avoid facing the wreckage of their addiction by typically using even more. Does telling the meth head, ‘Hey, you’re addicted’ suddenly make them drop the pipe and enroll in a program? I’d wager at least in 99% of the cases, it’s just not going to snap them into recovery. Go ahead and tell them, but don’t expect miracles or even progress. And if one does happen, it’s the addict that deserves the credit, not the person who voiced it to them.

            AA meetings aren’t full of people being told they’re alcoholics, they reach that conclusion on their own. I think addicts need help getting sober, but whatever help they get will only benefit them when they are ready to accept it – just like anyone else, addicted or not. Sharing our knowledge – great stuff. Judging others because they don’t yet have or want our knowledge – sanctimonious and unhelpful.

  6. Coleen C. says:

    I’m a one-woman band-wagon for “Wheat Belly”! Since I read the book in early Oct., I have given several copies to people who were interested in the concept. One was a neighbor lady whom I had just met and thanked me because she is feeling so much better. I told 3 different people at church yesterday and a woman in the elevator. (I’m not randomly approaching people, they open the door by mentioning their health issue!) To those that aren’t interested in this approach, maybe planting the seed is a start. After all, I was trying to get off the wheat for over a year and didn’t actually stop eating it until I read in Wheat Belly about the addictive nature of wheat! As for myself, I only have a few pounds to lose, but at my age (65) find that the gluten-free foods are just as bad as the wheat. I can only lose weight if I get off of all high-starch foods. I think of the GF foods as a temporary crutch (like substituting methadone for heroin) and I’m “using” less and less of them. I did also discover a sensitivity to dairy when I stopped eating wheat. My doctor, who is a biochemist, said that eating gluten/wheat blocked the effects of the lactose intolerance (most of the time). Has this happened to anyone else? Soy is also very bad for me. So I’m pretty much Paleo these days.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Nice analogies, Coleen!

      The most common situation I see is that presumed lactose intolerance improves with wheat elimination, though it is not that common. I’ve not witnessed the reverse, however. But nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to the effects of the evil grain!

      • Phillis says:

        Hey Coleen! I didn’t have the dairy issue but I did find that I really don’t tolerate a lot of carbs tho so don’t drink milk as a beverage. I’ll use it in small amounts in recipes tho. I had thought about trying the gluten-free items a while back but something always stopped me. I’m glad now that I didn’t because of their effect on blood sugar. It doesn’t take many carbs to make me gain weight. I can do sweet potatoes, beets, carrots and peas on occasion (and I DO mean on occasion) but not much more than that or the ol’ scale goes up and I usually don’t feel well either. Gives me rapid heart beat usually and I’ll feel nauseous. I didn’t know how carbohydrate intolerant I was until I was serious about losing weight and started eliminating them. .

  7. Tori says:

    PJ,

    I hear your pain. I am soooo tired of people not making choices that would most likely help their health issues because “they don’t want to make such big changes yet”. ARE YOU SERIOUS? I do not want to become one of those people that doesn’t get invited to events because they think all I am going to talk about is health but I also don’t want to let these people off the hook. I need to figure out where I can stand that is welcoming to people who are ready to hear the message. I have a cousin who is depressed and has ADHD. Her mom says, “you know us….we like the meds”. Well, her “meds” are requiring more “meds” because of the side effects they cause. I have sent her here and to other sites. I have spoken to her and her mother and just asked them to give it a few weeks. That’s all I can do. I have to let it go for my own sanity.

    Thanks for the good read. It helped me to let go of some of my own frustrations!

    • PJ says:

      You’re right, Tori, there are people out there that actually prefer the meds . . . because it’s easier. Sometimes people will say “You know, what you’re saying makes so much sense! I never thought of it that way. Holy mackeral, that is amazing information! But . . . I’m not sure I want to make such a HUGE lifestyle change”. (SIGH) Those are the ones I leave alone until they’re ready, if ever.

  8. P. G. says:

    Dr. Davis, thanks for the info about the dairy. I don’t think I’m lactose intolerant because it’s not GI distress, and I don’t have a true allergy, so am not sure how to describe what I have. Dairy gives me instantaneous, copious mucous in my throat and makes me lethargic and depressed. I know it’s the dairy because several times I’ve cut it out (by itself) and noticed a difference within a couple of days. Is that a sensitivity? Now I drink almond milk if I want something milky, but do truly miss cheese (and there are NO substitutes). I wouldn’t mind having some yogurt on hand but would have to do soy yogurt, and I’m not sure what to think about soy either as I’ve heard it can suppress thyroid (not something I need right now in middle age). I have twin toddlers and needless to say, I’m barely dragging my behind around these days. Something has to change. Oh, and because of the babies, dairy has made a comeback in our house. Hubby is also a vegan so there is lots of soy too. He had a panic attack when I told him about your book because he thought I was going to pull wheat products away from him and he already has nothing to eat! (his choice, of course).

    Sigh. It’s really hard unless you are a person who loves meat and salad.

  9. I Wazere says:

    Good post PJ :)
    I found this site just today after listening to the conversation Dr Davis had with Kim Greenhouse.

    Just wanted to suggest to those who have digestive problems related to dairy, try using a good probiotic for at least a month. I was at the point where I couldn’t consume any dairy whatsoever. After eliminating all dairy while taking probiotics for two months, I can now tolerate some dairy.

    Probiotics are live microorganisms which your body may be lacking for a wide variety of reasons. Anyone interested can google “probiotic”.

    Irwin

    • PJ says:

      Wow, this was quite a post to see if this is your first visit! LOL

      I agree, Irwin, I personally think everyone should be taking a probiotic. Good insurance. My favorite is Primal Defense by Garden of Life. There are a lot of good brands out there and rotating can be a good idea.

      Welcome to “Belly Club”! Good to have you.

  10. PJ says:

    Dr. Davis says:
    December 15, 2011 at 2:08 am
    Hey, PJ–

    If I haven’t already done so, I want to thank you for both allowing me to publish your “letters” and sharing your wonderful, heartfelt, and genuine thoughts with everyone.

    You are a gem. Thank you.

    It takes one to know one, Dr. D. And you are very welcome and thank YOU. It was fun . . . and very therapeutic. Good to know I’m not the only one out there that has had these thoughts and feelings. XOXO

  11. Lauren Olsen says:

    Phillis wrote, “Most people who have had weight or weight related issues are so confused by all of the information and versions out there that they don’t know what or who to trust. They have been told so many different things over the last several decades that I don’t blame them too much for being confused.” That is where I am at. When I was in my 20′s I had IBS, but I have not had any symptoms of that in the last 20 years. I have also struggled with my weight. I remember back to my 20′s when a boyfriend criticized my size at 157. Which is a good weight for my height. I have tried many diets. I am 52 years old I was diagnosed with MS at 32 years old and in that respect for the MS, I am doing fabulous! I have been on multiple rounds of steroids over the years (some IV, and prednisone). In 1992 I was 20 pound away from my goal weight and then was diagnosed with MS put on Steroids, and gained an immediate 30 pounds, that was almost 20 years ago. In the beginning of this year, I did the HCG drops and lost 22 pounds and 27 inches. I still have 60- 70 # to loose. I am almost through reading the Wheat Belly book, but then my wheat loving self thinks of others that are skinny and they eat wheat, what is the deal?

  12. Tim says:

    IMO, PJ’s letter is perfectly worded and appropriate for someone who has tried over and over and over again to help people who are basically too weak to help themselves. I had a very similar situation with my sister a few years ago and actually did send THAT letter. No, she hasn’t changed, but I feel better about how I relate to her knowing how she knows I feel about the situation. And, she has stopped expecting me to “save” her, which has taken a huge burden off of myself and the other members of our family.

    A letter like PJ’s will work for some people and not work for others, and that is perfectly fine. Could she lose a relationship with some of those folks? Probably. Is it worth it? I say, “Yes”. This is no different than enabling an alcoholic or drug abuser. You do all you can to help and if that doesn’t work, get out! If you can’t help them, it’s not fair that you go down with them. Then you’re no good to the rest of your friends and family who care about you.

    The best part, I believe is that she has a better sense of peace around the situation. This letter is more for her health than for theirs, again, IMO.

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  14. Lauren Olsen says:

    Thank you.

  15. Boundless says:

    Some responses, to this plainly identified thread about venting frustration, have needlessly but correctly pointed out that castigation is rarely an effective way to generate real results (although sometimes it is).

    As regards getting the wheat message out, the most effective thing to do is … whatever is the most effective thing to do. The challenge is that the “thing” is apt to be specific to each individual.

    The range of responses I’ve encountered run from immediate diet changes, based on a short email even before ordering the book, up to declining to borrow a copy being handed to them (despite a history of productive conversations about nutrition).

    When approached about the book, or wheat, or low carb, you can usually expect to encounter resistance. Tailoring your approach requires some skill in classifying the source(s) of the resistance.

    You cannot use the same approach with everyone; well, you can, but with less satisfactory results. What I recommend is considering each individual, umm, individually. Plan ahead. Have a Plan B. Since when does Plan A ever work anyway?

    Sources of Resistance:

    Trauma: Always keep in mind that the typical wheat eater is an addict who is entirely unaware that they probably have a textbook DSM-IV 304.90 dependency. Trying to wrap their brains around that unwelcome bit of news may well prevent any other messages about wheat from getting through.

    Apocalyptic: “You mean to say that a major component of reality (government diet priorities) is an illusion or even a fraud? 43% of the food at the market is poisoned? I’m sorry, but that’s a bit too much. I’ll keep popping my blue pills, thank you all the same.”

    Skeptic: “If this were something I didn’t know about, I’d already know about it. So you’re saying that the same FDA that banned Red Dye No.2 on questionable evidence is ignoring a `food’ that amounts to a well-documented delayed-action WMD?” Yep, that’s what we’re sayin’. This particular frog has been brought to a boil VERY slowly.

    The above 3 responses are enough to prevent further cognition in most people, but the remainder could prevent you from even getting that far …

    No Sale: People are used to being sold and solicited. They hate being sold and/or asked to donate. They are highly likely to assume you are selling something or want something.

    I’ve Already Got a Religion: If you are too much the evangelist for Post Modern Paleo, expect more than few infidels.

    Guilt Gamer: “… and my religion lets me sin, as long as I confess it and cough up an offering. So I plan to keep eating wheat and feeling guilty about it.”

    Diet Weary: “This looks like another diet I’d hate, requires too much hassle, I couldn’t stay on, and won’t deliver what it promises anyway.”

    Rebellious: “I’ve been told what to eat all my life, and intend to do as I please.”

    Offended: “You’re implying I have a wheat belly.” The very title of the book does not work in your favor here, and you’re going to have to be diplomatic if you suspect a chance of triggering this response.

    I could probably make some recommendations on how to anticipate and forestall each of these forms of resistance, but that would be contrary to the spirit of this thread, and readers who could use the advice would never find it in this blog format.

    • Marie says:

      Loved everything you wrote, Boundless. Agreed. AGREED!

    • MJ says:

      Wow, this is excellent, Boundless. I would add one more response I’ve run into, which can either be spoken or implied through the glazing over of the eyes.

      Your Problem, Not Mine: “Everyone is different, and while you seem to have a problem with wheat, I’ve been eating it all my life and it doesn’t bother me at all.”

      The person often is overweight or obese, with IBS, allergies, diabetes, insomnia, acid reflux, etc.

  16. Wendy says:

    Awesome letter PJ!!! I”ve gotten into so many discussions (that turn into arguments) with people about this. I was giving a friend praise on facebook the other day because she said she was going to take wheat out of her diet. Another friend commented “carbs in moderation are fine”. OMG!!! Wake up and smell the coffee moron and do some research before you make a moronic comment like that!!!

    I have a friend that found out she had Celiac disease a few years ago and that got me to start researching it a bit more. It actually helped me to make another friend realize that she most likely had Celiac disease too.

    Anyway…here here on telling it like it is!!! I applaud you!!!

  17. Liz Carbine says:

    What sorts of things cause the above mentioned “disruption of circadian variation of cortisol”? I have been eating a wheat free diet for over 3 weeks and I haven”t shed a single pound. Is the time frame not been long enough? I also became quite the runner last year and ran every day, about 2-3 miles for over 3 months and didn”t shed a single pound. I was diagnosed with a small pituitary tumor over 17 years ago and was told I probably had PCOS around the same time…are these conditions that can disrupt weight loss? If so, very frustrating as there are no real good or cheap ways to really battle these issues. Bah! You know what is even MORE frustrating than friends and family who do not want to heed help and advice??? Practicing strict health policies for yourself for YEARS with no help in weight loss…awe…so is life.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Hi, Liz–

      Given your pituitary history, not to mention PCOS, you really need an in-depth assessment of pituitary function, in particular. Your answers may all lie here.

      Wheat elimination and other health practices are powerful, but they cannot overcome situations like hypopituitarism.

  18. Robert says:

    I loved this letter! Whether it was actually said, or not, people need a wake up call and need to get offended in order get shocked back into reality.

    Going wheat free is EASY. It’s just the thought of it that is hard for some people. But thoughts are just thoughts and you get to choose what thoughts you pay attention to.

    I dropped wheat as if it were arsenic laced into cookies or sandwiches that I had been eating.

    When you KNOWINGLY consume something that is bad for you, you are choosing to let your partner bury you and, you are choosing to deprive your children of their parents, and your parents of their children. THAT is the choice that you are making, people. Start planning your funeral, because you sure the heck aren’t planning for a long and healthy life.
    I have been fat and sick for most of my adult life because I didn’t know any better, and I thought it was my fault for being weak. Now I know better, and the results that I have seen by ditching wheat are astounding. It’s been 8 days, and I am telling everyone I care about, about this.
    There are no excuses!!! Letting go of wheat is much more painless than being sick or dying.
    I applaud you PJ for putting that out there!!