Why I Am Choosing Not to Go on the Ketogenic Diet

Because I don’t want to. It’s as simple as that. We can end this blog post right here.

 

I could provide you a huge list of reasons. Some are medical. Some have emotional foundations. Some are personal or practical. Some are based on my opinions, my perspectives and my enthusiasm (or lack thereof). Most importantly: I don’t want to.

 

I have received no medical direction to initiate the process. I don’t cook. The idea of cutting out carbohydrates horrifies me. Most importantly, as I said before, because I don’t want to. It doesn’t matter whether I don’t want to for a “proper” reason or because I don’t like how many letters are in the word. Maybe I’m not doing it just to be difficult. I don’t need to justify or reason out why I don’t want to.

 

The holidays are a time for getting together with friends and family and loved ones. It’s also a time for getting together with people you might avoid the rest of the year. It’s a time for awkward conversations, including (but not limited to) “so what do you do for work?” “Why don’t you have kids?” and my favourite, “how are things going with your epilepsy?”.

 

Well, I’m still epileptic. That’s not likely to change. *eye roll*

 

What comes along with those questions is usually unsolicited advice, suggestions, commentary and counsel. Everyone is an Internet expert in something. Everyone has advice for which, if you don’t agree, accept or follow it, you are a terrible person. I’ve been criticized for not acquiescing to said uninvited direction. I internalized that to the point where I questioned whether or not I should be speaking about my epilepsy because I am clearly not interested in taking control of my health or seizures because I eat bananas.

 

I wrote about autonomy last year too. Our bodies are our own bodies. No one has any authority to expect that they can ask a question and receive a detailed response for anything. People can ask (we can ask!) but no one (no one!!!) is entitled to an answer. Each individual has autonomy over their own body. I do not care if the questions were placed with good intentions, whether answering nicely is the polite thing to do, or if the person asking had too much eggnog and rum to remember how to converse decently. No one is allowed to expect anything. And we are autonomous. We have the right to make our own decisions.

 

Yes, epilepsy. Yes, blog. Yes, events. Yes, magazine. No, details on medication. No, details on other stuff. No, no, no. (Unless I want to, but again, my choice. My body, my life, my decisions). It is certainly not anyone’s business to comment on my life choices.

 

This autonomy applies to everyone. EVERYONE. You do not owe anyone else anything. This is the worst time of year for this because we are forced into social circumstances that necessitate conversation. If someone starts a conversation that you are uncomfortable with, leave that conversation. Change the topic. Whether you do so nicely or abruptly is totally up to you, but no one is obligated to engage in (or even simply be a bystander for) a discussion that we don’t want to be part of.

 

If I choose to [blank], [blank], [blank] and [blank] with my life, guess what!?! No one has a right to give unsolicited advice on any of that. No one. No one has a right to tell me, over canapés and cider, that I should be [blank], [blank] or [blank] (unless I ask them). Sure, everyone has a right to their opinion. That does NOT mean they have a right to push what they think is best on me.

 

Complex? Maybe. Simplified: I don’t need to justify my life or my decisions to anyone.

 

We own our own bodies. We own our own lives. We owe nothing. Not out of politeness. Not out of expectation. Not out of precedence.

 

Note: I also realize that the Ketogenic Diet has done amazing things for some people with epilepsy and seizure conditions. I am in no way discrediting it. I am saying that right now, I am CHOOSING to not to go on it. And with this whole crazy body-autonomy concept, maybe next year I will have changed my mind and be the biggest Keto-fan. If that is the case however, it will be because I decided what to do based on what I feel is best. Not because someone pressured, guilt-ed or overwhelmed me to agree.

 

The point is: We are the only ones who have the right to decide what we do with our lives. Our lives. Our decisions. No judgement.

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