Sunday, March 6, 2011

Defending Health?

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I am usually game to try healthier ways of eating, whether it be removing sugar from my diet or adding things like flax seed and kale smoothies.  Over the course of many, many years I suppose I have acquired a taste for certain foods that others (aka my boyfriend) do not share.  However, I will stand by the fact that carrot juice, when combined with romaine lettuce juice, tastes so much like chocolate milk that I tend to avoid it, opting instead for beet, lemon, green apple, and lettuce smoothies. 

When I was 14, my dad moved from Warner Robins, Georgia to Redlands, California via the Air Force.  The rest of us (mom, sister and me) soon followed after our school year was over and discovered that dad had {surprisingly} gotten on a health kick.  He purchased the book Eat to Win by Robert Haas and had been following it's principles for a couple of months.  Immediately upon arriving to our new home, we ALL went on the Eat to Win 'diet'.  There were certain benefits...the first being that my dad was actually cooking almost all of the meals which were really quite basic AND delicious.  My dad looked great, smiled more, and was very active in our lives.  Family dinners were fun.

Unfortunately, this health kick didn't last for very long.  My dad, being an alcoholic (who was also bi-polar, unbeknown to anyone at the time), seemed to flip a switch and go back to an all red meat diet and snacking on bags of chips and buttered popcorn and beer.  I, on the other hand, embraced the healthy eating idea and just made the meals myself and even ate things like cottage cheese sandwiches before heading to the stables to work!

Since then I have been an avid reader/researcher on all things healthy.  I've been some form of vegetarian since about 18 years old.  I've also toyed with a vegan lifestyle as well as attempted to be a raw foodist.  I now kind of incorporate the 3...eating mainly vegetarian, mostly vegan (but no where strict enough to claim the title) and eating raw foods fairly often.  As would be expected, I catch a lot of flak for my food choices...mainly being told that I'm not getting enough protein, Vitamin D, iron, etc.  My favorite comments involve the "blame" people put on my diet if and when I ever get sick (which is rare).  As soon as I have the sniffles, or catch the same cold that everyone at work has shared, I am informed that my system is too delicate to fight off viruses and germs!**  Ridiculous! 

Wait a second..."As would be expected"??  Why should I expect to be harassed about my food choices?  After all, I didn't walk up to my co-worker, who was off work from "throwing his back out" and say, "You know, the reason you miss work and your back hurts is because you're carrying 40 pounds of useless fat right in your stomach area.  Lose THAT and you could do something as easy as mow your lawn.".  Or, when I see others in the break room, surrounded by bags of Taco Bell or Burger King I don't run in there and blame every little cough, sniffle, head ache, or other aliment on their diet.  I suppose I could, and I would have a better leg to stand on with medical backing, but it would also put me in the category of bully or prejudice against overweight or unhealthy people, even though I've been quite heavy myself.  Yet it seems fine for them to criticize my lifestyle with their unsolicited opinions.  

How is it okay for someone to go out of their way to basically inspect and then make fun of my smoothie but I don't have the same "right" to point and laugh when my friend orders chicken nuggets and a milk shake?  Even the grocery store clerks comment when I go through the register with a cart full of fruits and veggies and other 'healthy' items, yet never utter a word when someone goes through with 2 cases of soda, 3 bags of chips, a gallon of ice cream, and a box of Cocoa Puffs.

I find it odd that I am treated almost as an outsider in many areas of my life simply because I try to eat healthy and exercise regularly. It's strange, that in this day and age, it is still viewed as a 'novelty' to strive to be fit.  I think that's one of the reasons the blogger world is so appealing to find other people who share the desire to eat well, be healthy and get active.  

Do you have similar experiences with people (co-workers, family, friends) who seem to think it's okay to question your healthy life style?  How do you cope with it?

**I recently had a complete physical, including blood work and an EKG.  I passed with flying colors and my doctors were quite impressed with my cholesterol numbers, blood pressure as well as all of my other blood work results.


  1. People tend to make fun of things that either a) they don't understand or b) things that make them feel uncomfortable. I always find that the same people who talk the loudest always do so because it steers the pointing arrows away from them. I know a guy who smokes 2 packs of unfiltered cigarettes a day and yet calls my husband a 'pansy' for ordering oatmeal and dry toast for breakfast.
    You are achieving what many people couldn't begin to relate to doing in their own lives.

  2. I tend to be on the down-low about me eating. I want to avoid comments of all kinds, supportive and not. I once had my SIL offer to share a chip and I declined and she kept on it and on it and I finally had to just say something about trying to eat healthy. Why was it so hard for her to accept a simple "no?" To each his (or her) own, I say.

  3. I hear you Lynn! I mean really I get it all the time! Its so frustrating that I finally say what I feel when they make a crack about my choices. They are learning not to make their stupid comments anymore.

  4. @Ellen, yes, it seems like a defensive move from my friends/co-workers but I find it odd that sometimes they seem to want to make their point so bad that the order something extra "bad" when they are with me...maybe they think I am ordering healthy to 'rub it in their face'?

    @Karen, I do the same thing for the most part...when on Nutrisystem I even put my food in tupperware containers so it looked like I was just eating leftovers, not diet food. But I find that some people are especially 'nosey' and seem to go out of their way to inspect my food or drink (smoothies).

    @Sheri~I love it...I think I may have to take a harder approach to certain people so they get the picture!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...