Wellness Wednesday: Healthy Eating Criticism

So you’ve finally decided to get yourself together and clean up your act (pun intended).  It’s been a few weeks since you started your healthy eating journey and your starting to find you groove.  Fast forward >>> it’s a regular Friday night and you decide to have dinner with a friend.  You guys are at your usual spot but you’re not eating your usual meal…uh oh.

So the scenario can play out several different ways. Usually everyone’s first reaction to something different is to question it; anything that’s different or out of place always brings about curiosity.

“You didn’t order any meat”

“I know, I don’t eat meat anymore”

“Say what now, you don’t eat meat?”

“No”

“When did this happen?”

“It’s been about three weeks”

“Oh so what do you eat?”

“I eat vegetables”

“Oh okay, that’s it?”

“Yes that’s it”

“Why did you stop eating meat?”

Of course from there you will probably go into a long drawn out story about why you stopped eating meat, processed foods and dairy.  You will answer question after question.  The person you’re speaking with actually seem to be taking a genuine interest in your journey only to say “that couldn’t be me!”  That scenario has happen to me on several occasions and my response usually includes an eye roll and a sarcastic comment.

When I decided to make my lifestyle change I felt as if I was living in a glass house.  I never made a huge announcement about my decision but little by little people in my circle started to figure out I was different.  All of sudden if felt like all eyes were on me, especially at work:

“What’s that you’re eating?”

“Veggie humus wrap”

“Ewww humus?”

“Yes humus!” I annoy very easily, especially when people criticize my food, lol.

“You’re always eating weird stuff”

Blank stare…I don’t consider puréed chick peas to be weird but hey if you have never had it I guess it might seem different. What I am getting at is when you do decided to change you might find that people will be unintentionally discouraging because you are now doing something outside of what is normal.

People will temp you all the time just to test your will power.  They want to see if they can break you so they can validate themselves and say “see I know you couldn’t do it or that didn’t last long” You will be put in situations where your at a function and you absolutely can’t eat anything being served because there aren’t any vegetarian or vegan options. I learned pretty quickly to take the time to ask questions, be it a business lunch, dinner with friends, or just a family meal I need to know what I’m going to eat.

My family and friends caught on pretty quick and for the most part are very accommodating about either calling to find out what I eat and don’t eat.  If we have a function at work my boss always runs the menu by me to make sure I have as many choices as everyone else.  If we attend a business lunch I call ahead to request a vegetarian meal.  If I go on a date I make it known well in advance that I don’t eat meat and would prefer to go to a restaurant that has several vegetarian options.

It wasn’t easy for me to undo 31 years of eating habits, I still miss chicken and burgers oh and I get the occasional craving for barbecue ribs *sigh*.  However, living in a glass just means everyone can see you at your best.  Eventually you will end up rubbing off on them; they probably won’t admit it but anyone passionate about living well is always a great influence.

How has your experience been so far with those that are close to you?  Are they supportive, do they think your weird? Or could they care less?