So I’m preaching to the converted here but given all the reactions people have against the idea of Soylent, I thought I’d articulate my reasons for being interested in Soylent and how I intend to use it. Maybe I’ll send a link to this post to anyone asking me about it in the future.
I’ve always been an intense all-or-nothing kind of person, in every aspect of my life. So when I’m eating well, a lot of research, planning, measuring, weighing, calculating, charting, documenting, preparing, etc. goes into that. Then, my diet is perfect. Every. Single. Day. But I get exhausted at the effort eventually. Then I give up & live on crap for awhile. While trying to hide it, and feeling ashamed. Yes, I have a really unhealthy relationship to food.
As a recent example, I ate perfectly from Jan to Apr. Then May & June, basically lived on Diet Coke & pasta everyday and nothing else (from Thai restaurants or a box of spaghetti with a can of tomato sauce). Then July & Aug, have been living on Diet Coke & burgers and nothing else. Now I’m gearing up for the perfect diet again.
As you can see, in my down times, I destroy all the progress I made with my health in the good times.
I have tried to correct this pattern. For the last 20 years. I have tried moderation. I have tried just a 75% perfect diet 100% of the time. But I fail. I always end up alternating between 100% perfect diet for many months, then 0% for many months.
No amount of interventions, education, knowledge, logic, advice from naturopaths, nutritionists, personal trainers, doctors (hell, even psychotherapists), preaching from friends, family, media about how “healthy eating is not that hard” has been able to help me break this pattern.
So my hope is that Soylent can help me during those times I’m failing with my nutrition. And as a perfectionist, Soylent & other existing alternatives just aren’t good enough for me. Hence, I’m working on a DIY.
So I may be more extreme than others (as I tend to be, in everything). But I don’t think it’s very unusual, generally speaking. I think a lot of people are going through this, or have experienced it at some point. (Hence the popularity of products like Soylent.)
As I see it, its an inherent cultural/societal problem in North America – I can’t speak for elsewhere – with the values & lifestyle we are taught from birth. Eg, society is structured to support a lifestyle involving working lots of overtime with very little vacation at the expense of leisure, family, health because it defines your worth as a human being – while not easily supporting those who try a different approach. Soylent throws a bandaid on that, without addressing the root problem, and thereby enabling it all to continue as-is. (There’s an amusing conspiracy theory to be found in there. J/k.)
But without a radical anarchy to overthrow that (lol), as for what I can do for myself, as an individual, here & now… Soylent.
EDIT: About the paragraph re. cultural issue…
This post has addressed my personal challenges as a result of inherent personality traits, then briefly suggested I and others are ALSO a product of our culture to some extent (whether you agree with the specifics of my provided example or not).
If you disagree with that basic premise, well then, the popularity of Soylent and prevalence of various meal replacements is because each one of the millions of us are all individually flawed (lazy, no personal boundaries on work-life balance, etc.), and cannot be described as a social “trend”. To be fixed individually and nothing to repair on the wider societal/cultural level.