The Need for Community
What makes keto difficult?
Would you want an alcoholic to quit the booze addiction on his own, alone?
How about expect the pornography addict to resist the temptation sitting alone in his apartment?
Of course not! You would expect both to get help through love, not solitude. Through friends, family, and other support groups, we help all sorts of addictions. But for some reason people think kicking the carb addiction is best done in seclusion or secrecy. Yes, I am guilty of that too.
What do you think the #1 reason people fall out of the the ketogenic diet?
After all, it is a routine. And routines have to be kept up. It is hard to be on a diet society has not fully embraced. That routine of yours will consistently be disrupted. From social pressures to internal temptations, it is one heck of a difficult journey. But it doesn’t have to be…
That reason people fall out? A lack of strong community.
That community piece is a bigger deal than most people think. We are communal beings whether we like it or not. We thrive on the acceptance and help of others. Let’s see how community plays its role in the keto life.
Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” And I agree 100% with that statement.
I have been in and out of the keto life for about a year and a half. The only reason I have experienced those “outs” is from a lack of support. While there is plenty of blame for how I approached the problem, I will focus on how others encouraged my fall.
I absolutely love the way I feel on the diet. Endless energy. Great focus. Restful sleep. Rich food. All was going well. But if I was feeling so good, why did I fall out?
Temptation. Our world is disgustingly full of junk food, and it was hard for me to resist. It was remarkably easier when I had a support group of friends who pushed me onward. However, when they started to fall away, I did too.
Friends would tell me to lighten up because I am healthy. Of course, I was only healthy because of the strict way I followed the diet. Its counter-intuitive to think I can eat poorly because I am healthy. But, regardless, I was sucked into that mindset.
Things like brownies, chips, and garlic bread were my downfall. I figured, “It can’t hurt too much to have one or two.” I wish I could say it was that innocent, but it was not.
One or two turned into an everyday thing. And again, without that community around it was easy to come up with excuses.
It took my failure to seriously appreciate the way community plays its role. In a way that failure was a great thing to happen because I now appreciate the severity of the situation.
If I surround myself with a non-supportive bunch, then I will certainly reflect their image and beliefs. It’s a fact, and I guess you can blame God for the way we get shaped by others. You must be shaped by people who want the best for you. You have to have that community.
What is community?
A quick Google search reveals one of the definitions of community as: “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.”
The words to focus on are “feeling of fellowship.” Regardless of reality, if we do not feel like we have fellowship with one another, then we have no community.
Thank goodness that keto folks who meet others on the same diet have an instant bond. They have something between them that instinctively brings them together. It is probably because the keto diet is quite unique and goes against the grain.
So, that does not seem to be the problem. But there is another problem afoot: the problem of distance.
If these people do not live in proximity with each other, then having a strong community is fairly hard.
Even with all the Facebook groups, diabetes forums, and other media, it is impossible to be fully surrounded by others. Feeling that intimate companionship is what makes this thing possible, so how do we get that?
Most large cities will have ketogenic support groups. Simply type that phrase into Google, and you will see what is around you. For example, MeetUp has a list of ketogenic support groups around the US.
I would recommend checking out something like this. You will be amazed at how many new friends you can make. Once you meet others with a common goal, you will be on a one-way street to happiness.
The Issue of Friends
This topic has come up several times with someone close to me – my mother. She has some awesome insights into this ketogenic world that I would have never thought of.
She likes to bring up the issue of friends. If you are trying to better yourself and lead a healthy life, you must start to change who you spend your time with.
If your “friends” do not share your goal of health, they will only drag you down. I am not saying you must get rid of non-ketoers in your life, but they must accept your lifestyle and work to keep you accountable.
Friends can define our success, but they can also be our downfall. How many times have you been convinced to do something you know is wrong because your friends think it’ll be fun? In the moment it can be quite hard to resist temptation, and that is why it is important to spend most of your time with those who want to help.
Again, not everyone needs to be keto – but everyone needs to respect your choice. If they don’t, they are not your friends.
For any of you believers reading this, I think it is similar to how Christians define friends. You are certainly encouraged to be friends with nonbelievers, but you should not be too vulnerable with them, and rather you should use it as an opportunity to spread the Good News.
You will find yourself making friends with new people, and that can be scary. No one likes change, but it is necessary. For most of us, this will happen naturally – if we have the right community.
How do we solve this problem?
Yes, we’ve got a problem, but what is the solution?
Time. It takes a long time for a society to change its views. It does not come from politics. It is not a top down kind of system. It comes from people like you spreading the gospel that is health.
Eventually, our society will except the truth. That is something I can say with confidence. People can’t run away from the truth forever.
Max Planck once said, “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”
I couldn’t agree more. It will take time for the opponents of keto to be rid of in our society. I believe this will happen more and more with each generation.
I can see it happening everyday. Young adults are much more open to the idea that fat is good for you. This will continue to grow as long as people like you accept and spread the truth.
Also, a great way to combat the problem of community is to join Facebook groups like ours. We would love to see you there and share your story!
Hopefully this helped you understand that thriving on the keto diet totally depends on your community. Think twice about who will help your success. Always be spreading the truth and finding new ways to get the word out. I really appreciate you, and I wish you all the best in your keto adventures!