What an awesome, timely post Wings! Thank you so much for that, from the bottom of my newB heart.
Yes at times I have found myself thinking that most of the people on CZ must fit a certain hippie stereotype that I certainly don't fit. What if they met me in person? What would they think of my makeup? Should I tell them I shave my legs? (haha... couldn't resist)
It's possible that, like me, many of us have had encounters with self-righteous health zealots who instead of compassionately acknowledging "I've been where you are," they instead attack and try to shame people into changing their ways.
This is one of the beauties of CZ. One can interact without risking those unpleasant encounters, without those stereotypes preventing us from learning things we would never otherwise be exposed to.
One of the reasons I'm still here on CZ is because I found that there were kind, compassionate people out there like Unyquity. And you, Wings. And so many others... Who take us newBs by the hand and patiently encourage us along, step-by-step.