Most of us have heard that “Context is everything”, “Context is key”, “Context is king”, or some variant of that. And, not to be too punny, but in most circumstances, the context of the statement is important. But, is it really always everything? Or key? Or King?
First of all, what the heck does “context” even mean? Well, according to the dictionary, context is:
1. The parts of a written or spoken statement that precede or follow a specific word or passage, usually influencing its meaning or effect.
2. The set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event, situation, etc.
3. Mycology. the fleshy fibrous body of the pileus in mushrooms.
(For the purposes of our discussion, we’ll toss out the third definition, even though it sounds like it would be great sautéed in butter.)
So what does that mean for you?
Well, based upon the definitions above, “context” can be taken to mean “a way that you can define your keto journey, based upon someone else’ journey.” This is not uncommon, either.
But it is a good idea?
Well, I’m glad you asked. Because here are 5 specific situations where “context” does NOT matter, and in fact, needs to be ignored.
- Fat loss
Your rate of losing pounds or kilograms of fat, in the context of other people and their rate of loss, does NOT matter. In this case, you need to ignore that context. Just because Mr. X loses 10 pounds or 3 kilograms of fat a month doesn’t mean you will or should. Fat loss is extremely specific to many factors on an individual basis. For the sake of your own sanity, ignore context.
Someone may lose 5 inches around their waist line in the first week, but you should ignore this context. Their original waistline may have been 65 inches or it may have been 32 inches. But, it has no context when it comes to your waist line. Exercise, diet, stress, and other stressors will effect the size of your waist. Measure your progress based on your context, not the context of other people.
When I started “dieting”, it was all I could do to walk to the mail box at the end of the driveway. Getting to the car was challenging. If I measured my progress in relation to the endurance runner who runs 26 miles in a fasted state, I would be disappointed. But, I followed Zig Ziglar’s advice. I kept adding mailboxes. For some, getting to the mailbox is exercise. Measure exercise progress in your context, not the context of others’ efforts.
Let’s face it. We can’t all afford to eat steak carved from cows that were brought down from the grass fed pastures in the upper Himalayan Mountains on the backs of sherpas wearing fuzzy slippers to keep the cows from being contaminated. We all need to make our purchasing decisions based on our own individual budgets. For some of us, we’re hiring the team of sherpas to go find the bacon from pigs that have never seen corn in their entire lives. For others, it’s the sale version of hot dogs at Walmart. It’s important to ignore other people’s context when it comes to budget, and do the best you can do with your budget.
We can’t all live on a nice island, on a beach, where we can relax in the sunshine twenty four hours per day. Instead, most of us have lives that are demanding, and stressful, and cause us to lose our way, or get frustrated or step backwards. In this case, it’s better to shift the context to your context, which is the only one that matters. Are you doing better dealing with your environment than you did 1 year ago? 5 years ago? 10 years ago? If not, do the best you can given your current context.
When listening to the advice of others, or reading the recommendations from others, it’s important to shift your evaluation of the information from their context and evaluate the advice or recommendations in YOUR context. We can all be awesome in our own individual ways, in our own context.
Context is everything, it’s key and it’s king. But, it’s YOUR context that matters. While we can encourage you, and provide you with information and recommendations, be sure to evaluate the information in your context.