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Do we really need to overhaul the current dialogue? In the name of free speech, shouldn't we just add to it?


A recent conversation got me thinking about human rights. Specifically, what are actual human rights?

I kind of always thought human rights were:

• The right to life

• The right to clean water/food

• The right to shelter

• The right to sexual orientation

• The right to free speech

All of the above make sense to me....

I wouldn't have put the right to never be offended on that list. (Nor would have I put the right to have vegan food when you're a fireman fighting fires a human right, yet someone's currently fighting that one. And I certainly wouldn't have put the right to have my biologically male genitals waxed by a Catholic woman who is uncomfortable and isn't trained to deal with balls and a penis a human right, but again someone is currently arguing this, as well).

But so often these days I hear about how "WE NEED TO CHANGE THE DIALOGUE..." on this topic or that topic. Recently, the urge to change the dialogue was on the topic of diet culture. 

FOR THE RECORD, I dislike the word diet in general. I have been going through the Precision Nutrition coaching course and I am more and more sold on helping people develop healthy habits slowly over time that will help them be healthier, reach their body composition goals etc. I have never seen the short term, restrictive diet (let alone cleanses) work for most people. Often, they lead to more problems than solutions. I truly believe when it comes to making nutritional changes, there needs to be a lot of compassion and a lot of care, and an effort to help people uncover why their relationship with food is the way it is (often it comes from childhood trauma etc...).  And I am certainly not into fat shaming or guilt tripping when you indulge in less than healthy food options. I, after all, had a candy addiction for years, which turned into a chip addiction. I get it.

BUT, to hear people urge for a change in dialogue on this topic or that topic scares me, because it feels like an attempt to squash free speech. Why do we need to change the dialogue? Because it offends some people? It hurts some people? Are we really moving to a world where not being offended is a human right? Go ahead and disagree with the other opinion and speak up about it, but to eliminate the opinion/way of thinking/culture entirely? Seems insane.

Let's take it to the extreme: I'm going to do it, I'm going to go there: Abortion. (Again, for the record, I am Pro Choice) BUT, do I think the Pro Life people should be allowed to voice their opinions? Yes, I do. The whole right to free speech thing... 

But from abortion to diet culture, I constantly hear a push to actually obliterate the discussion from happening at all.... Why?

Why do we need to change the dialogue? If the current dialogue offends you, why not just ADD to the existing dialogue? Isn't there space for both?

With that being said, here are two articles I have written for Precision Nutrition that are certainly what I believe to be adding to the dialogue and go against the current diet culture dialogue by taking a more compassionate approach to diet changes. I can do both tough love and compassion, because I think there's a space for both. 

• Precision Nutrition: Comparison theory

• Precision Nutrition: Find your inner pain

The point: Let's discuss and disagree to our heart's content. But let's not eliminate free speech by demanding a change in dialogue. In my very humble opinion, of course.