Mark at Mark’s Daily Apple did a post today that totally hit home for me, especially on the upcoming Whole30 I’m planning for. He talked about how health is personal responsibility, and how you need to own your health journey despite how society tries to influence your decisions.
Now as far as the Paleo community goes, I’ve been a big, fat phony. Sure, I post my super-nutritious breakfasts of eggs and mixed greens, my superb dinner roasts. But I’m not posting the box of candy I have stashed in my desk drawer, or the cookies I pick up on my way to the office after lunch. This is a big reason why I am embarking on another Whole30; I lost control.
Now here is when, as supported by our culture, that you try to assure me that it’s okay, that everyone snacks once in a while. You know, the “80/20 rule” and eating “so healthy” all the time “it just not sustainable” and “you need a treat every once in a while!”
Um, no, I don’t. I don’t NEED treats, and I can’t figure out when this whole madness started where if you weren’t eating crap on occasion you’re depriving yourself. Okay, yes; if you really want a cookie and you’re beating yourself up because you can’t have a cookie, then mentally you wear yourself out. For most healthy people, that’s appropriate and I get that. But if you’re like me where you just can’t stop at one cookie, it’s easier to not eat any cookies than to eat one then give in and eat ten. And you know what? The world keeps turning and life moves on despite my passing on that cookie.
For me, it’s not difficult to eat Whole30 … when I’m isolated in my little happy bubble. I have the willpower to make good choices and I make the time to prepare nutritious food when I’m on my own. But I cave because of peer pressure. I feel bad at restaurants substituting and ordering off-menu. I hate it when my husband spends time that he doesn’t have to prepare a delicious dinner only to have me say, “I can’t eat that … and I can’t eat that.” And I hate the nagging feeling every time I give my son a bottle of cow’s milk that I’m actually causing him more harm than good. If I don’t want to eat it, why the hell am I giving it to him?
And in the end, someone always comments how I eat so “healthy” over my lunch salad like I’m being showy or obnoxious about it. Maybe I am. But with the plethora of nutrition information out there, good and bad, everyone is an “expert”, myself included. We are all obnoxious. Eat this, not that. Butter is bad. Butter is good. Never skip meals. Ok to skip meals. And if you don’t agree with me, obviously you’re wrong and not a specimin of health like me.
At the end of the day, everyone’s a skeptic, and everyone’s a critic. But it comes down to doing what I feel is right for me, even if Hulk thinks it’s extreme or my coworkers think I’m ridiculous. As I’m approaching my Whole30, I’m already steeling myself against the judgement and discouragement that I’ll inevitably encounter. I am making my own choices since I am responsible for me. If my choices make you feel bad, that’s not my fault, nor anything I have control over.
Do you feel like a minority with your eats?
How do you handle people making either well-intended or critical comments about your lifestyle?